How to Avoid Being Marked as SMS Spam
SMS Marketing

How to Avoid Being Marked as SMS Spam

August 10, 2021

If you’re a veteran of SMS marketing, you understand its value to your overall strategy. After all, SMS has higher open and click-through rates than email. And when you target the right person with the appropriate content, you’re bound to have a meaningful interaction.

Of course, that’s if your message gets to your user, which can’t happen if you trigger spam filters. Fortunately, there is helpful guidance to help you stay compliant when texting with your leads or customers. Keep reading for an overview on how to avoid being marked as SMS spam.

First, Why Does SMS Spam Happen in the First Place?

You want to make sure you only send relevant, helpful content to your users. Mobile carriers Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile also want that. They don’t want to lose their customers, so they protect them from others who abuse the right to text someone.

What Else You Should Know About Mobile Carriers’ Approach to Spam

Mobile carriers use automated filtering processes to prevent spam from ever reaching their customers’ phones. However, a text that gets through can be seen as “spammy” to its end-user. In this scenario, that person would mark it as spam on their own. If they continue to receive non-compliant messages, they could block your number. Mobile carriers can then blacklist the number you use for SMS for repeated abuse. When that happens, you can’t engage with anyone who uses that carrier, eliminating potentially thousands or hundreds of thousands of leads and customers.

Best Practices and Guidelines to Avoid Spam Filters

It’s important to note that more often than not, you run the risk of being marked as spam when you’re mass texting a group of people. If you’re sending small amounts of texts or communicating with someone 1:1, your chances of being marked as spam diminish. With that said, you should also be careful of what you’re sending, no matter what. Here’s what you should know to avoid the dread “spam” bin:

  • Always let your users opt-in to receive your texts. You can do this by letting them send in a code to enter an SMS program, or having them select a checkbox on a form. If you choose to message them first, you must have “OPT-IN/OPT-OUT” messaging, such as: “Your appointment with Lynton is scheduled for 2/14/2022. To receive further notifications, please respond with OPT-IN. To discontinue, text STOP.”
  • Keep a record of all your opt-ins, so you’re sure you’re only sending communications to individuals who want to receive them. Also, send an opt-in confirmation text, such as: “Thanks for opting-in to SMSZap’s event notifications! You can discontinue at any time by texting STOP.”
  • Include clear opt-out instructions for recurring messages and periodically remind your users that they’ve enrolled.
  • Use personalization tokens when sending mass or bulk messages.
  • Always include your business name somewhere in your message, so your users know who it’s coming from.
  • When mass texting, don’t end your message with a URL, including shortened ones. For audiences under 50, you can send URLs but do not redirect them and use custom, shortened URLs.
  • Avoid writing in all caps or using Unicode or special characters.
  • Do not send high-volume messages rapidly, one after another after another, or identical messages over time.
  • Try not to send images or message attachments when bulk messaging (this is fine for smaller groups or 1:1 communication and engaging in this setting).
  • Keep your messages concise and ensure they sound like they’re coming from a real person.
  • Stay aware of different country’s rules and regulations.

And most importantly, be mindful. Follow basic marketing etiquette like not promoting anything harmful, deceitful or illegal, contextualizing your content, identifying yourself, using clearly defined CTAs, and messaging at a reasonable hour. When crafting your message, you should look at it and ask yourself whether or not you’d mark it as spam. If you would, chances are your audience would, too!

Get Started

No one wants to be marked spam – especially when you have a great campaign to text your users. By using these guidelines, you should avoid spam filters and engage with your audience. SMSZap also makes it easy to create, send, and monitor text messages. It even has a robust knowledge base with helpful articles on SMS compliance that you can always reference on top of this blog!