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160 Characters: Maximum SMS Length (U.S.)

At this time, 160 characters is the industry-supported standard maximum for text messages across all carriers/mobile service providers and phones in the U.S.

Some smartphones such as the iPhone and the iMessage app have supported longer messages for years, but there is still a small percentage of wireless subscribers who rely on older phones without those capabilities … and the governing body that regulates these standards hasn’t changed them in several years as a result.

An easy workaround for this issue is to set up a message flow: First, use a keyword’s auto-confirmation message to provide the main content and include a link to a website or other media where the rest of your message, call to action, coupon, form, etc. is hosted.

Alternatively, you can use a keyword’s auto-confirmation message to provide the main content, then go to Messaging in your dashboard and create a series of autoresponders that are timed to provide the remaining content in your preferred sequential order.

You can pre-schedule autoresponders to go out a few hours, days, months, or even years in advance!

Pro tips:

  1. Be sure to leave a 1-2 minute delay for your first queued autoresponder so your subscribers don’t receive the autoresponder content before they receive your auto-confirmation message.
  2. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least a 1-2 minute delay between autoresponders to allow time for each message to be received and read before your subscriber is interrupted by the next text in your message flow.

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