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How to Write Text Messages for Marketing Campaigns That Avoid Spam Filters and Message Send Failures!

Disclaimer: We are not providing LEGAL advice in this video or article. We are in no way suggesting that if you follow the rules or tips herein that you would be complying with the law or your local regulations which govern your rights and/ or limitations with regard to sending or receiving communication across any medium. If you have concerns about the legal implications and ramifications of your desired texting and messaging needs, we suggest you seek proper legal counsel. We are not your agents and take no agency in your actions with regard to your usage of our application and software or any other methods you employ for sending messages or otherwise use communication services or mediums.

We get a lot of confused folks asking us why they can't send a huge list of recipients text messages all at once and why their messages bounce back with a "failure to send" message on iPhone.

If you're sending a small amount of messages, these errors could be related to network connectivity problems on your device, but if you're experiencing these issues when sending a lot of messages, it's more likely that you have been inadvertently flagged for being POTENTIALLY spam and thus got your message rejected.

Cell Phone Carriers and Messaging Service Providers like Apple's iMessage have adapted the technics from e-mail spam filters to try to reduce the amount of unwanted messages such as scams, advertisements to folks who didn't ask for them, and other threats — which we think is a great thing!

The problem is sometimes legitimate emails and text messages get caught in the spam filters too because they LOOK LIKE SPAM, but aren't. And chances are if you're reading this you may feel like this applies to you.

So firstly, we must define what spam is. You may think of it as messages which are unwanted or annoying. But actually there are a few definitions of spam. There is the common definition above, the legal definition, and what carriers and ISP look for in trying to identify it.

This article and video above do not focus on the legal definition because each country and region may have different definitions BUT it is crucial that you educate yourself on the law and obey any rules and regulations which govern your ability to send messages. In the U.S. you may choose to look at F.C.C. regulations and any other state regulations that may govern your rights to use communication and telephony services.

Rather, we're going to look at what carriers' and ISP's definition of spam is and what they are doing to determine what messages are spam to help you get your legitimate messages through the spam detection filters.

To carriers and ISPs: Spam is defined as BULK and UNSOLICITED messages.

Here's the list of ways they try to determine that:

1. Quantity. Sending a message that says "Happy New Years!!!" to your contacts on your phone will most likely go through, but sending "Happy New Years!!!" to a bunch of folks you don't know would be bad.

2. Links. Further, carriers look at the type of language and links you include in your text messages. If you use links or link shrinkers which may be commonly used by scammers and spammers (like bit.ly for example), your message looks more like spam. You inherit the reputation of the links you put into your messages.

3. Brands. Carriers look for phishing attacks by seeing if messages contain references to brands which are not owned by the sender to avoid sending scams which steal credit cards and worse. So don't use or make reference to brands which you don't own.

4. Identity & Owning Responsibility. Further, carriers and ISPs are looking to see if you keep a consistent identity when you send messages and if it's transparent as to who is sending the message.  That means you shouldn't send the same messages from multiple phone numbers and you should have references as to who owns your phone number on some published pages like the white pages and on your website (the more documentation the better). Carriers and ISPs want to see you are responsible for the messages you are sending and are a good actor which means being available to take take complaints from your texting and messaging behavior seriously and that you are not just using a burner phone number or email.

5. Sending Rate. Carriers and ISPs know what the normal sending rate is for normal people (somewhere around 15-50 messages a minute and no more than 1 per second). The problem is that there are legitimate reasons to want to send at higher volumes because your messages although they may be bulk, are solicited or explicitly desired. Carriers and ISPs are working hard to figure out the difference, but for the time being, you will want to be in that range if you're using your own personal phone number as not to get rate limited by your carrier and have your messages get the "failure to send" error.

6. Content Should Be Unique and Not Spammy. Make sure your message content does not sound aggressive or salesy.

7. Consent. For optimal delivery, you want to have the explicit consent of your recipients before you send messages. The best way to do this is to have an opt-in protocol and implement an official way for people to opt-out from receiving messages from you. This is especially important when sending in bulk to a lot of people. Carriers want to see you are giving people a way to not receive messages from you. Also, along the same lines, make sure people know who you are before sending them messages.

That's it! Hopefully this helps you navigate the SMS and email ecosystems and get your bulk messages delivered and read by the people who are eagerly awaiting your messages 😃

If you think you can play by the rules, and you haven't downloaded Hit Em Up already to send your messaging campaigns, here is a direct link to get started:

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