Tips for ensuring successful SMS delivery

Available on Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans.

You can use automations to send SMS messages to contacts with mobile phone numbers. To learn more about how to send an SMS message from an automation, visit How to send SMS messages to your Contacts. In this article, we’ll share some quick tips to help ensure successful SMS delivery.

  • Get explicit consent - it's required
    Contacts must have explicitly opted in to receiving SMS messages from your brand or company.
  • Keep your message as short as possible
    SMS messages have a 160 character limit.
  • Avoid link shorteners such as Bit.ly
    The use of free or public link shortener URLs in SMS messages is prohibited and will prevent the sending of your SMS message from our service. These URLs are commonly confused with spam and appear untrustworthy which causes phone carriers to block the delivery of these SMS messages. To learn more about link shorteners, visit The rules for free or public link shorteners.
  • Use the default ActiveCampaign phone field
    Our system will only send to the default phone number field. It will not send to a custom phone number field you may have created to collect mobile phone numbers for your contacts.
  • ActiveCampaign automatically adds an opt-out offer
    When you send an SMS message and a STOP clause is not detected, ActiveCampaign will automatically include a STOP clause for a contact to opt out of messages.
  • Phone numbers outside of the United States must follow E.164 number formatting
    This formatting is an internationally-recognized standard phone number format and includes the following:
    • A "+" sign
    • International Country Calling code
    • Local Area code
    • Local phone number

For example, if you have a contact located in Brazil, you would format their phone number to be: 

+55 123 456 789

View a list of country calling codes.

Mobile phone numbers collected for contacts within the United States do not need to use the E.164 number formatting, however, you will need to include the full phone number including the area code. For example, you would format the phone number to be 123 456 7890.

Our system saves a mobile phone number exactly how it was submitted. We do not reformat the phone number. If you do not use the E.164 format for contacts located outside of the United States, our SMS provider will default to add +1 (US) instead.

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