Product FAQs

1 SMS message can hold up to 160 characters in standard encoding. If you are looking to send special characters, the message needs to be sent in Unicode and will decrease the max amount of characters to 70. You can send messages that are longer than 160 characters, but these will then be concatenated
Each text message has 3 essential parts, without which it can’t be sent: the recipient of the message, the content of the message and the originator which shows from where the message originates. This is where you enter either a name or a number to show as who, or on whose behalf, you’re texting.
To be able to receive replies when using a shared number, you will need to send an SMS message to your recipient first for them to reply to you. A shared number is a pool of numbers and an algorithm decides from which number to send your SMS when you click send.

If you have a dedicated number, this is only connected and available to your account. You can receive messages without having to contact end users first.
You need to change your originator to change the name or number where you SMS comes from. If you send directly from within the Dashboard interface, you can change this within your account. You can also define a Default Originator which will be entered as a default name whenever you send from within your Dashboard. If you are sending via API, you just need to change the originator parameter. If you are sending via Email to SMS, this depends on your configuration whether you need to change the subject line in your emails or the saved originator as described here.
Yes! In the final step of sending out a message from within the Dashboard interface, you can choose to either send it immediately or schedule it for sending at a later time/date as described here.
The number(s) where you send your messages to need to be internationally formatted. As we’re a cloud-based application, without the correct format and country prefix, the numbers where you want to send to may be recognised different from what you intend them to. For example, a UK Mobile number (locally) may be 07512345678, but when entered like this the system may consider this to be a Russian/Kazakhstan number as the country prefix for those countries is +7. The correct format for this number would be 447512345678. You can find more information on this here.
Yes! You can send personalised group messages directly from within your Dashboard with up to 6 variables that can be added to your messages. You can find more information on this here.
Unfortunately, SMS as a format does not support the sending of messages with a picture attachment. MMS would be the correct format and though we currently don’t support this, we expect to add this or similar functionality to the platform in the near future.
Two-way messaging works by both sending messages to your recipients and receiving replies back from them. To receive replies, you need to use a virtual Number, which can either be a shared or a dedicated Number.
To send SMS straight from your email you need to configure our Email-to-SMS product in your MessageBird account. We’ve worked out a step by step guide here.
Yes, you can! To do so, just configure Email-to-SMS and you’re good to go!
If you’re sending via Email-to-SMS and want to exclude your email signature, you need to format your email before sending it. You can find more information on how to do this here.
When sending an email to be converted into an SMS, the receiving email address needs to be formatted with the <number in the international format>@sms.messagebird.com. So, for example, to send to a UK number, the email address would be 447512345678@sms.messagebird.com
To enable receiving replies via Email, you need to use a virtual Number where you receive your replies on and configure a forwarding rule. How do I do this? Take a look at our guide here.
Customers can reply to SMS messages if their phone has a number to reply to. If you send out your messages using an ‘alphanumeric’ originator (name), most phones won’t give the option to reply, whilst some may give the option to reply but show a notification that the response was not sent. If you want to receive replies, you need to send out your messages using a Number.
To enable receiving replies via Email, you need to use a virtual Number where you receive your replies on and configure a forwarding rule. How do I do this? Take a look at our guide here.
Yes, they can! By configuring an If-This-Then-That rule on your Number(s), you can forward SMS responses to your own mobile phone.
Yes, absolutely! By configuring an If-This-Then-That rule on your Number(s), you can forward SMS responses to a URL.
For a phone to be able to send a response to a message, it needs a mobile number to respond to. When you send out messages with an alphanumeric sender ID, the receiving phone does not have any mobile number to reply to.
You can send group messages or campaigns by adding a group as your recipients as described in our Guide.
We only use direct, or 1-hop connections, wherever possible. This means that you are getting the highest quality SMS delivery available to the market. Generally, we’d expect messages to arrive in a matter of seconds, provided the receiving mobile number is reachable and correct, but this may vary depending on the country (going up to 30 seconds for example). As there are a lot of factors and variables that can impact this though, we don’t tie a specific number to this.
MessageBird supports all languages in SMS.
When you want to send out SMS messages you can use our ‘Quick Send’ or ‘Send Campaign’ feature in the SMS section of your account. The ‘Quick Send’ feature is particularly useful when you are only sending to 1 number and you are not working with templates. The Send Campaign function let’s you fill in multiple recipients or send to a group, and lets you use templates. Before you start sending, make sure you have enough balance to cover the cost of the messages.
An SMS message typically takes about 10 seconds to arrive on a handset. However, there are several factors that can contribute to the message delivering swiftly. If there are any issues with your SMS arriving, we are happy to investigate this for you. Please email support@messagebird.com with the relevant samples.
For each SMS you send we will provide a delivery report to let you know what the status of the SMS is. You can view the status of your SMS in the ‘SMS Overview’ in the SMS section of your account.
Delivered upstream means that the message you have sent has been submitted to a network but no status report has yet been received from the mobile network. There are several factors that can contribute to the message delivering swiftly by the carrier:
  • Recipient signal strength and connection to the network
  • Problems with the network
  • Carrier issues
You can send out messages to a large number of contacts via our ‘Bulk Messaging’ feature or our ‘Send Campaign’ feature. We would recommend sending to a maximum of 50.000 contacts at once.
MessageBird does not operate a daily quota. There is no limit to how many messages can be sent from your account in one day.
When you are sending your message you will have the option to fill in a Sender ID in the originator box. You can fill in a number, a name, or use a shared or dedicated virtual number (if you have a subscription in your account).

Please note several countries has restrictions when it comes to the Sender ID. The Sender ID will be overwritten or the message will be blocked. Some networks offer the option to register a Sender ID. On this page you can see per country if there are any restrictions regarding the Sender ID.
Alphanumeric includes any characters in these ranges:
  • a-z
  • A-Z
  • 0-9
  • and the underscore: "_"
SMS are typically sent out with the GSM7 Charset, which covers most characters. Some characters are Unicode characters, which count as 2 characters in a messages. On this page you can see the characters that equate to 1 character.
Yes, you can personalise messages by storing personalised information in the contacts information. When this is complete, you can use the parameters to automatically personalise your message with a name, invoice number or other information. The fields available are:
  • Name
  • Surname
  • 4 Custom fields - These allow you to add for example an order number or other values that you want to add to your message and is number/client specific.
You can send multiple messages with different content for each SMS via our Bulk SMS feature.

Alternatively, you can personalise messages by storing personalised information in the contacts information. You can read more on how to do this here.
An SMS that is longer than 160 characters is a concatenated SMS. In most countries we can deliver a concatenated SMS as a whole. Some countries have restrictions in place so concatenated SMS are delivered as separate messages. You can check in our country restrictions which countries this applies to.
You can schedule your messages via the ‘Send Campaign’ function in the SMS section of your account. On the 3rd step you will have the option to schedule an SMS instead of send it out immediately.
To cancel your scheduled message you can go to the ‘SMS Overview’ in the SMS section of your account. There you can click on tab ‘Scheduled’ to see scheduled message, and click on the bin to delete them.
1 SMS message can hold up to 160 characters in standard encoding. If you are looking to send special characters, the message needs to be sent in Unicode and will decrease the max amount of characters to 70. You can send messages that are longer than 160 characters, but these will then be concatenated
Each text message has 3 essential parts, without which it can’t be sent: the recipient of the message, the content of the message and the originator which shows from where the message originates. This is where you enter either a name or a number to show as who, or on whose behalf, you’re texting.