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19 auto-reply text message examples and how to set them up

From out of office messages to lead generating auto replies, learn how to set up and send your own auto-reply text messages.

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One of the least glamorous parts of managing a business is responding to customer comments and questions. 

Fortunately, there’s a way to respond to all incoming texts in seconds without needing to hire additional staff: auto-reply text messages. 

These automated text messages not only serve as response placeholders until you’re back in the office, but they can also be:

  • A first line of contact for customer service requests
  • A promotional channel for your content
  • A way to set expectations and prevent customer frustration

Automating text messages is as simple to set up as a pre-recorded voicemail prompt or an out-of-office email reply. I’ll show you how it’s done and share some ideas for how you can leverage the power of automation. 

What are auto-reply texts?

Short for automatic reply text, auto-replies are texts sent without the need for manual intervention. They’re also almost always sent in response to a triggering action.

There are two main types of automatic text message replies:

1. Away messages: A pre-written out-of-office response that can be turned on and off.

Thank you for reaching out to Home & Hearth Realty!

We’re in the office Mon–Fri 7:30 AM to 6 PM and will respond as soon as possible.

2. Autoresponders: An auto-response that’s sent when a contact takes a particular action, like when a text-to-join keyword is texted to your number. 

Welcome to Simple Shop’s VIP Deals club! We’ll send you exclusive discounts, first dibs on new offers, and more.

As a thank you, use the discount code VIP10 for 10% off! Shop now: [LINK]

I’ll show you how to set both types of auto-replies up and provide examples that you can copy for your own texting strategy.

How to set up an auto-reply text

As I mentioned, you can set up automated away messages and autoresponders as part of your SMS strategy. I’ll walk you through the easy setup processes in SimpleTexting.

💡 If you want to follow along, sign up for a free 14-day trial of our automated text messaging software.

To set up an away text message:

  1. In your inbox, click on the robot icon next to your phone number near the top left corner.
  2. Next, choose the option called “Away settings”.
A look at the SimpleTexting inbox
Away message settings in SimpleTexting
  1. Now, write the message you want to use for your away status.
  2. Decide when you want your message to be sent: all the time (24/7), only outside of office hours, or never.
Setting up an away message
Away message scheduling options in SimpleTexting
  1. If you prefer to send your message only during specific times, select the option “Only send outside of office hours” and set your office hours in the window that appears. Remember to click “Save hours”
  2. Once you’re done, click on “Save & close”.

To set up an autoresponder text message:

  1. Start by clicking on “Autoresponders” in the left-hand panel.
  2. Then, click on “New autoresponder”.
SimpleTexting's autoresponder setup
Creating a new autoresponder in SimpleTexting
  1. Give your autoresponder a name. This name is only for your own reference, and your subscribers won’t see it. For example, you can name it “VIP deals”.
  2. Now, choose the list to which your autoresponder should be sent.

Note: Only new contacts added to the list will receive your autoresponders. 

  1. Decide if your autoresponder should be sent as an SMS or MMS.
  2. Type the message you want to include in your autoresponder.
  3. Next, select the delay for sending the autoresponder. You can choose to send it minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months after someone subscribes to your list.

Alternatively, you can add a delivery window. This allows you to set limits on when the text can be sent, like specifying how early or late it can be delivered and on which days of the week.

  1. Click on “Save autoresponder”.

19 auto-reply text message examples for your business

From the familiar to the more unexpected, check out these use cases for automated text replies. 

  1. Catch-all auto reply text
  2. FAQ auto reply text
  3. Customer service auto reply
  4. Automated sales text
  5. High volume automated response text
  6. Out of office auto reply
  7. Welcome text
  8. Marketing department inquiry
  9. Missed message auto reply
  10. Staffing or recruiting auto reply text
  11. After business hours text
  12. For more information auto reply
  13. Holiday closure auto reply
  14. Vacation notification text
  15. Lead generation auto reply
  16. Networking text
  17. Re-direct auto reply
  18. Service upgrade notification
  19. Survey or feedback auto reply

1. Catch-all auto-reply text

Need to set up a generic away message for times you’re away from the phone or need to refocus your attention? Simply throw this template up for a few hours to buy yourself some time.

“Thank you for contacting Lulu’s, you’ve reached Anne. I’m out of the office currently, but I will respond to your message by 3 PM. Thank you for your patience!”

2. FAQ auto-reply text

Save time and direct folks to a page with answers to frequently asked questions in an autoresponse to help sort and prioritize customer service inquiries. 

“Thanks for reaching Simple Shop! While you wait for a customer support rep, let’s see if we can answer your question here: [LINK].”

3. Customer service auto-reply

If you receive a high volume of customer service texts, you may want an auto-response in place that acknowledges a customer query has been received. This can help buy you some time while attempting to reach as many people as you can. 

“Hello! We received your inquiry and our support team is on it. We’ll get back to you in 20–30 minutes. Thank you for your patience!”

4. Automated sales text

Use your auto-response as an opportunity to connect your customers with a sales opportunity!

“Hey there, thanks for shopping Patagonia! We’ll respond to your message ASAP. While you wait, have you checked out our semi-annual sale? [LINK]”

5. High-volume automated response text

If you’re experiencing a higher text volume than normal, be sure to have a volume auto-text on hand to help buffer the traffic.  

“Thanks for your message! We’re experiencing a higher volume of texts than usual. You can expect a reply within 12 hours.”

6. Out-of-office auto-reply

Don’t leave messages that come in outside of business hours hanging. Instead, let them know when they can expect a response. 

“You’ve reached Maggie at HealthCorps. Our business hours are 8-5 EST, and I am currently OOO. I will get back to you within the next business day, thanks!”

7. Welcome text

If a customer is new to your text program, be sure to send them an automated welcome message upon signing up.

“Welcome to Barracuda Resorts VIP club! My name is Joy, your personal concierge. If you need anything during your stay, please let me know!”

8. Marketing department inquiry

Perhaps someone reached out to your marketing department regarding a press inquiry, guest post pitch, etc. You’ll want to be sure you’re ready with a response.

“Thanks for reaching out to NAPA marketing, someone will be in touch with you shortly. What can we help you with?”

9. Missed message auto-reply

Just like a voicemail inbox, your texts can also take down messages for follow-up as well!

“Sorry we missed you! Please reply with a brief message and someone from the Skipper team will get back to you later today.”

10. Staffing or recruiting auto-reply text

If you have a job opening it can be difficult to get in touch with everyone who applies. To help you stay organized and let candidates know their application was received, consider a staffing automatic text reply. 

“Thanks for your interest in joining the ABC team. You can check your application status on our employee portal anytime: [LINK]”

11. After business hours text

Does your business operate outside typical working hours? Let people know with a message. 

“Thanks for your message! Craig’s is an Australian-based company, therefore you can reach us during our business hours 6 pm–2 am EST.”

12. For more information auto-reply

Provide customers with some quick information to help them get started with your brand or business. 

“Howdy! Thanks for requesting more info on Hank’s Ranch Membership. Here are some articles that should help get you started! [LINK]”

13. Holiday closure auto-reply

If you’ll be away for a portion of time observing a holiday, create a cheerful auto-reply in your absence.

“Happy holidays! I will be out of office until Jan. 3, and I’ll reply within 24 hours of my return.”

14. Vacation notification text

Out of office on vacation? Set and forget a message in seconds!

“I’m leaving on a jet plane! The Stern Firm will be out of the office until 3/4 on a company-wide retreat. We will respond to all messages promptly upon return.”

15. Lead generation auto-reply

Just because it’s an automated message doesn’t mean you can’t seize the opportunity to collect leads. Provide the opportunity to collect an email or address within your text response. 

“Thanks for reaching out to Motts & Co. We’ll get back to you shortly. In the meantime, have you subscribed to our weekly investor newsletter? [LINK]”

16. Networking text 

If you’re an events-based business, use your out-of-office auto-reply as a way to promote your upcoming conferences, sessions, and speakers!

“Jason here, thanks for reaching out to ThinkTank! I’m currently at a speaking event in Chicago. Find out if I’ll be coming to your city here: [LINK]”

17. Redirect auto-reply

Just because your business is text-enabled, it doesn’t mean you have to be a two-way communication platform. You can create an auto-reply message to all incoming messages letting them know the inbox they’ve reached isn’t monitored, and direct them elsewhere for contact.

“Thanks for your response! Please note that this inbox is not monitored. To reach someone with a question or feedback, please email”

18. Service upgrade notification

Anticipating some downtime on your site due to maintenance? Get ahead of any frustrated “is your site down” messages with an auto-text.

“Thanks for reaching out! Please note that we currently have some site delays due to the ongoing upgrade of our network. Delays should cease at 8 am tomorrow.”

19. Survey or feedback auto-reply

Integrate your customer survey software with SimpleTexting to thank people for their feedback. You can connect the two platforms with Zapier and trigger a thank-you text after you receive a form submission.

“Thank you for submitting your feedback! Your opinion means so much to us and helps us better serve you in the future.”

5 best practices for automated text responses

No matter what you’re using your SMS autoresponder for, there are a few pieces of best practice you should keep in mind when crafting an automated text message. 

  1. Always include a thank you: It’s both polite and inviting to begin your away message with a thank you. This lets customers know you’ve acknowledged their inquiry and helps to assure them a response will come soon.
  2. Identify yourself: After your thank you, you want to establish a more personal connection with the customer. A great way to do this is by identifying yourself as an individual. Now, the customer has a point person to reference for their support and they feel one step closer to resolution. 
  3. Provide a time frame for follow up: If your automated message is a placeholder for a response, be sure to let your customer know when they should expect to hear back from you. Will it be minutes, hours, days? Help them set the expectation to avoid friction caused by the non-response. 
  4. Provide next steps: Finally, if the situation allows, give your customers insight into what they can do in the meantime while they wait for a response. Is there someone else they can contact in your absence? A blog post or article that may have the information they need? Whenever possible, give them the tools to continue autonomously. 
  5. Integrate with other tools: Connect SimpleTexting to other apps you use for your business to trigger auto-responses in real time. For instance, you can automate an onboarding text message after someone purchases an online course from your Kajabi store.

Feeling ready to set up some automated text message replies on your own? 

Before we leave you to your own devices, we have some sample messages featuring different ways you can automate text replies to serve your business. 

This article was written on October 8, 2020, by Meghan Tocci and updated on August 1, 2023, by Dani Henion.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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