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SMS Campaign Handbook

1. SMS Guidelines

When composing your SMS, remember that: 

1. You have a 160-character limit for the body of your message. SMS longer than 160 characters will be counted as 2 SMS. This means that you will be charged for two SMS.  

2. You can include your favourite emojis (such as 😀). 

3. While there is no direct cost per emoji, including emoji in message bodies affects the price of each message. One standard emoji accounts for 2 characters. Complex emojis account for 4 characters. 

See below for details.

Emojis encoding and impact on character limit

  • Emoji are Unicode characters, so we will automatically send any SMS message containing emoji using the UCS-2 encoding, rather than the default GSM-7 encoding.

  • Emoji require twice as much data to encode than a standard alphanumeric character (like "t" or "1"). An emoji in the message consumes 2 characters.

  • Emoji modifiers (such as skin tone) double an emoji's character consumption in an SMS

  • Some emoji also support modifiers, which further double the encoding size of that emoji to 4 characters' worth of data in UCS-2 encoding. For example, a thumbs-up emoji 👍 is typically displayed as yellow by default, but can be modified to a different skin color, for example: 👍🏻.

How will the emoji I send appear on recipients' devices?

  • The exact appearance of specific emoji can vary from one mobile device to another. For example, Samsung, Apple, and WhatsApp each have a different visual style for emoji. You can browse emoji on a website like Emojipedia to see examples of these differences.

  • The commonly-used emoji, such as smiley faces 😀, hand signs 👍, and symbols like 💯 have been part of the Emoji standard for many years and will be supported by almost all devices and apps. However, older mobile devices or messaging apps that have not received software updates might not properly support newer emoji. For example, the Emoji 15.0 standard was approved September 2022 and includes several new emoji, but mobile OS developers, app developers, and platforms might not make these emoji available to their users until 2023.

2. File Upload Guide

  • Type: filename.csv

  • Single column of phone numbers

  • Column name: ‘phone’

  • Numbers must begin with 44

  • No ‘+’ or 0 before

  • No empty cells or rows

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