US based phone carriers now require a registration process in order to send outbound SMS/text messages from toll free phone numbers.
If you currently have toll free numbers in your FreedomSoft account or plan to in the future, this article is relevant to you.
Important Date: All toll free numbers must be verified by November 8th, 2023. Any toll free number that has not been verified by that date will not be able to send outbound SMS/text messages until verified. Unverified toll free numbers can still make and receive calls after November 8th; it is just the sending of outbound SMS/text messages that will be limited for unverified toll free numbers.
- Every toll free number must be registered separately. If you have multiple toll free numbers in your FreedomSoft account, you must follow the steps below for each individual number.
- Toll free number registration is free of charge as of the time this article is being written. This could change in the future.
To start the toll free number registration process, navigate to “Settings” > “Phone” in your FreedomSoft account and click “Verify” for each number to initiate the process.
When you click “Verify,” you will be taken to the form pictured below. Fill out and then submit this form for each of your toll free numbers.
The form has 6 sections. Please follow the guidance below to meet the requirements of each one:
- Use Case Summary: This section tells the phone carriers your purpose for sending SMS/text messages from your toll free numbers. You may choose to edit this section, but we recommend that you leave the pre-populated wording in place.
- Outbound Message Sample: This section shows the carriers what a “typical” SMS/text message sent from your toll free number will look like. Again, you have the ability to edit this section so make sure your name and company name are correct but we recommend that you leave the pre-populated message in place.
- Estimated Monthly Messages: Select the number from the drop down that most accurately represents the approximate number of SMS/text messages you plan to send from your toll free number each month.
- Opt-In Method: This section allows you to indicate the primary method whereby your customers opt in to receive communication and text messages from your company. While you may be using multiple methods to gain customers, pick the primary method from the drop down. See below for examples of each method:
- QR Code: Select this method if your primary source of new leads comes through the use of a QR Code. This could be the case if you are using FreedomSoft’s Deal Negotiator tool.
- Keyword: Select this method if your primary method of generating new leads is by having them text a keyword in to your toll free number. An example of this would be direct mail that tells potential sellers to text the word “Sell” to XXX-XXX-XXXX in order to opt in.
- Paper Form: Select this method if you use paper forms to have new leads opt in to receiving communication from your company. This method may be used at live events or in person meetings.
- Web Form: Select this method if most of your new leads come in via an online web form.
- Verbal: Select this method if most of your new leads opt in via live phone calls where a script is delivered to the new lead and the call is recorded.
- Opt-In Screenshots: To complete this section, attach screenshots that verify your opt-in methods. Please provide screenshots for your primary opt-in method as well as any other forms of opt-in that you use. This may require submitting multiple screenshots
- QR Code: Submit a screenshot of the specific QR code that can be found in your marketing as well as a screenshot of where the QR code takes your leads. If you put the QR code on a direct mail piece, submit a screenshot of the direct mail piece. If you have the QR code built into online ads, submit a screen shot showing one of your ads.
- Keyword: If you are using direct mail to instruct new leads to text in a specific keyword, submit a screenshot of your direct mail piece or any other piece of marketing that shows this instruction.
- Paper Form: If you are using a paper form opt-in method, send in an image of the form being used.
- Web Form: If you are using a web form, send in a screenshot of the form. Include the website URL so that the carriers can verify where that form lives online. They won’t approve this method without being able to verify the URL where the form lives. (Note that your form should also have opt-in instructions. Check out the “Opt-In / Consent Requirements” section of THIS ARTICLE for details.)
- Verbal: If you are using the verbal opt in method, submit a screenshot of the typed out script below with your name and business name added in.
- Verbal Opt In Script: “As part of our service, we at [insert your company name] can send you periodic text messages with offers or other information.Message and data rates may apply, depending on your mobile phone service plan. At any time you can get more help by replying HELP to these texts, or you can opt-out completely by replying STOP. Terms of Service and our Privacy Statement can be found at [your website]. Please reply with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to indicate if you would like this service.”
Remember that you must “Verify” each of your toll free numbers separately, so you will fill out the above referenced form for each number.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this process and the FreedomSoft team will be happy to help.