What is an AI SMS Chatbot? And How to Design it?

Stefan van der VlagGeneral, Guides & Resources


We often hear about chatbot integration with Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms or websites, but what is an SMS chatbot? This blog post is solely dedicated to educating you on SMS chatbots and the process of designing them.

You will also learn the benefits of SMS chatbots, their use cases, why you should use them, and how to create SMS campaigns. There is a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

What is an SMS Chatbot?

An SMS chatbot or an SMS bot is a computer or software program designed to converse with users through text messages. It can typically answer user queries and is also trained to understand intent and have real conversations with people. Like all the other chatbots, it can also handle various conversations simultaneously.

Almost 6.92 billion people use mobile phones, and all of them receive and read texts with a 98% open rate. But do they respond? Or is there any engagement? Well, it’s quite low, and that’s why you need an SMS chatbot that will increase the engagement rate exponentially and potentially generate leads.

Use Cases of SMS Chatbots

SMS chatbots or AI-powered chatbots have various use cases because of their potential to access a wide range of audiences and accessibility. You can avail yourself of these bot services regardless of the category of your business and industry.

Big companies like JetBlue, Optimum, and Best Buy recognize the great potential that SMS chatbots have and are utilizing them.

The following are the common use cases of text chatbots by businesses and industries.

Types of SMS Chatbots

There are three types of text chatbots: ruled-based, AI-powered, and hybrid. Let’s briefly introduce these bots.

Rule-Based SMS Chatbots

Rule-based or simple SMS chatbots operate on predefined keywords and decision trees. They follow the rules set during their creation.

These bots are the simplest and easiest to set. They are useful for responding to the queries that were previously asked. You can use rule-based text chatbots to answer queries like product availability, opening hours, account balance, etc.

AI-Powered SMS Chatbots

AI-powered or smart SMS chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) and are trained on data that you provide during their design process. They also have access to the interaction history.

These chatbots are capable of answering questions that are asked by users frequently and are also able to make more sophisticated conversations that increase the engagement rate. However, they are more suited for web and social media channels rather than mobile devices.

Hybrid SMS Chatbots

Hybrid advacnced SMS chatbots are a mixture of rule-based and AI-powered text chatbots. They can recognize typed messages like rule-based bots and offer solutions like smart bots.

These sms-based bots, with their combined features, create a balance between the simplicity of simple chatbots and the intelligence of smart chatbots.

Customer Support

You can always rely on SMS chatbots when it comes to customer support. These bots can handle questions that are frequent and don’t need detailed answers most efficiently.

A human will spend as much time as the number of the same queries you will receive. In contrast, An SMS chatbot can respond to all of them at once in a matter of seconds. This practice will save you time, earn customer satisfaction, and no exhaustion.


SMS chatbots are a great tool for marketing your services. Their approach is simple and to the point, has accessibility, and no extras like images and videos. For example, you have an online bookstore, and there is a sale for a certain period of time. You can use a text chatbot to inform your customers about it by sending a simple text message such as “Enjoy 40% off on all Clepher’s books! Don’t miss out!”

As you can see, it’s simple, to the point, and has no extras. That’s the beauty of these bots. Furthermore, if you want this message to be received only by your loyal customers, SMS can do that as well by analyzing the data that tells who your frequent buyers are.

Operational Messages

You can use SMS chatbots to send important information or respond to texts that require immediate action. With the help of these text chatbots, a person can book a seat, make a reservation at a hotel, etc. These bots can also notify you when your credit limit is reached or when a policy has expired.

It is different from SMS alerts because they don’t need a response or demand an action. Text chatbots can inform you about the credit limit and also extend it or take action as the user wants. In short, they don’t just alert or inform; they respond and take action, which is more useful than the latter.

Lead Generation

Text chatbots are vital in lead generation by engaging in meaningful conversations with potential customers. The immediate responsiveness of these bots captures the attention of customers and wins their trust by providing information about your brand/company.

Their interactive nature helps gather information about customers’ preferences and needs and informs them about the availability of the products or services they are looking for. Their interactions help in impressive lead generations.

How do you design an SMS chatbot with Clepher?

Clepher offers its services at every step of the digital world. You can also take Clepher’s help to design an SMS chatbot.

The following are the steps to follow to design an SMS chatbot with Clepher;

Step 1: Create a Clepher Account

The very first step to designing an SMS chatbot with Clepher is to create a free Clepher account. You can opt for a free trial to test its services or purchase a plan. After signing up with Clepher, you will get access to its dashboard, where starts the real designing process.

Step 2: Set Up your Chatbot

After creating an account and getting access to its dashboard, you will see a “Create Bot” button. After clicking on the button, you will be given the option to select the type of chatbot, such as a Facebook Messenger, Web chatbot, or SMS chatbot.

Choose the SMS chatbot option, name it, and set up its basic settings.

Step 3: Design Your Chatbot’s Flow

After setting up the basic settings, you will have to give it a personality or design its flow that syncs with your brand’s voice. This step basically involves creating a series of steps that define how your chatbot will respond to user input.

Clepher offers various elements, such as text messages, buttons, and conditional statements. Choose the ones that make it compatible with the SMS services, which means no buttons, images, or videos.

The elements that are most compatible with SMS services are text messages and conditional statements like “Yes” or “No.”

Step 4: Integrate With SMS Service

Now that your Clepher bot is set, it’s time to integrate it with the SMS service. Clepher supports integrations with various SMS services, including Burst SMS. To connect these two, you will need a bridge. Pabbly Connect happens to be that very bridge.

The services that Pabbly Connect gives include connecting different applications. In our case, it’s the integration of the Clepher bot into the SMS service.

Step 5: Configure SMS Triggers and Actions

The integration of the text chatbot into the SMS is not the last step. You still have to configure the bot’s trigger messages and actions. To do that, set up triggers that will initiate the SMS chatbot’s actions in the Pabbly Connect workflow.

For example, you can set up a trigger to inform the subscriber that their credit limit has been reached or a certain list is complete.

Additionally, the actions that will be the consequence or response to the trigger should be configured. For instance, you can send a test message to the subscriber whose credit limit has been reached with a message that says, “Increase the limit to $100.”  

Step 6: Test and Launch Your Chatbot

After designing the whole SMS chatbot with Clepher, it’s time to test it. This step is as important as the previous ones. You have to test and check for yourself if you missed something during the design process or made a blunt mistake that can ruin the customer experience.

After testing the test chatbot thoroughly and confirming that it’s functioning properly, you can launch it and reap the fruit of all the efforts you put into making it perfect (with a small credit, Clepher, of course).

Additional Tips

If you want something extra with your SMS chatbot, Clepher is ready to provide it as well. You can use Clepher’s analytics to track the performance of your chatbot and gather customers’ information to create personalized conversations that can generate leads. Using analytics will also help improve your chatbot’s performance.

Clepher offers free trials so you can test its services without any financial commitments. During this free trial, you can explore all its capabilities, such as experimenting with its chatbot creation tools, integration options, and its association with other apps. This trial can help you understand how much Clepher’s services can benefit your business and increase its reach.

Final Thoughts

It is safe to say that SMS chatbots are the simplest bots that respond to users through text messages via mobile phone’s SMS services. There are two types of these bots – rule-based SMS chatbots and AI-powered SMS chatbots.

Their design process is simple and easy. You can acquire Clepher’s services to create an SMS chatbot that can integrate into your phone’s SMS service. These bots can take your business to new heights with their amazing performance, marketing strategies, customer services, and operational messages.

What are you waiting for? Go contact Clepher and touch the skies!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there an AI that responds to text messages?

Yes, Clepher can respond to text messages. It uses artificial intelligence algorithms and NLP (natural language processing) to respond to text messages. However, this response can only happen if you integrate Clepher’s text chatbot into your phone’s SMS service.

Is there a chatbot you can text?

Yes, there are so many chatbots that you can text to receive an immediate response. SMS chatbots offer their services 24/7 and can respond to multiple queries simultaneously. Clepher is one of those highly efficient text chatbots. You can use its services to market your business or simply for customer support, and it will never disappoint you.

Which AI generates text for free?

ChatGPT is an AI that generates text for free. You can ask any random question, and it will answer based on the data on which it is trained. All the information available on the internet, books, and any public information was used to train ChatGPT. There are also other AI bots that generate text for free.

Explore SMS chatbots

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