With so many communication methods available and a growing number of ways to connect across borders and oceans, consumers and clients are increasingly open to international companies. But with that interest comes the expectation of reliability— and there’s no medium more dependable than international SMS.

International SMS allows people from different countries to communicate via text message, whether it’s a one-to-one connection (such as in P2P texting) or one-to-many (such as in A2P texting). With the right company, you can send and receive messages to and from more than 100 countries around the globe.

A man in an office sending text messages globally. There are text message and human icons floating around his cellphone.

What Is International SMS?

International SMS allows you to send and receive text messages outside of your country of origin, connecting you to customers around the globe.

In the Age of Connectivity, it’s nearly a necessity to be able to send SMS both domestically and globally. So whether you’re sending SMS or MMS from a long code or short code, you need your messages to be delivered on time.

International SMS Definition

International SMS lets you to exchange text messages with recipients overseas or outside of your country. With CDYNE, you have access to more than 190 countries.

Build Powerful SMS Campaigns

No contracts, no hidden fees, and no credit card information required to get started.

Start Free Trial
SMS Software

How Does International SMS Work?

In order to send international SMS, it’s recommended that you utilize an alphanumeric sender ID. Dedicated ‘alpha tags’ and SMS numbers enable two-way messaging, meaning that you can send and receive text messages.

Courtesy of an SMS API or texting software, you can reliably send and receive SMS international messages to and from thousands of people, even if they don’t have internet access.

To send international SMS, check that the company you sign up with offers global connectivity and reliable support, such as a Tier 1 network and 99.9% uptime SLA.

Advantages of International SMS

Global SMS messaging has several advantages for both companies and customers, chief among these being that it’s more reliable than other communication and marketing methods. When communicating with clients or customers in another country is necessary, global messaging is the most reliable medium.

Here are some other benefits to global texting:

  • Both cell phones and smart phones come automatically equipped to receive text messages, meaning your customer base is nearly limitless
  • People are more likely to read a text message than an email— in fact, the majority of people read their messages within three minutes of receipt
  • Compared to email and voicemail campaigns, customers are more likely to take advantage of any calls to action

In terms of return on value, global SMS is more cost effective than many other marketing methods as a result of transaction-based pricing.

The inherent flexibility of the medium also means that you can use it for multiple purposes, from sending out coupons to one-time passwords to reminders about prescription refills and more.

International SMS Regulations

Each country has specific regulations surrounding international SMS, some of which are applicable in the U.S. and some of which are unique to that country. Prior to sending any SMS messages, make sure to research applicable laws, regulations, and best practices.

In general, there are four basic rules you should follow, two of which are covered in more detail in the sections that follow:

  • Do not send messages to numbers on a DNC list or do-not-disturb registry
  • Only send messages during the subscriber’s daytime hours (8 AM – 5 PM)
  • Get explicit consent from users prior to sending messages
  • Support HELP, STOP, and similar messages in both English and foreign languages

Below are a few examples of common regulations overseas.

“Objectionable” Content

Many countries filter and/or block messages based on the content. If your SMS global messaging contains what the country deems to be “objectionable,” then your message may not be delivered. Check content regulations for each country prior to sending messages.

For example, China does not allow content that is related to politics, illegal activities, finances, or porn or ‘adult’ content. Similarly, Norway filters out SMS content with URLs and Mexico doesn’t allow SMS to be used to promote political candidates or causes during an election.

Date/ Time Restrictions

While it’s poor practice in general to send communication or marketing messages outside of business hours, in some countries it will result in your messages being queued or blocked. When in doubt, only send global text messages in daylight hours during a weekday.

In France, marketing messages will be queued if they’re sent after 10 PM, before 8 AM, on Sundays, or on public holidays.

Customer Consent

Most countries require you to receive explicit consent from users prior to sending them messages. You’ll also need to provide instructions for how subscribers can easily opt-out. Depending on the country, there may be additional regulations surrounding user consent for SMS global.

The Philippines is one such country. Companies must send opt-out instructions on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the frequency of the messages.