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Gem supports automatic text message (SMS) stages in Sequences. This means you can configure Gem sequences to have one or more SMS stages that send automatically on a predefined schedule, just as Gem’s email sequences do. As with all stage types, you can intersperse SMS stages with other types of outreach to vary your outreach and engage prospects in different ways.

Initial Setup

This feature can be enabled in one of two ways:

Automatically - If you create an Automatic Text Message sequence, Gem will automatically provision a unique virtual phone number for you and turn this feature on when the first text stage is sent.

Manually - Gem Admins can manually enable texting capabilities for individual team members via the Team Settings dashbord. This will provision a unique virtual phone number for them that text messages can be sent from.

Using Automatic vs. Manual Text Message Stages

When creating or editing a sequence, you’ll notice that there are now two separate stage types labeled ‘Text Message’ in your sequence stage type selector (see screenshots below).

The automatic Text Message stage, denoted by a green message bubble icon, represents an automatic text message that is sent from Gem at the day/time specified in the stage. The text message automatically sends to the recipient from a Gem-provisioned phone number and can handle up to 1200 characters. Sends and replies are automatically logged in the prospect’s activity feed — just like all other sequence activity — and are included in Outreach Stats, counted as sequence activities normally are.

The manual Text Message stage, denoted by a purple checkbox icon, does not automatically send any messaging for you, and instead creates reminders for you to text candidates however you’d like. When you create a manual stage as part of a sequence, you will receive a reminder at your scheduled time to take the corresponding action – this action will also appear as a to-do in your “To do” section of Gem.

Phone Numbers in Gem

As part of being able to send texts automatically through sequences, you’ll have a Gem-specific virtual phone number. The virtual number is a randomized US number unique to you — your teammates will have their own phone numbers. This virtual phone number is not connected to any physical device (meaning that text messages can’t be routed to your own phone). Through your Gem phone number, you can send text messages from Gem, while protecting your personal contact information. If you leave your company, your phone number will no longer be accessible to you.

SMS Message Destinations

Gem currently allows you to send SMS messages to phone numbers within the United States and Canada. Messages to numbers in other countries are not supported.

Character limits to SMS messages

Automatic Text Message stages can contain a message of up to 1200 characters long. This accounts for any personalization tokens you include in your outreach (e.g. “{{first_name}} that may result in failure to send if the message ends up exceeding our sender’s character limit.) While you can compose a message of up to 1200 characters, we recommend keeping your text messages short and sweet to mimic conventional text conversations and keep candidates engaged.

When responding to candidate replies via our reply-by-email workflow, the same character limit applies.

Text Message Content & Media Support

Text messages through Gem support the use of emojis, URLs, and plain text. Attachments such as photos and files are not currently supported. Please keep this in mind as you reply to candidates via Gem’s email notifications after you receive the initial reply.

Replies longer than 1200 characters will also result in failure to send.

Sending multiple text messages per stage

We currently do not support sending multiple text messages in a single stage. You could group multiple text message sends in the same timeframe by scheduling consecutive stages with minimal delay.

What does my message look like for the candidate?

Your automatic text message will appear just like any other text message on their mobile devices. Keep in mind that only plain text, URLs, and emojis are supported currently.

Sending Text Messages to the Prospect

When a candidate replies to your outreach via text message, you will receive an email notification from Gem that shows the candidate’s reply, as well as a few more recent text messages you’ve exchanged prior to that.

To send a text message back to the candidate:

  • In the Gem email notification, click “Reply in Gem,” or if you’re a Gmail user, open the Gem extension for that person. If you click “Reply in Gem,” the candidate’s profile page will open in Gem, along with the extension, and in the extension, if you switch over to the “Texts” tab, you’ll be able to see your full text message history with that person and submit new replies. Note that this text history is specific to you, so other teammates won’t be able to see or reply to your text message conversation (if they have their own SMS conversation going on with that same person, they’ll see their own text history there).

In addition to email notifications and the text conversation history in the “Texts” tab of the extension, you’ll be able to see all text messages to and from the candidate in the candidate’s Activity Feed, including all of your teammates’ text messages sent/received (as long as they were sent through Gem). You can filter on different types of activity to show only SMS exchanges.

Users can also send 1-off text messages anywhere the Gem extension exists, through the “Send one-off message” option in the “Message” menu of the extension. Since the Gem extension surfaces Gem profiles — not Greenhouse profiles — the Gem profile must have a phone number in order to be able to send text messages:

Lastly, users can send text messages from Talent Pipeline: click on the upper right of any candidate card → “Message.” If the candidate is in Greenhouse but not yet in Gem, as soon as you click “message,” we’ll automatically import them to Gem, including their email and phone number (when available), and open the message compose window for you to send a one-off email or text message.

Candidate Opt-Out

A candidate can opt out of your texting outreach by replying with the words STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE to your message. Unsubscribing from text messages also unsubscribes that candidate from receiving all forms of future outreach from Gem.

Candidate Phone Numbers

Users can send text messages only to candidates who have phone numbers listed on their Gem profiles.

Phone numbers can be added to Gem profiles in several ways:

  • Gem users can manually input a prospect’s phone number onto their profile (through the Gem extension)

  • If you use Gem’s forms (for event RSVP, talent community, referral capturing, etc) and include a phone number field, that phone number field will automatically get logged to the prospect’s profile

  • Upload a CSV of candidates including phone numbers. Phone numbers will be reformatted to: +1 xxx xxx xxxx

  • Import candidates from Greenhouse, which ports over contact info including email address and phone number (if available)

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