International Texting: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

January 25, 2024 | By Sam Pelton
A world map with speech bubbles emerging from different countries, connecting with each other

It’s a world of texting out there.

23 billion text messages are sent globally each day by some reports.

And if you live in the US or Canada, you’re well aware of how easy it is to shoot off a text and expect it to instantly deliver to someone’s phone—someone who could be 1,000 miles across the country.

But what about when you’re texting outside the borders of your own nation?

What if you’re a businessperson who wants to text clients in the UK?

Or what if you’re an international remote worker with connections in multiple countries?

Or what if you’re traveling outside of your country and want to be able to text people back home?

Issues with International Texting

There are 2 primary issues when it comes to international texting: cost and compatibility.

For example, one Verizon plan charges $.25 for each message sent to international countries (the same plan charges only $.20 per message sent in the US). If you’re texting for personal purposes, it may be worth it to add on an international texting plan with your mobile services provider—more on that later.

In addition, your mobile provider may not have good service in the country you’re in (or in the country of the intended recipient). So you may need to have your phone on “roaming,” which can incur greater fees.

Another issue is compatibility. If your phone or texting service isn’t enabled for international texting, you won’t be able to send or receive messages to recipients in your desired country.

Note that if you’re using an SMS platform for business purposes, not all platforms allow international texting. So you’ll want to check with your provider if you have a need for texting to multiple countries, to make sure that international texting is an option.

Image that says “2 Primary Issues with International texting” and then shows “Cost” and “Compatibility” with corresponding graphics related to those concepts - i.e. a dollar sign for “cost” and 2 puzzle pieces fitting together for “compatibility”

International Texting Options for Business Purposes

If you’re using texting for business purposes, you’re most likely using a texting platform or an ESP (email service provider) or CRM (customer relationship manager) that has texting capabilities.

You may also have dedicated business texting phones/phone lines within your business.

Why text internationally for your business? There could be several reasons. A couple examples would include:

  • You want to market your business to customers and leads in other countries—one common example would be to send reminder texts to webinar registrants to help them remember to attend your webinar
  • You have clients in other countries and want to provide customer service check-ins and follow-ups via texting
  • You want to send transactional texts, such as 2-factor authentication, to users who may reside in other countries

So how can you text internationally?

There are a few things you should know:

  • Make sure your texting platform (such as Mobile Text Alerts) has international texting capabilities
    • Texting services will likely have different costs associated with international texting, so make sure you have an understanding of what you’ll be paying
    • You’ll need to know the “country code” part of the phone number for each number you’ll be texting, so keep that in mind
    • You may need to register your brand for business texting in particular countries—check with your SMS platform support to see if this is needed
  • If you use personal devices for business texting, make sure they are text-enabled for international messaging
    • Your texting provider may have pay-as-you-go international options, or regular plans that include international texting
    • Depending on how often you’ll be texting internationally, you may want to get an international add-on
    • Some examples of international business options include Verizon’s international plans and T-Mobile’s business plans

With these options, you’ll be able to take advantage of texting for your business to reach people across the world.

International Texting Options for Remote Workers

Remote workers who work from different international locations may need international texting options so that they can reach colleagues, partners, and clients no matter where they’re working from.

Why would someone be a remote worker in a separate country? Perhaps someone enjoys traveling, or perhaps someone simply had the best qualifications for the job even though their location was different from the main business.

In any event, in a situation like that, there are a few options that may work for you:

Alternatively, business chat apps (in particular, Slack) are becoming more popular. These apps will allow you to connect with anyone in the world who is also in your workspace. The downsides?

  • With chat apps, your intended recipient must be in your workspace
  • You need an internet connection to use these chat apps

Yet another alternative is to use web-based messaging apps such as Messenger and WhatsApp. These also allow you to connect with anyone in the world—as long as they have accounts on those apps. The downsides to this are similar to the downsides for chat apps:

  • Your intended recipient must have an account on these apps
  • You need an internet connection to use these messaging apps

If your business uses a texting platform (such as Mobile Text Alerts), you could also consider using that as well to help you manage your text messages.

“Reasons for International Texting” with the following and corresponding icons below: Business, Remote Work, Traveling, Family and Friends Living Abroad

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International Texting Options for Travelers (or Other Personal Reasons)

What if you don’t want to use international texting for business purposes? What if you just have personal reasons for using it?

Perhaps you’re traveling internationally. Or you have friends or relatives in other countries and you want to communicate with them or visit them.

Whatever the case, you can still use texting.

Some of the aforementioned options could still work for you:

  • Internationally-enabled texting phone lines are an obvious option—major carriers (such as Verizon and T-Mobile) have international options available for you
  • Web-based messaging apps (such as Messenger and WhatsApp) give you a web-based alternative to regular texting, if your recipients also use those apps
  • A business texting platform could still be an option for you to look into

Recap: Apps for International Texting

Here’s a recap of some different apps you could use for international texting:

  • Business texting platforms such as Mobile Text Alerts
  • Internationally-enabled business texting lines from mobile providers such as Verizon or T-Mobile
  • Internationally-enabled personal texting lines from mobile providers such as Verizon or T-Mobile
  • Web-based texting alternatives such as Messenger or WhatsApp
  • Workspace chat apps such as Slack

So what are the pros and cons of each?

Business Texting Platforms


  • Robust and flexible options for business texting (message automation, conversation organization, contact organization, user management, integration capabilities, and other related options)
  • Allows for both mass texting and individual texting
  • No need to use personal number
  • Web-based so able to use wherever internet connection is available


  • More costly than some other options
  • May run into some message delivery issues
  • Not able to fully use if no internet connection is available

Internationally-Enabled Business or Personal Texting Lines


  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Unlikely to have message delivery issues
  • Able to use even without internet connection


  • Unable to engage in mass texting
  • Minimal options for organizing business texting efforts (including no option for multiple people to manage texting conversations)
  • Minimal to no automation options
  • May incur greater fees when roaming or may not have access to service

Web-Based Messaging Apps


  • Free
  • No need to input a recipient’s phone number
  • No need to add any services to existing phone plans
  • Web-based so able to use wherever internet connection is available


  • Only able to text people who also use the same app
  • Not able to use if no internet connection is available

Workplace Chat Apps


  • Allow for robust conversation organization
  • No need to input a recipient’s phone number
  • No need to add any services to existing phone plans
  • Web-based so able to use wherever internet connection is available
  • Can be free or low-cost if you have a small team


  • Can become more costly as a team grows
  • Only able to message people in your workplace
  • Not able to use if no internet connection is available
Solutions for International Texting with the below points and corresponding logos/icons

International Texting FAQ

Here are some brief and succinct answers to your frequently asked questions…

Is iMessage Free for International Texting?

Yes, iMessage is sending messages via Wi-Fi rather than through mobile carrier networks. So if you’re sending messages via iMessage across country borders, there will be no fee.

However, note that if the message is unable to be delivered via iMessage the message may be attempted via SMS, which could cost a fee.

Can You Text Internationally?

Yes, there are options for texting internationally. Some of these options include texting from an internationally-enabled phone line, using a business texting platform, or using web-based texting alternatives such as Messenger or WhatsApp.

How to International Text? (Or, How Do You Text an International Number?)

To text internationally, first make sure you have the right plan or tool (see “International Texting Options” above). Then you’ll enter the phone number you’d like to text, including the country code and a + sign at the beginning, as the recipient for your message.

You can look up the country code for each country here.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of how it works within Mobile Text Alerts’ online platform:

  • Step 1: Set up your account
  • Step 2: Load in your contacts by importing a spreadsheet (make sure to include the phone number’s country code at the beginning of the number when inputting the data for your spreadsheet)
  • Step 3: Add international credits to your Mobile Text Alerts account balance
  • Step 4: Go to the “Send a Message” page, or to the “Drip Campaigns” page (if you want to set up automated messaging flows)
  • Step 5: Select the recipient(s) for your message (or select the “Add Message” button if you’re setting up a Drip Campaign)
  • Step 6: Type out the content for your message
  • Step 7: Click “Send” or select the arrow to schedule the message (or click “Save” if setting up a drip campaign)

Do International Text Messages Cost Money?

Some international texting plans cost extra, while other plans include international texting at no additional charge. You’ll need to check with your mobile provider to see what is included in your plan.

If you’re using a business texting platform, international text messages typically cost more than sending texts within the US/Canada. Fees will vary depending on the country.

How Much Does International Text Cost?

International texting costs will vary depending on the plan/tool, and sometimes depending on the country.

Some texting plans include international for free, or you can add it on as a regular fee, or you can pay on a per-message basis. Some examples of fees would be $15 per month or $.25 per message—but fees can vary widely depending on why you’re using it.

Is International Texting Free?

In some cases international texting is included for free in your personal or business texting plan. In other cases, you’ll need to pay per text or add on an international texting feature.

If you’re using a business texting platform, you’ll typically pay a per-message fee.

What Is International Roaming?

“Roaming” is when your location is outside the range of your mobile carrier’s service, so your phone draws service from other providers in the area. International roaming, then, involves the ability to go on “roaming” in countries outside of your regular texting service. This can incur greater fees, so you’ll want to check with your mobile provider for more details.

What Is International Texting?

“International texting” refers to the ability to send text messages to people across country borders. It would typically refer to sending SMS or MMS (“regular” text messages), but the concept can expand to include texting apps such as WhatsApp or iMessage.

International texting capabilities depend on the user’s goals, access to international-enabled devices or apps, cost, and other similar factors.

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