By now, it’s well-known that text messaging is a powerful way to connect with customers. But there is still confusion on exactly how business text messaging works. We hear a lot of questions about how to use an SMS delivery report. The first thing we have to explain is that the delivery report may not be enough to control your messaging delivery results.

As Vonage notes in this article, many different factors can cause an SMS message to fail. Did you know that when your messages fail, carriers still charge you for message delivery? That means a single messaging campaign that’s marked as SPAM can eat up your budget and never be seen by your audience.

That’s one of the reasons you need to ask the right questions about your messaging vendors’ infrastructure and its capabilities. Not all vendors offer the features you need to optimize SMS delivery with your carrier, or carriers.

Let’s take a look at how you can proactively optimize delivery, with the right vendor.

What You Need to Know About Your SMS Delivery Report

First, let’s clear up some confusion about SMS delivery reports and what they mean. An SMS delivery report is the message you receive from an SMCS (Short Message Service Center) that notifies you that your SMS message sent from your device was delivered to the intended recipient. In other words, an SMS delivery report shows the current status of the text messages that you submitted to the carrier.

Contrary to popular belief, text delivery reports do not actually mean that a text message sent by you was successfully delivered to the recipient—rather, it just confirms that the message was sent successfully from the device.

Once the carriers SMSC receives the message, there are many reasons that message delivery can fail. A few reasons include:

  • Using the wrong type of number (long vs short code, for example) to send prohibited message types
  • The volume of messages sent and at what velocity
  • The content of your messages
  • The timing of your messages, and more

Those reasons vary by carrier, which makes it even more complex to assure message delivery in a global environment.

That’s why you need a vendor with an intelligent SMS Infrastructure to proactively manage your messaging traffic in a way that conforms to your specific carrier or carriers requirements.

To learn more about how messaging works with global carriers, check out this guide.

What to Expect from Your SMS Infrastructure

Your SMS infrastructure includes an SMS Gateway that acts as the traffic manager for computers to send and receive SMS text messages to and from devices over different carriers that form the global telecommunications network.

A basic SMS infrastructure contains a gateway that translates the message sent, and makes it compatible for delivery over the network to be able to reach the recipient.

Intelligent SMS Infrastructures do much more to proactively optimize your message delivery. Some important abilities include:

  • Controlling volume and velocity by code type. Smart infrastructures know which type of number you’re using, and what the limitations are for that number type with a specific carrier or carriers. Message traffic is managed for both volume and velocity to assure the traffic stays within the boundaries of the carrier’s rules so that messages are delivered.
  • Enforcing business hours. Some carriers restrict the timing of message sends. For example, in some countries you cannot send automated SMS messages after business hours. Your vendor’s infrastructure should proactively manage the timing of message sends to avoid message failure outside of allowed hours.
  • Avoiding SPAM filters. If you send repetitive content, for example, a message marketing campaign, carriers will flag your messages as SPAM and block your send. Your vendor should support merge fields to customize each message, along with velocity management, to avoid SPAM filters failing messages and worse, blocking your SenderIDs.
  • Delivery reporting, alerting and problem resolution. Your vendor should offer real-time dashboards that show the status of every message send at any point in time. These dashboards should also provide the reporting you need to analyze effectiveness of delivery for discussion with your carriers. Your admins and allowed users should receive alerts to any delivery issues, as well as have easy access to the detailed data they need to quickly resolve any issues with the carrier or message constructs.

The Bottom Line

Every carrier has different rules concerning different number types (e.g,codes or SenderIDs,) as well as differences in how their SPAM and time of day filters work.

When you are reviewing potential SMS vendors, you need to be sure to ask the right questions about their messaging infrastructure, including their SMS Gateways and APIs, to assure they can proactively manage your message sends to optimize delivery, save your budget and provide the details you need to report on delivery success.


To learn more check out our guide on How Messaging Works. And of course, reach out if you want to learn more about choosing an SMS vendor that has Intelligent SMS Infrastructures!

 

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Categories: SMS Messaging

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