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
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;
- Obtain the prior, express written consent of the consumer to send them marketing text messages;
- Honor opt-out requests sent through any channel; and
- Refrain from sending messages during the “quiet hours” of 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the message recipient’s time zone.
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 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.
Follow these steps to capture subscriptions during checkout:
1. From the Shopify main menu, click on Settings and then on Legal to get to your store's legal settings.
Disclaimer: We work with a top attorney to help us draft our documents but keep in mind that we are not a certified legal advisor. We encourage you to consult a legal advisor who is familiar with TCPA before using our legal texts.
4. Click on the Save button to save the changes made.
Set Up Checkout Opt-In
Step 1. Go to Shopify Settings and click on Checkout where you will be able to edit your checkout process.
Step 2. To add a sign-up checkbox to your checkout, in the Marketing consent section, check Show an option to subscribe at checkout.
Step 3. Click Save.
Step 4. Customize checkbox
From your Shopify Admin Settings go to Online Store → Themes → Actions → Edit Languages → Checkout & System.
This is where you get to customize your checkout checkbox. You can fill in:
- The accept SMS checkbox label
- Terms of service
How it looks in the admin panel:
How it looks on your checkout page:
If you have followed all the steps so far, your checkout page should look like this:
- If your customers text back STOP, they will successfully opt-out to text marketing.
- 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.
Set Quiet Hours
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 area The recommended settings are From 21:00 (9 PM) to 8:00(8 AM).
2. Confirm the changes by clicking the Save button at the bottom.
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.
SMSBump reserves the right to block messages to contacts who have not given prior express written consent to receive your messages.
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:
- Consent is not a condition to purchase. Customers cannot be forced to subscribe to your text marketing service when they make a purchase.
- Replace [KEYWORD] and [SHORTCODE] with the actual keyword and shortcode
- Replace [CompanyName] with the name of your company
Refer to our blog post for more great tips on how to increase subscribers by implementing SMS keywords.
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 22, 2021