What is spam?

Industry practices based upon established laws, rules, and best practices dictate that a text message is considered “spam” when it contains unsolicited commercial content, involves illegal activity, and including enforcing CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices.

The industry best practices that we follow include prohibitions on commercial content that involves sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco (“SHAFT”).

Why are my SMS messages being marked as spam?

Spam refers to messages that are typically characterized as ‘unwanted’ messaging traffic that is sent unsolicited to end users.

Your SMS may be marked as spam if you exceed or it relates to any of the following:




15 to 60 messages per minute

A Consumer is typically not able to originate or receive more than about one message per second.


1,000 per day

Only in unusual cases do Consumers send or receive more than a few hundred messages in a day. A Consumer also cannot typically send or receive messages continuously over a long period of time.

Unique Sender

1 telephone number assigned to or utilized by a single Consumer

A single Consumer typically originates messages from a single telephone number.

Unique Recipients

100 distinct recipients/telephone numbers per message

A Consumer typically sends messages to a limited number of recipients (e.g., 10 unique recipients).


1:1 ratio of outgoing to incoming messages per telephone number with some latitude in either direction

Consumer messages are typically conversational. An incoming message typically generates a response from the recipient.


25 Repetitive Messages

Consumer messages are uniquely originated or chosen at the direction of the Consumer to unique recipients. Typical Consumer behavior is not to send essentially or substantially repetitive messages.

Prohibited content

This also applies to A2P messaging usage. To highlight and/or expand on content prohibited by Truly, we will not power A2P messaging campaigns associated with the following:

  • Engaging in an activity in connection or conjunction with any pornographic and/or adult entertainment industry purpose, regardless of whether such activity is lawfully permitted

  • Depictions or endorsements of violence, hate speech, or otherwise engaging in threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive or fraudulent behavior

  • Content related to the sale or promotion of substances that are classified as controlled substances under federal law, including marijuana (cannabis).

Prohibited campaign types

Unless expressly authorized by our carrier team, A2P Messaging services may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Third-party or affiliate lead and/or commission generation

  • Advertisements for loans

  • Credit Repair offers

  • Debt Relief

  • Debt Collection

  • Work from home, secret shopper, or other similar advertising campaigns

Examples of prohibited messaging campaigns

Savings Alert from [COMPANY]: We found a new program that can protect you from costly auto repairs. It's quick and easy to see if you qualify. [LINK]

Lending Alert from [COMPANY]: Your first offer! Great loan options may be available to you. It's quick and easy to learn more. Click for details. [LINK]

Need help settling your payday debt? [LINK] or call [NUMBER] to speak with an agent. Text STOP to optout.

Thanks for being loyal. You can check for approval today. Login to see how much. We won't send until you okay it. [LINK]. Reply STOP to optout.

What are best practices?

This is meant to help you follow the best practices for messaging. All messaging traffic is required to comply with relevant laws and regulations, including, but not limited to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Note: This article doesn’t constitute legal advice.

The following list includes best practices and guidelines for different messaging use cases.




The consumer must give appropriate consent

Make sure users explicitly say they want messages from you.

The single most important practice is ensuring you have accurate, reliable consumer opt-in specific to the type of messages you are sending consumers. Generally, opt-out rates are consistently low when you have obtained reliable and clear consumer opt-in consent.

Single Number Use

Utilize single number for identity

Don’t spread your campaigns over several numbers.

Using a single number for both text and voice calls is not only a best practice, it’s also a better overall user experience. Avoid spreading messages across many source phone numbers, specifically to dilute reputation metrics and evade filters. This is referred to as “snowshoeing” and can result in your content being blocked.

Identify Brand

Identify the brand or business in the body of the message

Your application, service or business name should be included in the content of the body.

For example: “[Your Business Name]: You have an appointment for Tuesday 3:00PM, reply YES to confirm, NO to reschedule. Reply STOP to unsubscribe”

Opt-In Confirmation

Let users know they have been opted in to receive messages from you.

Upon successful opt-in by a mobile subscriber, an opt-in confirmation message will immediately be sent to the mobile subscriber number. Per the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) guidelines, “A single opt-in confirmation message displaying information verifying your customer’s enrollment in the identified program and describing how to opt out” should be sent.

Example: Truly Product Trial Alerts: Welcome to Truly Trial Alerts! Msg&data rates may apply. Recurring Messages. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.

Single Domain – Associate URL

Use a single domain for URLs in your messages

Each campaign should be associated with a single web domain owned by customer. Although a full domain is preferred, a URL shortener may be used to deliver custom links. You should avoid common, public or shared domain shorteners. Below is a list of some examples of common URL shorteners you should avoid:

  • bit.ly

  • goo.gl

  • tinyurl.com

  • Tiny.cc

  • lc.chat

  • is.gd

  • soo.gd

  • s2r.co

  • Clicky.me

  • budurl.com

  • bc.vc

Canada Specific Considerations

In addition to the best practices listed above, there are a few additional guidelines around traffic to Canada:

  • In Canada, toll-free messages are sent over person-to-person (P2P) routes; therefore, the rate at which they are sent should be reduced to one message per second and follow P2P standards.

  • Stock trading content is not permitted.

  • http URLs are not supported since they are most commonly used in spam and fraud campaigns. Switching to https URLs will resolve any issues with http URLs.

Additional reading to help you stay compliant

CTIA is a trade organization that represents the wireless communications industry in the U.S. They create and maintain lots of great resources to help understand the complex telecom environment.

To learn more about industry guidelines, check out CTIA Best Practices.

Additionally, please consult with your lawyers and look over the TCPA (‘Telephone Consumer Protection Act’) rules.