There may be instances when you’d like to send a text message, but the timing isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s too early, a bit late in the evening, or it would make more sense to send something a few days from now. But waiting to send a text means you risk forgetting about it completely. So how do you write a text and send it later? You can schedule a text message or use a workaround.
The method available to you will vary depending on your mobile device. Below, we lay out a few ways to get the job done (or get close to it). Some Android users, for example, have a scheduling feature built into their default text message app. iPhone users, however, don’t have that option. And if you’re interested in sending scheduled messages to your customers, we include a section that explains the most efficient way to do so (and it’s not limited to your mobile phone).
How to schedule a text message on iPhone
Unfortunately, there is no feature to schedule a text message using iMessage, but there are few ways to work around the limitation.
Option 1: Use a third-party app
The App Store has plenty of third-party applications—like Scheduled or Later—that you can use to schedule a text message. Some apps are free and others will require a fee to access advanced features. And a few options don’t actually send the text message you’ve scheduled; instead, you’ll get a notification to send the message yourself at the scheduled time.
Option 2: Use the iPhone Reminders app
If you’d rather not download anything new, you may want to consider using your iPhone’s pre-installed Reminders app as a workaround. The Reminders app won’t send your text message at a desired time, but it will give you the option of writing out your message in advance, and you can set up a notification to send the message yourself.
Step 1. Open the Reminders app. Pull down on the Home Screen and enter “Reminders” in the search bar if the app isn’t easily accessible.
Step 2. Add a list. Tap on Add List in the bottom right corner. (Or if you want to add the reminder to an existing list, tap on +New Reminder in the bottom left corner, title the reminder and go to Step 5.)
Step 3. Enter details. Title your list and choose a color (e.g., Text Messages).
Step 4. Add a reminder. Tap on + New Reminder in the bottom left corner and title your reminder (e.g., Text Zach).
Step 5. Choose a time, date and write out your text. Tap the details icon to the right of the label (the “i” enclosed in a circle) to include a date and time to get your notification. If you’d like to write out your text so you don’t have to do it later, enter it in the Notes section. Tap Done. Or if you just want a general reminder to send a text, tap on the calendar icon that appears right above the keyboard (it has a clock icon on it), and choose to send the reminder to yourself today, tomorrow or over the weekend.
Step 6. When you get your reminder, copy and paste the text into iMessage. Open your reminder when it pops up at the scheduled time.
- Open the reminder details
- Double tap the note. A highlight will appear
- Drag the highlight so that the entire message is selected
- Tap Share
- Choose your recipient from the pop-up options and paste the selected text into the blank field. Or tap on the Messages icon, add your recipient and paste the selected text into the blank field.
How to schedule a text message on Android
Android users have a few options to send a scheduled text message. Samsung Galaxy devices owners have it the easiest, and everyone else will need to use a workaround method or download a third-party app.
Option 1: Use the Samsung Galaxy Messages app
If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you can schedule a text message using the default Messages app.
Step 1. Open Messages. If the app isn’t easily accessible, pull down on the home screen and enter “Messages” in the search bar.
Step 2. Compose your message. Tap Compose in the lower right corner, then select your recipient and write your text.
Step 3. Schedule the message. Tap + or tap the arrow on the left side.
Step 4. Set a time and date. Tap the Schedule message icon and enter a date and time up to a year from today’s date.
Option 2: Use your Google Calendar app
This option is a workaround to schedule a text message that serves more as a reminder with the option to write the text ahead of time. The steps below are for Google Calendar since it’s the default calendar app on every Android phone, but you can do something similar with another calendar app if you’d prefer.
Step 1. Open the Calendar app. Pull down on the home screen and enter “Calendar” in the search bar to quickly access the app.
Step 2. Create a new Event. Tap + (Create) then tap on Event.
Step 3. Choose a date, time to send and write out your text. Swipe up edit the event details. Add a title (e.g., Text Mom), add the date and time you’d like to send the text, and enter your text message in the note section. Set the time for a notification reminder. You may want to set the notification to a minute before the event so it’s as close as possible to the time you actually want to send it.
Step 4. Receive your reminder, then copy and paste the text to your recipient. When you get your reminder notification, open the event.
- Open the event notes
- Select the text and copy it
- Open your default text message app
- Choose your recipient and paste the selected text into the text field
Option 3: Use a third-party app
If you’re open to downloading an app, you can use a third-party messaging app that comes with a scheduling feature. A few popular, well-reviewed apps are Pulse SMS and Textra SMS. Some apps display advertisements and others will require a fee to access advanced features.
When to schedule a text message to customers
Using texting software to send scheduled messages is a time-saver and can be used in the following scenarios:
- Marketing campaigns. Pre-planning is a must when it comes to marketing campaigns. Schedule timely messages to let customers know about upcoming sales or special events.
- Deadline alerts. Sometimes customers need a little nudge. Get their attention for registration deadlines, sending signed documents and more.
- Appointment reminders. Missed appointments waste time and hurt revenue. Instead of reminding yourself to compose a reminder text the day before, schedule it right after you’ve made the appointment.
- Billing date reminder. Some customers prefer to be notified when their credit card will be charged or when they need to make a payment. A text message ensures they’ll see the message right away.
- Follow-up with prospects. Building a relationship with prospects is an essential sales strategy. Stay in touch by scheduling a few follow-up texts throughout the sales cycle.
Schedule a text message with Twilio
Is your business looking for an efficient way to schedule messages to customers? Try Twilio Message Scheduling, currently in public beta testing. Twilio message scheduling gives you the ability to schedule an SMS, MMS or WhatsApp message for a fixed time in the future.