How to use Auto-Replace feature?

This guide will give you an overview on how to use Messente's Auto-Replace feature, which will help you to save costs on SMS messaging.

A single-part SMS can contain up to 160 characters. However, SMS is built to use 7-bit GSM 03.38 character encoding set. This means that if your message contains any characters not listed in the 7-bit alphabet then the message encoding will be set to UCS-2. After the encoding change, the message length is limited to 70 characters. And, if the SMS message contains more characters as previously told, then the SMS message is broken up into multiple parts, limiting the characters per SMS message even further due to the headers. As each message part is billed separately, the drop of allowed characters can result in higher messaging costs. 

Please check out our SMS Length Calculator, which will allow you to play around with different contents, lengths, and characters. The tool will display how some characters can change the whole encoding of the SMS message, how the SMS message is compiled once you exceed the character limit for one part, and how the length of the SMS message is calculated.

Using the Auto-Replace via our API

Messente's Auto-Replace feature allows you to automatically replace certain characters with GSM-friendly alternatives, which will help to maintain the 7-bit encoding, thus giving you more characters per SMS message and in turn - reducing the costs.

Omnichannel API allows you to modify the behavior using the auto-convert parameter. You can also set a default auto-replace value in API key settings, but bear in mind that parameters in your API message submission will always overwrite the default settings.

Autoconvert = ON

In this setting, Messente uses the replacement settings from the account's API Auto Replace settings page, which have been pre-defined by the owner of the account.

Autoconvert = FULL

All non-GSM 03.38 characters will be replaced with suitable alternatives.

Autoconvert = OFF

Message content is not modified.


Using Auto-Replace while sending from our Dashboard

When sending the SMS message from our Dashboard, the system will also let you know if the content does have characters that are not present in the 7-bit character set, and will ask you whether you would like Messente to replace those characters with GSM-friendly alternatives.

Once you've clicked the auto-replace option, the original content will still be displayed within the message field, but hovering over i will show how the SMS message will end up looking, highlighting the changed characters.


P.S. If you intend to send your SMS messages to the recipients in Cyrillic, then it’s strongly not recommended to configure the auto-replace to FULL, because there aren’t any similar-looking characters in the Latin alphabet, thus the Cyrillic characters will be replaced with question marks.