Introducing Message Delivery Information: Helping You Track And Deliver More Messages With Twilio

May 29, 2014
Written by
Devang Sachdev
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own


Crafting the right message is one part of the picture when you’re communicating with customers. You need to make sure your message is delivered to your customers. Today we’re introducing Message Delivery Information, allowing you to track delivery status for each SMS and MMS message you send, in real time.

Message Delivery Information gives you the data you need to improve delivery rates and reach a higher percentage of your customers. Using this new tool, you’ll see critical details for each message you send. If the message is sent successfully, you’ll see a confirmation. If the message wasn’t delivered successfully, you’ll see an explanation. For example, if your message violated carrier guidelines, or you sent a text to a landline, it will be indicated in Message Delivery Information.

Deeper Insight Into Mission-Critical Messages

SMS is an essential communication channel for companies like CarGurus, Uber and eBay. They use messaging to send notifications to customers, track leads, gather user feedback and provide timely information to users.

Unfortunately, the telecom network isn’t flawless; and lack of data transparency makes it difficult to ensure your information gets delivered on time, 100% of the time. If CarGurus, Uber, eBay, or any other Twilio customers’ messages hit a snag in the delivery process, we investigate.

With Message Delivery Information, customers have direct access to information for each message they send. We attach one of eight error codes to each failed or undelivered message, giving you more details about what went wrong:

  • Destination handset is switched off or unavailable.
  • Destination number is unable to receive this message. Potential reasons could include trying to reach a landline or in the case of short codes, an unreachable carrier.
  • Content violating carrier guidelines
  • Destination number is unknown or no longer exists.
  • Destination number is blocked.
  • Message queue overflow. In case you tried to send too many messages too quickly.
  • Your account was suspended.
  • Unknown error

You can use this data to failover to a different number, choose to provide info via a phone call or send an email instead. For example, if your message is undeliverable to recipients using a short code, you can program a failover to a long-code (ten digit number). Customers improved their reach using Message Delivery Information, delivering messages to 98% of intended recipients. Companies using Twilio have also cut costs by scrubbing out recipient lists for messages that result in permanent failures.

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“With Message Delivery Information we have been able to vastly improve our SMS delivery rate. We can now detect when the carrier doesn’t support our short code and then failing over to a long code.  Given that we send thousands of messages a day, that’s pretty significant.” Jasper Rosenberg, Senior Architect at CarGurus.

Message Delivery Information At Work

Through the Twilio Messaging API, you can see the status of each message sent from your app: pending, sent, delivered, failed or undelivered.

Message Delivery Information is not limited to handset receipts, as we uniquely combine multiple inputs from carriers. This allows you to gain visibility into delivery statistics across geographies where handset receipts are not available.
Visit API docs for a more detailed look at carrier receipts.