SMS message

So you just hit ‘send’ and now your SMS message is on its way to your prospective buyer, right? Well, not always. Just like email, messages are subject to SPAM filters. Whether your SMS message is actually delivered is additionally subject to a variety of restrictions and rules that vary from carrier to carrier and country to country.

If your single message, or messaging campaign breaks these rules, your carrier will block your messages, charge you for the unsent messages, and there goes your budget. Not to mention that your conversation is interrupted, sometimes permanently blocking your SenderID so you can not use it at all.

It’s confusing to many users. That’s why your messaging vendor should offer messaging infrastructure services that proactively manage carrier requirements for different number or code types, such as message volume, velocity, A2P or P2P and allowed business hours for message sends.

But what can you do concerning your specific messaging strategy and messaging content to further assure your carrier will deliver your messages?

Here are a few ideas we share with our global customers.

4 Content Checks in Your SMS Message Sends

Different carriers and numbers/codes have different requirements. So to get the best delivery possible, you need to thoroughly understand the rules and regulations individual carriers follow within their specific country.

That said, there are a few things you can always check to enhance delivery results. 

1. Use merge fields for messaging campaigns. Anytime you send a repetitive message to multiple recipients, you run a high risk of SPAM filters catching your messages, blocking them, charging you for all the messages and potentially blocking your SenderID. By adding 1-2 merge fields to your message (first name, location, other personal data,) you can avoid SPAM blockages.

2. Check your day and time of sends. It’s a simple practice to be sure your users always schedule messaging campaigns during business hours for the recipients. Or that your sales reps are only sending automated messages during business hours. Interactive conversations can continue at any time, because the recipient is responding. But A2P messaging campaigns must be properly scheduled.

3. Be sure you’re using the proper types of SenderIDs. Every Sender ID type ( e.g., number or code type) has different uses and rules. For example:

  • You cannot use a long code (10 digit number) for automated campaigns to more than 100 recipients. Such campaigns require the use of a dedicated short code.
  • Similarly, short codes cannot be used to reply to recipient requests interactively. So you need to use long codes for sales and service reps to have conversations with your prospects and customers.
  • When you use the wrong type of number/code, your carrier will block your messages and charge you for them even if they weren’t delivered.
  • By using the appropriate number or code for the appropriate messaging use case, you avoid these delivery issues.

4. Content and Words. Many carriers scan incoming messages for keywords that indicate illegal or disallowed content. Messages with sexual, political or religious content are likely to be filtered. As are repetitive content messages and any messages containing illicit promotions, such as cannabis or suspicious multi-level marketing offers that appear fishy. Avoid keywords that may be sensitive or associated with such content types to assure that your message content is not blocked by carriers due to suspicious nature.

The Bottom Line

Yes, carrier rules can seem a bit complicated. The more countries or carriers you use, the more complex the matrix becomes. But there are steps that make messaging delivery so much easier to manage to increase delivery.

Our recommendations?

With the right messaging vendor, and a clear understanding of how messaging works and what causes delivery issues, you can and will increase your delivery results.


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