SMS costs: Fragment Resource Centre

This article is a user guide to help organisations to save on SMS costs when using Accurx products

Helen avatar
Written by Helen
Updated over a week ago

Welcome to your Resource Centre for SMS Fragments!

Learn what SMS fragments are, what changes we are making in product and tips to help you be more fragment efficient! πŸ˜ƒ

What is a Fragment?

When a SMS message is sent via Accurx, each SMS message split into chunks of around 160 characters, each called fragments. This will still appear as 1 message.

What are Accurx doing to help?

We are focusing on two main areas to optimise fragment usage:

  1. In-product: Key product developments we are considering to reduce unnecessary fragments using product data.

    1. Reducing Accurx automated messaging πŸ€–: To ensure that messages are reduced to the minimum amount required without affecting patient completion e.g. Florey questionnaire reminders.

    2. Reduced the length of all Accurx templates 🀏: We have been working to review all pre-made Accurx templates to ensure that they are communicating the message in the most concise way.

    3. Combining links πŸ”—: If Accurx users need to send multiple Accurx links to a patient (e.g. Florey, NHS advice), we now allow them to both be sent via one link. This saves on characters which would otherwise be necessary to send both links.

    4. Batch Messaging: All Batch Messages sent via Accurx will now go via the NHS app as the first attempt at sending the message. If the notification isn't viewed within 3 hours, or the patient doesn't have the NHS App, we'll send it via SMS instead.

  2. Out-of-Product: Support Accurx users to make more informed decisions around their fragment usage across Ad-hoc Messaging, Appointment Reminders, Batch Messaging.

Out-of-product support

Ad-hoc Messaging

When sending outbound messages to your patients, here are some things you can do to be mindful of fragment costs:

  1. Amending your custom templates to be as concise as possible.

  2. Keep an eye on the length of your messages.

  3. Send as an email as this is completely free!

  4. Use link shorteners.

Reminder Messages

This includes Appointment Reminders and manual reminders that you send through Accubook for COVID bookings.

  1. Appointment Reminders automatically contain a clear call to action, so keep extra info clear and concise.

  2. Assess whether the 24-hour, 3-day or 7-day reminder messages are required for all appointment slots.

  3. With Accubook, try to limit this to two reminders per invite.

Batch Messaging

It’s really important to consider fragment boundaries here. There are 2 main drivers for high batch fragments: (1) too many messages and (2) messages that are too long.

  1. Keep the batch messages to a minimum: use concise messages.

  2. Make sure the message is relevant to the recipients.

  3. There are also other ways to communicate your message such as your website, phone line, and social media.

  4. Ensure that patient details are up to date, as any messages sent to invalid numbers are still chargeable, as the messaging provider still handles the message and attempts to send it.

Watch our webinar below for more information πŸ‘‡

Additional Resources πŸ‘‡

If you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to chat with us using the green message bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

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