A guide to improving SMS delivery rates by preventing data decay

By Aly Osama

SMS is vital for a healthy marketing strategy. As consumers become more and more dependent on their phones, SMS remains as efficient as ever due to its high open rate (98% as of 2020, compared to 20% for email marketing). Additionally, 90% of SMS are read within the first 3 minutes of delivery. The number rises to 97% within 15 minutes. With the ability to connect to 5 billion people around the world who own a mobile phone, every company must deploy smarter SMS tactics.

What happens however when your text messages stop getting through? It can be challenging to ensure maximum deliverability when you have thousands of numbers in your database. Making sure you have the updated mobile numbers for all your customers is essential for a successful SMS campaign. In time, some numbers will surely become inactive or inaccurate. This is called data decay.

What causes data decay?

Data decay simply describes the process through which information becomes old and outdated. The larger your customer database gets, the more susceptible you become to face data decay. It can happen for multiple reasons. Some people change their phone number occasionally. Some numbers don’t get ported through different operators. Some numbers are just unreachable or inactive. At some point, you’re bound to have thousands of these incidents happen and it’s important to stay updated through Number Lookup services in order to maintain efficient and cost-effective SMS marketing.

How to prevent data decay?

Keeping track of customer data is invaluable. Personal data is used to personalize messaging and improve the overall customer experience. And customers are becoming more willing to share their information if it means a tailored experience for them. Here are 3 easy ways to prevent data decay:

  • Frequent audience engagement

If you’re sending out constant updates and promotions to your customers, it will keep them more engaged. This maximizes your chances of reach and deliverability and minimizes opt-out rates. It also helps you keep track of failed deliveries periodically.

  • Personalized communication

Customers are more likely to engage with personalized communications. Regular and relevant messages provide you with the needed insight to analyze your deliverability and engagement rates.

  • Automation

Message personalization, frequency, and management can all be automated to save time and effort. Moreover, AI gathers your customer data in real-time and can prompt them to update their information whenever needed.

What if you couldn’t prevent data decay in time?

Customer data deteriorates at a rate of 30% each year. B2B data may decay even more ferociously. So while some decay may be mechanical (occurring due to unforeseen circumstances such as servers crashing, corrupted disks and other forms of damage), the majority of decay is logical and it is out of anybody’s hands as it is a result of human behavior.

To deal with the inevitability of data decay, you have to go through multiple processes including:

  1. Deduplication
  2. Contact verification
  3. Address cleaning
  4. Data security

When it comes to SMS specifically, using Number Discovery APIs to check for mobile number portability will significantly decrease the number of undelivered messages and reduce costs by verifying the validity and operational status of every number in your database before you start engaging with customers.

Below is a quick comparison between MNP lookup and Realtime HLR for SMS deliverability:

MNP Lookup Realtime HLR
  • Stands for Mobile Number Portability lookup.
  • Obtains information on the number’s home network.
  • Identifies mobile network code, country code, and porting status.
  • Validates customer data and cleanses CRM databases.
  • Stands for Realtime Home Location Register.
  • Obtains live information on any phone number.
  • Revels real-time number validity, status, portability, and roaming status.
  • Empowers adaptive routing to ensure successful delivery.

CEQUENS can help

There are many reasons why your SMS attempts may be unsuccessful, but data decay is one of the riskiest. We can help you clean your contact databases and overlook your SMS campaigns. Talk to us today to explore customized solutions to your business.