Anti Spam Policy / SMS Messaging / Long Code / Short Code

Ytel Requires Best Practices that meet Industry Standard based on CTIA guidelines and FCC TCPA regulation as shown below:

SMS Policy Long Code

  • Long Code Programs sending SMS using Local Numbers (North American Dialing Plan) require compliance based on Mobile Network Operator expectations
  • User Consent - Opt In is required for automated (generated by an application) messages and should include the following components
  • Sponsor/Program Name
  • Support Information
  • Help Instructions
  • Stop Instructions

Help Message Response 

  • Response must include
  • Sponsor/Program Name
  • Support Information
  • Link to Terms and Conditions
  • Stop Instructions
  • Example Help Message
  • Twin Trucking: Call 8001234567 customer support T&Cs: http://ytelsupport.com Reply Stop to cancel

Stop Response

  • Stop Response must include
  • Sponsor/Program
  • Opt-out Confirmation Statement
  • Example Stop Message
  • Twin Trucking: You have been unsubscribed and will receive no more messages.  Reply UNSTOP to receive messages again

SMS Policy Short Code

  • Mobile Network Operators audit all components of a short-code program to ensure ongoing compliance.  Certification and ongoing messaging should be compliant and follow program briefs submitted to the Mobile Network Operators
  • It is important to review your Short Code Application Brief to see if you have all attributes required for successful Short Code adherence and are not at risk for non-compliance.
  • CTAs (Call to Action) must display opt-in instructions, a brief description of service, the word “recurring” if applicable, a message and data disclaimer and links to both Privacy Policy and mobile program Terms & Conditions
  • Mobile programs must be Clear and Conspicious 
  • Mobile end-users  must provide express consent as defined by both the CTIA and the FCC TCPA
  • User consent must apply solely to the program(s) for which they have expressly opted to take part of
  • HELP and STOP keywords must function properly
  • HELP and STOP information must be presented at point of opt-in
  • You must fulfill all opt-out requests within 72 hours of the end-user texting “STOP”

Call to Action

Call to Action (CTA) both describes a mobile program and provides opt-in instructions to potential users. This article provides all you need to know about carrier expectations for calls to action. Remember: the carriers’ goal is to promote a consistent end-user experience across all short-code programs.

CTA Requirements - MultiMedia

Several components are required for a successful Call-to-Action and differ depending on the media it’s published in. Certain aspects that carriers look for in all CTA’s show below

  • Company name
  • Program name
  • Description of offer
  • Terms & Conditions’ location
  • Privacy Policy location
  • Customer support information*
  • Opt-in Instructions
  • Opt-out Instructions (if recurring)*
  • Message & data rates disclaimer
  • “Recurring” statement (if recurring)
  • *Opt-out instructions and customer support information may be left out of the CTA if they are described within the Terms & Conditions and the Terms are properly linked from the CTA

Example Call to Action

  • The following is an example of a live CTA:
  • Text “Yes” to 411411 for recurring messages from Ytel API Msg&dataRatesMayAply
  • Privacy Policy: https://ytelpp.com
  • Terms & Conditions: https://yteltc.com
  • Please keep in mind that on a web page, the T&Cs and Privacy Policy may take the form of linked text, but in print CTAs the full URL must be explicitly shown as demonstrated above. And remember: while opt-out instructions are no longer required in the CTA, they must be reflected in the Terms & Conditions

Review the question-based sections below to better understand carrier expectations

  • The “Why” About CTA Requirements
  • What the CTA provides is an answer to five “Ws” - who, what, when, where, how - to do with your mobile program. Below, we answer your “why” with in-depth explanations of which questions each compliance attribute answers

Who is the sponsor?

  • Consistent company name
  • Any mention of the sponsor company name in the CTA must be consistent. If the CTA mentions “Twin Towing” in one sentence and “TTow” in another, this is a conflict in company name consistency which will be flagged by the carriers for its potential to cause end-user confusion. Ensure that your sponsor name remains consistent throughout your CTA, even if it seems repetitive

What is the offer?

  • Consistent program name
  • Clear and conspicuous description of offer
  • Just as with the company name, the name by which you refer to your program must be consistent throughout your Call to Action. Furthermore, the words describing what your service provides must be clear and conspicuous without hidden meaning

Where can I learn more?

  • Terms & Conditions location information
  • Privacy Policy location information
  • Users should be provided instructions for accessing your mobile program T&Cs and company privacy policy within your CTA
  • When will this service contact me?
  • A clear time frame for which the program is active (if not on-going)
  • The type of service you are providing
  • Obvious statement of “recurring” if the program is recurring
  • Is your program on-going indefinitely or is it a one-month-long promotion? These questions must be answered in your CTA. Furthermore, while outright message frequencies expressing a detailed number of messages per time period are no longer required, programs that are subscription-based or “recurring” - that is to say, will send multiple messages post opt-in without requiring end-user prompting - must state that fact within their CTA

How do I use the service?

  • Blatant opt-in instructions
  • Clear and conspicuous “Message and data rates may apply” disclaimer
  • “Text SOLAR to 411411” is an example of an opt-in instruction. “Message and data rates may apply” is the standard-rate service’s pricing information. All of these things should be clear on your CTA and should not require scrolling or page-turning away from other portions of the CTA to read

Note: Do not use the word “FREE” for a standard campaign. Subscribers are still paying for message and data rates via their carrier.

Terms & Conditions

  • Mobile program Terms & Conditions must be published and/or web-accessible and must contain the components outlined below. While multiple mobile Terms & Conditions can share the same page, each must individually meet these requirements in order for that code/program to maintain compliance. These mobile Terms may be hosted on their own mobile Terms page, or included within a distinct section of company Terms & Conditions. Review the checklist below to ensure that your mobile Terms & Conditions page meets all criteria

For a live example of a completed Terms & Conditions page, visit our TermsandConditions@ytel.com 

STOP instructions

With “STOP in bold

HELP instructions

With “HELP” in bold

Call to Action

  • Most Terms & Conditions pages require only simple opt-in instructions (e.g., “send KEYWORD to 411411). However, if the end-user will receive a phone call as a result of opting in, a full Call to Action is required on the Terms & Conditions Page

Program Sponsor information

  • Program name, company name and/or brand associated with the campaign

Program/Service Description

  • What the program is and what services it provides

Message and Data Rates Disclosure

  • “Msg&DataRatesMayAply,” worded thusly or spelled out, in bold

Statement of Recurrence

  • If your program will send out messages continually to the end-user post-opt-in without further end-user prompting, it must be described as “recurring.” This word should be bolded for easy location

FCC TCPA Disclaimer

  • The following disclaimer is required for all marketing message campaigns:
  • “By opting into [Program Name], the end-user agrees to receive pre-written marketing messages from or on behalf of [Sponsor] via short code [SC#], and understands that consent is not a condition of purchase.”

Please note that campaigns which are transactional in content - that is to say, non-marketing in nature such as two-factor authentication, banking alerts, et cetera - are not required to include the above disclaimer

Emergency Alert Disclaimer

  • If your service is providing emergency alerts, you should include the following disclaimer in your Terms & Conditions:
  • Alerts sent via SMS may not be delivered to you if your phone is not in range of a transmission site, or if sufficient network capacity is not available at a particular time. Even within a coverage area, factors beyond the control of your wireless carrier may interfere with message delivery, including the customer’s equipment, terrain, and proximity to buildings, foliage, and weather. You acknowledge that urgent alerts may not be timely received and that your wireless carrier does not guarantee that alerts will be delivered

Customer service information

  • A toll-free number, email address or web submission form

Link to Privacy Policy

  • The privacy policy linked from your mobile terms & conditions can be a general privacy policy for your company. It does not have to be specific to your mobile program

All active keywords

  • If keywords are associated with different programs, we recommend separate T&Cs pages for each program

Note: In addition to STOP, you must list END, QUIT, CANCEL and UNSUBSCRIBE as active opt-out keywords in your Terms & Conditions, and they must work as live opt-out keywords. STOP, however, is the only word required in CTAs and message content flows

Material Terms and Conditions

  • Again, if multiple services are involved, they may share a page but must be distinct and clear from one another, and each program’s section must meet all of the requirements on this page

Compatible carriers

  • A list of carriers who support your service. You can find the most up-to-date carriers supported by Ytel here.

Carriers “not liable”

  • Per a requirement from T-Mobile, the T&Cs must state that carriers (or just T-Mobile, though the generalization is recommended) are “not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.”

Confirmation

  • If a checkbox is used by an end-user to accept the mobile terms and conditions, it cannot be pre-checked

Use Case

  • Carriers will approve the use case for a mobile program as long as they have a clear understanding of what your service offers. Follow the guidelines below when determining your use-case

Standard-Rate Campaign vs. FTEU

  • Ytel supports Standard-Rate messaging, which is the term used to describe programs which are not Free-to-End-User. Message and data rates may apply to mobile subscribers of standard-rate campaigns and the use of the term “free” to describe standard-rate campaigns is prohibited. Some carriers may require additional fees from FTEU campaigns to accommodate their “free” status to end-users

Note: “Premium” message programs - which charged end-users directly either per-message or with a recurring subscription fee - are no longer supported by the mobile services industry.

Useful, Informative or Entertaining Service

  • Your campaign must provide a service to the end-user. This service can be useful, informative, entertaining or any combination therein. A service which prompts a user to text in “hi” to receive a response of “hi” from your system is not a sound use case on its own and may be declined by the carriers

No Adult Content

  • Adult-oriented violent or sexual content is prohibited

Requested Interaction

  • The information you send to your end-user must have been solicited by them. Your use case must therefore include a call-to-action whose purpose is to grab user attention and invite them not only to try the service, but instruct them on how to do so. 
Did this answer your question?