Using SMS and MMS messaging to communicate with customers in the United States requires following certain guidelines in order to ensure compliance with carrier policies and avoid being filtered as spam. One of these guidelines is the use of a dedicated, branded short domain which is explained in this article.
A short domain is a shortened version of a longer URL that saves space in text messages. It is important to use a proprietary short domain, which means that it belongs to your business and is not used by unrelated businesses or organizations. Using shared public URL shorteners, such as free TinyUrl or Bitly links, is not recommended as they are frequently used by spammers and scammers and may result in a higher risk of filtering.
To ensure compliance with carrier requirements, it is recommended to use a paid version of a company like Rebrandedly or a similar service with domain authentication. This will allow you to use a dedicated, branded short domain that meets carrier compliance requirements.
In addition to being proprietary, a short domain should also be properly branded. This means that the domain should align with the message sender identified in the text message. For example, if a political organization called Americans for Clean Air is sending call-to-action messages to opted-in subscribers, the short URL should be properly branded by aligning with the organization's name.
This message contains a URL that is not properly branded, because it does not align with the organization name:
Thanks for your response. Please contact your representatives today to let them know you care about reducing air pollution. For more info: abcd.com/1234xyz - Reply STOP to unsubscribe
The below message has a properly branded short URL that meets US carrier expectations:
Thanks for your response. Please contact your representatives today to let them know you care about reducing air pollution. For more info: aca.com/1234xyz - Reply STOP to unsubscribe
To avoid being flagged as spam by carriers, it is important to avoid certain triggers that are commonly associated with spam messages. These triggers include free or unbranded shortened links, links placed at the end of the message, naked links, ALL CAPS, special characters, multiple identical messages, long messages, and robotic, misspelled, or grammatically incorrect sentences. By following these guidelines, you can effectively deliver your messages to your customers and maintain good relationships with them.