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What is SMS Deliverability?

SMS Deliverability is the rate at which the SMS and MMS messages you send are actually being delivered to the intended subscriber's phones.


Wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint monitor SMS sent over their networks to prevent delivery of spam messages. When an outgoing SMS is judged as spam, they will block it from reaching the recipient’s phone and the message will not be delivered.

Phone issues on the subscriber side are the most common reason for SMS delivery failures. For example, a subscriber’s phone could be turned off or disconnected, their phone is on roaming and not receiving messages, they accidentally gave you a landline number or gave you the wrong number altogether. In these cases, deliverability is simply out of your hands.

How to Improve Deliverability for Controllable Factors

Below are a few tips and guidelines for how to improve SMS and MMS deliverability, to keep in mind when sending messages from the Kinnekt app:

  • Make sure your message is not "spammy". Include clear opt-out instructions, precise language, and proper capitalization and punctuation.

  • Always identify yourself. Subscribers can sometimes forget they've signed up to receive text messages from you. Avoid being judged as spam by wireless carriers by identifying yourself as the sender.

  • Avoid sending links from domains you don’t control if possible. Try to use your domain for shortening links to build a reputation with carriers and improve deliverability.

  • Avoid sending messages that are in the following content categories:

    o High-risk financial services: loans, debt collection, gambling, stock alerts or cryptocurrency

    o Get-rich-quick schemes

    o Controlled substances: tobacco, vape, federally illegal drugs

    o Also, pornography, phishing, fraud or deceptive marketing

  • Engage in 2-way text with your customers. Texting with your customers is not only a great way to increase brand engagement and boost sales, it also helps improve deliverability. When carriers can see subscribers are actively engaging in a text conversation with your business, this signals to them that you are credible and should help improve the deliverability of your future messages.

Tips for Increasing Brand Engagement

Below is a list of tips and best-practices that will help you and your team craft effective

texts that encourage prompt replies, boost brand engagement and lower opt-out rates:

  • Use more personalization such as the {FirstName} variable in messages if applicable. This helps to create a personal connection with customers by including their name and any other relevant information.

  • Text like a person, not a robot. For example, use the {StoreName} variable in the beginning of your messages to remind your subscribers who you are.

  • Send messages at the right time. Kinnekt's Quiet Hours feature ensures your subscribers only receive messages at appropriate times.

  • Spell check. Texting may be a casual medium, but typos and poor grammar will leave a negative impression with your subscribers. Take a moment to proofread before sending your message.

  • Use relevant acronyms for your audience. Pull back on acronym use with Baby Boomer or Generation X customers. They’re not fond of using them with friends and family, so it’s likely they feel the same way toward business texting.

  • Use Emojis when appropriate. Emoji can help make your messages more fun and engaging 😃 From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, every generation is OK with businesses using emojis when the context makes sense.

  • Provide a call to action. Tell your customers what you need from them and why you're sending them a message. This can help to lessen any unnecessary back and forth communication by being clear up front.

  • Keep it short. When applicable, keep your messages short and concise. You’ll save time, get your point across more effectively and your recipients will appreciate not having to read an entire wall of text.

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