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Text Messaging in Clio

With text messaging in Clio Manage, you and your clients have a convenient way to answer questions and share updates, all without having to give out your personal phone number.

You can send SMS text messages using a toll-free number that is assigned to your firm, receive SMS and MMS texts from contacts, view saved text message conversations and documents received from clients, and add time entries. 

Availability: Text messaging is available on the North American server on Clio's Essentials, Advanced, and Complete plans.


Text messaging vs Clio for Clients

Not sure when to use text messaging and when to use Clio's secure online portal Clio for Clients?

Text messaging:

    • Client does not have an email address.
    • Urgent messages where clients may respond quicker via text.
    • Information being sent or received is non-sensitive. Conversations stored in Clio are encrypted; however, texts in transit, like all regular texting, are not. 
    • Whole firm access—all users at the firm have access to the shared firm number and can view all texts exchanged in the Communications tab.

Clio for Clients:

    • Client does not have a phone number with text messaging enabled.
    • Information being sent or received is private or sensitive.
    • PDF or Word documents are being shared.
    • Firm users need to send documents to clients. 
    • Read receipts—if you need to see whether your client has received or opened a message or document.

Set up text messaging

Note: Only users with administrator permissions can enable text messaging for the firm account.

When setting up text messaging, your firm will be assigned a toll-free number. You will use this number to send and receive texts. Before a toll-free number is assigned, you are required to enter your business details as part of a toll-free number verification process.

Toll-free number verification:

Verification is a mandatory step for all firms using text messaging. It is required because a verified number will not be blocked or filtered by service providers. Texts that are considered ineligible use cases may be filtered regardless of verification. Verification is completed by Bandwidth, our service provider, and can take 4-5 weeks. You can continue to send and receive texts during this time.

Set up:

To set up text messaging:

  1. Go to Settings > Text Messaging.
  2. Click Get started with text messaging
  3. Complete your firm details and contact information. Scroll down to add an alternative email address or phone number for clients to contact your firm. This number will appear in the text notification template that your client receives when you create, update, cancel, or send an automated reminder for a calendar event.
  4. Click Next step.
  5. Review the form information and then click Submit.

How to get verified if you are already using text messaging?:

Note: Only users with administrator permissions can fill out the verification form.

  1. Go to Communications tab > Text messaging.
  2. Click the link in the banner.
  3. Complete your firm details and contact information.
  4. Click Next step.
  5. Review the form information and then click Submit.

Important: You can only receive texts from contacts. We do not recommend publishing the toll-free number on a website or distributing it to non-contacts.

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Send texts and add time entries

You can send your clients SMS texts from the main Communications tab or the matter or contact's Communications subtabs from within the Clio Manage desktop app or from the inbox in the mobile app. You cannot cannot send your clients MMS messages. 

Once you initiate the conversation, your firm can then receive texts from the contact. Contacts can text you SMS and MMS texts, including photos, videos, GIFs, audio files, and basic .txt documents.  Received documents will be saved in the Documents folder for each of the contact's matters.

Important: Clients cannot text PDF or Word files. Learn more about which files types clients can send here. Additionally, you can only receive texts from contacts. We do not recommend publishing the toll-free number on a website or distributing it to non-contacts.

Mobile app:

To send a text from the mobile app:

  1. Go to your inbox.
  2. Select texts and click new text.
  3. Select a contact.
  4. Type your text and click the send icon.

Desktop app:

To send a text from the Clio Manage desktop app:

  1. Go to the main Communications tab or the Communications subtab for a contact or matter. From the mobile app.
  2. Click the New dropdown and select Send text message.
  3. Select a contact. Once a contact is selected, any previous text correspondence will automatically appear.
  4. Type your text and click Send.
  5. To add a time entry, click the Actions dropdown and select Add time.

Note: If a client tries calling the toll-free number used to send the text, they will hear an automated message that the call failed. 

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View and respond to saved texts

Text messages are assigned at the contact-level, not the matter-level. This means that stored text messages are saved in the Communications subtabs of the contact and all of the contact's matters. If a matter has a related contact, texts are also saved in that related contact's record. Received documents are saved in the Documents folder for each of a contact's matters. 

Unread texts will be marked with a badge showing the number of new messages. When you open a text message conversation, the message will be marked as read. Mobile app users can also receive push notifications for new texts.

Note: You can enable or disable push notifications and badge icons from the desktop app in Settings > Notifications. Scroll down to Text messages.

Mobile app:

To view text conversations in the mobile app:

  1. Go to your inbox.
  2. Select texts.
  3. Click the text message you want to read.

Desktop app:

To view text conversations in the desktop app:

  1. Go to the main Communications tab or the Communications subtab for a contact or matter.
  2. From the table subheadings, select Text messages.
  3. Click the text message you want to read or click View. Each line item in the table is a new text message thread. 
  4. To respond, type in a new text and click Send.

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Text payment links

With text messaging in Clio Manage, you can send bill payment and trust account deposit links to your clients from the Billing and Online payments tabs. When you send a bill payment link, your client will see the balance that is due. When you send a payment link from the Online payments tab, there will be no specified amount due since the link is not connected to a generated bill.

Billing payment link:

  1. Go to an existing bill for your client or generate a new bill.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Send and select Copy link to pay client balance.
  3. Select the bank account where the money will be deposited and click Copy link to send.
  4. Send this link in a text message. Your client will be able to see the amount due and pay the bill from their mobile device.

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Payment link from Online payments:

  1. Go to Online payments > New charge.
  2. Click Copy payment link below the bank account that you want the funds to be accepted into. 
  3. Send this link in a text message. Your client will be able to pay funds from their mobile device.

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Calendar notifications and reminders

When creating Calendar events, you have the option to send event invitations to your clients by text. With this feature, your clients will receive automated text notifications when the event is created, updated, cancelled, and for event reminders. 

Note: Text notifications cannot be enabled separately from text messaging. Additionally, you cannot modify the text notification templates.

Text notification templates

You can view text message templates and enable event reminders in your Settings. You can also change the alternative contact information for text notifications. When your client receives a text notification, your firm contact information will appear in the template, which allows your client to respond to your firm.

To view your notification templates and reminder settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Text Messaging.
  2. Under Your details, select Edit next to your firm phone number or email address to update your contact information. 
  3. Under Event reminders, select the number of days before an event that an automatic text notification should be sent.
  4. Under Text message templates, view the templates for when events are created, updated, cancelled, or when reminders are sent.

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Send Calendar invites by text

When you send a Calendar invitation by text, your client will have the option to confirm their attendance by responding with Y or N. The Calendar event will show whether the client confirmed or not. You can also view whether a reminder notification was sent by viewing the Calendar event.

To send a Calendar invite by text:

  1. Go to the main Calendar tab or the matter's Calendar subtab.
  2. Click New event.
  3. Complete the event details.
  4. Under Invite attendees, select your contact(s).
  5. Check the box next to Notify via text.
  6. Click Save event.

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Failed text messages

If a text message fails to send, the reason for failure can be one of the following:

    • Unreachable number: There is an error with the contact's phone number. Verify that the phone number selected as the contact's texting number is a correctly formatted North American number.
    • Rejected by carrier: The contact's carrier rejected the text message. A possible reason for this is that the phone number is unable to receive text messages. Verify the phone number entered for the contact and ensure that it is a correctly formatted North American number.
    • Temporary error: The text message was not delivered because of an unusual error. Please try again.
    • Unknown error: An unexpected and unknown error occurred when we tried to deliver the text message. Please try again.
    • Carrier error: The text message was not delivered because an error occurred on the contact's carrier side. Please try again.

Note: Freedom and Shaw customers cannot send MMS messages at this time. If your client is using a Freedom or Shaw mobile device and they try to send you a multimedia (MMS) message, the client will receive an error message on their device informing them that the message was not delivered.

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