My customer wants to use their own gateway for sending sms with Journey Builder/Custom Activity in Marketing Cloud.

Someone out there who has done that successfully and who could post me some good pointers? Any hints that could get me in the right direction is very appreciated.

1 Answer 1


You can't do this easily. You basically have two options:

  1. Create a custom JB Activity, which will send an API request to customer's own gateway (assuming this has an API). This way, you will be able to send it in real time. The API request can hold information on the phone number of the recipient, contact key, but you will need to build a very custom solution, if you need to make the SMS personalised based on data in SFMC. Crea
  2. Utilise Contact Update activity in Journey Builder to mark contacts who are eligible for an SMS. You will then be able to iterate through marked records with SSJS in Automation Studio script activity. This script will call the API of your customer's gateway, with similar payload to what the custom activity in JB would do. This approach is batch based, and hence will have a delay compared to option 1.

As you can see, there are no easy options, especially if expectation is to replace SFMC SMS with a 3rd party gateway in a seamless fashion.

  • Thanks a lot @lukas-lunow! We are going to use the custom activity option. We also need to track if messages has been received so I have a hunch that we need to build a middleware of some sort. Do you know anything about that? Sep 11, 2023 at 10:29
  • @ToveWalden - this depends on the capabilities of your SMS gateway. The best way would be if your gateway supported callback URLs. Assume you would use the custom activity to send an SMS, and once you send this request to your gateway, you would receive a transaction ID. This transaction ID would then be referenced, when the gateway needs to notify you whether a message was delivered or not. A callbackUrl could be a JSON code resource, which will receive this information, and update a record with a corresponding transaction ID in a DE, using SSJS. Sep 11, 2023 at 11:22

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