24th - May - 2016

Optimize Your SMS Communication and Save Money

All communication channels can experience success and failure in delivery. Whether you are a marketer sending emails, a desperate romantic trying to get “the woman of his dreams” to answer the phone, or an under-caffeinated commuter trying to explain to his barista the exact way he likes his latte, sometimes communication just doesn’t work the way you want it to.

Luckily, in most cases, communication channels have a feedback loop to help us correct a failed delivery. Emails “bounce” to let us know they didn’t make it to the intended recipient, the desperate romantic eventually hears an automated voice prompt letting him know his number has been blocked, and the commuter sees that his latte has too much foam and can ask the barista to fix it. The same is true for cloud based SMS. Here at Mblox, we provide the tools to not only report on message delivery status but also to help you proactively determine the likelihood of success before you’ve even sent your message.  

Prospects often ask us if we can guarantee delivery of their messages. While we are proud of our very high delivery rates – being one of the select few cloud-based messaging providers who have extensive direct carrier connections – no SMS service can reach a number that does not exist or a phone that is powered off for an extended period of time.  

Failed messages not only cost your organization money but also utilize unnecessary network and application resources. Many are preventable and we provide the tools you need to better predict successful message delivery and minimize failures. Mblox services can assist you in optimizing your delivery performance.

For starters, clients sending SMS messages to subscribers in the U.S. can use Mblox’s Blacklisting Data To Clients (BLDC) SOAP API (need to update URL location to download the PDF (currently an asset on Typepad)). This API allows you to download a list of disconnected, deactivated and/or suspended phone numbers from all four Tier-1 carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon), and many smaller carriers. Removing these mobile phone numbers from your subscriber database will help prevent you from sending messages to unintended recipients.  Not doing so is risky; if you are lucky, messages sent to de-activated numbers will simply fail. However, if some messages are delivered to re-assigned numbers, there could potentially be cost to you in terms of TCPA violations; more information on best practices can be read here (update TCPA blog article URL).  Remove the risk, and focus on your subscribers who actually can and want to receive your messages.

The next service Mblox offers is the HLR (Home Location Register) lookup service.  This solution informs you if the number is active, of the number’s home country and, for many geographies, provides additional useful information, such as the carrier, whether the number has been ported, and if the phone is currently active on the cellular network.  This service can be accessed programmatically via an HTTP interface, or manually within the Mblox web portal.  You can perform lookups for each message you intend to send, or you can periodically scrub your subscriber database, calling the HLR service on larger batches of phone numbers at once. Either approach lets you identify invalid and unreachable numbers before you attempt to send messages to them. Please note at this time the service does not support CDMA / TDMA networks such as Verizon.

For U.S. and Canadian numbers, Mblox also offers the Operator ID Service, which identifies the validity of a phone number and its operator. If a number is inactive, incorrect, or not a mobile number, the Operator ID Service will let you know it is unreachable by SMS.

Lastly, Mblox provides delivery status of every message you send, both programmatically as data sent back to your SMS application, and in human-readable form through our online customer portal.

This information can be used to determine the final fate of each message, helping you to avoid re-sending messages to invalid and disconnected phone numbers, confirming that the message you sent arrived successfully, and alerting you of a subscriber’s temporary inability to receive a message (i.e., being off the network for an extended period of time, running out of credit on a pre-paid account, or experiencing device issues that prevent it from receiving messages).

Mblox provides several services to help improve your delivery rate by avoiding attempts to mobile phone numbers that are unable to receive SMS messages and determining the fate of previous messages that have already been sent. Mblox can also help you avoid sending unsolicited messages, saving you from even more trouble that comes with reaching certain users successfully. Use these services to save bandwidth and cost and reduce the risk of non-compliance, optimize your SMS messaging campaign today.  

Author: Jason Epstein, Senior Solutions Engineer at Mblox, Inc.

Originally posted on mblox.com

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