Knowledge Center next icon Character limits of an SMS & effects on pricing in Campaigns
Nov 08, 2022
2 minutes read

Character limits of an SMS & effects on pricing in Campaigns


This article will help you understand the character limits of an SMS and the effects on pricing.

Who can it help?

- Techy
- End user
- Marketer

What's the length of 1 SMS message?

A generic SMS can contain 160 characters, as long as you stick to the GSM-7 character set. When you exceed the 160 characters the message will be send as a multi-part (concatenated) message, and every part can contain up to 153 characters. Multi-part messages are the result of the message length of an SMS message.

In the GSM-7 character set, there are a few extended characters | ^ € { } [ ] ~ \ that will use two 7-bit byte instead of one. So a message that contains one € sign, can only be 159 characters long.

If you use other characters, such a Cyrillic or Chinese characters, emoji's or specific accented Latin characters, the message will be send as a Unicode message (UCS-2). Within the Unicode character set a single message can contain up to 70 characters, if you exceed the 70 characters, and it will be a multi-part message, a single message can only contain 67 characters. Where emoji's will consume 2 characters each.

Character set

Single message

Multi-part message







The Campaigns editor will indicate the amount of messages a certain text will consume while composing.


The affect of length of SMS on Pricing

When using Campaigns with a Mobile Marketing Cloud contract your standard SMS pricing can be found here: (This does not differ between Basic-Advanced-Pro package). If you have custom overwrites for specific destination countries, this can be found in your contract.

On the right below corner of the Campaigns editor you can see an estimation of the price of the complete campaign. This is determined on the amount of messages to the amount of recipients:


When a campaign has been sent out a estimation of the campaign price can be found on the statistics page of the specific campaign:


Both prices are estimations. The final price is determined based on your price rates at the moment of invoicing and the influence of merge tags on the message length.

How about Merge tags?

When using merge tags (connected to an adresslist in your campaigns, the message length (and thus message price) can vary per message. The campaigns editor cannot determine the impact of all different merge tags before sending.

group icon
Get support

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?
Ask for the help of our chatbot, or get in touch with our support team.

Contact Support
Is this region a better fit for you?
close icon