Toll Free Compliance

Everything You Need to Know About Toll-Free Verification.


The text is a transcript of a webinar hosted by Salesmessage, a company that provides SMS and MMS messaging services for businesses. The webinar covers the topic of toll-free number verification, which is a mandatory process that businesses must undergo to ensure that their toll-free numbers are valid and not being used for illegitimate purposes. The hosts, Sergey and Ben, provide detailed information on the purpose of the process, the eligibility criteria, the deadlines, the costs, and the implications of not verifying toll-free numbers. The hosts emphasize that toll-free number verification is a crucial step in ensuring that SMS and MMS messages are delivered to end customers without delays or interruptions. They explain that businesses that fall into certain categories, such as adult entertainment, gambling, and debt collection, are ineligible to use toll-free numbers for messaging purposes and must use other types of numbers instead. The hosts also stress that the toll-free number verification process has a deadline that varies depending on whether a business is registering a new toll-free number or verifying an existing one. They note that businesses that fail to meet the deadline risk facing slowdowns, throttling, and even blacklisting, which could take a long time to resolve. The hosts clarify that toll-free number verification is free of charge and currently only applicable to the United States and Canada. They also explain that the process must be repeated for each toll-free number a business owns, and that accurate information is crucial to ensure a smooth and timely verification process. Throughout the webinar, the hosts provide answers to common questions that they have received from clients who have undergone the toll-free number verification process. They also offer advice and support to businesses that are new to the process and encourage them to reach out to their support team for guidance. Overall, the webinar is a comprehensive resource for businesses that use toll-free numbers for messaging purposes and need to verify them to comply with industry regulations. The hosts provide a clear and detailed explanation of the toll-free number verification process, its purpose, and its requirements, as well as helpful tips and guidance for businesses to navigate the process successfully.

around toll-free verification um the landscape of sms is changing want to be your guides through how we can help your company best optimize and implement sms as a part of your customer engagement efforts go ahead and we'll continue on my name is ben francis i'm the head of customer success and support here at sales message with me on today's webinar we've got we've got my colleague sergey who is our one of our co-founders cto chief product officer here at sales message as well hi everybody awesome let's go ahead and talk about what we're going to cover today so the na as i mentioned there are new rules for for sms we'll go over we'll go over why uh we're having we're having this discussion what the changing landscape looks like what we need to do as sales message customers to to verify our toll-free numbers and what does that process look like end to end as well as covering specifically when do we need to have this done and cover a few a few key questions along the way so as i mentioned the landscape of sms is changing you know we we're seeing we're seeing sms and and just general text messaging dramatically increase um in terms of roi in terms of engagement as we as we see uh the fall of email engagement over time as a result there are some changes in in this space that will better help our customers ensure that they're getting your messages when they need to get them and when they're opting in to receive them um that's part of the part of what we'll cover here today as well let's go ahead and go on perfect so um if you are viewing this webinar um i don't need to belabor this point but we know that that sms works for a multitude of reasons as we are a highly connected uh highly connected culture um we know that that email open rates are continuing to decline um and our ability to send long-form content um is decreasing as our as our customer's attention span and volume of messages they're receiving through a variety of channels is continuing to increase sms overall maintains a high 90 98 open rate overall ninety percent of that within the first couple minutes our customers are highly engaged and at minimum will read a text message whereas an email has a much slower cadence to being viewed to being opened and engaged with whatsoever additionally that response rate that engagement rate we have on text is dramatically higher than the single digit response rates that we're seeing on the on the email space right now it's going to go up so we know that this works so how do we ensure that our messages get along to our end destination and how do we adhere to best practices in the text messaging space along the way so the big problem that we know that as sms is dramatically increasing as a valuable channel to interact with our customers the the issue with that is that spammers are also leveraging this this channel as a means to use phishing to do spam promotional texts and to ultimately uh erode uh different business operations that we have as a result spammers using text messaging more often means that it's becoming harder and harder to ensure that the right messages coming from trusted brands are going through without spammers also going through the last thing we want to receive as as end customers directly are messages from from brands that we never opted in to receive or from just unwanted messages in general that's why all of our phones are now actively screening calls and using spam prevention techniques as standard within the space part of what we're covering with this toll-free verification is another way to ensure that our messages get to our end destination so there are a couple different ways that that we can deliver messages either using a short code or a long code which is either a toll-free or a local type of number yeah typically what we're seeing with spammers directly is the use of of shortened uh shortened codes using specific uh specific shortened urls like bitly some of these publicly available link shortener tools which are blatantly phishing attempts very seldom do we see this on the local side but we do see it on occasion as well so something that we're doing in the industry to avoid this is by ensuring that brands are linked to the specific numbers that they are going to be using and providing examples of the type of content they're going to be sending to their customers so what we need to do to ensure that we are registering our brand to becoming a known entity with the major cell phone providers directly is validating two specific things identifying hey this is my company you know this is what i specifically do and this is the type of messages i'm going to be sending to my customers so long as we can validate those those two things we can verify the traffic that is going to go go through on that toll-free number i like to tell clients it's like going going to the airport and getting through uh airport security we have a couple different ways that we can we can get to the same end destination one is gonna be a lot faster and create a lot lot less friction without verifying our toll-free number we become subject to a lot of uh of security protocol a lot of procedures whereas going through like a clear or tsa pre-check we become a known entity and can go through that process much faster because we are we are registering and no and known through that process so what we're going to do and on verifying circuit feel free to feel free to jump in as well is we're going to verify who we are as users you know this is the application we're using this is the the number that we're using um as well as you know validating okay this specific number is going to be associated with this type of message that we're going to be sending sergey sounded that sound appropriate this this uh banned the sounds just right we're going to be covering some of the specific use cases and what you're going to you're gonna have to do as a business but that's gonna be a little bit later within the presentation cool so we're sending traffic on uh on a variety of different cell phone carriers directly att sprint t-mobile verizon in canada we're relying on a variety of different carriers as well bell canada and a few others to be able to send this traffic and be the delivery vehicle to get our message from our brand to our end customer's cell phone directly as a result when we hit send on a given message sales message sends that off sends it through a t to your end customer directly during that process at t has a has a att sprint verizon a few others have a series of of tripwires that they will that they will use on their side to validate is this number and is this message coming from a known entity what is the volume of messages that is going across on a specific number and is there any sort of established relationship between these two two end destinations the sender and the recipient all three of those those checks come into play and when we're using a toll-free number where we have less of a local direct presence you know area code to area code type of presence that creates uh one disconnect in that process to say what is the what is the entity that is sending this traffic along and is there any sort of relationship between the two numbers and nine times out of ten with the toll-free the answer to that question is no which is why we are going through the toll-free verification process so we've covered this briefly but there are three different types of numbers that we can send traffic messaging traffic on we have a dedicated short code we have a toll-free number which we're specifically specifically focusing on today which we are going to register our brand our use case and the content as well as a 10-digit long code or a local phone number which doesn't require an active verification process although for high volume high output customers we strongly recommend registering for 10dlc as a secondary compliance step to ensure that your messages get to your destination if you're using local traffic awesome let's talk about the process for how do we how do we go through and register our toll-free number now that we talked about the value of why we should do it how it helps us avoid some of the spam prevention techniques let's talk about how we actually get it done all right ben thank you so much for covering the whys of toll-free number registration we're going to go through the process of what what are you going to do as a business within the sales message product if you've been a user of sales message app and both desktop and mobile app for a while you know that sales message we're staying we're staying at at the forefront of um making sure that your your business is not affected or as lightly affected by the by the tectonic changes that we're seeing we're seeing within the industry the first compliance process that we have gone through last year was 10dlc process that ben has already mentioned now it's time for a toll-free number of verification we try to make it as unobtrusive and as easy for you as possible so you could see actual screenshots from the app you're gonna within within cell's message you see that there is number of a number of different settings that affect your compliance within your organization settings tab one of those is going to be toll-free number verification and we're going to cover some of the specific details of what you see here the first step of the registration process is very similar to 10dlc you're providing us business information including some of the unique uh unique elements that we're going to have to pass to the carriers in order to verify an identity of the business we try to provide as much information as possible in terms of what these questions are asking but if at any point you have a question of what this is you can you can always you can always click on the information bubble or reach out to our customer support in order to get support in in filling out the information itself and don't be shy doing that again i'm going to reiterate it at the end but it's important that in this information is accurate because if it isn't it's going to slow down the process and might double or even triple the time it's going to take for you to get certified as a second step you're providing contact information for your business and this this is likely would be the ceo or um or anybody else at the business that's responsible for uh for compliance and certification um you're also as a last step you're accepting terms of service and the and the privacy statement and it's easy as uh just as easy as one two three as long as the information that's provided is accurate then the whole process should should go quite smoothly now as a as the next step you're going to be you're going to be providing information about your business profile first of all you need to name the profile because within toll number toll-free number verification and toll-free number in general allows for your business to have multiple toll-free numbers we'll talk about best practices around having multiple toll-free numbers but it's it's it's certainly possible for you to have several so what you're going to do you're going to name the profile and you're going to try to estimate the actual message volume that's going to go through your toll-free number you're going to you're going to try to select your use case again we provided reasonable defaults and when you click on the drop down you will see various use cases what the toll-free number is going to be used for and and you're also going to provide a short description to augment and supplement what you're going to be selecting from a use case list now we also try to provide reasonable defaults for you in terms of what the sample messages might be like depending on your use case but still take a look at this and see if this is consistent with the messages that you're going to be sending out again this is this is a very very small sample text and don't don't feel shy personalizing this and telling the carriers what the messages are going to be like it only going to help when when the carriers see consistent messaging flowing through your toll-free number as a as the last step as a penultimate step you're you're looking at the opt-in method as as you know this is not an optional step opt-in must be opt-in must be must be obtained from before you could start texting and you're here you're simply indicating how the opt-in was was achieved from your customers that you're going to be sending sending the messages to now let's look at the ineligible use cases again if you're a business if your business falls one of the in one of the categories uh listed here you simply cannot use toll-free number for for the purpose you can some of these some of these use cases are more more appropriate for a 10 dlc and a loan form loan code number so take a look at this this is going to be posted on our website um so you you won't have to you won't have to search a lot in order to find this but but please be be cognizant of this because if the business is going to be consistent with one of these categories it's going to get rejected now let's talk about the deadline let's talk about the deadline and optionality for the toll-free number verification deadlines are broken down into uh two separate two separate stages first is toll-free number registration so toll-free number registration deadline for new numbers is actually has come and gone and it was on may 15th so if you are um obviously if you uh if you're just signing up for the account and you don't have a toll-free number uh it's gonna apply to you right away and you will have to do this if you're getting the number however if you have existing toll-free numbers your deadline is september 30th it is not unfortunately it is not optional you have to you have to get this done in order for a toll-free number uh to function properly now let's cover some of the q a ben if you uh have any any additions to the process please feel free to chime in yeah absolutely just kind of you know to to reframe the the why of this in in order to avoid avoid our toll-free numbers not uh not sending out messages to our end and customers directly to avoid any sort of delay and service we need to validate uh and verify any toll-free numbers that we have in the account by september 30th super simple to do obviously we just we just provide a bit of information around what you know what company what what the type of message we're going to be sending and how do how are customers entering our ecosystem so long as we validate all three of those those elements process is super simple and we we bake this into into our our application directly to allow you to be able to submit this information in a matter of just a couple clicks probably two minutes or less on average thank you ben on average we see everybody getting through the through the full process uh as quick as 10 minutes and most of the information most of the time is taken by you collecting the information that you thought you possibly uh you didn't know you possibly would need for the for the process so again a first business profile and especially if you have registered for 10 dlc loan code numbers then you you already would have filled out the business profile and you can absolutely skip that step and just simply fill out the information that's just pertinent pertinent for toll-free numbers now i'm gonna cover some of the q a since we um since we already gone through this process with number of our clients starting may 15 with new numbers that needed to be registered we have accumulated quite a few questions that that came up so we want to address it proactively sales message the only company that told free number verification effects well the answer is no this affects industry it this is a industry-wide change any company that enables toll-free number traffic flowing through must must go through it and by extension everybody who's sending who's sending any traffic on toll-free numbers must get this done and we're we're just doing this on your how much does it cost for me to to register my to go through the verification process well the cost is it's free of free of charge you don't have to pay anything this is this is completely free what countries is this applicable to currently it's only applicable to two countries if you're sending traffic in the united states and canada this is a must do no other country has this specific certification and verification as mandatory specifically as stated there might be other compliance rules that you might have to adhere to but for now this is just applicable to us and canada what are the implication of unverified numbers so there's there there's certainly some some punitive elements to this to this compliance what we had seen for numbers that are not has not gone through the verification we've seen slow downs throttling and sometimes even blacklisting if that occurs that it would take quite some time for your number to be to be on on to be to be returned to a usable state so please keep that in mind and don't chance it told three number of verification is it just uh do you have to do this once or do you need to do it multiple times unfortunately this process has to be repeated not not in every step but the at the conclusion you need to when you have multiple numbers and again as i mentioned at the beginning there are legitimate business cases where toll-free or multiple toll-free numbers are required one of the emblematic use cases for that purpose is franchise if you have a franchise chances are and you have it in multiple you have it in multiple states chances are you will you will have multiple numbers associated multiple toll-free numbers associated with each franchisee now one of the ways that you can reduce the burden is to submit multiple numbers at the same time in bulk and we certainly do allow that but you do have to repeat this process several times if you are registering if the time if your timeline is is not immediate between between the numbers and you're getting them on the time lapse you need to do it multiple times how long does it take for me to go through the verification process well it varies for business as i mentioned if all the information you filled out is accurate it could take two three days sometimes up to a week however if information is not accurate and the application gets rejected it could certainly take up to several weeks in order for the process to be repeated and what are the different um what are the different rules for the exhibit for new and existing numbers i mentioned it at the beginning the rules are pretty much the same it's just the it's just the deadline for them was different so initial initial deadline was applicable to new numbers and september 30th is applicable to existing numbers so please don't procrastinate and go through this process to avoid any service interruptions that's it i'm happy to hand it off to ben to you for any uh partying comments absolutely yeah thanks thanks so much sergey for kind of covering the process that we that we baked into our application yeah we want to be your advisors on how to best implement sms for your sales marketing customer engagement some combination of three different campaigns um as a part of that partnership with your company we want to we want to ensure that you guys are ahead of the curve as we're seeing these these landscape changes uh on the sms and mms space uh so toll-free verification it benefits everyone ultimately fewer spammers leveraging toll-free numbers uh to be able to send out phishing and and harmful texts benefits everyone it increases customer confidence in being able to view a text from a toll-free number engage with the content as we see a continual decrease in spam traffic on those on those numbers because they are unverified should only take a little while in the process again you know providing accurate information during the application will help it go much smoother uh we're seeing the timelines for that verification uh climb down over time especially as as we uh continue to refine our process with our upstream partners and carriers directly so we will continue to uh to keep you or your team informed the status of your numbers within the application directly but for any any step in the process you have a question what does this mean how do i best submit this information for my brand feel free to reach out to our support team we are here to be your advisors in this process and how to best leverage sms and if you're if you're watching this webinar not currently a sales message customer we would love the opportunity to to work with your brand and to uh to achieve your business outcomes using sms as a vehicle to connect with your customers feel free to sign for a trial and then reach out to us if you have any questions about is this right for my team is this right for my business or my campaign we would love to help all right well ben thank you so much for the informative webinar and guys happy texting thank you
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