Carrier Filtering and Making Sure Your Texts Go Through

You likely understand SMS text message marketing and its role in your business strategy. But do you understand carrier filtering and how it impacts SMS campaigns? 

If not, read on. In this article, our experts present a guide on carrier filtering to help ensure your texts get delivered

How does carrier filtering work?

Mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile use filtering to protect their customers from unwanted text messages. 

Carrier filtering happens when these providers use automated filtering mechanisms to prevent unwanted messages from reaching their customers.

With the widespread use of text messaging, unwanted messages pose an ongoing challenge for providers. When you understand carrier filtering, you protect your business and its subscribers from decreased communication. 

Why carrier filtering?

Carrier filtering protects customers. And carriers want to be known for protecting customers, so they implement filtering systems on their customers’ behalf. 

When mobile customers receive unwanted text messages, they look to the cellular providers for answers — and sometimes blame. For a better customer experience, carriers use filtering to block unwanted or offensive messages. 

Cellular carriers don’t disclose the specific criteria for message filtering. Doing so would invite nefarious entities to avoid the filters and continue sending unwanted messages. 

Compliance with regulations

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects customers from telemarketers with regulations and restrictions on telephone calls, text messages, and fax transmissions. Text message laws and regulations create boundaries for how businesses communicate with customers. 

Before you send or schedule mass text messages, need to decide on what type of text marketing number to use. There are three main types of numbers – 10DLC, toll-free, and short code. Each number type facilitates accessible communication between businesses and customers. 

All three number types have different pros and cons. In order to figure out which is best for your business, you’ll need to do some research. Or let us do it for you! 

During the signup process with TextSanity, we provide you with our recommendation. This is based on the amount of messages you plan on sending as well as the frequency and projected growth of your text marketing list. 

Stay compliant with SMS text message marketing laws and follow the guidelines for success. Each type of number has different regulations in order to stay compliant. But don’t worry! We help you through this process as well. 

Carriers protect their customers

The mobile phone business gets competitive. Wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon compete for customer business with promotions, claims of best-in-class coverage, and service for their mobile users. 

These carriers also promise protection for users from unwanted calls and messages with carrier filtering. 

How does carrier filtering work?

Carrier filters function to halt unwanted calls and texts. Each carrier’s network uses software to scan for suspicious traffic within the network. Filtering systems work in real-time and use machine learning software to stop spam. 

Machine learning flags a call or text as a spam risk. Even spam-likely traffic gets seen as suspicious and sometimes receives the label of a potentially harmful or unwanted message.

Do your texts get filtered?

If you send out a mass text message and inadvertently include a highly filtered keyword, your message is subject to SMS carrier filtering. If your message isn’t delivered, you can check the deliverability rate of your messages in your text marketing service account – such as TextSanity. Typically, you’ll see an error message to declare the message undelivered as a pingback from the carrier.

There’s no way to ensure 100% deliverability of messages all the time, however, there are best practices you can put in place to ensure a high deliverability rate. 

Make sure your texts go through: Key tips 

If you know what carrier filters look for, you’ll better understand how to ensure your texts go through to your subscriber list. Follow these best practices for SMS texting for success and ensure your notifications never filter out as unwanted messages.

Avoid weird content and spam buzzwords 

Stay away from content with words that sound spammy. 

Learn the best practices for spam buzzwords — the results make it worthwhile. This includes texts in ALL CAPS and words such as “free” and “guaranteed.” 

One more tip: Never include excessive punctuation in your texts (e.g., never do this, no matter how compelling your message is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

There is no comprehensive list of spam words or a unified standard. All filters differ slightly. However, think about the spam texts or emails you get daily and what makes you suspicious of spam; this may help guide your content. 

Stay away from link-shorteners

No one loves a lengthy URL. They distract from your message and take up precious character space. Still, you want to avoid third-party link shorteners, such as, when you send SMS text message marketing. 

Malicious content often comes from spammers using a shortened link. This means most carrier filters flag the text and block it in the spam filter. At TextSanity, we provide our own link insertion tool. When you use this tool, none of your texts will get filtered for having a spammy link. 

Follow CAN-SPAM and other rules

The federal government’s CAN-SPAM tool stops unwanted commercial electronic mail. This applies to email and text messages. Among others, some rules put in place to protect customers include an opt-in and opt-out mechanism and a message resembling a solicitation. 

Before you send a mass notification, verify opt-ins from your subscribers. This non-negotiable rule in SMS text message marketing deserves extra time and attention. Additionally, ensure you put proper language in place to give the recipient an easy unsubscribe option. The language may look as simple as “reply STOP if you no longer want text messages.” 

Including a convenient unsubscribe option ensures you stay in their good graces and keep you off the text marketing naughty list. Opt-out is built into your TextSanity account. 

Make personalized content

Personalizing your SMS marketing message gives the recipient an air of familiarity and creates trust. It may seem like a small detail, but personalizing a text marketing message may go a long way toward higher open rates. It may also help your content make it through spam filters. 

Personalized content signals to spam filters how you know your recipient, indirectly boosting engagement rates. Personalized content merits the extra effort and helps ensure your texts go through. 

How TextSanity helps

TextSanity helps you navigate the details when it comes to text filtering. After all, our expertise in SMS text messaging makes us the perfect fit for the job. Our account managers work with you and help you find an SMS pricing plan to meet your business needs. 

What next?

Now that you know the basics of carrier filtering, create, refine, and implement your SMS text message strategy. 

Text CONTACT to 50505 to ask any lingering filtering questions or DEMO to 50505 to schedule a quick, customized demo for your business. Let us help you stay connected with your customers via text messaging.