I have a Journey which sends the Subscriber SMS messages, 2/4 journey entries (all unique subscribers) don't receive the SMS.

The error displayed in the SMS activity in my Journey History is the following:

Failed - Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Can anyone advise what this means? If it was configuration surely all subscribers wouldn't receive the message? I can confirm all subscribers have a mobile number and they use the same format and country code. Not sure if it helps but the entry source is Salesforce Data Entry.


There can be entries where the Subscriber record does not exist in the AllSubscribers list as they do not have email addresses attached (only mobile numbers) but my journey only contains SMS message activities, no email. I have checked and even on some Subscribers that do have AllSubscribers records suffer the same activity error.

  • Double check if the ones who receive the SMS are in AllSubscribers and the ones who don't aren't. I recall having similar issue year or two ago and this was the root cause. Had to configure import (for missing ones) to AllSubscribers to resolve it.
    – Rain
    Feb 22, 2019 at 19:06
  • I hadn't considered this, the journey itself is using Saleforce Data Entry, doesn't this automatically insert the Subscribers into the All Subscribers list? Feb 25, 2019 at 16:02
  • Contacts are added to AllSubscribers only during an actual Email send-time or during manual/automated imports. No other activity (as far as I know) adds them.
    – Rain
    Feb 25, 2019 at 16:12
  • What would your recommend in the event that the Subscribers dont have an email address (only mobile) and the journey only sends out SMS messages? Feb 26, 2019 at 12:28
  • Depends on the AMPscript you want to use in your SMS. There may be complications when using things like SubscriberKey or _subscriberKey. So any sort of lookup for personalization needs to reference target DE via Mobile Number. If these SMS'es don't have any script then (assuming all else is correct) you shouldn't have any other issues sending via Journey Builder to those Contacts. Another thing to check is if these numbers that were failed during sending aren't existing on some other (older) Contact with priority-1 status.
    – Rain
    Feb 26, 2019 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


I have seen this once before, if you try to send SMS to a phone number without country code in it. E.g. for DK, where country code is +45, and phone number XXXXXXXX. You must have it formatted as: 45XXXXXXXX

If this is not the issue here, there are some more steps you can use for checking up on this:

Have you configured MobileConnect for Sending Messages with Journey Builder? Please see article: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=mc_moc_in_mobileconnect.htm&type=5

Please also check if your SMS's contain the fields: From Name, Headers and Footers? You can check it here: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=mc_moc_administering_your_mobileconnect_account.htm&type=5

In your data extension do you have the fields: the mobile number, the two-letter country code, and the unique contact key? Please see article: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=mc_moc_getting_started_with_mobileconnect.htm&type=5

Could you also check if you setup SMS's sends only to contacts that have opted in?

In this case you have an option where you can select the contacts and opt them in while you are creating the SMS send in the Journey.

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