How Much Does Each Text Cost?

Understand how SMS message "segments" are calculated and how "segment" count can affect your usage costs.

SMS and MMS Costs

In this article, we will discuss how messages are encoded when sent through carriers and how this can affect your billing. Message cost changes depending on how you send the message. For example, there is a different cost for text messages with pictures in them (MMS). I will list below the different amounts you can be charged for different types of messaging.

  • Volt will bill you $0.015 per text message (segment) sent. 
  • The maximum character limit with SMS is 160 characters. If you go over this you will be charged for an additional message. The 160 character is what we refer to in the Telecom industry as a "segment".
  • Pictures messages (MMS) cost $0.03 per message. 
  • If you decide to use Emoji or Unicode the maximum character limit is 70 characters. 

Tips and Tricks 

  • Use a link shortener to reduce the size of your links in text messages. We have a built-in link shortener in our Wave section. 
  • Use a character counter to see how many are in your Templates. There are many free ones online. 
  • Save MMS for special promotions to minimize your usage cost. Also, MMS takes longer to send than SMS. 


Segment: The 160 character limit used in Telecom to measure how many messages are being sent. If this limit is exceeded one message is converted into two "Segments".

Unicode: An international coding standard that allows different languages and codes to work with each other. 

MMS: Picture messages or texts with graphics in them. 

Link Shortener - A code instruction that will shorten a URL down to a much shorter size. If you need a custom domain for this please email us directly at