How to reduce the number of Message Segments you’re using

Message Segments are the cost of sending an SMS message and can vary greatly depending on the type of message you’re sending. With this in mind, it’s important to be mindful of how many Message Segments you’re using to avoid unnecessary overage. 

Here are several ways to reduce the number of Message Segments you’re using: 

Reduce the number of messages sent overall 

The easiest way to cut down on the amount of Message Segments you’re using is to reduce the number of messages you’re sending overall.

With that in mind, it is a good idea to regularly audit your Automations and consider turning off any that have a low engagement rate and/or are not generating revenue. 

If you would like some advice on which automations to turn off, please get in touch with us at and we will be happy to help. 

Change transactional messages to marketing messages 

Another way to reduce the total amount of messages you’re sending is to change some, or all, of your Automations from transactional to marketing. 

This means only customers who have opted in to receive marketing messages from you will receive any communication via SMS. 

This will not only significantly cut down on the overall amount of messages you’re sending each month but the conversion rate of customers who have opted in to marketing messages is usually higher than those who have not as they are more engaged and primed to receive SMS communication. 

Customers who do not opt in to receive marketing messages can still be sent important messages such as order and shipping confirmation via email. 


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Reduce the number of Message Segments used in messages 

Your messages (both Automations and general 1:1 support messages) may be comprised of a high number of segments for the following reasons: 


Emoji use

A message that is under 160 characters and does not contain any emojis = 1 Message Segment. 

However, when a message includes an emoji the segment character limit is reduced to 70 characters, therefore 70 characters = 1 Message Segment.

Note: multiple emojis can be added up to the 70 character limit at no extra cost.

You can read more about, and see examples of, Message Segments with and without emojis here


Extended character use 

Extended characters are characters not included in the GSM character set. 

Like emojis, extended characters will reduce a Message Segment to 70 characters. 

In the below example, the apostrophe (‘) used in the word ‘We’ll’ is not the standard GSM apostrophe: 


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When the apostrophe is replaced with the standard GSM apostrophe, the segment count reduces from 3 segments to 1: 

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There is a handy guide here which lists all of the non-GSM characters you may wish to avoid using in your messages.  

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As well as using the guide to GSM characters above, you can also check your messages for extended characters before sending using this calculator


If you have any questions about reducing Message Segments that have not been answered above, please email us directly at