SMS Carrier Violations

Carriers block text messages for various reasons, such as spammy content, excessive sending volume, or non-compliance with carrier guidelines.

SMS Carrier Violations - What You Need To Know

In this article we'll explore what SMS carrier violations are, the different types of violations that can occur, provide examples of each violation, and offer tips on how to avoid them.

What Are SMS Carrier Violations?

SMS carrier violations occur when carriers block text messages from reaching recipients. These violations can happen for different reasons, such as having spammy content, sending an excessive number of messages, or not following carrier guidelines. It is essential to comprehend and prevent these violations to ensure the success of your SMS marketing campaigns.

Types of Violations

Opt-Out Violation: An opt-out violation occurs when a recipient has previously opted out of receiving text messages but continues to receive them. This can happen if the sender fails to honor opt-out requests or maintain an updated opt-out list. An example of an opt-out violation is if a recipient replies "STOP" and you continue to text them.
Content Violation: A content violation happens when the content of a text message violates carrier guidelines or is flagged as spam. This can include the use of flagged words, excessive capitalization, or sales-focused language. An example of a content violation is using words like "free offer" or "buy now" in a text message, which can trigger carrier filters and result in the message being blocked.
Sending Volume Violation: Sending too many identical messages from a single number in a short span can lead to a sending volume violation. To avoid this, steer clear of bulk sends that might trigger carrier filters.
URL Violation: A URL violation occurs when a text message includes URLs that are flagged as suspicious or potentially harmful. This can happen when using public URL shorteners or including URLs with SHAFT-related content. If a text message includes a URL from a public URL shortener like "", it can trigger URL violations and result in message blocking. To stay on the safe side, use your own branded URLs instead or opt for private URL shorteners.

How to Avoid SMS Carrier Violations

Warm Up Your Sending Number: Start by sending a low volume of messages and gradually increase your volume. This helps build a positive reputation with carriers.
Craft Clear and Compliant Messages: Avoid using flagged words, excessive capitalization, and overtly sales-focused language. If you're' ever in doubt, ask yourself: does my contact want to receive this message?
Manage Your Sending Volume: Don't send too many identical messages at once. Spread out your sends and use personalization to avoid triggering carrier filters. Tip: Add your contacts to a campaign in smaller batches vs. all at once.
Use Private or Branded URLs: Ditch the public URL shorteners and opt for private or branded ones from trusted URL's instead. Tip: your own branded company domain is fine.
Engage with Recipients: Encourage replies and always respond promptly when you get one. If carriers start seeing a bunch of outbound text messages without any replies or just one negative response, it's a clear sign that the conversation isn't valuable. When you do get a reply, at least close the loop with a courteous response.
Stay compliant, respect your recipients, and your messages will hit the mark every time.
Note: This article is based on industry best practices and general guidelines. Always consult with legal and compliance experts to ensure adherence to applicable laws and regulations.