Are Your SMS Messages Reaching Customers? Don’t Take It for Granted

Without direct connections, many SMS messages may get lost in the flood

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Published: May 29, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

In the time of flip phones, pay-as-you-go messaging, and standing on a chair to get a signal, SMS was the home of person-to-person (P2P) conversations.

However, over the last 15 years, messages from friends and family have slowly slipped off the channel and onto WhatsApp, Messenger, and other social media platforms.

In a bind, mobile operators experienced a sharp decline in use, and – like a Saharan road – traffic only trickled across their vast network infrastructures.

Their solution? Marketing application-to-person (A2P) messaging to businesses – and it worked.

The growth of the US SMS marketing market exemplifies this – as the following graphic from Grand View Research showcases.

A graph showing the growth of US SMS marketing

Such growth comes as brands realize several benefits of using automated SMS messages in their customer communication strategies.

As one Mitto report found, businesses that take a “mature omnichannel approach” that includes SMS have achieved the following results:

  •   2x more likely to respond to customers in real-time or in less than an hour
  •   3x more likely to report extreme revenue growth over the past year
  •   4x more likely to deepen customer loyalty

Of course, not all enterprises have achieved these results, and limited omnichannel maturity is one likely reason. Another blocker to wider success, however, lies in the complexities of how these messages travel from a business to their end-use recipient. Things get pretty complex out there in the wild world of A2P connectivity.

Undelivered Messages: A Bigger Problem Than You Think

While optimized SMS routing is being executed every single second across the globe, there remain  several reasons a business’s messages could fail to funnel into customers’ phones.

Perhaps the SMS platform being utilized doesn’t provide features like invalid phone number resolution? Or, maybe a customer’s number is not allowed by its network to receive SMS (for any reason). Many businesses will be aware of such issues.

Yet, problems relating to the vast ecosystem of carrier connectivity sometimes go unnoticed – and these issues can be critical. The use of multiple aggregators and lower-quality routes in particular regions will, in turn, offer lower delivery and engagement rates.

After all, as these messages go through intermediaries, communications take longer as they hop between multiple networks – with dropouts along the way.

Those issues often slip through the cracks, and – even when the SMS provider does spot the problem – it takes longer to resolve due to the levels between the provider and intermediary.

Of course, outages will sometimes occur across any network. Nevertheless, enterprises can enhance delivery rates by working with a provider offering direct connections with trusted partner carriers.

Moreover, ensuring reliable message delivery can enhance the customer experience and streamline operations.

Look for a Provider That Establishes Direct Connections with MNOs.

Selecting an SMS API provider that lists how many direct, in-country connections and exclusivities they have with globally managed network operators (MNOs) is critical to mitigating the risk of delays and dropouts.

After all, direct connections guarantee the shortest path to the mobile user. That means that content typically makes its way to customers in only one-to-three seconds: the shortest possible delay.

Moreover, direct connections often come at a lower cost, with no risk of manipulation along the chain of delivery. Indeed, the connection is always available, except ‌in the unlikely event of a mobile network being down.

Diving deeper, Luca Sacanna, Head of Carrier Operations at Mitto, said: “In addition to ensuring the fastest delivery, another benefit of using a direct connection is that you are not risking that your content or sender ID gets changed during the delivery process.”

Simply put, a business can ensure that messages reach the mobile network that’s supposed to receive them. Sacanna further explained:

“Very importantly, if no intermediaries are involved, no bad actors can benefit from the inflation of SMS traffic. This means there is no risk that some fraudster will hack into a business’ portal or app to try to stimulate artificial SMS traffic.”

What Else Should Businesses Look Out for?

It’s critical to check that the SMS provider works with more than one carrier in the business’s cornerstone regions. That will ensure the company can continue to operate in each essential region, even when an error or outage occurs.

Some SMS providers go further and work directly with MNOs connecting to their networks – for ongoing route testing and quality feedback – to ensure the proper delivery of A2P communications.

Consider Mitto. In addition to its increasing list of direct connections across the world, its routing platform includes monitoring tools that utilize AI to proactively analyze the delivery of its messages across A2P routes in real-time.

In monitoring its direct connections, Mitto can assess the optimum A2P routes and present the best path for every single message sent through its platform..

As such, it enhances the full A2P messaging experience, maintains service integrity, and ensures cost efficiency. But that’s not all…

Mitto: A Trusted A2P SMS Messaging Provider

As A2P SMS messaging gains momentum, it’s fast becoming the default channel for marketing communications, customer authentication, and circulating notifications.

Leveraging its direct connection partnerships in more than 100 countries, Mitto constantly monitors its traffic to highlight any pattern that could potentially be related to artificial traffic – a growing issue for high-volume SMS senders. From there, the vendor reports the issue to customers for immediate and proactive remedy.

Moreover, Sacanna noted:

“We also give our customers the possibility to choose which countries should/shouldn’t be enabled on our platform for their traffic, restricting even more any space to frauds.”

As such, Mitto enables optimum delivery rates while keeping networks free from potential issues. Its content filtering feature also helps here, monitoring peak SMS message rates against expected levels, message type, and content length.

With such features, Mitto protects brands and their customers from essentially any potential pitfalls along the SMS journey…

The result? Businesses enjoy greater security while leveraging better overall communication strategies that deliver increased revenues.

Eager to learn more? Book a consultation with the Mitto team and upgrade your SMS strategy.

CpaaSDigital TransformationOmni-channelUser Experience

Brands mentioned in this article.


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