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Sent as SMS via server: Meaning and benefits for ecommerce

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It’s a common belief that the only way to send a text message is with a mobile phone.

In truth, text messaging has evolved and you can now create and deliver text messages from a texting platform installed on a computer.

At times, the delivery status of some of these messages will read ‘sent as SMS via server.’ While it may seem like an error, it’s a delivery status similar to ‘sent’ or ‘delivered.’ It only indicates that an RCS message was sent as an SMS via server due to a technical issue like incompatibility or a network problem.

In this article, we’ll examine this message delivery status in greater detail, explain what an RCS message is, and explore the potential of server-based messaging services in delivering seamless and convenient messaging experiences.

What does ‘sent as SMS via server’ mean?

The term ‘sent as SMS via server’ is an SMS delivery status. It shows that a rich media message sent from a server was delivered to the recipient as a normal SMS because of incompatibility or network issues.

While the average user can send text messages to recipients’ phones over a local telecommunication network, businesses need an SMS server to send bulk text messages to a large audience.

Thankfully, a computer connected to the internet can act as the server needed to send both SMS and MMS.

The image below illustrates this process — from crafting your text message on the SMS platform to the server delivering it to your recipient’s messaging app over the internet:

Android users started seeing the ‘sent as SMS via server’ status around 2020 when Google introduced the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol.

RCS is an interactive protocol that offers a dynamic messaging experience. It differs from standard SMS in the following ways:

  • Allows you to send multimedia messages with visuals. Standard SMS only supports text-based messages.
  • Supports adding branding elements to messages. It’s easier to add elements with server-based communication than with standard SMS.
  • Supports high-resolution videos and audio files.
  • Supports group chat.
  • Lets you see when the other person is composing a message with real-time typing indicators.
  • Advanced security features like encryption and verification.

From this comparison, it’s evident that server-based communication offers a superior messaging experience. However, the recipient’s device and network must be compatible with RCS for the messages to display correctly.

RCS sends the text as a regular SMS to prevent delays from device or connection issues. The SMS will display the message ‘sent as SMS via server.’

Other potential reasons why it displays the sent as SMS via server status include:

  • The recipient is using an iPhone and cannot currently receive RCS chats
  • The recipient has blocked the sender
  • The recipient’s device is not connected to the internet

Benefits of sending SMS via server

Sending SMS via server is an effective way for many businesses to reach their audiences. A SimpleTexting study shows that 80.5% of mobile phone users check their text messages within 5 minutes of receiving a text.

With such a high open rate, SMS offers a direct and intimate channel to engage your audience.

Sending messages from a server enhances the messaging experience in the following ways:

Efficiency in handling bulk messages

Sending messages to a large audience is nearly impossible with a mobile phone. However, with an SMS server, you can send bulk text messages to hundreds or thousands of people.

Server-based methods also support segmentation for sending personalized messages to your recipients. Sending SMS via server is ideal for marketing campaigns because you can group and engage users with targeted messages.

Improved security and privacy aspects

The privacy of sensitive user data is a significant issue within digital communication. Marketers are legally obligated to store and protect users’ information.

A server setup adds a layer of protection against unauthorized access. It also reduces the risk of data breaches.

An SMS server uses encryption and authentication strategies to safeguard essential user data. These strategies prevent unauthorized access to and disclosure of sensitive user information.

SMS servers also help marketers get customers’ consent to send them SMS campaigns, which is an SMS compliance requirement.

SMS servers provide forms for users to consent to receive text messages from you. They also keep records of the opt-ins if a regulatory inquiry arises.

Potential cost savings and reliability benefits

Sending SMS via server eliminates the need for multiple devices. This significantly reduces operational expenses, allowing businesses to run cost-effective SMS campaigns.

Server methods are reliable and consistently deliver messages sent via SMS server to each recipient. This minimizes delays and disruptions, enhancing the dependability of your SMS channel.

How much does sending SMS via server cost?

SMS marketing is a cost-effective way to engage your audience, particularly compared to other marketing channels.

Let’s consider Omnisend as an example. To send a text to a recipient in the US costs $0.015 for a 160-character text message, meaning you pay only $15 to send 1,000 text messages.

Omnisend has a free SMS calculator for estimating the cost of sending SMS via server. The tool also previews the message on different phones.

However, the cost of sending SMS via server depends on several factors, such as:

  • Length of the message : Longer texts attract a higher price. For instance, Omnisend charges $0.03 for a 320-character text, $0.045 for a 480-character text, and $0.06 for a 640-character text.
  • Multimedia : You’ll pay more to include images, GIFs, and videos in your text message. Texts with these elements require more processing power. It can cost as much as four regular SMS messages.
  • Geographic reach : Sending text messages to a different country costs more. This is because of the additional carrier fees and SMS regulations. However, some international service providers partner with local providers to reduce SMS costs.

How Omnisend could help to send SMS

Omnisend is an omnichannel marketing platform that allows you to design and send SMS via server to all your recipients. The platform combines SMS with email marketing to help you engage your subscribers with high-converting, omnichannel messaging.

For example, when a customer abandons their cart, you can add them to a cart abandonment workflow . The workflow combines email and SMS to drive them back to your store to complete the purchase. The illustration below captures what this workflow can look like:

The features that make Omnisend suitable for your SMS campaigns include:

  • Pre-built automation workflow: Save time with Omnisend’s ready-to-use SMS automation workflows for different campaigns. The pre-built workflows cater to various campaign scenarios, such as order and shipping confirmation, birthday, and cart abandonment. Leveraging these campaign scenarios saves time and ensures a well-orchestrated messaging strategy.
  • SMS list-building tools: Grow your SMS list using well-designed forms in a non-intrusive manner. The forms integrate seamlessly with other marketing assets. Omnisend makes it easy to collect subscriber contacts and expand your audience base.
  • 2-way messaging : This allows customers to respond to messages so that you can collect valuable feedback.
  • SMS channel reports: Use analytics to refine your strategies and make data-driven adjustments to improve performance. These reports help you refine delivery rates and customer engagement statistics.
  • Global audience reach : Omnisend supports all country codes to help you engage international customers effectively.


The “sent as SMS via server” status is not an error but a delivery status notification. The status indicates that the message was sent from a server, not a mobile phone.

Server-based methods allow you to be creative with your campaigns. You can add interactive elements like images, GIFs, and links with captivating previews.

What’s more, with SMS via a server, you can track your campaigns and make data-driven adjustments to improve performance.

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