SMS Best Practices During COVID-19 for Users Sending Traffic to North America


When sending SMS to North America during the Covid-19 pandemic, what are some best practices to keep in mind?

Applies To

  • Outbound SMS
  • North America
  • Best Practices


During times like this, we know that providing your customers with the right information at the right time is more important than ever. When our customers use the Vonage SMS API to send messages at the same time, it puts a strain on third-party carrier networks, which have experienced an increase in volume in the past 18 months. To help alleviate this congestion, in collaboration with mobile carriers, we ask that you support us during this time, by taking the following steps when possible as best practice when sending messages: 

  1. Stagger messages so they do not start at the top of the hour. For example, send messages at 10:04 or 10:07 instead of 10:00. This should help offset timed messaging blasts that may typically occur at the top of the hour.
  2. Send messages before or after the high traffic times of 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST. Note: You’ll still be able to send messages during these times, we just ask that you try to avoid this time period, whenever possible.
  3. Limit Enhanced Message Service (EMS) messages to segments of no more than two. EMS messages should also only be used for critical messages related to public service. Please note that these messages should be limited to 160 characters. If greater than 160 characters, please limit these messages to 2 parts maximum. 
  4. Minimize unnecessary communications. Our third party carriers have communicated that they have a zero-tolerance policy on spam messaging.
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