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Local and Toll-Free Phone Number SMS Registration

Registering Your Phone Number For Texting

 

Overview

 

It is now a requirement that all businesses sending text messages to contacts in the USA register their business and their use case for sending text messages. This registration is not exclusive to marketing campaigns, but all SMS & MMS communications from a business standpoint. This ensures that your messages are delivered to the intended recipients and increases trust and engagement with your company. We’re committed to helping you take steps to have your business registered right away, so you can get started texting faster.

Carriers and authorities overseeing the registration process levee fees for registering companies based on use cases and message velocity. We have simplified these costs as follows:

  • One-time registration fee: $99

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The registration process involves submitting a form available to administrators under “SMS Registration” in the upper-right dashboard menu. This form will ask for basic information about the business and the messages it intends to send across all text-enabled phone numbers. This guide will take you through each section of the SMS Registration Form:

  • About Your Business
  • Primary Contact
  • Intended SMS Use
  • Subscriber Opt-In, Help, and Opt-Out
  • Special Use Cases
  • Sample Messages
 

About Your Business

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Here are some things to remember as you complete the business details section.

  • The values you enter for the legal company name and tax ID number (EIN) must match the values on your tax registration document. If you have any doubts, we recommend double-checking your tax forms before filling out the registration.
  • Provide the URL to the website that represents your business.

Primary Contact

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Your primary contact is the person responsible for texting on this particular phone number. We’ll follow up with them should any questions arise during registration or in the future.

The phone number should be a North American US Mobile number capable of receiving SMS messages.

Intended SMS Use

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Next, categorize the type of messages. Here are some guidelines on the type of messages that you might be sending:

 

Select a Use Case

 
  • UCaaS Low Volume

These are messages which contain information that is necessary for your customers to use your product or service. These texts usually contain information that customers have requested and most businesses will fall under this use case. Think of the following:

  • Order confirmations with tracking numbers
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Password resets
  • Transactional messages
  • Reservation confirmations (With prompt to reply Y/N to confirm)

Sample Message: Order number 31415 is on its way. Visit example.com/31415 to track your shipment.

 
  • Marketing Messages

These are messages sent to increase sales, promote your product, or raise awareness about your business. Any text message that is intended to promote your organization is considered promotional, including the following:

  • Coupons, discounts, and offers
  • New product announcements
  • Sweepstakes
  • Fundraising requests

Sample Message: Thanks for shopping with us! Based on your purchase, we think you’d love this product: example.com/productrecommendation

Describe Typical Use

In this field, “Describe Typical Use,” describe the content your company will be sending via SMS from this phone number. What is the purpose of these messages?

 

Privacy Policy

 

A Privacy Policy is now mandatory for all sizes of companies (all verticals), except Sole Proprietorship.

If you have a website, the privacy policy must be visible and accessible - Most companies link this at the bottom of their main page, as well as have it easily visible if an end-user is filling out a phone number on a form of yours.

If you use a physical form, you must either have your privacy policy listed on a page somewhere, or mention that it is located on your website for review.

Your privacy policy must dictate that you do not share information given with third party entities, applicable with local, State, and Federal laws. Exceptions to this are, and must be listed in your privacy policy:

  • Use with entities to complete the task you’re assigned to complete with them, if applicable to laws
    • Example: You’re a hiring agency, and you share their info with companies that would want to hire them
  • Emergency situations, if applicable to laws

Call-To-Action Messages

This is the method in which you plan to have your customers opt-in to your SMS campaign. Opt-in methods must occur before you text your customers for the first time. In this section, simply explain how you plan to have text recipients opt in. Your explanation should have a 40 character minimum.

 

Wherever you are acquiring phone numbers, the best option is to have a check-box that indicates that they would (or would not, if left unchecked) allow you to send text messages. This must be easily visible, right next to, above, or below the phone number field. Additionally, you should have a link, or instructions on how that individual can review your privacy policy listed above.

 

While you’re only required to list at least one place you collect Opt-in, we strongly recommend including all (and making sure they’re all compliant!).

The options to have customers opt-in are below, but for all consent approval options besides a website or form sign-up, you must provide additional details on how your organization communicates and receives consent.

Please provide an example that demonstrates the following:

  • You are explicitly asking for consent
  • You are informing the recipient that they can opt out by replying to STOP
  • You are informing the recipient that they can get more information by replying to HELP
  • You are informing the recipient that their data will not be sold or distributed to third parties
  • You are informing the recipient that data rates may apply
  • You are informing the recipient how and where they can review your privacy policy
 

There are six different ways that a recipient can give their consent via a call to action.

  • Verbally with consent: The consumer provides verbal consent to opt-in and receive your messages.
  • Entering a telephone number through a website: The consumer enters their phone number into a form on your website.
      1. Sample Language - By submitting your phone number, you allow (Company name) to send you text messages on their behalf.
  • Initiating the text message exchange after obtaining the number from a public source: The consumer's number was freely provided from a public source.
  • Signing up at a point-of-sale (POS) or other Message Sender on-site location: The consumer signs up to receive messages while using an on-site point-of-sale or Message Sender.
  • Opting-in over the phone using interactive voice response (IVR) technology: The consumer opts into messages during an IVR interaction.
  • Sending a message with an advertising keyword from their mobile device: The consumer opts in by sending a message to your company containing an advertising keyword.

Subscriber Opt-In, Help, and Opt-Out

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Regardless of the type of messages, you are sending – informational or marketing – a critical aspect of compliant business texting is consent. Businesses can only text contacts that have provided their express consent. Express consent can never be assumed. For example, if a patient provides their number for verification purposes when scheduling an appointment, they’re not automatically consenting to future appointment reminders. Likewise, just because someone is your customer does not grant you the ability to send them weekly marketing messages. Common opt-in methods include:

  • A website/signup form that includes a checkbox requesting their consent to send your particular use case’s messages (Ex: I consent to receive marketing text messages)
  • Texting an opt-in keyword to your phone number (Ex: Text “welcome” to (phone number) to get updates about our weekly specials)

Please also provide the keyword and message for your customers to receive help.

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As important as opting-in, is the ability to opt-out and no longer receive messages. This too, is required. VirtualPBX’s VirtualText App includes the following keyword-based opt-out by default, but you may add additional options within your account:

  • Text “STOP” to opt-out of text messages from this number

Special Use Cases

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Depending on how and why you’ll be messaging your customers, you may fall under a special use case. Filling out your answers here will help us determine how to correctly register your company and avoid common account flags at the mobile carrier level.

Sample Messages

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Next, please provide samples of the messages that you’ll be sending.

 

That’s it! After you submit your SMS Registration, our team will review and process the information provided. You’ll be able to track the status of your registration through your dashboard and our team will reach out to you when registration has been approved, or if we need additional information.

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