Writing and sending text messages, emails and letters
Check the Service Manual for guidance on how to:
- plan and write text messages and emails
- send emails in a way that protects users from spam and phishing
When you sign up to GOV.UK Notify, you’ll start in trial mode. In trial mode, you can send up to 50 text messages and emails a day. You can only send them to yourself and other people in your team.
You can’t send letters in trial mode.
When you request to go live on Notify, we’ll remove these restrictions.
When you send a message, it moves through different states in Notify.
This means that we’ve accepted the message and are sending it to our delivery providers.
You’ll see this when Notify has successfully delivered a message to user’s email inbox or phone.
Notify won’t tell you if a user has opened or read a message.
You’ll see this when Notify sends a text message to an international number, but mobile networks in that country don’t provide delivery receipts.
Phone number or email address does not exist
You’ll see this when Notify couldn’t deliver a message because the email address or phone number was wrong.
You should remove these email addresses or phone numbers from your database.
You’ll still be charged for text messages to numbers that don’t exist.
Inbox/phone not accepting messages right now
You’ll see this if Notify can’t deliver an email or text message after trying for 72 hours.
This might happen for a number of reasons. For example, the user’s inbox might be full, or their phone might be turned off.
You can try sending the message again if you want.
You’ll still be charged for text messages to phones that aren’t accepting messages.
A technical failure means there’s a problem between Notify and our delivery providers.
You’ll have to try sending your messages again.
You won’t be charged for text messages that are affected by a technical failure.
You can choose an email address you want replies to go to.
You can contact us if you want to be able to receive text messages.
When you’ve done this, users will be able to reply to text messages you send them. They’ll also be able to start an interaction by sending you a text message.
You’ll be able to see and reply to text messages you receive. You can also create automated processes to manage replies.
You’ll still need to have a manual process in place for any messages that can’t be dealt with automatically.