[MESSAGE FLOW] Understanding Message Flows and Customer Opt-In for A2P Campaign Registration
What is a Message Flow?
A Message Flow describes how end-users voluntarily consent and opt-in to receive SMS messages. The primary purpose and required disclosures are to ensure the end user consents to receive text messages and understand the nature of the program and messages. Please note that this is highly regulated and needs to be transparent and informative for customers. It must include easily noticeable opt-in information. It should clearly identify the organization or individual represented in the initial message. All must be specified within the Message Flow if the campaign offers multiple opt-in options.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Message Flow (End-User Consent) must be accessible by a 3rd party reviewer to be verified. This section results in the largest number of campaigns being rejected, so if you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us before submitting your campaign.
Here's a simplified overview of a typical message flow:
- Customer Opt-In: Customers must voluntarily opt in to receive text messages from a business. This is a critical step that ensures messages are only sent to individuals who have expressed interest.
- Message Content: The business prepares the message content, ensuring it is relevant, valuable, and compliant with regulations.
- Message Submission: The message is submitted to the A2P 10DLC platform, which manages the routing and delivery of text messages.
- Verification: The A2P 10DLC platform may verify the message content to check for compliance with regulations and other quality standards.
- Message Delivery: The message is delivered to the customer's mobile device.
- Customer Interaction: If the customer responds or interacts with the message, a two-way conversation may begin.
Customer Opt-In for A2P 10DLC Campaign Registration
Obtaining explicit customer consent is a fundamental requirement in A2P 10DLC messaging. Customers should willingly and clearly opt in to receive messages from your business. Here's how customers can opt in for A2P 10DLC campaigns:
1. Keywords and Short Codes:
Businesses often use keywords and short codes to facilitate opt-ins. Customers can text a specific keyword (e.g., "JOIN" or "SUBSCRIBE") to a designated short code (a shortened phone number) to indicate their interest in receiving messages. This process is commonly used in marketing campaigns.
- "Text JOIN to 12345 to receive updates and offers."
When customers text the keyword to the short code, they are considered opted in.
2. Web Forms and Sign-Up Pages:
Businesses can provide web forms or sign-up pages on their websites or mobile apps. Customers can fill out these forms with their contact information and explicitly agree to receive text messages. This method is effective for collecting opt-ins from digital channels.
Important Note: For TCPA compliance and capturing express written consent, your web form must contain verbiage explaining that people agree to receive automated messages and that consent is not a condition of purchase. You may also include a checkbox that's required to submit the form. This acts like a digital signature, making the opt-in even more airtight. If you choose to include one, it's important that the checkbox is not checked by default.
For CTIA compliance, your verbiage must also include the messaging frequency, that message and data rates may apply, opt-out instructions, help instructions and links to your terms and privacy policies.
REI BlackBook Example: You agree to receive automated messages. Opting in does not require a purchase. Expect up to 4/msgs/month. To Unsubscribe, reply STOP. Need Assistance? Reply HELP. Standard Msg & Data Rates may apply. Check our terms and privacy at reiblackbook.com/privacy-policy/
For additional information regarding A2P compliance with your websites and web forms, click here.
3.Conversational / Customer Initiated Contact:
Conversational messages require that the first message be sent by the customer and work on the principle of implied consent. The idea is that since the customer initiated contact, they're open to receiving messages.
4. Verbal Opt-In:
Customers can also agree verbally, but we recommend that this conversation be recorded if possible. Verbal opt-in is the most difficult method to verify; however, it is acceptable as long enough details are provided that a 3rd party review can verify. For more information on call recording inside of REI BlackBook, click here.
In physical locations, such as stores or events, businesses can ask customers to provide their mobile numbers and opt-in preferences. Staff can assist customers with the opt-in process if needed.
Examples of Good and Bad Message Flows
To assist in giving you some clarity on Message Flows, below you will find some GOOD examples as well as BAD examples of how end users opt-in. Remember that all of the opt-in messages used must be listed.
Some GOOD examples are as follows:
- Customers opt-in by visiting [Website Name], adding their phone number, and agreeing to receive text messages from [Company Name] regarding selling their home.
- Customer opt-in by texting [Keyword] to [Phone Number] to receive text messages from [Company Name] in regards to selling their home.
- Customer opt-in through conversation/customer initiated contact with the acknowledgement that conversational message requires that the first message be sent by the customer and implies consent.
- Customers opt-in by visiting [Website Name], adding their phone number, and agreeing to receive text messages from [Company Name] regarding selling their home. Customers can opt-in by texting [Keyword] to [Phone Number] to receive text messages from [Company Name] in regards to selling their home. Additionally customers can opt in through conversational/customer initiated contact as the first message is sent by the customer and implies consent.
Some BAD examples are as follows:
- Customers opt-in by calling us from our direct mail campaign. Calling a number does not imply or give consent for text messaging and is not considered an opt-in method.
- Customers opt-in by manually checking a box in a website form. Since this example does not list the actual website domain, it is inaccessible by a 3rd party reviewer to be verified.
Understanding message flows and customer opt-in processes is crucial for businesses looking to use A2P 10DLC messaging effectively. By obtaining explicit customer consent through clear opt-in mechanisms and adhering to message flow best practices, businesses can engage with their audience while respecting privacy and regulatory requirements. Building trust with customers is key to successful A2P 10DLC campaigns.