Texting Communications and “Carrier Violations” - FAQ
Updated over a week ago

Have you recently sent out a text message communication or text-to-give ask through your Donor Management system, and noticed that some folks didn’t receive the text message due to a “carrier violation?” Are you concerned about why the message wasn’t received, or worried you may have done something to earn this “violation?”

Not to worry – this article will help explain what a “carrier violation” means and how to avoid them in the future when sending text-based communications through our system.

What does it mean when I see the status "Text Message Undelivered - Carrier Violation"?

This means that the cell phone provider has chosen not to deliver the text message that you sent, because it is perceived by that carrier as a violation.

Is there any way to see why my message was flagged by the carrier?

No, carriers do not provide additional details to Bonterra as to why a message was flagged as a "carrier violation," or what triggered that particular violation.

Why do carriers flag certain messages as violations?

Phone carriers want to protect their users from unwanted messaging that could be harmful. The most common reason that a message is flagged is because the cell phone provider believes the message to contain either spam/junk content - or the message attempts to scam the recipients out of their funds.

What are some common things that might cause a message to be flagged?

  • Sending too many messages from the same number within a short time frame

  • Sending the exact same message to the exact same recipients within a short time frame

  • Including “marketing” phrases or words, such as “obligation,” “see for yourself,” “best value,” etc.

  • Including “spammy” phrases or words, such as “send cash” or “urgent help”
    (For a helpful list of common “flagged” words, please click here.)

  • Including large images within the message

  • Including shortened links to websites within the message

  • Including multiple images and links within the message

  • Using excessive amounts of CAPITAL LETTERS or $ymb0ls

How can you avoid triggering a carrier violation?

  • Making sure that you are sending these messages to individuals who have “opted in” to your text messaging communications

  • Sending smaller, targeted text messages over sending messages to a larger, broader audiences

  • Avoiding the use of “spammy” or “marketing” language

  • Sending short, concise messages

  • Avoiding the inclusion of images or links in the messages

  • Avoiding the use of excessive capitalization or use of unnecessary symbols

  • Include “opt out” instructions at the end of the message, such as “reply STOP to no longer receive these messages”

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