It's frustrating to see your messages getting blocked. Whether you have an application-to-person (A2P) system sending automated messages or your support staffing is sending person-to-person (P2P) texts, you need those communications to go through uninterrupted. It's likely essential to your business functions.

So what's going on? Are your users blocking your number? Are wireless carriers filtering your messages?

Why Carriers Filter Messages

There are many reasons carriers might filter out messages before they reach consumers. In particular, messages not in compliance with a country's spam laws will be automatically filtered out.

This summer, CTIA, a U.S.-based non-profit trade association with increasing influence in Canada, released new best practices for eliminating the threat of unwanted messages. According to CTIA, the high trust and open rate associated with text messaging is due, in part, to the channel's relatively spam-free environment.

CTIA defines unwanted messages as:

  • Unsolicited bulk commercial messages.
  • Fraudulent communications.
  • Messages that the user did not opt-in to receive.
  • Messages with inappropriate content.

In the U.S., message senders must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. In Canada, senders must adhere to Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Following these guidelines is the best way to avoid getting filtered or blocked.

The Importance of Opt-In and Opt-Out

CTIA recommends that message senders provide clear and conspicuous calls-to-action (CTA). In other words, it should be easy for consumers to opt-in to receiving messages as well as to opt-out when they no longer want to be contacted.

A good CTA ensures consumers are aware of:

  • The long- or short-codes from which they will receive messages.
  • The identity of the organization or individual sending the messages.
  • Any fees or charges they might incur.
  • All applicable terms and conditions, such as how to opt-out.

If consumers opt to receive recurring messages, they must be made aware of that fact. Likewise, message senders cannot assume that consumer opt-in to one campaign acknowledges consent for all campaigns. In almost all cases, consumers must opt-in to each unique campaign.

Why Customers Block Numbers

You can follow all of the appropriate guidelines and still encounter scenarios in which users manually block your number. Android and iOS devices make it simple for consumers to blacklist numbers with a few taps.

Once a customer blocks your number, there's not much you can do to remedy the situation. Often, your best option is to learn why users block your number and then make the necessary changes.

For example, if you notice that users opt-in to receive recurring messages and yet still block your number, it may indicate that your opt-in agreement was not clear enough about the frequency of message delivery.

To learn more about how to ensure your messages are delivered and received, sign up for a free demo of Swift SMS Gateway today.