TCPA & CTIA Compliance

This guide is designed to help you use SMSBump in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") and the CTIA's Short Code Monitoring Handbook and Messaging Principles and Best Practices (collectively, the "CTIA guidelines").

 

Table of Contents

 

Background

 

This Guide

 

Capturing Subscriptions During Checkout


Capturing Subscriptions through Forms


Capturing Subscriptions Via SMS Keyword


Honoring Opt-Outs

 

Background

 

Text messaging can be a powerful customer engagement tool. But United States laws and industry rules impose a number of requirements on commercial use of text messaging to protect individuals from unwanted messages. The primary frameworks governing marketing text messages in the United States are the TCPA, which is a federal law, and the CTIA guidelines, which are published by the CTIA, a wireless communications industry trade association.  While these frameworks specify a number of requirements, at a high level, they require organizations to:

 

  • - Explain to consumers what messages they are agreeing to receive and how they can opt-out;

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  • - Obtain the prior, express written consent of the consumer to send them marketing text messages;

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  • - Honor opt-out requests sent through any channel; and

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  • - Refrain from sending messages during the “quiet hours” of 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the message recipient’s time zone.

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Organizations that violate the TCPA face private lawsuits and penalties of up to $1500 per message.  Violations of the CTIA guidelines can result in consumer complaints, your messages being flagged by spam blockers, and decisions by telecom companies to audit your practices and/or terminate your messaging campaigns if they utilize shortcodes.  As such, compliance with the TCPA and CTIA is vital.

 

This Guide

 

This guide highlights steps that you can take when using SMSBump to facilitate your TCPA and CTIA compliance efforts.

 

But be aware that these steps are not sufficient to ensure TCPA and CTIA compliance. Furthermore, this guide does not address other laws that may apply to your messaging campaigns, such as laws in other countries or state laws that have more stringent “quiet hours” during which you may not send messages.  You should consult with your own legal counsel on how TCPA, the CTIA guidelines and other requirements apply to your business and what you need to do to comply with them.  We provide this guide “as is” and undertake no obligation to correct or update it.  You should not rely on this guide as legal advice.  We reserve the right to change this guide at any time without notice.

 

Capturing Subscriptions During Checkout

 

Follow these seven steps to capture subscriptions during checkout:

 

 

1. Enable Customers to Opt-In to Text Message Marketing

 

1.1. Enable Accept Marketing Option: 

 

 Add an opt in checkbox in your store’s checkout page by enabling it from Shopify Settings > Checkout > Email Marketing > Show a sign-up option at checkout. 

 

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

 

1.3. Scroll down to Checkout language and click on Manage checkout language.

 

1.4. Search for Checkout Marketing. The field there is called Accept marketing checkbox label.

 

Copy and paste the following text: 

 

“Sign up for exclusive offers and news via text messages & email.”

 

 

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

 

 

2. Enable Phone Fields and Change Placeholder

 

2.1. Go to Settings > Checkout and make Shipping address phone number to be optional.

 

 

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

 

2.3. Find the Phone label setting. This field will be located just below the State and territory placeholder.

 

Under Phone Label and Optional Phone Label add:

 

"Phone number for updates and exclusive offers"

 

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

3. Updating Your Privacy Policy

 

3.1. From the Shopify admin panel, go to Settings > Legal and scroll down to Privacy Policy

 

 

If you don’t have your own Privacy Policy, you can click the Create From Template button to use a Shopify privacy policy generator that will help you create one. If you prefer to use your own Terms of Service, continue on to the next step.

 

3.2. Paste the following text into your Privacy Policy after completing the bracketed placeholders and removing the brackets:

 

 

TEXT MARKETING NOTIFICATIONS
By subscribing to [CompanyName] text notifications, you agree to receive automated marketing text messages from us about our products and services at the phone number you provided when you subscribed, and that the messages may be sent via automatic telephone dialing system or other technology. Message frequency is recurring. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE or QUIT to opt-out and HELP for customer support. You may receive an additional text message confirming your decision to opt-out.  You understand and agree that attempting to opt-out by any means other than texting the opt-out commands above is not a reasonable means of opting out.
 
 
 
 
3.3 Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the top or bottom.
 

 

4. Configuring Your Checkout Footer

4.1. Go to Theme in your Online Store. 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 after completing the bracketed placeholders and removing the brackets:

 

By checking the sign-up box for text message offers and clicking [Continue to shipping], I consent to receive recurring automated marketing text messages from [CompanyName] at the number provided, and I agree that texts may be sent using through an autodialer or other technology. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Text STOP to cancel, HELP for help. Message and Data rates may apply. For more information see [Terms of Service] & [Privacy Policy].
 
 
  • - Edit [Continue to shipping] if necessary to match the text on the button associated with this call-to-action

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  • - Replace [CompanyName] with the name of your company

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  • - If you call your terms “Terms of Use” or something else besides “Terms of Service”, replace [Terms of Service] with the applicable title.

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  • - Add hyperlinks to [Privacy Policy] and [Terms of Service] so they link to the relevant document  ​

 

Note: If you change “Continue to shipping” say something different in your store, you should update the text.

 

 

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

 

 

5. Set Quiet Hours

 

5.1. Go to Apps > SMSBump Marketing and Automation by SMSBump. Select Settings and scroll to the Quiet hours field. Set it to Enabled and set the quiet hours for your message recipients’ time zone.
 
 
 

Quiet hours should be set, at a minimum, from 9:00 PM to 8:00 AM in the time zone in which you believe most of your message recipients live.  This will prevent any messages from being sent during those hours but does not ensure you will comply with quiet hours requirements.  Some U.S. states require longer quiet hours. In addition, message recipients may live in different time zones. So you need to make sure you are not sending messages during applicable quiet hours in the recipients’ time zone.  Keep in mind that individuals may live in time zones outside of the region associated with their mobile area codes, so you should use home address to confirm the relevant time zone where possible.

 
5.2. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the bottom.

 

If you have followed all the steps so far, your checkout page should look like this:

 

 

6. Include an Opt-out Option in Automations

 

6.1. Go to Apps > SMSBump Marketing and Automation by SMSBump. Whenever you are activating an Automation, you need to make sure that this automation has the Opt-out option enabled.

 

 

Important:

 

  • - If your customers text back STOP, they will successfully opt-out to text marketing.

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  • - Recurring message programs must display opt-out instructions at program opt-in and at regular intervals in content or service messages, at least once per month.

 

6.2. When creating your text message, make sure that there is space between the link in curly brackets “{ }” and the unsubscribe tag “STOP”.

 

6.3. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the bottom.

 

6.4. Don’t forget to repeat those steps for other Automations that have the status Active.

 

 

7. Include an Opt-out Option in Text Marketing

 

Go to Apps > SMSBump Marketing and Automation by SMSBump. Whenever you are creating a Text Marketing campaign (via Shopify Customers, Specific Phone numbers or Lists) always make sure to have the STOP option checkmarked in the Text Area.

 

 

Capturing Subscriptions Through Forms

 

Another way to invite customers and visitors to subscribe to your deals and news is through subscription forms. These could be popups, embed forms or floating buttons.

 

For any type, Shopify store owners can choose between the following subscription options:

 

Double opt-in method (recommended) - Customers will receive a confirmation SMS after entering their phone number in the subscription form. In order to subscribe, they have to click on the link in the SMS. Otherwise they will be placed in the Not confirmed contacts section of your Subscriber Lists.

 
 
Single opt-in method – Customers will be subscribed after entering their phone number in the subscription form.
 
Mobile phone quick subscribe - You can allow visitors from the U.S. or Canada to subscribe to your text marketing without entering their phone number, but by simply double-clicking on the pop-up. Note that this feature is only available for the mobile  version of the pop-up. 
 
 
More on how to configure your opt-out method, read here.
 
 
To set up and enable the subscription form consent field, you need to go to the Additional fields section in your Subscription form builder and switch the Enable the TCPA/CTIA checkbox toggle button on.  Then edit the following bracketed elements as necessary and remove the brackets:
 
 
  • - Replace [CompanyName] with the name of your company

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  • - If you call your terms “Terms of Use” and/or “Privacy Policy” something else, replace those references with the applicable title(s).

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  • - Add hyperlinks to [Privacy Policy] and [Terms of Service] so they link to the relevant document 

 

 

Important:

 

SMSBump reserves the right to block messages to contacts who have not given prior express written consent to receive your messages.

Same goes for subscribers you have obtained using our Email subscribers converter, which allows Shopify merchants to double their marketing effectiveness by sending an email campaign to their email subscribers. The email will lead them to a signup page where they can choose to subscribe for SMS marketing, as well. Only after your customers have given you prior express written consent, will you be able to send them text marketing.

 

 

Capturing Subscriptions via SMS Keyword

 

In the world of SMS marketing, a keyword is a word that can be texted from a user’s mobile device to an SMS short code. Keywords send a signal to the short code about the SMS marketing campaign your users are trying to interact with.

 

Pick a catchy keyword that is relevant to your brand, is easy to remember, and doesn’t contain any special symbols.

 

 

For complete guidelines on how to pick out the best and most relevant keyword for your brand refer to How To Grow Your Subscribers In Shopify With SMS Keywords.

 

Make sure to always include the following text after editing the bracketed placeholders as appropriate and removing the brackets:

 

By texting [KEYWORD] to [SHORTCODE]  you agree to receive automated marketing text messages from us about our products and services at the phone number you provided when you subscribed, and that the messages may be sent via automatic telephone dialing system or other technology. Message frequency is recurring.  Consent is not a condition of purchase. Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE or QUIT to opt-out and HELP for customer support. You may receive an additional text message confirming your decision to opt-out.  You understand and agree that attempting to opt-out by any means other than texting the opt-out commands above is not a reasonable means of opting out.
 
 

Important: 

 

  • - Consent is not a condition to purchase. Customers cannot be forced to subscribe to your text marketing service when they make a purchase.

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  • - Replace [KEYWORD] and [SHORTCODE] with the actual keyword and shortcode

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  • - Replace [CompanyName] with the name of your company

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  • - If you call your terms “Terms of Use” and/or “Privacy Policy” something else, replace those references with the applicable title(s).

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  • - Add hyperlinks to [Privacy Policy] and [Terms of Service] so they link to the relevant document  

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Refer to our blog post for more great tips on how to increase subscribers by implementing SMS keywords.

 

 

Honoring Opt-Outs

 

You are required to promptly honor opt-out requests made by any reasonable means, which may include requests made by email, text messages that do not comply with your exact opt-out instructions, and oral requests made to your employees or call center staff.  Even if your Terms of Service define the manner in which message recipients must opt-out, you should make every effort to honor all opt-out requests regardless of the manner in which you receive them.  It is your responsibility to monitor your communications with message recipients to determine if they have opted-out.

 

You must honor all opt-out requests for a period of five years from when the request was received. Under the TCPA you must also maintain a Do Not Call list with the name and phone number of each person who has opted-out and ensure that you do not send text messages or make telemarketing calls to those individuals via SMSBump or otherwise.  You should update your Do Not Call list regularly to ensure that it reflects all individuals who have opted-out in response to messages sent through SMSBump, which you can export from your SMSBump admin in Shopify. Under Lists and Segments, select Unsubscribed and then click on Export List. You will be presented with two export options, depending if you want to do a full export, which will contain all information related to the unsubscribed users, or partial, containing just their phone number.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Last Modified: Oct 26, 2020