Guide to Texting Compliance in BellesLink
- Sending Text Opt-In Requests
- Customizing Opt-in Requests
- Text Messaging Opt-in Settings
- Toll-Free Texting Number Settings
Opt-Ins Are Required for Texting
Federal regulations require that you, as a business, have express written consent, an opt-in, from your customers before you text to them. Compliance with these regulations is built into BellesLink.
For your business, a text opt-in is a valuable connection with your customer. BellesLink has tools to help you request text opt-ins so you can text 1-to-1 with your customers.
A Toll-Free Number is Required for Texting
Best practices for business texting include the use of toll-free numbers. No matter the purpose, carriers require businesses to use toll-free numbers when texting. So, to begin texting with your customers, you need to have a toll-free number in your account.
We require you to setup your toll-free texting number with a custom number greeting and voicemail message. Doing so improves compliance with Federal regulations, aligns with best practices, and increases your contact rates.
Checkout our tutorial, Setting Up a New Toll-Free Number for Texting.
Compliance is an essential part of the BellesLink platform and it has been from the beginning. Our product follows industry best practices and complies with Federal regulations for the benefit of our customers. Our text messaging opt-in tools reflect that.
Paul Kulas, CEO, BellesLink
Getting a Text Opt-in
To get express written consent to text your customer using the BellesLink platform you need to send them an opt-in request message. Once your customer replies “Yes” to your request, you have their express written consent to receive text from your business. The opt-in is recorded in your account for compliance.
Your customer’s express written consent only applies to the phone number they opted-in with. It does not apply to any other phone number you may have for that customer.
A Basic Opt-in Request Message
A basic opt-in request includes your business name, instructions for opting in and opting out, your toll-free texting phone number, and a required notification of messaging rates.
A business name is required and cannot be removed. You can request a different business name be added to your account through your Text Message Opt-in Settings.
A contact phone number is required and cannot be removed. The toll-free texting number you are using to send the message is the number that will inserted into the opt-in request message.
Opt-in Request Limits
You can send your customer two (2) opt-in request messages. If they have not given their express written consent by replying “Yes”, the BellesLink platform will not allow you to text to them or send any additional opt-in requests.
Opt-in requests do not expire. When a customer texts “Yes” to the number you sent your request from, their opt-in will be recorded, no matter how much time as passed between the request and the reply.
Text Message Commands
These words will update the opt-in status of your customer’s phone number.
- Yes: Will opt-in the customer’s phone number when it follows an opt-in request message.
- Stop: Will opt-out a customer anytime, when it is the only word in the reply.
- Unstop: Will re-activate the customer’s opt-in. Use this when an opt-out is accidental.
Sending an Opt-in Request
For your business, a text opt-in is a valuable connection with your customer. BellesLink has tools to help you request text opt-ins (1) when you’re on a call with the customer and (2) as a first-contact text message.
Opt-in Requests During a Phone Call
For businesses that use cold calling, the best way to get an opt-in is to ask for it when you have the customer on a phone call. At the appropriate moment in the conversation, ask if you can text them some information. Let them know you need their permission to text with them, so you will first send them an opt-in request.
During a call, use the Request Opt-in button in the call controls. Clicking that button will bring up the Send Opt-in dialog box. You can customize your opt-in request with a business name, website url, and business details. Check our tutorial Customizing Opt-in Request Messages for more information.
Once they have replied YES to your request, their opt-in will be recorded and you are free to send them text messages.
Opt-in Requests As a First-Contact Text
You can send an opt-in request as a first contact from either the Text Messages screen or from a contact record.
In the text messages screen, start a new conversation using the customers number. At the bottom of the message thread column, use the “Send a custom opt-in request to this contact.” link.
That link will bring up the Send Opt-in dialog box. Customize the opt-in request with your business name, website url, and business details. Click Send and you‘re done.
Tools for Compliance
Opt-in request messages in BellesLink give you the essential tools you need to get express written consent and build a valuable, compliant connection with your customers. Set up your toll-free texting number to receive phone calls so your customers can call to verify your business or get more information. When you’re on a call with a customer, that’s the best time to ask for an opt-in.
- An opt-in from your customer, recorded in your BellesLink account, is required to text.
- A toll-free texting number, set up to receive calls, is required.
- Send opt-in request messages to get express written consent from your customers.
- When you’re on a call with a customer is the best time to ask for an opt-in.
Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.