Requirements for Sending Survey Invitations via SMS at ClearlyRated

SMS Best Practices and Requirements

At ClearlyRated we adhere to published best practices from CTIA when it comes to sending survey invitations over SMS on behalf of our clients. CTIA is a wireless industry association that is comprised of all the major carriers in the US and Canada (at&t, Verizon, etc.) and other companies within the wireless ecosystem.

By adhering to CTIA best practices for non-consumer A2P (application to person) automated text messaging we ensure both our clients and ClearlyRated are in full compliance with US federal laws (TCPA) regarding sending text messages to consumers, which is regulated in a very different way than email.

The single most important requirement for sending survey invitations over text message is explicit opt-in consent to communicate with the individual you would like to survey via text,  which can only be gathered by you ahead of your survey and not by ClearlyRated during the surveying process. Carriers can refuse to deliver survey invitation text messages if you have not collected opt-in prior to sending the survey invitations, therefore we will require you to confirm that has happened and that you will filter your data accordingly so we only send text messages to individuals that have opted-in to receiving communication from you via text.

It is very important to note that ClearlyRated is not able to provide specific legal guidance for each of our clients. The opt-in information below is for reference only and does not constitute legal advice. We encourage you to discuss opt-in with your legal counsel to ensure you are fully in compliance with the opt-in requirements that might exist for your business. What we have provided below are best practices for opt-in from CTIA.

Opt-in

In order for ClearlyRated to send a survey invitation on your behalf via a text message you must have previously collected explicit consent to communicate to the survey taker via text message. Simply filling in a form field with a cell phone is not an explicit opt-in best practice and is likely not a legal method of assuming opt-in. It is important that the individual clearly understands you will use their cell phone number to send them a text message as part of their working or business relationship with your company, which is most easily accomplished with a checkbox on an online form during some part of your client or employee onboarding process. You do not have to specifically ask for consent to send a survey invitation, but if you intend to also send them marketing/promotional information via text you should be specific about that as it would not be categorized as transactional like satisfaction surveys are.

A simple example of how you can accomplish this would be the following form within some part of your onboarding process for a client or employee:

Cell Phone:
Yes, I consent to ABC Company sending me text messages at the number above as part of our business or employment relationship, knowing message and data rates may apply. You can always opt-out by replying with STOP.

Opt-out

Equally important to opt-in is providing a mechanism for opt-out after a survey invitation is sent via text. ClearlyRated has opt-out built into our SMS survey invitation technology. If a survey taker responds with STOP via a text message our system will record that as an SMS unsubscribe and will no longer send any additional text messages to that individual on your behalf. You are able to download all survey takers that have opted out of survey invitation text messages.

In order to communicate opt-out information to the survey taker we must include "Msg&data rates may apply. Reply HELP or STOP to cancel." at the end of your survey invitation text message.

Verified SMS Number

Our SMS service provider provides a verification process that allows us to verify our intention to use a specific number to send your survey invitations. The verification process reduces the chance that a carrier will reject or otherwise limit delivery of your survey invitation text messages. The process can take up to 10 business days to process and complete after you have provided the required opt-in information to your account manager. This is not a requirement, but failure to complete this process can have a negative impact on your text message delivery and we highly encourage our clients to complete this process with us.

Message Delivery Restrictions (over 20k text messages)

There are very specific industry-wide hard limits on how many text messages can be sent via different text message channels that are imposed by the carriers and SMS service providers. At ClearlyRated, we use text enabled toll-free numbers for each of our clients that are restricted to sending approximately 1.5 messages per second before they will begin being rejected by our SMS provider and the carriers, which requires us to use a different strategy with really large survey invitation lists via text. If you expect to send text messages to more than 20,000 individuals in one survey you should communicate with your salesperson or account manager to discuss other options that are more expensive and require more lead time to have approved by carriers.