An SMS marketing platform allows companies to configure the ‘sender’ name, and can be done in just a few steps.
One of the benefits of SMS is that you can see immediately who sent a text message before opening it. But the name of the sender only appears if the recipient has their phone number saved in their address book.
An SMS sent from a business could include an alphanumeric tag as its identification, which allows customers to see the name of the brand, company or department which is sending the text message. These so-called alpha tags are the simplest way for businesses sending commercial SMS messages to communicate with recipients.
Alpha tags, limited to 11 characters, can incorporate digits, letters and some special characters into the unique sender name and allow recipients to easily identify who sent the SMS. Assigning an alphanumeric sender name adds value to the message, since it allows the customer to immediately see who sent the SMS and get an idea of what type of message it is, and what information it contains.
Being able to send an SMS with a sender name made up of a letter instead of numbers, is a little-known tool in SMS marketing. It is this lack in knowledge which means that email marketing is known for being a more flexible marketing and communications tool. However, being able to personalize the sender name means that SMS quickly overtakes email as a marketing tool.
Some services only allow 6 characters for transactional messages, but international SMS can have an alphanumeric identifier of maximum 11. You have to be certain of the options offered by each operator, which could also differ according to the country.
It cannot contain blank spaces, or the digit 0. It also cannot contain accented characters, certain special characters (like * $ <,>? ! %  |) or letters from the Greek alphabet. The identifier cannot be the name of a person, but you can use both uppercase and lowercase letters.
Using alpha tags in SMS campaigns means that the recipient cannot reply to your messages, making it a one-way channel of communication.
Specifying the brand or the name of a campaign. With the brand or campaign name as the sender name, every customer knows immediately who the SMS is from and information it might contain, and can make an instant decision on whether to open it there and then or wait until later.
Improving the authenticity of the SMS bank systems. Most banks utilize a two-step of authentication (2FA) method relying on the use of SMS to confirm transactions. Adding an alphanumeric tag to these SMS messages improves levels of authenticity and the sensation of security.
Receiving delivery or status notifications from delivery companies, for example. A delivery notification (or none) from a delivery company or the postal service allows the customer to know immediately if they have to take any action.
Offering a far more professional service with SMS communications. By displaying a unique sender name, clients are a lot more likely to read the content of an SMS, because they have intentionally opened the message and have accepted beforehand what they are about to read.
The use of alpha tags is an invaluable customer service tool. Companies can use these identifiers to allow clients to know which messages are promotional, which are service messages and which are personal. If the customer can ascertain immediately what information is important, it increases the value of SMS.
After looking at both the limitations and the benefits of using a personalized sender name in an SMS campaign, the advantages of utilizing alpha tags are clear.