Articles on: SMS Automation

Getting Started with SMS notifications

Getting Started with SMS notifications

This feature is available on our paid plans.

Welcome to SMS! SMS marketing is a powerful tool to help grow your business and engage your customer base. SMS is one of the highest converting methods of recovering abandoned carts. Studies show that open rates for SMS are near 100%. SMS has been added to the existing lineup of push notifications and email automations. This multi-channel approach enables merchants to dramatically increase traditional abandoned cart recovery rates—up to 10x—based on different communication preferences.

Once you have configured your settings, the magic happens on the Automations page where SMS steps will be added to your menu of automations.

We’ve made editing SMS notifications a breeze to help merchants build and optimize messages that convert using dynamic variables such as first name, checkout URL, product images, and more. These provide personalization that’s proven to more effective at recovering abandoned carts. Read on to learn how to get started!

We’re charged for every message that we send on your behalf, which means you’ll need to purchase SMS credits to enable SMS automations. These credits start at only $5 for 100 credits, are non-recurring fees, and can be reloaded anytime based on your usage from the settings page.

In this article
SMS Settings
Editing the Message
Editing the Wait Time
Adding a Discount
Common questions

IMPORTANT: Before you get started with Rivo's SMS notifications, it is important to understand the laws and guidelines around SMS marketing in the US. Please read our guide on TCPA and CTIA Compliance and read through the linked resources. You must complete the steps outlined in that guide before you can enable or edit SMS notifications. To find out more about sending SMS internationally, read our FAQ.

SMS Settings

From the dashboard, click Settings

Click SMS: Configure SMS Settings

All of the high-level settings for SMS notifications are on this page:

SMS Credits - Purchase SMS credits here in amounts of 100, 500, or 1500. The charge approval page will open in a new tab.

Quiet Hours - Set Quiet Hours, during which SMS messages will be disabled. We recommend keeping the default 9pm to 8am settings. Read more in our TCPA and CTIA Compliance Guide.

Staff phones - Add a staff phone number to receive admin notifications & test SMS messages.

Smart sending - Set an amount of hours during which SMS messages cannot be sent more than once to the same phone number. The minimum is 24 hours.

Note: The SMS credits are a one time purchase. You can purchase more at any time by visiting your SMS settings.

Editing the Message

Customize the content of your SMS messages.

Note: 'Reply "STOP" to unsubcscribe' cannot be removed from the message. You must include a way for your customers to opt out of receiving messages. This will be auto-replaced with an unsubscribe link depending on the SMS destination. Read more in our TCPA and CTIA Compliance Guide.

Edit your message content

From the dashboard, go to Automation.

Find the SMS notification you wish to edit and click Edit.

Select Edit Message.

Here you can edit the content of your SMS message. Click on any of the variables (explained below) to add them to the message. Make sure you include the {{checkout_url}} variable! Click Send Test to receive a test notification; you can add a staff phone number in your SMS Settings. When you're happy with your message content, Save your changes.

Keep an eye on the Characters below the message field. An SMS message is 160 characters long. When your message exceeds 160 characters, the SMS Counter will increase by one and the character count will begin again at 1/160. The SMS Counter increases for every 160 characters (i.e. one SMS message) used but on the recipient's end they will see the SMS as one continuous message.

Note: The 'Characters' and 'SMS Counter' are a guide only on message length. The message may be shorter or longer on the recipient's end depending on the length of text that replace variables such as {{first_name}}.


The text with curly brackets {{ ... }} under Personalization are placeholders called variables. When the SMS is sent, these variables are replaced by the relevant data. Customers do not see the variable name, e.g. {{first_name}}, only the text that is displayed in place of the variable. These variables cannot be edited. Here is a list of all the variables available for SMS notifications and what they output in the delivered SMS:

{{first_name}} - The recipient's first name
{{checkout_url}} - The link to the recipient's abandoned checkout e.g.
{{site_name}} - Your store's brand name
{{checkout_total}} - The value of the abandoned order
{{checkout_currency}} - Your store's checkout currency e.g. USD

💡 Pro Tip: The more personalized the message is, the more powerful its strength. Visit our Opt-in Popup guide to learn more about creating a Opt-in Form to capture email addresses and phone numbers before your potential customer reaches the checkout process.

Add an Image (U.S. recipients only)

Located underneath the Message Strength meter, check the box Send an image of the product. This will attach a picture of the product in the cart to the SMS message.

Editing the Wait Time

Choose how long to wait after the previous notification in the Automation workflow.

On the Automation page, click Edit on the SMS notification.

Select Edit Wait Time.

Enter in your preferred wait time. You can choose to send after:


Adding a Discount

Add a unique discount code at checkout.

On the Automation page, click Edit on the SMS notification.

Select Edit Discount.

Check the box Add unique discount code for every customer.

Add the discount. There are two types:

Fixed - A fixed amount deducted from the total e.g. $5.00 off.
Percentage - A percentage of the order total e.g. 10% off.

When you've added your discount click Save.

Note: The discount code does not appear in the SMS but is applied automatically to the customer's order when they follow the Checkout link.

Common questions

Can I add a custom phone number?
Text messages sent through the app are sent from a pool of US based numbers, and right now there's no way to choose one.

Can I use a custom domain for my messages?
Right now, the domain is automatically shortened to, which will then expand into your website's checkout domain. The reason for this is so you know which carts are recovered through the app, so we can automatically apply the optional discount you've configured and to help save you credits by using shorter characters for the SMS message.

What happens when I run out of SMS credits?
You won't be automatically charged when you finish your SMS credits. When you run out of credits, we'll send you an email reminder to refill your credits. You can purchase more at any time by visiting your SMS settings.

Can I send SMS messages to VOIP numbers?
Unfortunately, our SMS service cannot send messages to VOIP numbers, only to regular mobile phone numbers in a mobile carrier network.

Updated on: 04/07/2022

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