SMS surveys and specific country requirements


Mar 2022

Gathering feedback using SMS text messages is a very quick and effective way to reach your customers. There are a few important topics to consider, especially around regulations and governance that either prevent or limit business text messages in various countries.

Our SMS feature uses what’s called two-way messaging. This means we send a contact the survey question, they reply with their answer, we automatically reply back with another question, and so on. This means two things:


Firstly, you cannot use shortcodes with two-way messaging. A shortcode is a unique ID or word that’s used instead of the mobile phone number. For example, if you receive a message on your mobile phone it might come from ‘0774-111222’ or it might display as being sent by ‘SIGHTMILL’, which is the shortcode.

Shortcodes are great for branding but they almost never work with two-way messaging so your surveys will need to be identified as being sent from a mobile number. (Note: you can get around this by sending a link to a web survey in a text message from a shortcode; you could generate a link to a SightMill web survey but you would need to use another SMS provider to offer general shortcode messaging support.)

Country support for two-way messaging

Secondly, many countries do not support commercial two-way messaging. This means that you cannot use our SMS survey feature in countries such as Singapore. These rules are put in place by the country’s own mobile carriers. This does not apply in UK/USA/Canada

Country support for commercial messages

Thirdly, some countries only support commercial messaging with very strict regulations – for example, France only allows commercial SMS messaging within certain limited business hours and to contacts that have expressed permission. This does not apply in UK/USA/Canada.

User unsubscribes

Lastly, SMS surveys need to adhere to the various network opt-out requirements, for example if someone replies with the word STOP then the system must unsubscribe them. (We support all these requirements.)

We can help

If you are planning on gathering feedback using SMS text messages outside of the UK, USA or Canada (which have few regulations on access or functionality), please get in touch and we can advise on local country requirements.