This FAQ describes the Opt In and Opt Out processing capabilities of the TextPower Switch. Opt In/Out is only applicable to short code/keyword combinations that require Opt In according to carrier regulations. The examples herein are general and for illustration. Consult the rules issued by each cellular carrier for detailed rules. In all cases of discrepancies with this document, the carrier rules shall override this document.
In all cases of keywords, reserved words and reserved parameter words, case is not relevant. So the words, stop, Stop and STOP are all identical as far as TextPower switch processing is concerned. Words in this document are sometimes displayed in either italics or bold. This is done for either readability or emphasis. In no case is a user expected to enter a keyword or reserved word in italics or bold.
In general, Opt In is required of keywords in the following cases. There are four types of Opt In that are accepted.
- MO Opt In. This means that a user sends a keyword to a short code to Opt In. This is the most common kind.
- Web Opt In. A user may also go to a web site to Opt In. Additional carrier regulations apply here so consult the latest requirements.
- IVR Opt In. This is not a very common Opt In method but there are some carrier regulations pertinent to this method also.
- Point of Sale Optin. This is a method where a customer gives you their cell number in person and asks to be texted under some particular circumstances. TextPower has special procedures that apply to this type of OptIn and permission must be specifically granted to do this. Consult your TextPower representative.
TextPower does not currently offer premium services (those that charge for each message).
Opt In is also required of non-premium or standard rate services when the application represented by the short code/keyword combination plans to send un-solicited standard rate messages to the user for a period after the Opt In. The first message that the user receives must state the maximum number of messages that user will receive, instructions for opting out and where the user can get help. Note that all examples below use commonly accepted abbreviations to get the messages into 160 characters.
Example of Single Opt In:
- User desires to sign up for a service where they will be sent notices of events and receive discounts for purchases at those events. This service is available on short code mmmmm, keyword kwb.
- User sends an MO to short code mmmmm, keyword kwb. This requests a sign up for the discount service.
- TextPower Switch/Application responds with Thank you for joining Joe’s Discount Club. Msg&Data rates may apply. Max 4 msgs/mo. For more, go to joesclub.com. STOP2Quit, HELP4More
(Note that the maximum number of received messages must be stated for recurring services!)
When Joe’s Discount Club sends a message to the user later, it will be of the form.
Show this message at Mary’s Diner for $2 off any meal the week of May 18th.
For any Standard Rate OptIn sequence, the TextPower switch must be programmed with 3 messages. These messages are of the following types.
The welcome message is the first message that a user receives in an Opt In sequence. From a previous example, it will be of the form; Thank you for joining Joe’s Discount Club. Msg&Data rates may apply. Max 4 msgs/mo. For more, go to joesclub.com. STOP2Quit, HELP4More
Note that all welcome messages for recurring services(ones where you will send additional messages to subscribed people) must have the phrases; Msg&Data rates may apply. Max 4 msgs/mo. STOP2Quit, HELP4More in them.
For non-recurring services (ones where you will not send additional messages), you only need to send; Msg&Data rates may apply. HELP4More
The quit message is provided when a user stops service. . The quit message may be provided directly from the TextPower Switch or from an application. Example: This message confirms that you have quit Joe’s Discount Club. No more messages will be sent. HELP4More
A help message must be made available. The help message may be provided directly from the TextPower Switch or from an application. The required content in help messages depends upon the type of service. For standard rate services, the help message must contain a toll free number or a web site for support as well as the maximum number of messages that will be sent in a given time period(recurring services only).
For all types of MT sends, status is returned to the user. Users should check the status to determine if a failure was recorded. MT status has 2 components for standard rate:
- Immediate Status: This denotes whether the message was accepted by a carrier. This is available immediately when the send is executed. Note that queued sends, deferred sends, Send List sends and Subscription sends are put on a set of queues t to increase send capacity. The immediate status is therefore available only after the send comes off the queue. For all types of queued sends, the status must be retrieved later by the user by using the SOAP/Web Services interfaces.
- Delivery status: This denotes whether the message was delivered to an actual phone. This status is only available to the user by using the SOAP/Web Services interfaces. Note that only Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile verify actual delivery to the phone. For those carriers, the final status is DELIVERED. For other carriers, the return indicates a high probability of delivers and the final status is HP DELIVERED. After 24 hours, this status should be considered final. Most carriers will not attempt delivery after 24 hours in their queues.
Users often communicate with TextPower support over message failures. Often, they have not collected the status of their sends. Collecting the status will, in most all cases, provide the information that they are looking for. Most failure status is obvious but there are 2 failures that are often a mystery to users who have not familiarized themselves with the OptIn rules.
- Not Sent:No OptIn : If your campaign requires optin and 98% do, you will be blocked from sending to any number for which you do not have a proper OptIn. This is not a failure of the TextPower system. It is the indication that the carrier required OptIn rules have not been followed for this number and the send has been blocked as required.
- Not Sent:Msg Limit Exceeded : The agreed upon number of sends in the selected period has been exceeded for this number and the send has been blocked. This is not a failure of the TextPower system. It is the indication that the carrier required OptIn rules have not been followed for this number and the send has been blocked as required.
All Opt In services must have ability for a corresponding Opt Out. The TextPower Switch provides several special words to do Opt Outs. These words are reserved. No keyword can be one of these words and applications may not use these words as parameters on any other keyword.
The reserved quit words are; stop, end, quit, cancel and unsubscribe. For Canadian subscribers, the French words finand arret are also accepted. If any of these words appear anywhere in an MO, it will be interpreted as an Opt Out request! The user will be immediately be opted out of the applicable keyword or keywords. If the application desires, an Opt Out notification will be sent to that application. The application is then expected to deliver an exit message to the user. This Opt Out message must be of the form:
- Standard rated services: This message confirms that you have quit Joe’s Discount Club. No more messages will be sent. HELP4More
If the application does not process the Opt Out itself, the TextPower switch will respond with a specific version of the above messages.
It is entirely possible that a user will be Opted In on more than one keyword on a short code. In this case, processing is a bit more complicated. All discussions below assume that the user is Opted In on two keywords, kwa and kwb.
If the user sends an MO of the form kwa stop, they are Opted Out on keyword kwa.
If the user sends an MO of the form stop, we do not immediately know which keyword the user wishes to Opt Out on. The TextPower Switch then sends a message of the form; Multiple keywords active. Reply with one of KWA STOP, KWB STOP or with STOP ALL to quit all.
Depending upon the response, if any, from the user, these actions take place:
- If the user responds with one of the qualified forms, they are Opted Out only on that keyword.
- If the user responds with any of the reserved quit words with the word all after it, they are Opted Out on all keywords on that short code.
- If the user responds with another unqualified MO within 30 minutes containing a reserved quit word, they are Opted Out on all keywords.
If a user sends an MO with any reserved quit word with the word all after it, they are immediately Opted Out on all keywords on that short code. In addition, the words, stopall, endall, quitall and cancelall are accepted as global Opt Outs. These words are also reserved.
All keywords must provide a carrier compliant help message, either from the TextPower switch or from an application. The words help (plus info and aide for Canadian customers) are also reserved and may not be used as a keyword or as a parameter by any application.
An MO of the form kwa help will receive the help message for kwa.
An MO of the form help will receive the help message for all keywords on the short code if any optins are active on that short code. If no optins are active, a generic help message will be sent.