Beep Beep Beep…
Your mobile phone vibrates and you see that you have received an SMS in your inbox saying
AM-MSGIND: Your account no. xxxx789 has been credited with 10,000 credits.
Ever wondered what role does ‘AM-MSGIND’ play here? Of course, it is the chosen Sender ID but what exactly it does and represent?
What is a Sender ID?
Sender ID is used to identify who the sender of the SMS is. It basically represents your brand/company name distinguishing it from a million others. So yes, this sender ID plays a massive role in defining your brand to your customers.
In simple words, Sender ID is the name or number which appears on the mobile phone as the sender of an SMS. In India, Sender ID is restricted to 6 alphabetic characters for Transactional and an operator-fixed 6 numeric characters for Promotional SMS.
In other countries, it can be numeric like your mobile phone number or alphanumeric such as the number/name of your company.
Although, this feature is only available in supported countries!
Among these supported countries, some only support sending transactional messages and require sender ID pre-registration, meaning that you can only use the alpha sender you pre-register.
The Source Addresses must abide by the following criteria:
- For India, Sender ID with 6 alpha characters are accepted for transactional messages
- International SMS can have alphanumeric sender-ID (maximum 14 characters)
- Must not contain blank spaces
- Must not contain accented characters
- Must not contain punctuated/special characters, such as * $ < , > ? ! % [ ] | \
- Must not contain Greek characters
- Must not just be the name of an individual
- Source Addresses are case sensitive
At MSG91, we usually transmit our own Brand Name or Gateway Number as the Sender Identification for each of the messages that the users send. Users can change this to have their own Brand/Company Name without any approval and additional cost.
Click here to know how to set your default Sender ID.
‘MSGIND’ represents your brand, but what does the prefix ‘AM’ represent
The prefixes AM, VM, BW etc. are displayed because SMS is sent in huge numbers via bulk SMS.
SMS providers follow rules framed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and according to TRAI rules,
- The first character displays the Telecom Operator name
- The second character displays the circle of the Telecom Operator
So here ‘A’ represents ‘Airtel’ and ‘M’ represents Mumbai.
Click here to know more about the prefixes.
Important Tips on Sender Identification
- The Network/Operators reserves the right to approve the Sender Name/Number for Users at its sole discretion.
- Some Networks/Operators do not grant the facility of a Dynamic Sender ID, meaning each Sender ID has to be specially approved by them before a message, bearing that Sender ID, can be transmitted through their Network. This has been implemented to counter spam to a certain extent.
- There are local restrictions and in some markets, the Sender ID cannot be changed.
- In some other destinations only certain senders are allowed (i.e. only alpha sender or international numeric) so senders not complying with local regulations may be overwritten, either by the operator or by SMS gateway, to ensure the message is delivered.
Variations of Sender ID
Fully Dynamic – You can define your Sender ID as you wish, with the only restrictions being the length and needing to use characters from the range
Characters outside this range (e.g. <space>) may or may not be supported depending on the destination operator.
Dynamic Alpha – You can set any Sender ID you like up to 6 characters as long as it only uses letters
Dynamic Numeric – You can set any Sender ID you like up to 15 digits as long as it only uses numbers
Random Numeric – A random number to comply with local regulations (usually taken from a pool of numbers we have access to from the relevant destination market)
Fixed Sender ID – This is where the local markets require to set a fixed Sender ID, sometimes numeric, sometimes alpha, in order that messages are permitted to be delivered.
Different countries & operators have a different standard.
Click here to know the rules for Sender ID in your country.
TYPES OF SMS SENDER IDS
There are different types of SMS Sender IDs your organization may want to consider depending on the region:
Shortcode Sender ID -
A Shortcode SMS sender ID is a six-digit phone number used to send and receive messages. These types of sender ID have different uses depending on the region it is being sent to; for example, they are used for customer support and premium rate services in Europe, while they are used as SMS sender IDs in Latin America.
With Shortcode Sender ID, there is no restriction on the number of SMS messages one can send out; this is useful for a business wishing to communicate with customers on a larger scale.
Due to its reliability, Shortcode Sender IDs in the United States are provisioned by carriers specifically for their critical business communications.
Longcode Sender ID -
Longcode Sender IDs are the normal phone numbers used to send and receive messages. They are the ten-digit numbers that enable business entities to communicate with their customers, and individual people to communicate with each other on an individual level.
In the United States, Longcode Sender IDs are primarily used for person to person communication; they are deemed inefficient for one-directional communication normally used by corporations.
Toll-free Sender ID -
Toll-free sender IDs are numbers commonly provisioned for sending and receiving SMS in the US. Due to the perception that toll-free numbers are business lines, they are suitable for official communication by businesses.
Alphanumeric Sender ID -
Alphanumeric Sender ID is a combination of numbers and characters used for business identification. This type of SMS Sender ID enables a sender to set their brand name as their sender ID when sending a one-way SMS to its customers.
Some countries require alphanumeric Sender IDs to be registered with their local carriers. The following are some of the items required when registering an alphanumeric Sender ID:
- Sender ID: A sender ID you want to register must contain between six and eleven characters. Numbers, alphabetic characters, or a combination of both can be used. In addition, a sender ID must not contain spaces or hyphens.
- Company name: This is the name of the company which will be operating the alphanumeric Sender ID. Also, information such as the company’s website must be registered.
- Sample messages: These are messages a company plans to send to its customers.
- Destination regions: This is a list of the top countries your SMS traffic will be high; except the United States and Canada, which do not allow messages sent via alphanumeric sender IDs.
- Use case: This states the nature of the messages that the company is planning to send out to its customers. For example, promotional messages.
BENEFITS OF INCORPORATING A SMS SENDER
- Instant Brand recognition:
If you are sending messages to your customers, it is in your best interest for the customers to easily recognize you. Recognizable senders, especially those with a good reputation, enables the recipient to read the message with a positive attitude and absorb the information with an open mind. Without the sender ID, the sender remains unknown, which renders the messages suspicious in the eyes of the recipients.
- Brand strengthening:
Pairing your messages with a customized SMS Senders ID reinforces the brand of your company. Sender ID is the first thing message recipients see, so even if they don’t open the message, they would have recognized the sender. Besides, whenever they scroll down their message, they will see your brand appearing in the message list; again, strengthening your brand name.
- A professional approach:
As stated earlier, most consumers relate SMS Sender ID with official business lines. Therefore, sending a message accompanied by a brand name as the sender gives the whole process a professional feel to it. The use of Sender ID also signifies serious investment to your communication platforms.
- Message differentiation:
Companies send out different types of messages: promotional, services, and personal. Sender ID can be used as a means of identifying by the recipient with regards to the type of the message.
- Instill trust: In an era of sophisticated cyber-attacks and “conmanship”, messages with unidentifiable senders are received with suspicion. Therefore, accompanying your messages with Sender ID that identifies your brand instills some degree of trust in the message. These messages will have a higher probability of being opened and read.
Personalized Sender ID represents a powerful branding technique, as it can replace your regular phone number with your brand's name. This approach does not only strengthen your brand, but it gives your messages a high probability of being read. Reach out to MSG91 to know how we can help strengthen your communication strategy.