EBS: New SMS Sender ID for U.S. Public Safety Agencies FAQ

What is the change?

On 15 December 2020 at 6:00 PM PT / 9:00 PM ET, Everbridge will start using a new SMS Sender ID for all messages sent by U.S. public agencies to U.S. contacts. The new SMS sender ID will be 88911 instead of Sender ID 89361.

Why is Everbridge performing this change?

This new SMS Sender ID is in response to feedback from our clients whose contacts receive SMS messages from multiple sources, who are all Everbridge clients. For example, if you have contacts whose private-sector employer also uses Everbridge, messages received from their employer and their public safety organization would arrive with the same SMS Sender ID, and it may be difficult for the recipient to easily identify the message sender if there is no mention in the body of the message.

What does this mean to me?

  • The new SMS Sender ID will have the same throughput, delivery reliability, and functionality that you've come to expect from our current U.S. codes.
  • Everbridge's second SMS Sender ID used for U.S. contacts (87844) will not be affected by this change; your recipients may continue receiving messages from this Sender ID.
  • The new SMS Sender ID will not modify how you prepare or send notification from your Everbridge service. It also does not require you to modify and templates.
  • All contacts with a U.S.-based SMS phone number opted into notifications from public safety agencies using Everbridge (at the state or local level) will start receiving SMS messages with the new Sender ID (88911). This will be the only change for your recipients; we are not changing the format of the SMS messages your contacts currently received from you.

What actions do I need to take?

You do not need to do anything for this change to take effect on your Everbridge organization. However, to prepare for this change, Everbridge recommends the follow actions:

  1. Communicate this new Sender ID to your contacts as soon as possible to prepare them for the upcoming change.
  1. Prefix your SMS messages with your organization name or a phrase that will let your recipients know who the message is from. You can use the “SMS Message Prefix” option found under Organization > Settings > Notifications > SMS Options to do this. In the example below, ‘CTALERT:‘ has been defined as a prefix.
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  1. Encourage message recipients to add the new Sender ID short code, 88911, to their list of phone contacts with a name of their choosing so that they will recognize the number when they receive an SMS message from the new Sender ID.
  1. If you send SMS messages through Everbridge for operational use such as to employees and/or first responders, then make sure to update all documentation and/or training materials with this SMS sender ID change.
  1. When notifying your contacts of this change, consider encouraging them to signup for the Everbridge Mobile App to receive mobile push notifications. Push notifications typically have a higher deliverability rate than SMS and do not incur any messaging credits when sent.
  1. Once this change is in effect, you may notice an increase in the number of inquiries to your support staff asking about the new sender ID or even an increase in the number of contacts who opt to unsubscribe because they are not familiar with the new sender ID. Be prepared to handle these types of inquiries or actions from your recipients. For example, make sure to prepare your support staff for a possible influx of calls after your first few notifications have been sent out using this new code. To see contacts who have unsubscribed, you can run "Unsubscribe Requests" under Reports > Quick Reports.”

Will this change affect Nixle?

No, this change does not affect you if you send notifications through Nixle or Community Engagement.

What if I have additional questions about this change?

For details and a complete listing of Everbridge's global SMS codes and upcoming changes, monitor the SMS Status page in the Everbridge Support Center.

If you have any questions about this change, contact Everbridge Technical Support.

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