How to Create SMS Marketing Campaigns That Don’t Get Blocked

 BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

Making sure your content reaches the customers is key if you want to maximise the ROI on SMS. There’s nothing worse than crafting a message and then having it get blocked due to some aspects that weren’t covered or that were missed. Especially considering that in most cases you pay per message request, not per message delivered.

Be relevant

The easiest way to get your content blocked is by getting an opt-out or a do-not-disturb request from a customer because the content you sent wasn’t relevant. Make sure the offers and incentives are actually appealing to the customers and ensure you have a chance to deliver on the promise of those offers. In addition, make sure you stay relevant and don’t overburden your customers with messages.

Do your research

Make sure you know how your industry is received in the market you are looking to send to, or how your content is received and what limitations apply. For example, while OTPs from a casino are fine, marketing content might not be.  

Your SMS service provider can help you out a lot by highlighting the key issues and content limitations that need to be followed to ensure that the messages actually go through.

Whitelist your Sender IDs and content

Most markets require the companies looking to send A2P messaging traffic, to whitelist their content and Sender IDs beforehand with the local operators. But even those cases that don’t require registration might still benefit from having a conversation with the operators to make sure no issues occur. Your SMS provider will usually cover all the whitelisting processes as well as take all needed steps for registering (such as asking for the relevant documentation, samples, Sender IDs, etc.).

Be aware of filters, keywords and links

In certain markets, there are keywords that are deemed to be either illegal, spam or not favourable. As such, messages containing those words will not reach the recipients. An SMS provider has the list and verifies that your content is not triggering any of the spam filters or ending up behind firewalls.  

Learn more about SMS marketing in our expert's guide! 

Other market-specific filters might also be in place. For example, certain characters, Sender IDs or number combinations. So, make sure you don’t trigger any.  

Also, unbranded links can block your campaign. Using branded URLs is better than unbranded - type ones, since the latter can be associated with spam.

Opt-in and DnD

Make sure you have a clear verifiable and easily reproducible opt-in to show to any operator or customer who asks for it. Otherwise, you might end up being blocked from an operator permanently or receive fines for unsolicited messages. Make sure your SMS provider is aware of the do not disturb (DnD) lists and makes sure that any number within those lists doesn’t receive marketing content from you since hefty fines might once more apply.  


In general, getting into trouble for spammy content, using unsolicited routes or sending to non-opt-in numbers are easy ways to end up losing the channel as a whole, so keep your content above board. That will ensure optimal delivery and maximal conversion.

Kaur Virunurm
2020-01-29 00:00:00 UTC