SMS delivery

Last November, dozens of people received text messages that were originally sent to them in February, but weren’t delivered when originally sent. The senders never knew that the messages weren’t received, and the recipients who got the texts months later were confused. One even received a text from a friend who was now deceased, obviously causing distress.

The problem: Failed SMS delivery across carriers. This problem is inconvenient for personal texting. For business text messaging it causes significant issues.

With text messaging, you pay for every message that you attempt to send, not just the ones that are delivered. Managing SMS delivery is just as critical as your messaging strategy. If your audience doesn’t receive your messages, your strategy fails. You don’t want to be unaware of undelivered messages and then run into problems in the future.

Controlling SMS Delivery impacts more than just getting a message to a recipient.

  • You need to check on individual SenderIDs as well as aggregate information.
  • You need to track the budget given that failed messages are charged message credits.
  • You need to create your own alerts around volumes, budgets, trend changes and other behaviors that warn you of coming issues

That’s a lot of things to keep track of just to make sure your messages get delivered. The good news is that the right SMS partner can simplify this for you, so you don’t have to spend extra time and stress on deliverability.

What your SMS Delivery Service Should Do For You

Your messaging vendor’s delivery service should make it simple for you to quickly track and control all of the above metrics. Here’s how:

Interactive vs Automated Messaging Delivery

The numbers used to send automated campaigns vs have interactive conversations carry different rules for how many messages and at what speed you can send. Your vendor should:

  • Know the difference between short and long code rules.
  • Be able to proactively manage traffic to meet these rules.
  • Also be able to track different SenderIDs and unique delivery trends.

Monitor Individual and Aggregate SenderIDs

Your vendor should provide dashboards that you let you monitor and aggregate at a granular level. The dashboards should allow you to:

  • Gain insight to know how you’re doing overall with message delivery.
  • Gain insight at an individual sender ID level – for example, you need to know if a certain rep is sending messages that contain content that triggers SPAM filters or if a campaign is sending too high of a volume too quickly and is breaking carrier rules – resulting in failed deliveries. These types of activities affect your SMS delivery, but if you have the right dashboards in place, you can quickly correct any problems.

Track Budgets

Every time a message fails, you are charged a message credit or credits. That means SMS delivery impacts your overall budget control. Your vendor should provide:

  • Dashboards that provide real-time status of message credits used and trends for message credits.
  • Ability to compare budget to actual spend for planning purposes.


Your vendor should offer simple ways to send alerts concerning delivery based on what matters to your business, using pre-defined rules. You should be able to:

  • Track message delivery over time, changes in delivery, and other trends.
  • Track message budgets and credits used over a specific time, changes in budget over a certain threshold, and when budget gets low.
  • You should be able to easily instrument an alert for any result, or combination of results, that you need to know about.

The Bottom Line

SMS delivery is critical. Messages need to get to recipients and you should know right away if that’s not happening. You need budget tracking for missed deliveries so you know when inappropriate content triggers SMS failures. That way you are quickly able to correct the problem.

Be sure to find a vendor that offers what you need. Don’t fall for SMS delivery reports from carriers. They simply aren’t enough.

If you’re interested in learning about how SMS-Magic provides optimized SMS deliverability, reach out and we’d be happy to chat!

Related Post