I’m sure you have received text message where the name of the sender is in the place of origination number. This is a great way to put your company brand on every text message sent from your company. This facility can be provided by most online SMS service providers or aggregators.

However, there are some problems with this service. Because the origination number has been replaced by your company name, the message recipient can’t reply to the message. This might be ok in some circumstances, but you could be missing a trick here! If a client can quickly text a reply, for instance to confirm or decline an appointment, this is very useful information. Also, if you are sending promotional messages to customers, it is very important to provide them control over whether they do or don’t receive the messages. DMA guidelines for SMS campaigns, should allow for message recipients to reply, cancelling messages. Allowing them to reply with a ‘stop’ message is a nice and simple way to provide this control, but can’t done with text in the origination address.

Another big problem with your branded SMS is that it is open to spoofing. This means that anyone with the facility to put text in the origination address can pretend to be you! Your customers will start to trust messages they receive that have your company brand in the origination field. Anyone with the ability to place text in the origination field can put your company name in the origination field. This is not allowed in the UK, or other European countries, but some countries have more lax controls of their phone networks, leaving the possibility of someone taking advantage of this vulnerability.

In the next article I will explain the alternatives to Branded SMS.