We hope this little tip will help you save some money and understand a bit more about the technology behind SMS.
The cost of SMS is based on segments, and 1 SMS segment contains 160 characters (including spaces) so when you run over that, you will use more credits. In fact, if there is more than one message, every message credit (up to 5 messages) contains only 153 characters. Seven characters are used to combine each message. So 1 message is 160 characters, 2 messages is 306 characters, 3 messages is 459 characters and so on.
When you are typing in your message, be aware that the longer it gets the more it will cost. Our SaaS tools will tell you how many credits you have used and how many characters.
A common practice is to type message copy into a Microsoft Word Document and then copy it in to the message box in SaaS tool. This is obviously easier, as you can deploy campaigns quicker (and Word has spell check!) but comes with a risk…
Normally one letter, symbol or space equates to one character, however there are exceptions. Some special characters such as hyphens, apostrophes and Euro signs, which are called Unicode Characters, can push your message (no matter the length) up to 3 or 5 SMS messages. The best way to avoid the issue of Unicode Characters is to either type your message directly into the Message Copy box or to type it in Notepad and copy and paste it into Campaign Manager or Message Manager. Because these formats are plain text, they will stop any special characters from affecting your message length.