Articles on: API Services

Is it possible to send an outbound text first?

At the moment, to send outbound texts to a contact, you need to get consent to this from them. Therefore, you can only send a message after they initiate a conversation. This will be considered as consent from the contact, after which you can send them any messages.

To make it easier for your contact to start a conversation, you can send them a deep link to your dedicated sender name.

Why you can't text first?

In short: Apple doesn't like when their services are used for spam.
When your contact receives a message from an unknown contact, they will have the option "Report Junk". If your recipients start to report you, then all your subsequent messages may have the status "Not delivered" at the Apple layer, and your texts may never be delivered to your new contacts.
We can't tell you the exact number of reports that would be enough to block your sender name. In some cases, one report is enough (if it is a new sender name), and in some cases, it is enough to receive several reports within a short time period (will be considered as active spamming)

This type of consent does not affect the causes described above. Because iMessage can't know that your contact has given any consent outside of this platform. Therefore, it does not work like 10DLC/Toll-Free Number/Short Code or any other regular SMS gateways where it is acceptable to receive consent outside of SMS.
If you have contacts who can always agree to receive texts from any channel, you can easily ask them to initiate a conversation by using deep links.

Therefore, even if your user filled out a form on your site/app where you notified them that you would send messages, then this type of consent is not suitable for iMessage. Since this happened outside of the Apple platform. In such cases recommended after filling out the form, simply provide the user button with a deep link or https link to your sender name with pre-filled text, where they can easily start a conversation just in 2 clicks.

Please note that this section doesn't cover the use case where you would send outbound-only texts without expecting to receive a response from the user. We DON'T allow outbound-only messaging and DON'T review such requests.

Is there any way to send outbound messages first?

In some cases, we can remove the restriction from our side for your specific sender names. But you must understand that you will keep all the risks if it is blocked due to complaints.
Your dedicated sender name must be equal to all of the following requirements:
Your dedicated sender name must be more than 3 months old.
Your sender name must have active conversations in the last 3 months with a minimum of 100 contacts.
Your outbound messages should have a minimum 20-30% reply rate.
If you equal all these requirements, please contact support, describe your use case and we will try to activate this feature for you.

If you have a specific use case where you provoke your contacts to reply to you when you initiate a conversation with them, we may also remove this restriction in individual cases.
These individual cases must include the next:
An initial message will never contain the next content: marketing, junk, phishing, scam, links, emails
The text of the initiating message should contain information that your contact would respond to the message as consent to receive the message or reply that they want to unsubscribe from any messages from you. You must comply with this rule if the user doesn't want to receive any messages from you.
Your reply rate must be over ~30%
We reserve the right to reject your request for this permission if we consider that your use case does not comply with these rules or you use it for marketing, junk, phishing, or scam.

Will there be an additional charge for what sends outbound texts first?
If we activate the ability to send a message first, you will be charged for the Lookup request.
This is required to first verify that your recipient is using an iPhone or Apple services.
If you don't have Lookup credits, will be used the one Message credit.

If iPhone Lookup indicates that your contact is not an iPhone or iMessage user, the credit for the Lookup request will not be returned or refunded. The Lookup result will be cached for several days (approximately 5-10 days). Once the user replies to you, this cache will no longer be used for your further outbound messages since you already have a 2-way conversation with that contact, and Lookup is no longer required to prevent text bouncing.

Updated on: 10/05/2023

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