SMS Alpha Tags for Business

What are alpha tags?

Alpha tags are a way for you to give your SMS messages a unique ‘sender’ name, which can include digits, text, and some special characters.

By assigning a unique alphanumeric sender ID, you add value to your messaging by letting the customer know who the SMS is from, what it’s about, or any other information you’d like to convey within the space of 11 characters.

The ability to send from an SMS name instead of number isn’t all that well known at this stage, which is one of the reasons email is thought to be more flexible as a marketing and communications tool. However, being able to specify a sender ID gives SMS the flexibility of email, but with all the immediacy of an instant message.

Text messaging products that use alpha tags are WebSMS, Email to SMS and SMS API.

Why use alpha tags?

Giving your SMS messages a tailored ‘from’ address is hugely beneficial in a number of scenarios.

Specifying a brand or campaign name

With your brand or campaign name as the message sender, your customers know immediately whom the SMS is from and what it’s about, greatly reducing their frustration with SMS communications because they know straight away whether they need to look at the message right away or whether it can wait for later.

Increasing authenticity for SMS 2FA systems

Most banks are currently using SMS-based 2FA methods in order to confirm new transaction recipients and, sometimes, individual transactions. Adding an alpha tag to these SMS messages increases their authenticity and the customer’s sense of security regarding your service.

Delivery notifications

Urgent messaging – for example a delivery notification from a courier or mailing business –benefits from alpha tagging. It immediately highlights to the customer what the message is so that they read and act on it straight away. It’s a little bit of extra convenience that is definitely appreciated.

General marketing

Alpha tags give a much more professional and established look to your SMS communications. In addition, by revealing the sender, customers are much more willing to read and absorb the contents of an SMS because they’re looking at it intentionally and feel prepared to take in what they’re about to read.

Customer service tool

Being able to specify different alpha tags for your messages allows you to let your customers know which messages are promotional, which are service messages, and which are personal communications. They know straight away what’s important, greatly increasing engagement with your SMS.

Limitations of alpha tags

While alpha tags are extremely useful, there are some limitations that you should consider when deciding which SMS marketing solution is best for your business:

  • They only allow one-way messaging, so customers can’t reply
  • They can only be sent once a customer opts in, so they can’t be sent unsolicited
  • Not all countries support alpha tags. Contact us for further details
  • Their maximum length is 11 characters, which may require that you abbreviate the name of your business or campaign
  • iPhones don’t support special characters, this means that any hyphens or underscores will be stripped out.

MessageMedia are the alpha tag SMS experts

Alpha tagging has many uses and opens up a whole range of new possibilities for your SMS marketing and communications.

If you’d like to set up alpha tags or get more advice on how you can benefit from them, get in touch with MessageMedia today.