Short message service (SMS) marketing involves sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes through text messages. These messages often communicate time-sensitive offers, updates and alerts to people who have consented to receive notifications from your business. SMS marketing has become much more popular recently because of its higher success rates over traditional forms of email marketing.
The recipient’s mobile carrier sometimes blocks these messages based on spam identification, lack of personalization and suspicious URL links. If you’re experiencing these types of blockages, there are measures you can take to avoid carrier violations.
Reasons a Mobile Carrier Will Flag an SMS Message
Mobile carriers monitor all SMS messages to some degree. To ensure your message reaches your client, you have to make sure your message won’t appear as a potential violation.
The monitoring system uses machine learning to determine the sending rates and the content. If the content identifies as spam or if the same number sends out excessive messages over a short period, the carrier views them as violations.
Specifically in the U.S., the top reason as to why messages are getting flagged, throttled or blocked is due to non-compliance with the recently updated 10-digit long codes (10dlc) regulations. Companies and their messages have to be registered with The Campaign Registry (TCR) who, in turn, updates the U.S. carriers of a long code’s reputation score. The U.S. carriers then use that information to determine throughput for those companies and their 10-digit long codes.
Other possible reasons for a violation can include:
- The message contains an unrecognizable URL, especially a shortened link such as an generic public bit.ly or TinyURL
- The same message has been sent repeatedly without variation or personalization
- Including multiple phone numbers, excluding the HELP number
- Excessively long texts
- The receiving mobile device blocks unknown SMS numbers as a rule
- The ratio of incoming to outgoing SMS messages on a single number is more than 1:3
Tips on Avoiding a Potential Violation or SMS Blockage
The good news is there are several strategies you can implement to avoid a potential carrier violation. Here are some recommendations:
- Identify yourself: If your identity appears known, there’s a better chance your message will be received.
- Allow opt-outs: The more upfront you are about unsubscribing, the likelier a recipient will not block or report you.
- Optimize message length: If your SMS exceeds 160 characters, there’s a chance the carrier could split it into multiple messages.
- Encourage replies: By requesting responses other than an opt-out, your message provides a positive signal.
- Limit sending frequency: Sending too many messages from the same number during a specific period could result in a violation.
How Red Oxygen Can Help Keep Your SMS Messages from Being Blocked
At Red Oxygen, we help customize outgoing messages to increase the chances of delivery. Our Bulk SMS platform is excellent for businesses that need to send out numerous personalized messages. If you send the exact same message to your whole list, AI features in the carrier’s networks could flag and block it.
When you personalize the SMS, you are more likely to get the message delivered. Our tools can greet recipients by name and include other unique message content to generate higher success rates in delivery. Personalizing your outgoing bulk content with our mail merge feature can diminish the appearance of duplicate content and increase the likelihood that your message won’t be blocked.