US and Canada Messaging Campaign Best Practices


10DLC and Toll-Free Campaigns have become popular communication channels for businesses of all sizes. However, to ensure that campaigns are successful and compliant with industry guidelines, it is important to follow best practices when submitting and managing campaigns.

In this article, we will explore some of the key best practices for 10DLC and Toll-Free Campaigns that our provider recommends, including strategies for message content, opt-in requirements, and campaign management. By following these best practices, businesses can ensure that their campaigns are effective, engaging, and compliant with industry standards.

Most common rejection reasons

  • Call to Action (CTA)
  • Opt-out message
  • SHAFT-C content
  • Lack of a website or online presence
  • Insufficient / Non-compliant privacy policy

Call to Action

We often see campaigns rejected for an insufficient Call to Action (CTA) section. This section should contain a clear and concise description of how an end user signs up to receive messages. Opt-in must be 1 to 1, can't be shared with third parties, and can't be implied. It must be clear, conspicuous, and can't be obscured within the terms & conditions and/or other agreement(s).

Examples of how to get users to opt in:

  • Entering a phone number through a website
    • Example: Customers opt-in by visiting www.examplewebsite.com and adding their phone number. They then check a box agreeing to receive text messages from the example brand.
    • Note: If using a website to collect opt-in, our aggregator should be able to find where on your website the customer is opting in. If this is missing, the campaign will be rejected.
  • Clicking a button on a mobile webpage
    • Note: Please ensure that a website is provided somewhere in the campaign registration (in the brand details, campaign description, or the sample messages) if this is where the opt-in is being collected.
  • Sending a message from the consumer’s mobile device that contains an advertising keyword
    • Example: Consumers opt-in by texting START to (111) 222-3333.
    • Important: If consumers can opt in by texting a keyword, the response should include the brand name, confirmation of opt-in enrollment to a recurring message campaign, how to get help, and a clear description of how to opt out. 
  • Initiating the text message exchange in which the message sender replies to the consumer only with responsive information
  • Signing up at a point of sale (POS) or another message sender on-site location
  • Opting in over the phone using interactive voice response (IVR) technology.
    • Example: "[Brand Name]: You’re now opted-in to our platform notifications. For help, reply HELP. To opt out, reply STOP."

Additional notes on Call to Action:

  • All traffic on behalf of a business, entity, or organization is required to have prior opt-in/consent.
  • If a Call to Action mentions the opt-in that's collected on a website, the website must be provided. If it's not provided, the campaign will be declined.
  • Even if the Call to Action mentions opt-in that's collected elsewhere, lead intake forms on the brand's website will be reviewed. If the phone number field is required, the disclaimer about the SMS opt-in must be included. Otherwise, the campaign will be declined.

Opt-out message

Acceptable opt-out language must include at least one of the following words: end, stop, unsubscribe, or arret (French). If you’re using an opt-out phrase, it must be separated by spaces (i.e., STOP2END is not acceptable; it should be STOP 2 END). Please ensure that at least one of your sample messages shows your opt-out.

Example: "[Insert Business Name:] ​You have an appointment for Tuesday at 3:00 PM, reply YES to confirm, NO to reschedule. Reply STOP to unsubscribe."

SHAFT-C content

The following types of content are prohibited: Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (cannabis, CBD, etc.). It’s also not allowed to be on the customer's website at all.

Example: If a chiropractor's office has CBD oils on their website, the campaign will be denied even if not directly related to CBD marketing.

Lack of a website or online presence

Please make sure to include any website or online presence. This can include a social media page, as long as it can be accessed and your business verified. Even if you avoid putting a website, the carriers will search for the business to see if there’s any associated website. If there’s prohibited content on their website, the campaign will be rejected.

Non-compliance with Know Your Customer guidelines

Make sure you’re following proper Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines for the campaign. The brand needs to reflect who will be sending the message to the customer, not the software behind the delivery.

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