By definition, the Sender ID (also known as the 'Caller ID' or 'From Number') is the mobile number or name that an SMS message comes from.
When you send a message from your mobile phone, the Sender ID is your own mobile number. If the recipient has your number stored in their address book, the address book name will appear in place of the number.
At Burst SMS, we source a range of 'Virtual' mobile numbers from local carriers for use as the Sender ID. These numbers are mobile numbers just like your own mobile number and can send and receive any amount of text messages, however they can not be used for phone calls. If you call a virtual number it will give a disconnected message.
Important things to consider when choosing an appropriate Sender ID
When sending an SMS message from your Burst SMS account, you have several options with regards to the Sender ID. Important things to consider are as follows:
- How the Sender ID displays on a phone
- Whether or not a recipient can reply
- And if replies are possible, where does that reply go?
Lets look at your options:
1. Use our Shared Virtual Number Pool
We have a pool of 10+ numbers that customers can use to send their messages and receive replies. Each time you send a message using the Shared Number Pool, the system will randomly select one of the Shared Numbers for your send. This approach is perfect for low volume users (less than 500 messages per month), or perfect for one off larger sends.
- Use of Shared Number Pool is free.
- You can receive replies or opt-outs back to your Burst account for basic processing.
- The number pool is shared with many thousands of our small clients, and there is the small possibility that your recipient may receive a message from one of our other clients on the same number.
- You will not get the same number each time you send, so if you are sending messages on a regular basis, your recipients will end up receiving messages from different Sender ID's each time, which might confuse some recipients over time.
- Shared Numbers do not have enhanced reply management options, such as Forward Replies to email, Post to URL, Keywords & Auto Responders.
2. Lease a Dedicated Virtual Number
You have the option of leasing a Dedicated Virtual Number. This number is assigned to your account for exclusive use by you to send and receive messages, This approach is perfect for businesses wanting an 'identity' by way of unique mobile number.
Dedicated numbers are highly recommended for customers with a database bigger than 500 numbers for one off sends, and also recommended for anyone looking to regularly message their database no matter what the size.
- Dedicated numbers are for your exclusive use and are not shared with any other customers. No risk of recipients receiving other messages on this number.
- You get the same number for each and every send you do.
- You have enhanced reply options such as, Forward to Email, Auto responders, Keywords, Forward to URL amongst many others.
- You can advertise your number in the real world and customers can 'Text In' to initiate the communication.
- You can invite recipients to save your Dedicated Number in their address book, such that each time they receive a message from you, their phone will display the name from their address book, the same way as happens with receiving a message from a friend. This is the best of all worlds, as you get a Sender ID that appears branded whilst it is still an underlying number that can be replied to.
- Not free
How to lease a Dedicated Virtual Number:
Its as simple as visiting the 'Numbers' section of your Burst account, and clicking 'Add Number'. Ensure you have enough credit in your account, and simply select the number from the list you wish to lease. There is no set up fee as such, you just start the monthly charge there and then, and your number is immediately available for use. There is no lock in term of any description, so you can stop leasing the number any time you like without penalty. Just visit the 'Numbers' section in your account again, and click 'Cancel' on the number.
If you are looking for some extra memorability for your number, we have a range of Gold Numbers (Australia only) at different price points. For availability and pricing see this article:
3. Use a Custom Sender ID
A Custom (or Alphanumeric) Sender ID is usually a branded or meaningful word. For example, you can send an SMS message from 'BurstSMS'. Noting that due to telco protocols an Alpha Sender ID can only be 11 chars long and cannot contain any spaces, so you sometimes need to get creative with abbreviating longer names.
The most important thing to understand about a Custom Sender ID, is that the recipient CANNOT reply to the message. We generally only recommend considering a Custom Sender ID for things like reminders and alerts where you do not need to worry about receiving opt-outs or replies.
- Branded experience for users
- Users cannot reply to the message in any way as it is not a number.
- If your message is commercial or marketing in nature, you must still provide a valid opt out method, which will chew up a lot of chars in your message, and possibly a lot of extra admin in manually opting recipients out of your list.
If you would like to use an custom Sender ID for commercial messaging, please review our article here:
4. Use your own Mobile Number
You can also use your own mobile number as the Sender ID. When you send a message like this, it will appear to all your recipients that your message has actually been sent by your own mobile phone.
Whilst this may be desirable in some instances, it actually means all replies to your message will go back to your mobile phone, and none of the Burst platform reporting & reply options will be able to be used past the point of send.
We only recommend this approach if you personally know the contacts you are sending to. When you use your own number, you become responsible for the send. If there is a SPAM complaint made about the message it will be to you.
- Appears to come from you
- Replies to your phone
- Good for sending to groups you know personally
- Volume replies will overwhelm your inbox
- Opt outs must be handled manually
- Responsibility for the send ultimately lies with you
If you need any further advice or help, please feel free to reach out via our Live Chat, Burst HelpDesk or Phone.