TCPA & CTIA Compliance

In order to send text messages to customers based in the USA and Canada you need to abide by the laws of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA. You also need to be aware of best practices on how a text message should look like based on the Consumer Protection Act, also known as CTIA. This guide is meant to take you through all the things you need to know as well as show you how to configure SMSBump in order to be compliant with any rules and regulations.

In this guide we will explore:

  • • How to update your Privacy Policy texts
  • • How to get consent and collect subscribers
  • • How to include an opt out info
  • • Further reading

In order to send text marketing and automation messages you need to have legally gathered the client's phone numbers first. When talking about legally we refer to the customer giving you an explicit "Prior Written Consent". SMSBump offers 3 different ways for Store owners to legally gather the prior written consent.

  • • Opting in through the checkout
  • • Opting in through our subscription form
  • • Opting in via a keyword/textword

We will cover all these three a bit later on. Now back to the TCPA. The most important things we need to know here are:

  • • Customers will be receiving messages from an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS). For example our automation functionality
  • • Consent is not a condition to purchase. This means that customers cannot be forced registering for your text marketing program when they make a purchase
  • • All agreement forms must be made "clear and conspicuous" prior to customers giving consent

I Privacy Policy

1. Okay so the first thing we need to do is updating our privacy policy. In this guide we will go through the steps for Shopify so if you are running any other platform you can just replicate the steps here.

Disclaimer: Even though we have worked with an attorney to help us draft our documents. We are not a certified legal advisor so we encourage you to hire or consult your legal advisor who is familiar with TCPA before pasting our legal texts.

1. Log in to the Shopify admin panel and then go to Settings -> Legal and scroll down to Privacy Policy. If you don't have a Privacy Policy, click on Generate Sample Policy. If have a privacy policy already then proceed to the next step.

2. Edit your Privacy Policy by adding/pasting the following texts:

"Text Marketing and notifications (if applicable): By entering your phone number in the checkout and initialising a purchase, subscribing via our subscription for or a keyword, you agree that we may send you text notifications (for your order, including abandoned cart reminders) and text marketing offers. Text marketing messages will not exceed X per month. You can unsubscribe from further text messages by replying STOP. Message and data rates may apply." Important: Do not forget to substitute a maximum number of messages in X.

3. Checkout footer language.

Go to Theme Settings. From the Actions dropdown choose Edit Languages and select Checkout & system tab. Search for Checkout shop policies and under Privacy Policy paste the following text:

"I consent to receive automated marketing by text message through an automatic telephone dialing system. Consent is not a condition to purchase. STOP to cancel, HELP for help. Message and Data rates apply. View Privacy Policy & ToS."

4. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the top or the bottom.

II Gathering Checkout opt-ins

Now that we have edited the Privacy Policy we will show you the process of receiving consent from the Shopify Checkout.

1. Go to Settings -> Checkout and set the Shipping address Phone number to be Optional

2. Scroll down to Checkout language and click Manage checkout language.

3. Search for Checkout Marketing. Below you will find Accept marketing checkbox label.

There add. Sign up for exclusive offers and news via text messages and/or email.

4. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the top or bottom.

Enable Phone fields and Change Placeholder

1. Go to Settings -> Checkout and make Shipping address Phone number to be Optional.

2. Scroll down to Checkout language and click Manage checkout language.

3. Find the Phone label setting. This field will be located just below the Province Placeholder.

Under Phone Label and Optional Phone Label add: "Phone number for updates and exclusive offers".

4. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the top.

When you are all done your checkout will look like this:

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III Unsubscribing clients

TCPA requires store owners to honor opt out requests.

SMSBump automatically takes care of all unsubscribes (clients who reply to messages with STOP or STOP#####, where ##### is a digit). We have also developed a system where you can manually unsubscribe clients in case they don't wish to reply back to messages but get in touch with you via phone/email or elsewhere. SMSBump also considers the national DND (Do not disturb) register when sending a text message. Our system is designed in such a way where we will NOT allow any marketing campaigns unless they contain the opt-out language.

If a client has opted out but decides to Join all they need to do is respond to the text message with JOIN.

IV Further reading

CTIA is all about providing the best customer experience for anyone using text marketing. You can get yourself familiar with their guide which includes best practices on both SMS and MMS. Link: https://api.ctia.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/170119-ctia-messaging-principles-and-best-practices.pdf

For more info on how SMSBump features convey the best SMS practices here: If you have any specific questions you can reach out to us here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UheA7yRlJ7Q&list=PLNdynjm0-3YPptMaqL0mIUdUlCatoCBLi


Last Modified: Apr 17, 2019