Monthly Active Contacts

The arguably most important difference between the different subscription plans is the number of Monthly Active Contacts that are included. The more powerful the plan, the more Monthly Active Contacts you get.

Let’s dig deeper into how Monthly Active Contacts work, and how they help you choose the right plan.

How many Contacts do you interact within a month?

When choosing a plan, you need to consider how many people you intend to interact with in a month’s time.

For example, the very basic Starter plan already includes 1,000 Monthly Active Contacts. That means you’re free to message up to 1,000 people without any extra charge—apart from the regular usage fees. (Cost per SMS, voice minute, etc) 

It does not matter how often you interact with a person. Once you have sent them an SMS for example, they are counted, and you can send as many SMS to them as you like—they’re still counted only once.

It also does not matter if you started sending someone SMS and then later launch Voice calls to them—they’re only counted once. Same with sending Airtime.

What counts as an interaction with a contact?

Any of the following will be counted as an interaction:

  • Sending or receiving an SMS
  • Making or receiving a voice call or missed call
  • Sending or receiving a WhatsApp or Telegram message
  • Sending an airtime top-up (prepaid mobile credit)

Do you count failed message sending, for example?

Yes, we count any attempt to interact with a contact.

This includes, for example, failure to send because the organization ran out of funds or failure to deliver because the contact’s phone was off or because of telco problems.

How do we count contacts if you started on a Subscription Plan in the middle of the month?

We start counting the moment you upgrade to a plan—and reset the counter to zero in a month.

For example, if you upgrade to a Professional plan on Jan 12, then your plan allows you to interact with 10,000 contacts between Jan 12 to February 11. On February 12, the counter will be reset, and you have another 10,000 Monthly Active Contacts until March 11.

Do Monthly Active Contacts affect how many Contacts I can add to my account?

No. You can create, upload, manage, and download as many contacts as you like without any extra charge.

Subscription plans only affect the number of contacts you interact with, i.e., how many contacts are “active.”

Is there a limit on how often I interact with a contact?

No. There is no limit on the number of interactions with contacts.

If you are on the Starter plan with 1,000 active contacts, then you can send as many SMS / Voice Calls / Airtime top-ups, etc. as you like to those 1,000 contacts without being charged a Contact Add-on.

What happens if I interact with more contacts than my plan includes? (Contact Add-ons)

Will my messages get stopped or what happens?

You can interact with as many contacts as you like. If you ever go over the included Monthly Active Contacts of your plan, you will need an additional contact add-on. Our system will automatically deduct the cost of a Contact Add-on from your balance if you exceed the number of included Monthly Active Contacts in a month.

For example, if your Starter plan includes 1,000 active contacts and you send SMS to 1500 new contacts, then we will automatically add one Contact Add-on to your account and deduct the respective fee from your balance. You’ll then be able to interact with 2,000 contacts.

If you contact another 1,000 different contacts in that month, you’ll have interacted with a total of 2,500 Monthly Active Contacts. So, once you exceed the 2,000 Monthly Active Contacts you have available, we will add another.

The Testing Plan does not support Contact Add-ons

The only exception is the free Testing plan. If you are still exploring the platform and are on this free plan, then you are limited to 50 Monthly Active Contacts.

If you want to send SMS to 100 people, then you need to upgrade to a higher plan. For example, the entry-level Starter plan already includes 1,000 Monthly Active Contacts. 

What happens to unused Contact Add-ons?

Unused Monthly Active Contacts expire at the end of the billing month, if you’re on monthly billing, or the equivalent month if on yearly billing.

For example, let’s say you are on a Starter plan with 1,000 Monthly Active Contacts. You then message 1,200 people in one month, leaving you with a Contact Add-On that has 800 contacts left. These expire at the end of the month.

What happens if you have multiple contacts with the same phone number?

Monthly Active Contacts are based on phone numbers.

So, if you have multiple contacts with the same phone number and send an SMS to each contact, we will count those as a single Monthly Active Contact.

What happens if you delete a contact and create a new contact with the same phone number?  

Monthly Active Contacts are based on phone numbers.

So if you send an SMS to a contact, delete that contact, create a new one with the same phone number, and send that one an SMS, we still count this as a single Monthly Active Contact.

What happens if you only use the phone-number-based SMS API?

Monthly Active Contacts are based on phone numbers.

So, even if you use the SMS API that sends SMS to phone numbers without creating contacts in your org, you will still accrue a Monthly Active Contact for each phone number you message.  

Do you have more questions about Monthly Active Contacts or subscription plans?

If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to us via HelpTeam@engageSPARK.com or through our live chat facility on the website. We’re happy to help you.