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Ultimate guide to sending international text messages

Why international text messaging works

Service providers have a brilliant opportunity to create brand advocates with international text campaigns.  As a communication medium they are unmatched for reaching customers overseas.

Most travelers take their mobiles with them nowadays. And texts are read within 6 minutes of being sent in 95% of cases. On the other hand, emails are checked once a day or less when people travel overseas.


Why customers prefer international text messages

Aside from text messaging’s effectiveness, customers actually prefer to not talk over the phone.

There’s a multitude of reasons why international travel can go off the rails. Illness, credit card scams, and mobile phone bill blowouts to name a few. In each of these instances there will be a need for a service provider to contact customers as soon as possible.

Sometimes they need to simply communicate an alert, but in others they will require a customer to take action. Think credit card cancellation texts, mobile phone bill spend alerts, and travel insurance extensions.


Use this cheat sheet

When it comes to the specifics of setting up an international text campaign there are some traps to avoid. Some text messaging standards are universal across the globe, others differ by country. Use the cheat sheet below as a checklist for all the countries you are planning on sending to.

You’ll need to identify which countries your customers are frequently travelling to and then decide on your messaging approach.

For example, an SMS alert with a bank’s name as the sender ID (aka alphanumeric caller ID) won’t get sent in the United States.  No carriers support alphanumeric caller ID’s there.  In Australia and the UK it’s no problem.

You’ll need to decide if you change your approach just for the US, or you adopt a singular approach and use a standard mobile number as the sender ID in all countries.

There are a few ways international text campaigns can go wrong but the potential payoff makes it worth your while to get it right. Avoid these common pitfalls and you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable customer experience.


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