Your 10-Point SMS Hands-on Checklist before Pressing Send—Part 2

In the first installment of this two-part, 10-point checklist for launching and managing SMS campaigns, one of our key consultants, SMS expert Ludovic Velu, offered five higher-level, though still hands-on tips. In this second installment, Ludovic digs into some crucial technical details you have to manage correctly to avoid getting bitten. Again, don’t hesitate to respond and/or complement this list through comments or by pinging me on Twitter!

6. Marketing vs. Service—Daytime-Only vs. 24/7

As mentioned in the first installment, service SMS messages must be delivered immediately. Nonnegotiable. Respect local regulations and typical customer preferences by limiting marketing messages to local daytime. By differentiating these two very different classes of SMS messages in Adobe Campaign, you can respect the rules and constraints relevant to each, and allow dedicated teams to supervise and ensure that service SMS messages go out no matter what.

When choosing an SMS router, you can use Adobe Campaign’s out-of-the-box connectors with SMS routers such as mBlox and Netsize, which have worldwide coverage. If you prefer contracting with a different SMS router, that’s easy to do too. Campaign is open and connects our customers with dozens of operators. If you go this route, pay attention to your router’s routing and tracking reliability.

If you do go with your own choice of router, make sure it works with Short Message Peer-to-Peer (SMPP). That’s the most widely used SMS router communication technology, meaning it’s stable and reliable. I recommend against using a proprietary technology, as it will require creating a unique integration interface, which implies consulting costs for setting it up, as well as ongoing costs to update the interface each time the proprietary technology is updated. We also support flat file exchanges, though that too is not a preferred method.

8. Keep an Eye on Volume and Let Your Router Know

Sometimes you want to send a lot more SMS messages than usual (think Black Friday or Cyber Monday). When you plan on such a volume increase, contact your SMS routing provider ahead of time. That will help guarantee fast delivery and legal compliance.

If you send too many messages too quickly without alerting your provider ahead of time, it won’t give you enough bandwidth, throttling your message delivery. This may delay some offers until too late, reducing your ROI and frustrating your customers. Such delays may also push off message delivery until nighttime, potentially causing you to break local laws.

9. SMS Length Depends on Encoding

It’s not a good idea to send SMS messages that get broken up into two or more messages. When using Unicode, for example, your SMS message has a maximum length of 70 characters. Don’t forget to verify that all your characters comply with your encoding, or you might encounter issues. For example, messages sent in “binary mode” with a 70-character limit may break into two separate messages. In almost no case will you have 160 characters available in a single SMS message.

10. Managing Inbound SMS—Required in the US

US law requires you to react to inbound SMS messages such as STOP when they come in response to your marketing messages. Campaign manages this capability for you, but pay attention to your SMS router capacity to provide such information to Campaign, or it may not know to respond.


Used correctly, SMS is a great marketing tool. Campaign makes it easy to manage all the technical details, as well as higher-level issues such as those detailed in the . Implement these tips, and let me know what you think through comments on these two posts, or on Twitter. If you’d like to read more, as mentioned in the first installment of this two-part post, I wrote a four-post series on SMS starting with one on opt-ins and opt-outs.