Have you heard the term “SMS throttling? The word throttling on its own means to slow down the flow of something. When used in the context of text messages, SMS throttling means to restrict how many messages are sent over a telephone carrier’s network at a given time. This is done to alleviate congestion during peak hours, which could affect a network’s overall performance. In most cases, when a telephone carrier throttles messages, recipients aren’t aware of any delays as messages are still delivered within seconds. 

However, some companies that offer business texting software will throttle the SMS text messages sent through their network before the messages are passed to the carrier. The term throttling may not be used on their websites, but rather the phrase setting messaging rate limits. Generally, a text message segment consists of 160 characters, and the message rate for outgoing texts can vary depending on the method used to send themFor example, one text message segment is sent per second for 10-digit phone numbers, three message segments per second for US toll-free numbers and 100 message segments per second for short codes—those 5- or 6-digit numbers often used for one-way messages such as alerts and password resets. So, if you send 90 text messages over a 10-digit phone number, it could take 90 seconds until the last message is sent. 

Zipwhip’s software customers never have their messages throttled 

Zipwhip’s Texting for Business™ platform is the backbone for high-volume, commercial SMS, which means unmatched delivery speed and message integrity. Users of Zipwhip’s software never have their messages throttled, which ensures that customers receive the texts you send them without delay. And you can rest easy knowing that your company and customer information is sent and stored safely with data encryption in transit and at rest. You can also merge Zipwhip’s texting features into the products and tools you use every day. We integrate with leading software applications to help make your work more efficient and give your team more options. See how Zipwhip works to learn more. 

How controlling the flow of messages can be a good practice for some businesses 

Controlling the flow of outgoing messages can sometimes be useful for SMB, mid-market and enterprise businesses for strategic reasons. This type of message delivery allows a business to control the volume of messages it sends at one time, so they’re not inundated with calls or messages in response to an outbound marketing campaign. This can be an important factor when a business is expecting a sizeable response to its promotional message and doesn’t want to overwhelm its web servers, sales team or customer service department with a high volume of requests or customers at one time. 

Let’s say you run a franchise candy store and want to promote a “Saturday Special, offering customers a 20% discount on all chocolate-covered items if they text the word “YUM” and visit your storefront within two hours. You know from previous experience that if you give customers too much time to respond, many will lose the motivation to swing by and satisfy their sweet tooth. Nothing creates a sense of urgency, and an increase in sales, like a limited time offer.  

You plan to send a group text to 2,000 customers in your database and anticipate receiving a 10% response. If you sent all the messages at once, you could potentially have 200 customers showing up at your business at around the same time. Talk about a sugar rush. That could quickly overwhelm your staff. Instead, if you scheduled your texts to deliver 200 messages every hour, it would throttle the response rate from your customers to a pace that is much more manageable. That’s something your customers and employees would certainly appreciate.


Cell phone image with text for SMS throttling post


Are your business texts being flagged as spam? 

Without knowing it, your company could be sending texts that are considered spam. Spam is a message that is unwanted or perceived as unwanted even if you believe the recipients want to hear from you. Likewise, if a large quantity of texts is sent from a single number at one time, especially if you haven’t sent texts to those numbers previously and the content is similar or matches known spam, the phone carrier relaying the messages may throttle delivery to ensure the texts meet federal compliance standards.  

It’s important to know the rules before you text. While many businesses send texts to their customers after receiving their consent, some send text messages to phone numbers without establishing a relationship beforehand, which is a violation of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act).  

What is the TCPA? 

Congress enacted the TCPA in 1991 to protect consumers from robocalls. Since then, technology has evolved and rulemaking has extended its scope to apply to new technologies, including texting, to protect consumers from unwanted marketing messages. For more information, download our free e-book on TCPA Compliance for best practices for two-way texting. 

The good news for companies that text is that the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), a trade group representing the wireless communications industry in the U.S., reported that only 3% of text messages are spam, and 93% of Americans view texting as a trusted form of communication. This low spam rate is due primarily because of safeguards put in place by phone carrier networks and spam-blocking software created by Texting for Business™ companies such as Zipwhip and others.

“Texting is hands-down the best way to reach people in a timely fashion. The ease of use and efficiency of Zipwhip’s Landline Texting API gives us the ability to integrate texting into our day-to-day business processes.”  Bob Frank, CIO, Staffline 

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer explains how the company’s software + API solutions protect consumers from malicious fraud attempts and spam text messages through automated monitoring systems, which flag suspicious content and route it to a fraud analysis team for review. If the company spots a phishing scheme, spam or some other form of fraud, they block the text before it gets to you. Because the systems audit the content of these messages, they’re blocked before they have the chance to scam consumers 

Choose an API or software + API that meets today’s compliance standards 

Your company’s toll-free or 10-digit phone number represents your business and reinforces your identity, especially if it’s a branded number like ours: 855-ZIPWHIP. Extend your number’s reach by text-enabling it so your customers can text or call you using the same set of digits 

With Zipwhip’s API, standalone software or a combination of the two, companies can send and receive texts from a computer using their existing business landline, toll-free number or VoIP number. Instant provisioning is also available, making “text or call” via one number available almost immediately so you and your customers can start connecting right away.  

Furthermore, Zipwhip is one of the few Texting for Business providers with SOC 2 Type 1 compliance, the industry standard for leading SaaS providers, signifying trust and confidence in a company’s security. To learn more, check out our API documentation. 

Discover why Zipwhip’s API is best for your programmatic needs 

Easily integrate text messaging into your existing software platform with high throughput SMS and MMS messaging capabilities. Doing so lets you connect with customers using the medium they prefer—texting. A recent Zipwhip survey revealed that 73% of respondents said they wish more businesses would text them. Now is the time to adopt business texting. 

With Zipwhip, you can use your existing phone number for programmatic text messages to:  

  • Send appointment reminders and billing reminders 
  • Send two-factor authentications 
  • Send notifications relating to account changes 
  • Dispatch notifications and delivery status updates 
  • Send information and alerts to staff and/or customers

Visit our API page to learn more > 

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