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Troubleshooting SMS Channel
Troubleshooting SMS Channel

Here are some most common SMS channel troubleshooting scenarios - SMS message not received; sender's name not showing and more

Ira avatar
Written by Ira
Updated over a week ago

Have you run into trouble sending messages via SMS in Campaigns or Automation? Continue reading this article to learn more about the most common troubleshooting scenarios with the SMS channel.


⚠️ Sender's name not showing

There are certain restrictions to the sender's name based on the country you are sending the message to, i.e., the US, Canada, and some other countries do not support custom sender's names. If you set the sender's name and it is not showing, there is a huge possibility that the country you are sending to does not allow the sender's name to be modified. 

Follow this link to find the full list of countries that support and don't support the sender's name. If the sender's name is not supported in your selected country, our phone number will be displayed. Check the country restriction and add your company name to the content if the selected country does not allow custom sender names.

⚠️ SMS not delivered to the contact (Country-related restrictions)

Particular countries have limitations on when SMS cannot be delivered. During these timelines, we will pause your SMS and will resend it afterward.

  • Armenia: Monday - Friday - No SMS delivered between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
    Saturday - No SMS delivered before 12:00 p.m. (midday) or after 6:00 p.m.
    Sunday - No SMS delivered at all.
    Transactional traffic can be sent anytime (Transactional SMS are for order confirmation, order cancellation, and shipping confirmation automations).

  • France: Carriers only accept delivery between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. local time, Monday - Saturday. All SMS sent outside these hours will be rejected.

  • India: No SMS delivered between 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 a.m. IST for end recipients who registered with Do Not Disturb Service (DND). This means promotional SMS can only be delivered only between 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. IST.

  • Jordan: Promotional messages are not delivered after 9:00 p.m. Amman time (GMT + 3:00).

  • Saudi Arabia: Promotional or marketing SMS are allowed only between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Saudi Arabia time (GMT+03:00).

  • United Arab Emirates: Effective immediately, all international promotional SMS traffic to the United Arab Emirates is prohibited by mobile network operators. This restriction applies universally, impacting ALL service providers, including Omnisend. Only local promotional traffic is permitted, subject to end users having a registered entity in the UAE and completing the mandatory registration with local authorities. Compliance with this regulation is essential, as sending international promotional traffic via SMS to the UAE is now impossible. Adjust your strategies accordingly to navigate this change.

⚠️ SMS message not received by your contact

You have created and sent out a campaign or maybe added the SMS block in one of your automation flows, but your contacts are not receiving messages. There are several things that you can check:

1. Contact's profile. The first thing you should check is the Contact's profile page in your Omnisend account. Check if a valid phone number is displayed on the profile:

  • It does not contain any parenthesis and dashes (e.g., XXX XXX XXXX). 

  • Country code is included (i.e., +1 for US). By the way, Omnisend will add a country code automatically based on your contact's country logged on the profile.

2. SMS channel subscription status. Your contact might have a valid phone number provided, but he might not be subscribed to receive messages via the SMS channel. We only send campaigns to subscribed contacts. However, through transactional automation, SMS messages can be sent to the EU and other countries (except for the USA) non-subscribers. You can find the list of the workflows that send SMS messages to non-subscribed contacts here.

3. Settings in automation. When creating automation with several blocks - we strongly recommend always enable the option "Pass non-opted-in contact to next workflow step" in every single block. Enabling this option would mean that if your contact is not subscribed to the message channel in one block, he will automatically be moved to another channel in your flow. As per the example below, if my contact is not subscribed to SMS, he will receive the email message if his subscription status for email is subscribed

4. SMS message length. Mobile operators might block your message if it is too long. This depends entirely on the carrier your contact is using. The allowed length of the text message depends on the operator's inner settings, but we strongly recommend the length to be 1 message, 2 messages at most. Since there are different opt-out requirements for US and non-US customers, the length of the messages might be different. You can always check the length of the message for both US and non-US customers in the Preview section:

⚠️ Subscribers' country is not recognized

It is essential to add your contacts' phone numbers in the international format. If you upload them without country codes, the system may recognize them as those that belong to another country and won't send the message to your clients. You don't need to worry about newly connected customers, as we automatically assign the country codes to those who subscribe at the check-out and have the country code preset to all of the sign-up forms.

This problem may only arise with manually added contacts, and in that case, you'll see some unexpected countries listed in the Price estimation step of your SMS Campaign sending.

The solution is pretty straightforward. You need to export your contacts to Excel, add a country code to the phone numbers, and upload them back to Omnisend. You may find some tips for a quick solution to this problem here.

Note you don't need to delete the contacts before uploading the updated data. We will only update the information according to your latest import.

⚠️ SMS messages are sent to contacts that unsubscribed from email promotions

If you wish to send your SMS campaign to the contacts that are subscribed to both SMS and email channels, here is what you need to do:

  1. Go to the Audience tab > click Create a segment

  2. Create a segment with rules Subscription status is subscribed to Email channel AND Subscription status is subscribed to the SMS channel:

3. Use that segment to send your SMS promotions.

⚠️ Emojis and special characters not showing

  1. Service providers and local operators have restrictions that we cannot control, therefore, our recommendation is not to use special characters and emojis in your text messages. However, if you decide to use emojis, you can simply copy and paste them.

  2. We allow the use of accents in your text messages, however, as soon as the message leaves Omnisend, it can be filtered and cleaned by the service provider and, later, by the local operators that deliver the message. 

Note! If you decide to use emojis in your SMS, keep in mind that once characters from the UTF-16 extended set (Emoji) are involved, each character takes up twice as much data, and you're therefore limited to 70 characters (UCS-2 encoding) instead of 160 (GSM-7 encoding). You can check how it's calculated here.

⚠️ Phone number not collected from Abandoned cart on Shopify

If you notice that phone numbers are not being captured from Abandoned cart checkout, check if you have Abandoned cart automation enabled in your Omnisend account. Once you enable the Abandoned cart flow, the phone numbers will be captured for future abandoned carts.

Need more help? Reach out to [email protected], we are available 24/7 and can be reached via In-app chat or email.

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