3 Key Factors to Ensuring Timely SMS Delivery

Growing up, many of us will have been told time and again that patience is a virtue. This life lesson appears to have been lost on many though, particularly when […]

Growing up, many of us will have been told time and again that patience is a virtue. This life lesson appears to have been lost on many though, particularly when it comes to the world of customer experience.

Enterprises need to understand that the key ingredient in customer service excellence is respect for and valuing of customer time. Try ordering something online and consistently not receiving the second authentication factor (often a one-time PIN delivered by SMS) needed to securely complete the purchase. Try downloading an app and having it take ages to be verified, requiring multiple attempts. Most of us would soon give up and look elsewhere. People have long memories when it comes to negative experiences they face at the hands of brands.

Given our mobile numbers are fast becoming THE data element used to verify our identity and A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS is becoming even more instrumental in the verification process, ensuring A2P content reaches its intended destination in a timely manner.

As all of us have been experiencing lately, life has a tendency of throwing curveballs and things don’t always run to plan – message delivery included. So let’s now take a look at the factors that cumulatively can have a real negative impact on message successful delivery ratios and client conversion. Take every measure you can to avoid these pitfalls.

1.      Number validity

Top of the charts for failed message delivery reasons is the destination number being either invalid or simply not existing.

Landlines: there is no hard or fast general rule about SMS delivery to landline numbers. Even in countries where the fixed line infrastructure supports it, the receiving handset may not.

Missing or incorrect country dialling codes: when dealing with international messaging campaigns, dialling codes have to be spot on. The rules of their structure are not global and formatting them correctly is an absolute must. For example, a mobile number may have a 0 at the beginning but for international delivery, the 0 may need to be omitted.

2.      Filtering

In an effort to eliminate spam and ensure the monetisation of inbound A2P traffic, more and more mobile operators are implementing SMS firewalls along with associated rules.

Legitimate traffic: keeping the SMS channel clean through the elimination of unsolicited traffic (spam) is important but some operator filters are too aggressive and block some legitimate traffic.

Alphanumeric sender IDs: many operators globally filter traffic with alphanumeric sender IDs, allowing only messages with numeric IDs to pass. Person-to-person (P2P traffic does not use alphanumeric sender IDs and whilst a blanket approach is easy to manage, it can hinder the attractiveness of A2P SMS and engagement it drives.

Pattern detection: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) messages are by their very nature almost all unique. A2P content is different and quite often 80% or more of a message’s content can be identical across hundreds of thousands of messages in a large campaign. Only official A2P routing into an operator may support multiple SMS from the same sender ID having (almost) identical content.

3.      Routing Factors

Not all routes are built equal. Some are direct. Others indirect. Some are grey, employing SIM farms.

Direct connections: these are the way forward where at all possible. Enterprises are increasingly demanding direct routing from a security standpoint. There are fewer points of potential failure.

Number portability: starting in 2001 most countries globally now support mobile number portability (MNP). It’s critical to use routing which incorporates an MNP check into its flow to ensure SMS traffic is delivered into the correct operators.

From local regulations to handset errors, there are a host of other reasons why some traffic fails. Global, timely SMS delivery is not easy and it’s important to partner with the correct companies to deliver your content. Companies with the infrastructure, technology (including mobile intelligence), and expertise needed.

With our in-depth experience in a complicated business, Mitto is here to give you the confidence you need to get your mobile engagement done. And well.