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Text Messages Being Received In Multiple Messages and In Random Order

If you've sent out a text blast that is supposed to be one message, but it breaks into multiple messages that are in random order, it's possible the receiver's cellular carrier does not support SMS concatenation.

What Is Concatenation?

SMS is limited to a certain number of characters. When your message only contains plain text, the character limit is 160. But when your message includes special characters, paragraph breaks, or emojis, the limit is only 70. If the text message surpasses those limits, it will break the message into multiple text messages unless the cell phone carrier supports SMS concatenation.

Concatenation means keeping SMS messages over the character limit as one large message instead of breaking them into multiple messages.

Some carriers, such as US Cellular and CSPire, do not support SMS concatenation. The older a carrier or phone is, the more likely it does not support SMS concatenation. Therefore, the messages will be sent in multiple texts instead of one singular text.

Once a message is broken out into multiple text messages, the order of the messages (whether they come in the order they were written or not) is uncontrollable and not preserved. So these messages that are broken out are received in an unpredictable order.

My Audience Primarily Uses US Cellular, CSpire, Older Phones, or Older Carriers

In this situation, we would suggest keeping your outbound text blasts to under 70 characters, and preferably plain text. Then your SMS messages will be delivered as a single text message rather than multiple randomized ones.


Other Helpful Articles

Getting Started with Engage

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