Best Practices - Formatting SMS Messages

There are two places where you will write SMS messages in Bluelink Messaging - templates and canned responses. For both, keep it brief! 

Character Limit

Special Characters

Links

Character Limit

Keep your messages to 160 characters or fewer.

If you are using template variables, your messages will have different lengths depending on the length of the value that populates.

Special Characters

If your template includes special characters, like emojis, this will limit the number of total characters that can be sent in the text to 67.

More information from our SMS provider - Twilio - here.

If these guidelines aren't followed and a message is split into multiple segments, extra charges will be incurred for each message sent. A three segment message, for example, will be billed as three separate text messages. 

Bluelink Messaging will attempt to warn you if a message is long enough to be split into multiple parts. Please note that this is only an estimate, as the true message size can be affected by template variables and other considerations. Ultimately, it is our third party carrier gateway that determines the number of segments, so keeping messages well under the limit is generally advisable.

Links

If you're going to send a link to your contacts for fundraising, event signup, etc, we recommend sending the link in a canned response or other follow-up message, as opposed to the initial template.

This is because carriers can block messages if they are suspected of being spam.

More information on how carrier filtering works here.