Advertising, promoting opt-ins and displaying short codes

There are many carrier regulations about what and how short codes that are used by TextPower and our customers can be displayed.  

Q: Can I advertise the shared short code that I use from TextPower on my website?

A: You are allowed to advertise your short code on the Internet but there are some significant restrictions. The basic restriction is that all mention of the short code must come from pages sourced on the domain.  These can be signup pages, help pages and other mentions on your site.  If you intend to mention the short code in other places please contact us for guidance.

Q: Why does this advertising content have to come from TextPower's servers or be approved by TextPower?

A: Regulations on advertising short codes are extensive, often obtuse even to telecommunications experts and change often. It is usually impossible for customers who just want to use their codes to keep up with these requirements - it's TextPower's job to do it for you.

Q: Who is going to know what I have on my site?

A: The CTIA, a carrier controlled organization, scours the Internet looking for advertising about text messaging. When they spot a violation they issue a citation to TextPower and demand that the violation be corrected in 2-5 days, depending upon the severity of the offense.

Q: Why is it any business of TextPower what I have on my web site?

A: We wish it wasn't but carriers make us responsible for what you put on your web site regarding many aspects of text messaging. It's essential for TextPower to limit the potential violations and act quickly if any are cited.

Q: What exactly is controlled regarding web advertising?

A: Whenever a short code appears on a web site, there is a set of highly stylized text that has to accompany it referencing carrier required disclosures. The mention of the short code, the description of how to use the short code and the required disclosures are what is controlled.

Q: Do I have any input into what is displayed on my site?

A: You can display any other information you like on your web site - we have no interest in controlling generation information. In regards to the short code mentions, however, yes - we provide a secure page that you can access lets you build your own ad "snippet" for your web site. You can control the color scheme, font, size, etc. TextPower only adds the carrier required boilerplate around it. We make it easy for this information to look as consistent as possible with the rest of your web page.

Q: Can I add things explaining how my service works and what the benefits are?

A: Yes. As long as you do not mention the actual short code or provide the exact process the customer goes through to subscribe to your service you can add descriptive verbiage. The ad snippet will contain whatever additional information you add. You can refer to how your service works and what the benefits are in your own material.

Q: Can you give me an example?

A: You cannot, for example, say in your own material, "Text abc to 85700". The ad snippet that we provide to you will do that. You have lots of control over what you want to say. In your own material, restrict yourself to saying something like, "Join our service as described below" (or wherever the material is) and you will be safe and compliant.

Q: How do I get this ad snippet to appear in my page?

A: When you build your web ad snippet on our "Compliance Pages" form you will be provided with a simple block of HTML code to put on your web site. This code will cause the ad snippet to appear. Any developer or even someone with a casual knowledge of HTML code will be able to insert this block of code so that it appears properly and precisely where you want it to appear.

Q: Where do I build web ad snippets?

A: You build them on the TextPower customer portal web site. After you have logged in, click the Campaigns tab on the left and another menu will appear; then click the "Compliance Pages" tab. Complete documentation is available on this web site under the My Account | Documentation tab.

Q: What if the ad snippet just won't fit in with the way my site is designed?

A: You can submit your own proposal for an ad snippet to TextPower. If we approve it, we will mount it on our servers and give you a block of code to make it appear on your web site. You may submit either image or text based web ad snippets.

Q: What other capabilities does the Compliance Pages function offer?

A: The Compliance Pages function also allows you build custom Help pages (required by the carriers) and online signup pages, which are useful if you run a service that requires opting in because it allows your users an additional method of subscribing to your message service.