The Ultimate Guide to Delivery Report for Text Messages

Anahid Akkam
Anahid AkkamContent Manager

Published: Sep 25, 2019

Delivery Report for Text Messages

With around 23 billion SMS messages sent each day, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people are unaware of. From transmitting to a control channel to arriving at the SMS center, your messages go through several stages before arriving in the recipients’ inboxes. It comes as no surprise that some people want to know whether or not their messages are delayed or delivered. Users rarely get a delivery report for text messages, although they can turn on this feature on certain operating systems.


Businesses Using Software to Send SMS Texts

Regardless of their size, most modern businesses rely on advanced and specialized SMS software to orchestrate and execute their marketing campaigns with finesse. These robust platforms provide a myriad of invaluable features that empower businesses to optimize their messaging strategies effectively. From convenient campaign scheduling to seamless bulk messaging capabilities, these solutions offer a comprehensive toolkit for achieving unparalleled success.

One particular aspect that distinguishes these cutting-edge platforms is their extensive analytics functionality. In addition to facilitating campaign management, they empower enterprises with deep insights and comprehensive data analysis. Through SMS delivery reporting, businesses gain valuable visibility into the performance and reach of their messages, allowing them to make data-driven decisions and refine their strategies further.

How Are SMS Texts Delivered From One to Another?

The journey of an SMS message begins with your device, where it is crafted and dispatched towards an SMS gateway, skillfully managed by an SMS aggregator. Acting as the conduit, the SMS gateway takes the baton and swiftly passes the text onto the designated mobile network carrier.

Next, the SMS message arrives at the Short Message Service Center (SMSC). Within this vital center, the text temporarily finds its abode, patiently waiting for the opportune moment to reach its intended recipient.

In some instances, the recipient may be momentarily unreachable, perhaps due to their device being powered off or finding themselves in an area devoid of network coverage. To ensure successful delivery, the SMSC diligently stores these messages, safeguarding them until the recipient's device is within reach once again.

Ultimately, when the recipient's device reestablishes a connection and proudly displays a phone signal, the stored message triumphantly embarks on its final leg of the journey. With the validity period taken into account, the diligently stored text gracefully exits the SMSC and makes its way directly to the awaiting recipient, delivering its intended message with promptness and efficiency

What Is a Delivery Report for Text Messages?

A delivery report is a message from an SMCS (Short Message Service Center) that notifies you that your SMS message was sent to the intended recipient. In other words, an SMS delivery report shows the current status of the text messages you submitted to the carrier.

Contrary to popular belief, text delivery reports do not actually mean that a text message was successfully delivered to the recipient. Instead, it confirms that the message was sent successfully from the device.

When you send a text message from your device, your SMSC is the first to receive it. The server stores and retains the message until it attempts to deliver it. After that, the text message is either delivered or fails to do so. The same concept applies to multimedia messages as well.

Message delivery notifications inform you of the text message delivery status. If the text messages were delivered successfully to the recipient, you will receive an SMS delivery confirmation.

Generally speaking, text message delivery reports fall into five categories:

  1. With Carrier
  2. Rejected (soft bounce)
  3. Rejected (hard bounce)
  4. Delivery Status Unknown
  5. Successfully Delivery

With Carrier

This indicates that the SMS was submitted to your carrier, but they have yet to return a response.

Rejected (Soft Bounce)

This indicates that the recipient’s number is unreachable at the moment.

Rejected (Hard Bounce)

This indicates that the recipient’s number is invalid or no longer exists.

Delivery Status Unknown

This indicates that the carrier has attempted to deliver the message but cannot confirm if it has done so successfully.

Successful Delivery

This indicates that the carrier confirms the recipient has successfully received the message with an acknowledged delivery receipt (DLR).


Why Do I Need SMS Delivery Reports?

SMS delivery reports offer a valuable means of ensuring the successful delivery of your text messages to your carefully curated contact list, while also providing insightful statistics regarding any instances where messages fail to reach their intended recipients. By monitoring these reports, you gain the ability to evaluate and optimize your marketing strategies, aiming for the lowest possible bounce rates, ultimately leading to the achievement of your desired marketing goals and a favorable return on investment.

Not only that, but it also serves as a powerful tool to gauge recipient engagement. By analyzing response rates, you can ascertain the level of interaction and interest generated by your messages, enabling you to fine-tune your approach accordingly.

These reports serve as a litmus test for the effectiveness and reliability of your chosen SMS platform. They act as an indicator of the platform's ability to consistently deliver messages, highlighting its stability and dependability. Should the reports reveal any shortcomings in terms of delivery performance, it becomes evident that exploring alternative solutions is imperative in order to ensure seamless and reliable message transmission.

SMS Delivery Report Android

Android phones have a feature that allows you to check whether a text message you sent was delivered to the recipient. The feature is turned off by default, so if you want to get SMS delivery reports, you have to turn it on manually.

To enable this, go to “Settings,” tap on “Text Message (SMS) Settings,” and turn on “Delivery Reports.” From that point on, your Android device will start receiving delivery reports for SMS messages, notifying you of the current status of the text message. If your Samsung Galaxy or other Android device support multimedia messaging, you can turn on this feature for both SMS and MMS.

While Android supports delivery reports on its platform, you can also download apps to track your message statuses independently.

SMS Delivery Report iOS

SMS delivery report for iPhones doesn’t work for the standard SMS feature. However, since iOS devices have iMessage, iPhones can receive SMS delivery reports for text messages sent through their iCloud-based messaging system.

There are no expectations regarding standard SMS delivery reports being supported by iOS. Moreover, there are no third-party messaging apps that support this feature on iOS devices because Apple does not allow it.

How Can I Improve the Delivery Rates of My Texts?

To enhance the performance of your SMS campaigns, follow these steps:

1. Choose a Reputable Platform

Select a trusted SMS provider that ensures reliable delivery by forwarding flagged messages to the SMSC for status reports on each sent text. The platform should adhere to carrier and network rules, including delivery timing restrictions, legal limitations, and velocity and volume regulations. Consider how your sender ID type may impact these rules. Opt for a provider that offers 24/7 support and provides a comprehensive real-time dashboard for monitoring campaign performance.

2. Identify the Cause 

Analyze your SMS delivery report to determine if messages are being delivered but not opened. Consistent occurrences of this may indicate that your texts are being ignored due to factors such as excessive message frequency or inadequate content. Adjust your messaging strategy by reducing frequency, scheduling texts for optimal timing when your audience is likely to engage, and refreshing your content style to prevent repetitive messaging that can be flagged as spam.

3. Verify Your Database

Regularly validate all numbers in your contact list or database to ensure accuracy. Remove any landline numbers or entries with typos that render them nonfunctional. Keeping your database up to date maximizes the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns.