Do I need to get a customer’s permission in order to send them text messages?
Yes, you do need to get a customer’s permission to send them text messages. Federal law consent requirements and industry best practices vary based on whether a text message includes a marketing message. As of October 16, 2013, if you plan to send marketing text messages, prior express written (electronic) consent is a requirement. If you will exclusively send account management text messages (e.g., text messages that alert a consumer about an upcoming payment due date or a missed payment), then you only need “prior express consent.”
What permission do I need from customers to send them marketing messages?
Text messages are the preferred communication channel for your customers and marketing messages are the middle of the cinnamon roll. Obtaining your customers’ consent for marketing messages is a two-step process. You will need to (1) obtain prior express written consent and (2) have the customer complete a cell phone number verification process. The first step is described in the Compliance Guidelines doc provided to you by Solutions By Text and is required by federal law. The second step (Verify by Text or VBT) is a best practice and documents an electronic signature. A Solutions By Text Client Consultant can provide you with information and clarify the process.
How do I get a customer’s permission for text messages?
The SBT Verify By Text (VBT) process enables you to obtain a customer’s permission to receive your text messages. The VBT process has several key benefits:
- Determine Deliverability: determine at origination if you can deliver messages to the customer’s device. You need to document the ability to use SMS for ongoing text communications to improve account performance.
- Customer Accuracy: ensure your messages for each customer deliver with pinpoint accuracy by confirming a live mobile account and possession of the device
- Document Consent: VBT works as another layer of consent and documents the customer request and permission for your SMS campaigns.
There are two options for using the Verify By Text service. First, SBT can provide you with a web-based widget (URL) to complete the customer opt-in. The other method is via a direct integration with SBT’s API suite.
Can I send text messages to customers who have replied STOP?
No, you cannot send text messages to customers who have replied STOP and opted-out of your SMS campaigns. Federal law requires that you can only send text messages to customers who have opted-in to receive messages.
One of the advantages of partnering with Solutions By Text is our Stop Safety Net. We serve as the system of record for customer opt-ins and opt-outs. If you inadvertently attempt to send a message to a customer who has not opted-in to receive your messages, SBT’s Stop Safety Net will catch that message, fail it and notify you. SBT maintains a master opt-in database of your customers and we will teach you how to maintain each customer’s opt-in/opt-out status on your side.
What does it mean when you double-authenticate a customer’s phone number?
Double authentication is the gold standard of obtaining customer consent for your text message campaigns. Double authentication, either PIN-based or reserve word, enables SBT clients to document the ability to use the SMS channel for ongoing text communications, ensure messages for each customer deliver with pinpoint accuracy, and document consent for your SMS campaigns.
Can I send text messages to my customers on pre-paid cell phone plans?
Yes, Solutions By Text is able to deliver text messages to pre-paid cell phone plans based on its Dual Delivery logic. In the United States, we have experienced an increase in the number of low-cost monthly / rechargeable cell phone options. Many of the pre-paid plan providers do not accommodate SMS delivery from standard bulk shortcodes. SBT has addressed the message delivery issue by combining the standard shortcode gateway with an enterprise-grade, peer-to-peer long code gateway. The result is an intelligent status update logic that activates the secondary long code delivery in response to encountering a blocked status return on the short code gateway. With this capability, SBT is able to ensure that all customers that have approved SMS alerts are able to receive account information by text.
If a customer opts-out of text messages, can they come back at a later date and opt back in?
Yes, if a customer opts-out of text messages, they can always opt-in at a future date. If a customer has opted-out and requests to opt-in, SBT clients can use the Verify By Text process to complete the opt-in. Once the customer completes the opt-in process, messages can deliver to the customer. As a best practice, SBT clients should maintain each customer’s opt-in/opt-out status and manage message delivery requests accordingly.
Can I integrate SBT’s functionality into my own systems?
Yes, Solutions By Text has a robust portfolio of API services that you can integrate directly into your own systems or build middleware for the integration. The SBT platform provides you with an effortless means to extend your application’s ability to communicate through SMS. Our API platform has been organized to help simplify the process of integrating your applications. In addition to dynamic, online documentation, SBT can setup multiple environments to mirror your application development process.