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Understanding Deliverability and Throughput
Understanding Deliverability and Throughput

Let's dive into what throughput and delivery means

Rachel avatar
Written by Rachel
Updated over a week ago

At TxtCart, successful delivery of your messages is top priority. We want to share transparently what the deliverability process looks like so in this article we will:

  • Define deliverability and throughput rates - these concepts together paint a better picture about how your SMS Program is operating

  • Discuss the current limitations of sending MMS to Canadian recipients

Understanding Throughput and Deliverability

SMS Delivery measures outgoing SMS and MMS messages that are received at their intended destination. Deliverability measures the difference between total delivered messages and total outgoing messages.

Throughput Rate is the rate at which messages can be sent, or move through messaging "roadways", within a given timeframe. In other words, throughput rate measures how long it takes for a subscriber to receive your message. Throughput rate can vary based on how busy the messaging roadways are and what kind of phone number a shop is using to send messages (e.g. shortcodes vs. toll-free numbers). The type of phone number a shop uses to send messages determines the size of the messaging "roadways". TxtCart sends your messages to the carriers quickly, however the throughput rate is controlled by carriers and limited by overall system constraints (including several other users, including non-marketing use cases).

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Sending messaging from a shortcode is like traveling in the express lane on a highway. It’s built for high volume and top speed (and has a higher cost) so these roads are accustomed to high throughput whereas sending SMS messages from a TFN is like traveling on a multi-lane highway. However, sending MMS from a TFN is like traveling on a congested 2-lane highway. When you send during peak sending times, the roadways are smaller and heavily trafficked.

TxtCart's partnership with Twilio allows merchants three times the bandwidth we received for BFCM 2022. You can think of this partnership as opening up an HOV lane on a two-lane highway for SMS messages.That means better throughput for Txtcart merchants on both toll-free numbers (TFNs) and 10-DLC. While this partnership improves throughput rate, keep in mind that carriers have a finite infrastructure that is limited by overall system constraints (including several other users with both marketing and non-marketing use cases).

If you consider the holiday season, as many businesses prepare for their busiest time of year, the number of marketing messages increases. This additional volume can turn what is normally a simple drive down a big highway into a highly-trafficked drive as more cars get on the same highway. As a result, it takes longer to reach your destination.

Understanding Canadian Throughput and Deliverability

At this time, carrier restrictions limit TxtCart's ability to send MMS messages to Canadian subscribers. The roadways MMS Canadian carriers employ are not built for A2P (application to person) mass MMS delivery. In fact, Canadian carriers only allow 15 MMS messages per minute, or 900 MMS messages every hour collectively system wide.

This applies to all carriers and impacts all SMS marketing brands regardless of which platform you are using. To optimize the end-user experience and ensure that your messages are delivered to your subscribers quickly and effectively, TxtCart delivers campaign and automation messages exclusively as SMS to subscribers located outside of the US. However, direct 1:1 messages to customers (e.g. response to a customer question) will have MMS capabilities to enable these rich conversations.

We recognize that images, and GIFs are important to brands that like to showcase their products to subscribers. The good news is our research shows that SMS messages are just as effective as MMS messages in terms of click-through rates and conversions. Looking at A/B tests between SMS and MMS message, we discovered the following:

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