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SMS FAQs

SMS FAQs

What is SMS?

SMS stands for Short Message Service and is also commonly referred to as a "text message". With a SMS, you can send a message of up to 160 characters to another device. Longer messages will automatically be split up into several parts (up to 4). Most mobile phones support this type of text messaging.


How do I start sending text messages through e-shot™?

f you would like to use e-shot™ to send SMS text messages, you will need to contact to the Customer Success team who will talk you through the process and help you set it up.  


How long does it take to set up?

We can normally set up the SMS on your account within 24 hours. However, we recommend that you leave yourself a few days to set up and test the system.
If you require a non UK From number it could take longer.


How do I pay?

You pay for your text sends by buying SMS credits in advance. Please ask the Customer Success team for details.  


What counts as a credit?

One credit pays for one standard text message to one contact. For example, a 160 character message to 50 people would account for 50 credits.


When will you charge more than one credit?

Only when you send a message longer than 160 characters or when you send to international numbers.The pricing for longer (concatenated) text messages are charged as follows:

  • 161 to 306 characters = 2 credits
  • 307 to 459 characters = 3 credits
  • 460 to 612 characters = 4 credits (this is the max)

Some characters are “compound” characters and use two characters in a message.


Why is my message longer than the characters limit?

Some characters are “compound” characters and use two characters in a message.
Please note that when you use personalisation in your text content, you may exceed the 160 characters.
International sends are charged as double the credits. If you send over 460 characters to an international number you will be charged 8 credits.
US/Canadian networks can only handle up to 160 characters. Longer messages will be rejected by the network.  


Is it legal to send text messages to mobile numbers?

It is, but you must follow the ICO data protection rules as you would with email.
We do not tolerate SPAM. Please be sure to check our terms and conditions and our Anti-SPAM policy.


Can my contacts unsubscribe (opt out) from SMS?

Yes they can (by replying STOP) and we will mark them as unsubscribed in your contact list.


When a contact on my list unsubscribes will they be unsubscribed from email too?

No, only from SMS.


How do I acquire a new From Number and can I have multiple ones?

Just contact the Customer Success team and they will take care of all that is necessary to set you up seamlessly for you. You can have more than one number and these will be set up for you as identities – same as your email identities. If you know which country you are going to send to and it’s not the UK, please mention this to your account manager and they will explain the options.  


Why do I need to pay for a From Number?

When a subscriber responds to your text either to opt out or any other reason, we record this information against their record in e-shot™ (and act on it if they choose to unsubscribe).


How do I enable unsubscribe (opt-out) in my text messages?

Just add: reply STOP to opt-out at the end of your message. We will do the rest.


Can I use my own mobile phone number?

Not as a From number but we can arrange for your replies to be emailed to a designated email address.


What format should I use for the phone number when importing contacts?

We accept the following formats:
•    +44 or starting with 0 and 00,
•    numbers that contain characters like ,.


Can I have multiple phone numbers for the same Contact?

Yes but only with a different email address (you cannot have 2 or more contact records with the same email address).


If I have the same mobile phone number on multiple contacts and a campaign is sent will it sent and charge multiple messages?

No, we will only send and charge one credit for each mobile phone number.


Can I have different contact numbers for contacts found in different subaccounts?

Yes.


Can I add a contact without an email address?

No, but you can add the email address at the format ###########@ignore.me (########### = mobile no.).


What field should I use for the mobile phone number?

You have to import the contacts into the mobile field (this is now one of the standard fields).


Can I have an e-shot™ SMS credits only account?

If you would like to use e-shot™ only for sending SMS, you will need to subscribe to a monthly or annual contacts based account based on the number of contact you have. Once you have an e-shot™ account, all you need is to buy the number of credits you need for your SMS messages.


What is an SMS Bounce?

We mark mobile numbers as Bounces when the network respond with “Declined”. It means that the network is unable to deliver (e.g. inactive number). There are no soft bounces with SMS.


Can you unsubscribe a contact from receiving SMSs?

Yes, a contact can be marked as unsubscribed in the UI.


Can you unsubscribe as a recipient by replying to the SMS?

Yes, by replying STOP to the message.


Can you register a display on an SMS?

It is different from email but if you include links, we do monitor


What are the delivery reports for SMS?

For SMS we report on delivery status:
Delivered (confirmed) - Messages which were successfully delivered to the contact's mobile and have been confirmed by the provider;
Delivered (unconfirmed) - Messages which have been sent via a provider that does not supply receipts regarding the status of the SMS;
Pending with network - Messages which are yet to be delivered to the contact's mobile e.g. the mobile is switched off or it does not have signal.


If a recipient clicks a link does it affect the delivery status?

Yes, when the recipient clicks a link in the text message we upgrade the status to “Delivered (confirmed)”


Can you register clicks on links?

Yes, links can be used in SMS messages and e-shot™ will record and monitor these links. Monitored links are shortened to try and use as fewer characters as possible.
If a link is clicked in the message it will also be reported as delivery confirmed.


How many characters can I insert into a text message?

SMS text messages could have up to 612 characters for non-US/Canadian networks and up to 160 characters for US/Canadian networks. Characters such as “space” and line breaks are also counted. Please see the FAQ When will you charge more than one credit? For detailed information and costs.


Can I use HTML in a text message?

You can’t use HTML in SMS text messages as it will be regarded as normal text.


If a text message was sent to an invalid phone number will I get charged?

You will not be charged for invalid numbers and it will be marked as a bounce.


If an SMS was sent to a valid but unavailable phone number will I get charged?

For a valid but unavailable phone number you will be charged and it might result in a “Delivery Unconfirmed” or “Pending with Network”


What are Regions and are there any geographical sending restrictions?

Please tell us where you intend to send your text messages to so we can advise you and set up your account correctly.
•    We operate 2 regions: US only and International (rest of the world including UK);
•    UK numbers can send messages to UK or international numbers but not to the US;
•    International (non US) numbers can send to UK or international excluding to the US;
•    US numbers can only send to US/Canadian numbers.


Can I use personalisation links?

Yes, e-shot™ will show you the available fields that you can use.


Can I send Images / MMSs / iMessages?

No, due to the costs and limited availability from network providers, these options are not available (e.g. typically MMS cost is 35p per message).


Can I create an Automated Series / Date Driven / Recurrent / AB split Testing campaigns using the SMS feature?

You can now send SMS in an Automated Campaigns and our plan is to add the option to include text messages in all types of campaigns in the next phases of our SMS services. Please contact the Customer Success for updates.  


Can I send an SMS from a Name instead of a Number (e.g. Coke)

Yes it is possible, but you would need to include an opt-out number in the message so that your contacts can unsubscribe.


When do SMS credits expire?

SMS credits will expire when your account expires. Upon uninterrupted renewal of subscription any unused SMS credits will roll into your next subscription.

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