Quality Matters: No one Likes a Cliff-hanger When it Comes to SMS

If you’re anything like the average person, you’ve probably never associated “quality” with an SMS message. When the text “R U coming to judo applecakes?” popped up from your friend, you probably figured auto-correct just screwed something up. But for businesses, advertisers, and government agencies that are using SMS for everything from emergency notifications and appointment reminders to event invitations, discounts and coupons, ensuring the accuracy and delivery of these 160-character messages is paramount.

The explosive growth of mobile and the general availability of SMS— on everything from the most basic handsets to the most feature-rich smartphones— have amplified the reach and the benefits of SMS communication from simple person-to-person (P2P) messaging to broad, application-based (A2P) notifications, reminders, and marketing tools. A simple and effective means of communicating with any-sized audience, SMS allows for two-way communication, location and preference based targeting, and real-time delivery with higher-than-email open rates.

Unfortunately, an emergency severe weather alert provides no protection to your loved ones if delivered late or not at all. And the customer relationship can be damaged when her SMS “free” coupon is delivered after the promotion has expired. Clearly, timely delivery is a key measure of SMS quality as it puts the message in context.

Timely delivery starts with verifying that a message was received, but should also include measuring the latency (time it took to receive the test message), and verifying that sender ID is being received.

And unlike season-ending TV shows, no one likes a cliff-hanger when it comes to an SMS message. Quality SMS delivery ensures the entire message is delivered fully, not truncated, and that no modifications have occurred due to missing characters or unrecognized character sets. Testing is the key to ensuring timely delivery and good quality before widespread problems occur. And this is why testing makes good business sense.

Revenue in every industry is hard won these days, and disputes caused by non-delivery or inaccurate delivery can cost you revenue, ruin profitable relationships, and be costly to investigate. Having access to a global SMS testing network allows providers to test hundreds of mobile networks around the world to get instant information on each of their vendors. By testing suppliers, providers can create reliable routing and have the necessary facts to select vendors that consistently deliver on-time, accurate messages, with correct character sets and sender IDs. With good quality SMS, profits are protected and revenues can grow.

Quality testing will tell the truth behind “R U coming to judo applecakes?” Was that really what was supposed to be sent?

For more on wholesale SMS, read my article in Capacity about how quality—not quantity—drives today’s wholesale SMS business.

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