The other day, I was supposed to meet a local musician for a music blog I write purely for the love. It turned out I could get there at an earlier time he’d suggested after all. So of course, I texted him with the news about two hours beforehand.

Immediately, I got this reponse: “[Phone number] Error Invalid Number. Please re-send usinga valid 10 digital mobile number or valid short code.”

Thus I knew that the number I had was a landline and that I should call my contact instead. And  all was well.

That notice was something I especially appreciated since there have been many times when I sent an SMS message to someone and never heard back. Once, it was because what I thought was a friend’s mobile was actually his home landline (and so I missed seeing him on my out-of-state visit). Another time, it was because a friend had recently changed phone numbers (and indeed, carriers).

I eventually got to the bottom of these particular cases, but marketers in similar situations aren’t so lucky. Usually, marketers are sending permission-based messages to innumerable phone numbers at one time. They can’t sit and monitor which numbers receive the messages. And unlike with personal acquaintances, they can’t go back and ask if they’d gotten the message–after all, best practices dictates it’s up to the subscriber to respond, or to decide not to respond, without harassment from the marketer.

That’s why SMS marketers should make sure the platforms they use help them analyze the veracity of their contact info. For example, mobileStorm SMS  includes a Bounce Removal System that automatically removes failed numbers (also called hard bounces) as well as temporary fails.

In this case, commercial SMS users have it better than consumer text-message senders. Aren’t you lucky?

Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communication Manager, mobileStorm

“I’d rather you text me”