How To Ensure Your Collection Email Campaigns Are Effective.

Please note that the information presented in this document are examples and what may work for some may not necessarily work for other companies. Odyssey Services does not make any claims as to their effectiveness or legal/regulatory use and does not constitute advise and cannot be held responsible for any circumstances arising from the use of such messages. Please also note that our Authorized, signed service agreement has precedence. Please consult your legal department for guidance.


Collection emails can be a tricky subject to master. Due to a combination of industry regulation, increasing anti-spam technology and recipients that likely do not want to receive such notices, ensuring effectiveness is not a simple process. Getting the Email into Your intended recipient’s Inbox is more complicated than just adding their email address to a list and sending it out. Here we will explore some best practices and strategies.

Getting Through the Spam Filter.

The growing number of email phishing scams have seen Email providers, IT departments and internet security companies be more vigilant when it comes to blocking unsolicited emails. Due to this trend a collection email is far more likely to wind up in a spam or junk folder.

Emails with the subject line including words and phrases such as: ‘Immediate’, ‘Immediate action’, ‘Last chance’, ‘Must sign up today!’, ‘Log in right now!’, ‘Offer to settle’, ‘Action Required’, ‘Exciting Opportunity’, ‘Important matter’, ‘Important business matter’, ‘Call us today’, ‘overdue’, etc. are more likely to be flagged in an email spam trap than other subject lines or content, especially if paired with an attachment (such as an invoice).

While your messages may be ‘important matters’ and require ‘Urgent Action’ from your perspective, this will not make a difference to an automatic spam trap or an IT Admin who cannot discern what is coming from a legitimate organization and what is not.

Using more personalized information in a subject line can also help. Such as using the merge tags in Odyssey’s email creation tool to easily add a name, company or account number to the subject, greeting or body of your email.


Sending to The Right Person.

Another important factor of sending collections messages is ensuring you are legitimately contacting the correct person. Many companies acquire or continue to use contact lists that were either not maintained or have been provided to them with outdated, inactive and inaccurate contact information. Unlike a home address or even phone number, an email address is very easy to change, create multiple of or get rid of.

These lists can be full of emails that are not active and even include what are known as ‘spam traps’ which are emails that are set up by an Anti-spam organization or Email domain in order to catch spam senders who will add these erroneous emails to their lists, some of which can end up being added to collection lists or added to lists purchased by such organizations.

When sending to a list, it is important to make sure it is cleaned of bad addresses and properly updated BEFORE it is sent through an email service. The reason being this can affect the ability of any future sends to be successful. A list full of bad addresses and spam traps can affect and block email IPs used by an email service. This means that it may affect not only the use of a collection company’s domain, but also other customers of a vendor using the same sending IP addresses. There are multiple online services that can test an email list for bad addresses in advance for this purpose.


Ensuring A Faster Response.

While getting the message into an inbox is important, what your end goal is in sending these messages is to get a payment or response. With that in mind, having an easily identifiable way to reply to the email such as a phone number, mailing address, or what information to respond with in order to initiate a payment is helpful.

Having information available in a subject such as the recipient account number, invoice number and short, clear verbiage with no aggressive or pressurizing language.

Another useful addition may be a direct link to a payment method that can be used by the recipient to make a quick, instant payment. This ease of use will make it more likely for them to take action immediately.

Coordinating Message Types.

While sending just an email can be effective and gain results, using multiple media types based on the customer information you have can have a few benefits. Firstly, receiving a follow up from another media source can help to provide legitimacy. If an SMS or voicemail and email contains matching customer information, this can make it more likely that the recipient verifies that this is coming from a legitimate source.

It can also give you an opportunity to reach someone who may no longer use one form of contact information.  As discussed above, emails can be switched or disused faster than other contact methods.

*Of course, when it comes to the collection industry, regional regulations vary in regards to contacting debt holders, but must be adhered to when looking at what content, media type and how frequently you can send to an individual through one or multiple media types.


*Please note that the information presented in this document are examples and what may work for some may not necessarily work for other companies. Odyssey Services does not make any claims as to their effectiveness or legal/regulatory use and does not constitute advise and cannot be held responsible for any circumstances arising from the use of such messages. Please also note that our Authorized, signed service agreement has precedence. Please consult your legal department for guidance.


10 Digit Long Code (10DLC) SMS rules and what you need to know.

In June of 2021, all enterprise-level long code SMS and MMS messages that are sent through to multiple Major U.S carriers are being moved to a new 10-digit long code (10 DLC) Application-to-Person service. This service will be used to outline new content procedures and categorization for mass SMS services moving forward.

Please note, this applies to US Carriers only and does not apply to Canadian traffic on Canadian Carriers.

What is 10DLC?

10DLC allows for a higher messaging quantity per long code and deliverability than more traditional long code bulk messaging types. A 10DLC number is a local 10-digit phone number and has the benefits for

There will be registration requirements for 10DLC sender numbers, implemented to protect recipients from unwanted spam, while also improving deliverability. 10DLC requires SMS Providers to register the businesses that use their SMS Long code lines and well as categorize them into use case groupings. Each of these groupings will then be assigned a ‘trust score’ which can affect the amount of throughput a group can use. The end goal of these measures is increasing transparency regarding who is sending large amounts of SMS and what they are sending.

10DLC is designed to be an alternative option to shared short code numbers, which present a significantly higher risk of being used to send spam. It is also a more affordable option than dedicated short codes.

What will I have to do?

If you are a Canadian client sending to Canadian customers, there is nothing you need to do. If you are a US client sending to US based clients, then Odyssey will advise of the required steps. Odyssey is in the process of organizing the required groupings and will send out further information to customers when it becomes available and relevant.

Have questions? Please contact us!


How to Use Odyssey Analytics Tools to Provide Insights About Your Messages and Recipients.


     Odyssey’s secure WebPortal provides numerous analytics tools which clients can access to gain relevant data throughout each stage of the message sending process. These tools can be used to track and gain better insights on strategy creation for your message content, lists and optimal scheduling.

     When generating a customer email, SMS or fax list, the quality of the recipients on that list is of primary importance to ensure you reach your intended audience. This is something one should strive to achieve before a list is sent, however, this is not always a perfect process!

     Odyssey’s post-transmission details shows you essential basic information such as if your message has successfully sent or failed, as well as gives you specific insights as to WHY it has failed.


     For email analytics, the Portal displays if an email is none active (Hard bounce), if it possibly has a transmission error in the receiver’s server (Soft Bounce), if its possibly on your account’s “opt out” list or recipient's system has a filter (Rejected). Our Portal provides a list of addresses and statistical data for each of the above options.

     The next type of email analytics data you will see on the Portal is for open and click rates. Even if an email is successfully sent; it will not matter if your recipients do not open the message. This information may be helpful in providing insight into changing your strategy in terms of email and subject composition, into something they feel is worthy of their time to open and read.

     This tool will show you how many of your successful emails were opened, links clicked and opt outs. You can also track this activity on the basis of the first 24 hours, first 7 days or the last 12-hour period at the time of your inquiry.


     Link details will outline each link present in your email and how many times each has been clicked on, total times and by unique recipients.

     This tool can be used to determine where your recipients are drawn to, what parts of your websites are receiving attention or if the links you want to receive attention are actually being clicked.


     SMS based analytics can be more specific to the reason a message is unsuccessful. This is because it draws from data received from the carrier receiving the message This allows you a better understanding of the quality of your list and what measures you can take to clean that list up for future sends.

Here are some examples of various possible outcomes:


 Activity details can give you insights on various factors of the interactions from your recipients, such as how many replies your message has received (Answers), How many have opted out and the total of those who either replied or clicked on a link in the message (Acknowledged).

Confirmed Recipients tracks if we have a status of the messages outcome once it successfully reaches the carrier. This does not mean a message has failed or has not been received, just that the carrier has   accepted the message and has not provided further information on its final destination.


How to add value to your SMS recipients.

How to add value to your SMS recipients.

Most consumers prefer to receive an SMS from a company rather than any other form of media.

Emails and voicemails can get easily ignored and deleted, but texts are practically impossible to miss thanks to notifications appearing instantly, and phones always being in hand. Opt-out rates for email subscriber lists are significantly higher than Text opt outs.

Even with these statistics, it is still important that your recipients feel they are getting some sort of value from the messages they receive. They need to feel that you had a good reason to message them, that the message is worth their time to read and respond to and that they can take action based on that message.

What adds value to an SMS?

Text messaging is the most engaging channel for messaging, with a near 100% open rate and 40% click-through rate. But if you don’t have a message that engages your recipients and adds value, they are much less likely to take action.

1. Have a compelling reason to reach out:

What is the reason they are receiving your message and why is it important?

2. Create a captivating message:

Your message needs to be clear and concise. Your message is coming in the form of a text message, and one of the biggest appeals of a text is that it’s short and to the point.

3. Avoid language that is industry specific:

Try not to include words or phrases that the majority of your audience may not understand.

4. Incorporate a call to action in your message.

A call to action is a phrase that will give your audience a next step in the process. In the case of an SMS promotion the next step could be “click this link”, “Reply to this message” or “use this code.


SMS: What are the benefits of long code and short code number when sending SMS Messages?

Long Code

What Is Long Code?

A long code is a 10-digit phone number used for communication between two or more individuals.

Advantages of Long Codes

One of the best things about using long codes is that there is very minimal setup time. In fact, you can get a long code number up and running within a few hours

With long codes, you can send SMS messages and make calls from the same number, so your customers don’t have to worry about reaching you via different points of contact. The same phone number can be used for voice calls, faxes, and texts, which establishes a consistent, familiar channel for communicating.

The biggest advantage of long codes is that businesses and customers are able to have personalized and seamless two-way conversations. Customizing your customer's experience is essential in today’s tailored-marketing world. Long codes guarantee that the sender is an actual person, not a random bot, so sending long code messages for personal information, such as billing purposes, ensures that your message is reaching a real individual.

Best Uses of Long Codes

  • Meaningful Two-Way Communication
  • Gathering Customer Information
  • Providing Targeted, Relevant Content
  • Appointment Reminders and Confirmation
  • Alert Notifications: Banking Alerts, Shipping Alerts, Airline Alerts
  • Troubleshooting Product or Service Problems

Disadvantages of Long Codes

While long codes have plenty of advantages, there are some disadvantages to this messaging method. One disadvantage of using a long code is the inability to send high volumes of text messages at once. The throughput rate of long code messaging is a mere 1 message per second, which can make blasting thousands of subscribers take hours instead of seconds. As a result, marketing through long codes is less efficient than many other methods. However, a platform such as Odyssey OMS can assign multiple long codes to accommodate high volume SMS sends.

SMS marketing messages through long codes is prohibited and will result in immediate shutdown of your long code. And there is no option to make these messages free to the end user, which can make customers dissatisfied by using up their data for unwanted messages. The content of your long code is also limited to SMS, so you are unable to send videos or picture messages.

Another disadvantage of long codes is they take longer than short codes to enter into your phone. Long codes are harder to remember, less convenient, and more susceptible to user error. While the setup and monthly cost may be cheaper for long codes, individual message fees are higher than short code text messages.

Long code messaging can also be subject to carrier-initiated surcharges in certain regions and countries. The receiving carrier can set a rate that will be charged for every recipient on your list that belongs to that carrier.

Unlike long code messaging, with short code messaging you can send large blasts of texts simultaneously to create an effective marketing campaign.


Short Code

What Is Short Code?

A short code is a convenient 5 or 6-digit number that enables users to text in a keyword to automatically opt-in to a business’s database. Short code text messaging is ideal for mass, impersonal, one-way communication.

There are two types of short codes, shared and dedicated, which both have different advantages and capabilities.

Shared Short Code

A shared short code is a short code that is used by multiple users. Shared short codes limit what keywords users can use, because other users might already be using that keyword. An example of this would be if someone created the keyword “EATHERE”, then no other users on that short code would be able to use that keyword.

Advantages of Shared Short Codes

The main advantage of short codes is you’re able to send high volumes of text messages at once. Short codes are effectively used for marketing purposes, as it creates a memorable experience across a broad audience. With a high throughput rate, messages sent through short codes can be used for alert notifications, mobile coupons, and marketing promotions.

Short codes also give an option for businesses to pay the cost of sending the message up front, so the end user doesn’t have to pay, making short code texting the primary channel of communication for most marketers.

Dedicated Short Code

A dedicated short code is a short code that can only be used by a single user. The short code can be specifically chosen by the user, much like a custom license plate. They also have the option to use any keyword they want, removing the limit of only using one keyword per code.

Advantages of Dedicated Short Codes

  • Better Brand Recognition: A short code can be as recognizable to your customer as your twitter username or website address.
  • Freedom to choose your keywords: When you have a dedicated short code, you aren't limited by other people already using your SMS mobile keyword, which gives you creative freedom to run your campaigns how you want.
  • Control what goes out: When you have your own dedicated short code, you can be in total control of how your messaging campaigns are seen by your customers, which helps you maintain a consistent brand image.
  • Security: If you work in an industry like the financial services, healthcare, or the government, then having a dedicated short code allows you to have complete control over what is sent and will give you a greater degree of privacy and security.
  • More Functionality: If you have a dedicated short code you can do things that shared short codes can't do, like run a text-to-win campaign for your subscribers.

Uses of Short Codes

  1. Bulk Messaging
  2. Marketing Promotions
  3. Two-Factor Authentication
  4. Billing Information
  5. Mobile Coupons
  6. Alert Notifications: Weather updates, Traffic updates, and Security Notifications
  7. Sweepstakes and Contests
  8. Mobile Voting

Drawbacks of Short Codes

Short codes are limited to communication between a business and their customer solely through 5 or 6-digit numbers, making the conversation feel less personal. Unless a dedicated short code is used, customers are unable to communicate back to the business in an interactive way. On the other hand, if you choose a provider who can capture responses, like Odyssey, then you can have an intelligent “interactive” text conversation with your customers, and you can also record their responses! 

Whether you decide to use short code or long code texting for your business communication, sending an SMS message is an effective way of developing strong relationships with your customers.

SMS tips to make sure your message is not reported as spam

What to do:

  • Indicate where the message is coming from. What organization you are sending from or sending on behalf of.
  • Indicate nature of your contact reason in question, possibly the account/invoice # or any other information that will indicate this is a legitimate contact.
  • Confirm that intended recipient is at the indicated number. “Is ------ at this number?” “We are looking to contact -------”
  • Use the Odyssey blacklist, Do not message contacts if they opt-out of messages. Have language in you message to allow recipients to opt-out.
  • Only text contacts who consented (Opted in) to being messaged.


What not to do:

  • Do not, use of public URL softeners or links to questionable websites or domains that do not match your official website. These can appear as spam to many people receiving such messages.
  • Do not, use outdated customer databases where phone numbers could have new owners who did not opt in or are not the target of the content.
  • Certain phrases or style choices may set off spam filters. This can include ALL CAPS, Unicode characters (such as emoji’s) sent in large quantity.
  • Avoid using phrases such as “Exciting opportunity” or “Important Business Matter”. These can be used by spammers to grab attention and due to this are automatically flagged/blocked by many SMS service carriers.

Other things to note.

  • Some wireless providers may block A2P (Application to Person) messages from ten digit long code numbers.
  • Sending the same (or similar) messages from many numbers may cause a carrier blockage. If the content is flagged as spam by a carrier, it can affect any recipient using that carrier.

Why Odyssey’s SMS service can help you regularly communicate with your remote team

Some common feelings of remote workers are that of being isolated and the lack proper communication. They want to feel more connected to their office and team.

Likewise, businesses depend on remote workers doing their tasks effectively to be operational, and being able to get questions rapidly answered is key to this relationship.

SMS can be an excellent communication method for this purpose. Most people can more immediately answer a text to the phone they carry at all times, than an email or group chat.

With Odyssey, you can individualize a mass text sent to your team so that each SMS recipient gets a unique response based on their personal requirements.

1. Reach out instantly for a situation that needs immediate attention.

2. Touch base in a way that feels more personal to the recipient.

3. Keep everyone updated on recent accomplishments and growth.

4. Read all SMS replies in a single place.

You can use text in conjunction with other communication streams to ensure your message will be read, even on the trip for morning coffee!

Improve your internal organizational communication with Odyssey SMS

Organizations, and the teams within them, often have scheduled meetings to get all of their members on the same page – these can occur weekly, monthly, quarterly or as required.

With more and more teams working remotely, coordination is essential. Odyssey SMS can be used to send a group message to the entire team, with the ability to personalize the meeting link, time, date and other important details for different departments in a single send. 

SMS can be used as a quick reference rather than sorting through the countless emails one receives on a daily basis.

Using Odyssey Merge tags, you can input information in one single “list” that is unique to each team or even an individual recipient you would like to contact. Sending one SMS “job” to multiple teams simultaneously, improves efficiency, organization and time management.

Here are a few examples of personalization that can be achieved in a single list with varying information.

 “Hello [Department] team, our quarterly meeting will be held on [Meeting date] at [Meeting time] please click this link [Meeting link] to join.”

“Hey [first name], it is time for your performance review. Please meet with me on [Meeting date] at [Meeting time] and use this link [Meeting link] to join.”