We want you to have the highest results with your campaigns in Omnisend and the best option to get good results after sending a campaign is making sure that your campaign is opened. However, the campaign can't be opened, if it's not delivered to your customers. That's why we'd like to talk about spam traps and prohibited content that you shouldn't use in your SMS campaigns to avoid it being not delivered to your audience.



What are the consequences of S.H.A.F.T. violations?

SMS content best practices


To protect recipients CTIA has created a list of prohibited contents that shouldn't be included in any SMS: Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco or S.H.A.F.T. This acronym is used by SMS marketers as a guideline on what specifically not to include in their messages. S.H.A.F.T. guidelines should be taken seriously by anyone using SMS to communicate with their consumers to ensure they are compliant with the CTIA, as well as fostering positive relationships with their consumers.

What are the consequences of S.H.A.F.T. violations?

The CTIA has 3 levels of severity for guideline violations (0-2). Each is graded by level of potential harm to the consumer. S.H.A.F.T. violations are the only violation that is rated under a level 0 violation and can result in permanent termination of your program.

Note! At the moment S.H.A.F.T. does include CBD, vaping, marijuana/cannabis, and any content relating to each (even though it is not specifically stated.) Be sure to refer to the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook for more info on SHAFT.

SMS content best practices

Besides S.H.A.F.T. rules we will also block any message that violates our Anti-spam policy, which involves illegal activity such as “phishing” or identity theft scams, unlawful threats, or any type of fraudulent activity. So, basically, if you're not violating any laws, you have nothing to worry about, but we'd advise checking CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices.

You're sure that your SMS campaign didn't violate any of CTIA rules, but SMS still hasn't been delivered to you, or some of your recipients? Follow the tips below to ensure higher deliverability:

  1. Use natural language. You should use natural language in your messages, which means that you do not use non-standard spellings. For example, “H! h0w ar3__you do1ng?” is a nonstandard spelling.

  2. Direct consent. You should collect the consumer consent yourself, and not use consent acquired from a third party. The consumer is expecting a relationship with the business they interacted with.

  3. Set expectations on frequency. You should set the proper expectation with the consumer on how many messages they can expect to receive. If you are sending 5 texts a month, then disclosing “5/msg a month” on the first interaction will result in a positive consumer experience.

  4. Business recognition. You should include the business name within the message to ensure that the consumer knows who they are interacting with and not attempt to hide the identity.

  5. Length of the message. SMS stands for “Short Message Service” and this should be taken into consideration when formatting a text message. Even though concatenated messages exist we recommend not sending more than a 250-character message to keep the medium a short message platform.

  6. Give your recipients an option to opt-out. We're adding unsubscribe links for US/CA recipients by default, but not for non-US/CA. Even though adding the Unsubscribe link is optional for non-US/CA recipients, we highly encourage you to add it to the content of your SMS Campaign. SMS marketing is more sensitive compared to the Email one. The customer can't choose when he wants to check the message, and it is almost impossible to ignore it. If you want to avoid receiving spam reports or complaints from your customers, you should allow them to unsubscribe from your marketing.

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