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Using SMS Sender IDs

When you send bulk SMS, you want your recipients to open your message, read it, and take your intended action? The sender ID you use is very important because it’s the first thing your recipients will see that helps them decide whether to read it or ignore it. For instance, when you get an SMS with “33442” as the sender ID, you’ll likely hiss and wonder when “these people” will stop disturbing you. Conversely, if you see a message with your bank’s name as the sender ID, you are eager to read it.


So, How Do You Choose a Sender ID?

If you’re like most people, you usually do it arbitrarily, but it shouldn’t be that way. You need to choose your sender ID carefully and purposefully. The good news is that there’s a science behind sender IDs. That means you can predict its results. You can test, measure, and optimize it for effectiveness.


Tips for Effective Sender IDs

  • Avoid GSM Network Filters: Some GSM networks, in a bid to block spammers who abuse bulk SMS, put filters to block certain words.You want to review them, because no matter how lovely or optimized your sender ID is, if it contains a blocked word or number, your message won’t get delivered. So, it makes sense to put this on top of your checklist.
  • Use a Name Your Recipients Recognize You With: If you’re an individual, use a name that your recipients recognize you with. It’s commonsense. Using a sender ID like “INVITATION” is a wrong way, instead use your name. If you’re a company, use your brand name that customers know you with. Using “ANNOUNCEMENT” as a sender ID is a very poor way to go about it. If you’re a church, use your Church’s name. If you’re an association, use your association’s name. You get the point, don’t you?
  • Think Branding: If you’re blasting your SMS to some list you rented, it’s better you think branding. Use the brand name you want to promote.


Keep it to 11 Characters or Less

Your sender ID should be 11 characters maximum. That’s the global standard. Extending it won’t deliver everything and you don’t want your recipients to see an incomplete sender ID that doesn’t make any sense to them. If your sender ID is longer than 11 characters, then shorten it in a way that makes sense and then mention it in full in the message content.

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