7 Reasons Your Text Messages Aren’t Delivering And How to Fix It

7 Reasons Your Text Messages Aren’t Delivering

If your text messages aren’t delivering, it can disrupt your business communications and lead to missed opportunities. This issue might be due to unverified numbers, non-compliance with 10DLC regulations, or carrier-specific restrictions. 

But there are solutions. You can tackle these challenges by verifying your numbers, adhering to content guidelines, and understanding carrier rules. 

This blog post will guide you through identifying and fixing common issues to ensure your text messages are delivered effectively.

Understanding 10DLC Registration and Its Importance

Understanding and registering for 10DLC (10-digit long code) is crucial if you use SMS for business communications. 

Unlike traditional shortcodes, 10DLC uses regular phone numbers, making it more accessible and cost-effective for businesses like yours to send mass texts. This system increases the reliability of your messages and builds trust with your audience.

Carriers such as Verizon Wireless now require 10DLC registration for all business texting. This policy change targets spam reduction and ensures message authenticity. 

If you don’t register, carriers might block or fail to deliver your messages. Adapting to these standards is vital for your business to keep your SMS marketing adequate and uninterrupted.

Here’s a detailed plan to navigate these changes:

  1. Schedule a Call with Ben: Our expert, Ben, will help you audit your website and prepare for the 10DLC submission. He’s knowledgeable about the requirements and will guide you through the process. Book a meeting as soon as possible.
  2. Prepare for 10DLC Submission: It’s essential to ensure your campaigns comply with 10DLC regulations. Ben will assist in assessing your setup, identifying potential issues, and making necessary adjustments.

While Verizon Wireless has already enforced these restrictions, other carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint might soon follow. The registration process takes about 30 to 40 days, so starting early is crucial to avoid disruptions.

Common Causes of Message Delivery Failure and Troubleshooting

1. Unverified Numbers and Wrong Messaging Type

One of the main reasons messages are undelivered is using personal numbers for business messaging or not registering your number for mass texting. Carriers often block unverified numbers to prevent spam. 

To troubleshoot this, register your number through platforms like The Campaign Registry and ensure you use a number designed explicitly for application-to-person (A2P) messaging. This distinction is crucial for businesses to maintain seamless communication with their audience.

2. Content Compliance Issues (SHAFT and Illegal Content)

Carriers are stringent about the content of messages, especially regarding SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, tobacco) content or illegal material. Messages violating these guidelines are promptly blocked. 

To avoid this, thoroughly review your message content and ensure it aligns with regulatory standards. Implementing age verification for sensitive material and removing any content related to hate speech or illegal activities can significantly improve message deliverability.

Here are the violations and the actions you should take for each:

ViolationSeverityAction Required
Contains SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco) content that is federally illegal0Remove call-to-action associated with SHAFT content
Contains SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco) content that is not federally illegal0Add a functioning age-gate to associated SHAFT content
Contains SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco) content that has been flagged as hateful, violent, or sent to incite violence.0Remove call-to-action and disable keyword associated with SHAFT content
Incorrect response to STOP command1Terminate all of Consumer’s active programs after they text STOP, and send one opt-out message
No product or program name2Display program or product name
Failure to reply to HELP keyword2Reply to HELP keyword with additional contact information (e.g., a toll-free helpline or email address)

Here is a more in-depth guide about S.H.A.F.T. compliance.

3. Excessive Messaging and Spam Filters 

Sending too many messages in a short period can trigger spam filters, leading to your texts being marked as spam. This issue can be tackled by monitoring the frequency of your messages. 

In addressing excessive messaging and spam filters, aligning with industry standards is essential. The key is not just the number of messages sent but their relevance and timing. 

For instance, a healthcare provider may send frequent updates about appointments or health tips, which is acceptable, while a retail business might limit its services to weekly promotions.

To avoid being marked as spam, consider these actionable tips:

  • Understand Your Audience: Tailor the frequency of your messages to your audience’s expectations and preferences.
  • Schedule Wisely: Spread out your messages to avoid bombarding recipients in a short timeframe.
  • Content Relevance: Ensure each message provides value. Avoid repetitive or irrelevant content.
  • Feedback Loop: Monitor responses to your messages. If you notice a decline in engagement, it might be time to adjust the frequency.
4. Suspicious Links and International Restrictions

Using link shorteners in your messages can raise red flags, as they are often associated with spam or phishing attempts. 

To prevent this, opt for complete URLs or use trusted link-shortening services recognized by carriers. Moreover, different countries have specific regulations regarding SMS messaging. 

If your campaign targets an international audience, it’s vital to understand and adhere to these varying guidelines to ensure message delivery across borders.

Note: OtterText has a built-in, fully compliant link-shortening function.

Technical and Operational Factors

5. Invalid Phone Numbers in Contact Lists

Having outdated or incorrect numbers in your contact list is a common issue. This leads to failed message delivery and can signal to carriers that your messages are unsolicited. 

Regularly clean your contact list, removing invalid or inactive numbers. Contact list verification tools provided by many SMS platforms can automate this process, ensuring your list remains updated and effective.

6. Recipient Preferences and Billing Issues 

Respecting recipient preferences is key. If a contact opts out or blocks your number, your messages will no longer be delivered to them. Additionally, if a recipient has billing issues with their carrier, such as unpaid bills, their ability to receive messages may be temporarily disabled. 

Having a clear and easy opt-out process is crucial and understanding that non-delivery might sometimes be related to the recipient’s account status.

7. Phone Settings and Carrier Technical Difficulties

Occasionally, the issue lies beyond your control. A recipient’s phone settings, like disabled SMS reception, can prevent message delivery. This is particularly relevant in regions where alternative messaging platforms are more popular. Moreover, technical difficulties on the carrier’s end can also lead to undelivered messages. 

While you can’t directly fix these issues, understanding them helps troubleshoot and set realistic expectations for message delivery rates.

Enhance Your Text Message Deliverability With OtterText

Optimizing your SMS campaigns involves addressing technical, operational, and regulatory challenges. 

Consider signing up for OtterText’s free 14-day trial to enhance message deliverability and compliance. Need assistance with 10DLC registration? Contact Ben here for expert guidance. 

Stay adaptable to ensure effective communication in the evolving digital landscape.