How to Improve Message Deliverability

To improve your message deliverability, it is important to be aware of carrier blocking so you can steer clear of it.

Carrier blocking, also known as carrier filtering, refers to mobile carriers filtering messages by businesses that do not adhere to their regulations and viable practices to send messages. Every wireless carrier determines its own filtering benchmarks and rules.

If your subscriber’s mobile service carrier blocks a certain message, that message won’t be delivered to them. Mobile carriers often resort to carrier blocking so they can protect their users from receiving unwanted messages including abusive, fraudulent, and spam messages.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your message deliverability:

Avoid Using Keywords Susceptible to Blockage

There are certain words and terms that don’t sit well with mobile carriers as they are believed to hurt the sentiments of users. While we can’t be certain exactly which words, terms, and phrases are blocked, the following words went through excessive blockage in the past years.

  • Shooting
  • Death
  • Bomb
  • Explosion
  • Dead
  • Gun
  • Murder
  • Kill
  • Rape
  • Isis
  • Terrorist
  • Killed
  • Attack

Ensure to avoid using any of these words in your SMS marketing campaign, so it doesn’t struggle with carrier blocking, and is effectively delivered to your subscribers.

Provide Clear Opt-Out Instructions

Sometimes customers move on from products or don’t have time to pursue your offers so it is important for you to respect that and provide them with a clear and direct opt-out option.

Your subscribers should feel comfortable with you, and the best way to do so is by letting them know that they are free to unsubscribe whenever they please. You can check this helpful article on how Tone ensures compliance by following CTIA and TCPA guidelines.

Additionally, including direct terms such as ‘Text Stop’ to unsubscribe when starting any promotional campaign could be helpful. This allows you to win over your customer’s trust and establish your credibility with them.

Pay Attention to How You Write the Texts

Sometimes, it so happens that your promotional text didn’t contain any abusive or inappropriate words, but still was subjected to carrier blocking. Why does that happen?

This issue stems from the unsuitable tone of your message. While creating your campaign message, pay special attention to the language. Aggressive language, exaggeration, and too many ‘capitalized’ terms and words violate different phone service providers’ rules and regulations.

If you use the symbol $ in the word ‘gifts’ in place of the letter ‘s’, it appears to be a spam message. Also, when you use only capitalized words, the message appears to be forceful and aggressive which may tick off your subscribers.

A good rule of thumb to resort to is to place yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what they expect from your promotional texts, what may inspire them, and what is likely to upset them. This will help you better understand their expectations associated with your brand and create a compelling copy that would only positively influence them.


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