SMS is an effective way to instantly reach people all over the world; but it comes with a wide range of national rules and restrictions. Below we explain what (not) to do if you want to target consumers in their region.
1. Consent from the user
Make sure that your recipient agreed on receiving (marketing) messages from your company.
We recommend for this to be included in your Terms & Conditions or even a separate tick box when people agree for you to store their contact details in your system.
2. Provide an opt out option
Generally, recipients need to be able to opt-out of your messages. Please check our article on Automatic SMS Subscriptions (Opt-in/Opt-out).
Some countries are stricter than others regarding this rule, and some operators may even have their own standards in this regard.
- Request or agree to receive information from you (opt-in).
- Let you know if they don’t want to receive any more of your messages.
3. SMS Character limit
Make sure you are not wasting balance because your SMS is too long. One standard SMS can contain up to 160 GSM characters (default alphabet). If your SMS contains more characters, an extra SMS will be added to deliver the full message. So, 2 SMS will be sent instead of 1.
For more information, you can refer to How long can an SMS message be?
4. Sending SMS using your company’s name can have a limit
If you use a company or brand name as the sender ID/originator, the number of characters needs to be between 3 and 11. In some countries, you need to register your company name or you might not be able to send with a name at all. Find out more in the Country Restrictions and Regulations.
5. Verify if your SMS is subject to any country restriction
Why did the Sender ID/Originator change after I sent my SMS? Are there any content restrictions? Why is my message not successfully sent to this country? Can I send Bulk messages?... are some examples of questions you can ask yourself before and after sending an SMS campaign.
Some restrictions will be applied depending on the country of destination of your SMS. We highly recommend checking the Country Restrictions and Regulations before sending to a destination.
6. Remember that you’ll be charged per sent SMS, not per delivered SMS
We deduct the balance for every sent SMS from your account. We will send every SMS that you submit to us, whether it is sent to an unreachable or an invalid number, on to the operator, who will then try to deliver the SMS as well. We are charged by the operator, which is why we, in return, charge you; so it's very important that you send to valid and active numbers.
7. Make sure that you followed all the previous rules!
Hopefully, you feel more confident about sending SMS now that you know the basic rules. Please note that this is valid for all the SMS submitted to us and it is important to acknowledge it.