Sometimes, a text message isn’t enough to get your message across.
Business owners often need to send things like invoices, tickets, quotes, schedules, and other documents that don’t fit neatly into the 160 characters of SMS, or even the 1,600 characters of MMS.
That’s where PDFs come in.
A portable document format, or PDF, is the digital equivalent of handing someone a physical piece of paper. PDFs almost always include text, but they can also feature images and hyperlinks.
Can I text a PDF?
You can text a PDF to someone, but not through traditional SMS. The easiest way is to use a texting platform with MMS messaging services, which lets you send images, videos, GIFs, audio, and PDFs.
You can also send a PDF from the file app on your phone or by sending a link to the document that’s hosted on your site.
3 ways to send a PDF as a text message:
You have two options for sending PDFs in a business texting app: with SMS or MMS messaging. To follow along with the steps below, sign up for a free 14-day trial of SimpleTexting (no credit card needed).
This method of sending a PDF via text message works well for mass texting use cases.
For example, use this method if you’d like to text a new PDF menu for your restaurant to an exclusive text club to get feedback before rolling it out in your business:
When the recipient clicks, they’ll open the PDF:
3. Select Upload, and then choose and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in the URL. Once your PDF is added to your message, select it and press the blue Include button.
4. Your PDF will show up in your message as a link that, when clicked on, will redirect recipients to the document online.
Two-way business texting simply means you’re conversing with someone one-on-one. For example, with this method you could reply to a customer’s question about billing with an invoice PDF via text messaging.
The process for sending a PDF with two-way messaging in SimpleTexting is similar to sending a PDF via SMS. From your Inbox in SimpleTexting, select the conversation where you want to send the file, and click the paperclip icon.
Select Upload, then select and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in a URL.
Once your PDF is in your text message, select it and press the blue Include button.
Your PDF will show up in your message as a link that, when clicked on, will send recipients to the document online.
The process of sending a PDF via text with MMS includes all the same steps as SMS. However, the end result isn’t a link, but a physical attachment within the message.
When someone clicks on the PDF, the PDF opens within the text message, and contacts can save the PDF just like a photo.
2. In your message box, select the paperclip icon.
3. Select Upload, then click and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in the URL. Once your PDF is added to your message, select it and press the blue Include button.
4. Your PDF will show up directly in your message when clicked and will open without the need for internet connectivity.
Though attaching PDFs from your standard iPhone or Android messaging app isn’t ideal for mass texts, it can work in a pinch.
Note: These steps may vary depending on the version of iOS or Android you’re using and the apps installed on your device.
Another way to send a PDF via text is to upload it to your website or an online file manager like Google Drive and paste the link into your message.
Here’s how you’d send a PDF in an SMS message with a link:
We’ve gone through the how of texting a PDF, but why would someone want to send PDFs through text in the first place?
Beyond the convenience of writing and sending them, texts get impressive open and response rates. It’s why thousands of organizations across the country have transitioned their communications to SMS.
Attaching a PDF to a text is just another way to tailor your business services to a mobile-based market and make sure your customers get the documents they need instantly.
You know now that PDFs are the ideal tool for getting a lot of information across in a neat package.
Here are a few examples to help you put them to work in your own business:
“Hey team! I’ve attached our July web traffic report here. Please check it out ahead of our meeting on Thursday!”
“Thank you for choosing New Day Home Services for your home repair needs. Please find today’s invoice attached, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.”
“You’re ready to go! You can find the itinerary for your upcoming trip to Miami in this message. Let us know if you have any questions. Happy travels!”
“Thanks for reserving your table at Lulu’s Café! Take a look at our menu ahead of your visit.”
Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.More Posts from Dani Henion
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