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Why Won't My SMS Deliver or Convert?

Richard Kaplan, Ytel |  
Having trouble getting all the touch points within your SMS campaign to connect? Delivery can be a big roadblock for businesses who aren't well-versed in the rules and regulations behind SMS compliance. Read on for some self-inflicting roadblocks that you can easily avoid while utilizing SMS.

Delivery can be a big roadblock for businesses who aren't well-versed in the rules and regulations behind SMS compliance. Read on for some tips in sending SMS to prospects and customers correctly.

Texting is one of the more preferred modern methods of communication for individuals and businesses, namely because so many people are actually holding their device all day and night, or least have it within easy reach. 

Times are changing in the communications landscape. Most people are likely to check the instant they hear the ping of an incoming text, giving SMS a far better open rate than email. While email still holds value as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign, it does tend to be checked much less frequently.

Texting does have its own drawbacks, however. While it can be an easy method for two people to chat, businesses trying to connect with customers through mass marketing can often make mistakes that not only violate standard SMS etiquette, but can actually incur legal or financial penalties.

Here are five factors that can negatively affect your SMS delivery and conversion rates.

Content problems

Higher converting messages get the recipient interested quickly so they feel inclined to take an action, such as visiting a site or downloading a coupon. But there are plenty of ways that this can go wrong, such as a call-to-action that’s misleading or messaging that doesn't influence an action.

Messaging that builds your brand is better suited for social media;
those who opt-in to your SMS campaigns are likely looking for an offer or incentive.

Incorrect opt-in

Carriers have the ability to block or fail to send messages from businesses, especially if you’ve received complaints or warnings in the past. If you send SMS to consumers who never opted in, it gives them a good reason to either ask to be removed from your list or report your business to their phone carrier. 

Making sure your recipient list contains 100% opt-ins is vital.
If you have doubts about a name, remove it.

Message Length

The basic SMS format in the U.S. is a maximum of 160 characters. Other countries have different limitations, such as Brazil that allows 157 characters. If you go over this count, your message will either be rejected or split in half and sent out in two messages.

Sending one message that's split into two comes off sloppy,
so tighten up your messaging to fit into one text! 

Incorrect number

While you can't control a customer providing you with a wrong number or numbers entered into your database incorrectly, you can at least make sure other details are correct. For instance, if you plan to market internationally, you’ll be required to include the correct code for each country, including any necessary prefixes. This will make sure the message reaches that destination.

Too much of a good thing

It's hard to speak on how many texts are as too many, since it really depends on individual preferences and how much value your SMS is providing. However, once you get to the point where people say “enough is enough," they may be ready to opt-out.

We recommend: Send your messages on a consistent schedule; try on the same day and time every week so recipients begin to expect it. This leaves opportunity for the occasional promotional text in addition to the standard ones.

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About The Author

Richard Kaplan, Ytel

Richard leads our Carrier team and ensures that all our customers are up and running as quickly as possible, and coaches on industry best practices and compliance.


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