Why is my message failing?

1. Your message was flagged as SPAM by the carrier… it might contain trigger words

This is not to say that your message actually was SPAM. However, something in your message, or the way it was sent, raised a flag at a carrier and it was marked as SPAM and blocked. While the carriers mostly align on their guidelines for sending and receiving text messages (SMS and MMS), each carrier has their own guidelines for what they consider SPAM. Knowing those guidelines ahead of time helps to avoid getting your message blocked as SPAM.

Some carriers specifically look for trigger words and phrases such as “loan”, “free”, “click here”, “offer”, etc.

Sending a link in your text messages can raise a red flag. While there are ways to do it (more on that below), trying to include a link can get your message blocked. If you need to include links, be sure to do it the right way.

3. The volume of messages being sent (too many messages!)

There are guidelines around how many messages you can send depending on the number you’re using. Phone numbers designated for P2P traffic (typically your local phone numbers) are generally only allowed to send 1 message per second (mps). There should also be a fairly even one-to-one balance of sending and receiving. Getting outside of these parameters by sending too many messages or having the messages be one-sided can result in your texts being blocked.

4. The message was sent to a number that couldn’t receive it 

Landlines can’t receive texts. It’s true. Despite all our advances in technology, your home phone is still limited to sending and receiving voice calls. Sending a text to that number will result in it not being delivered. You can use our number lookup functionality to confirm that you are indeed texting a number that can receive texts. Captivated’s SMS verification badge will let you know whether a number can be texted. When viewing a contact’s details (either using the “i” info icon in the top right-hand corner of a conversation, or viewing the contact from “Contacts”), you can hover over the colored badge next to the phone number, and it will give you more information on the number.

Green = SMS Verified (textable and has been successfully communicated with in Captivated)

Blue = Mobile Verified (textable, but you have not yet texted the contact)

Yellow = Non Mobile / VoIP line (usually not textable)

Red = Confirmed Landline (not textable)

Gray = Unknown

5. The carrier couldn’t deliver the message/network problems

 

Sometimes the carrier just can’t get the message all the way there. There could be a problem with the network, congestion, or some other issue with the receiver (e.g. being in an area with limited or poor cell service) that just makes them unable to complete the delivery.

6. The message contained a risky shortened URL

We mentioned including links as a way to get your message blocked above (it was #4 on our list). You can, however, include a link if you use a link shortener. But, you have to use the right kind. Using shorteners like bit.ly or goo.gl can get your message blocked as well as those shorteners are often associated with SPAM and illicit content.

7. The message contained illicit content

Sending texts with illicit content, such as adult content, references to drugs, or anything referring to criminal activity, can get your messages blocked.

8. The receiver has complained about this message type to the carrier

You might be following all the rules and somebody just complained about your message. Maybe they don’t remember signing up to receive texts. Maybe they just decided they don’t want them anymore but don’t know how to opt out. Whatever the case may be, if the carriers receive complaints about your texts, they may stop delivering them.

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