• Never miss another call

    A “how-to” guide so you can leverage CallRail, Zapier and Twilio to send a text message to each of your first-time callers.

How to Send a Text to First-Time Callers

Hi, Jason here with some info on how you can never miss another call. I will show you a client, Maid Great, who offers house cleaning services and never misses a call thanks to auto reply.

The Harvard Business Review states the average life of an online lead is about 5 minutes before it starts to decay and the likelihood of getting the sale goes down for every hour after that.

Below is a guide on how to send a text message to your first time callers, including an image and even link to your online scheduling or other relevant info you could not send because you missed the call.

Clients that offer 24/7 online booking benefit the most as a good text message results often in a booking for a call you didn’t even answer. So that regular client’s don’t get a text, we setup the text to only go to a first-time caller.

NOTE: FCC rules state you are to get  “recorded permission” to send a text. Use this at your own discretion. 

Example of text to first time callers

auto text message first time callers


  1. CallRail.com online phone system ($30/mo)
  2. Zapier.com online service automation (free-$50/mo)
  3. Twilio.com full-service cloud phone system ($2/mo) ((needed as callrail.com doesn’t support outbound texting via zapier.com))

How it works:

Someone calls your phone number that is associated with your CallRail account. (you can port your number from your existing carrier to the cloud and they will give you a new phone number for the device you just ported from, or you can cancel that line altogether if you don’t need it)

CallRail identifies if that caller has called before and if not, sends them a text / multimedia message you create. The SMS will have to comes from Twilio as opposed to the number they actually are calling from. It would be nice if it came from the number they called, but not possible as of posting.

We won’t be covering how to buy a number at Twilio ($2/mo), but the process is not too hard once you get past the overwhelming interface of Twilio.

Start in Zapier

Zapier is an awesome way to connect all your online apps to share info. There are lots of other things you can do with Zapier for your business, from sending successful online sales to Facebook as offline conversion to adding them to your MailChimp email campaigns. We’re not going to go into every step that it took to get all your required accounts setup, but this will at least show you how to connect them together.

Thinks you can do with zapier and callrail

How To Setup In Zapier

4 steps to setting up zapier and call railZapier will ask you to connect the different apps we discussed above. So let’s start with adding in CallRail.

  1. Add CallRail and select the action of “after call is completed”
  2. add a filter and configure to only continue if the caller is a first time
  3. remove the “+” sign from the caller’s number
  4. Send the SMS/MMS the number you are sending to is from the filtered step above in step 3 (Twilio doesn’t like the + in the number) The message should be 140 characters or less so the message isn’t sent fragmented
  5. (optional) Setup a delay so you can send a second follow up message that doesn’t get sent out of order.
  6. (optional) Send the second message

Not Covered In This Post

Of course, this assumed you had all the services and accounts already setup and working. This does take some time, and all services used to do more than just what this overview offers.

About 15% of people reply back to the initial text you send above, and if you don’t have Twilio setup to send it to you (via Zapier) you won’t get that text.

There are a TON of things you can do with just CallRail / Twilio & Zapier. With CallRail alone, you can wait till the caller hangs up and then automated voice ask you if the caller was a good lead, ask the numeric value, and if you want to tag it with a pre defined tag. If you setup the system it can even send a text of callers name and phone to another predefined number. (great for if you have a vendor you work with who also needs the caller’s name and number, for example, you are booked but have a relationship with someone where you pass leads to them in exchange for a referral fee)

Jason Pulliam

A growth hacker living in Texas who enjoys lots of data and likes making marketing systems that eliminate repetitive tasks and generate revenue.

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