Toll-Free Message Verification refers to a process that allows businesses to send application-to-person (A2P) type messaging via toll-free phone numbers.
Note: If you’re on a plan with SMS marketing and are noticing that Privy Text features are disabled in your account, it’s likely that your toll-free message verification is still under review.
Note: Privy Text messages can only be sent to numbers registered in the United States and Canada (+1 country code) at this time. Your business/industry must also not conflict with any of the content restrictions outlined in Privy's Acceptable Use Policy to send messages.
The toll-free messaging verification process was put in place as a result of a collaboration between The Campaign Registry (TCR), a consortium of mobile network operators, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. TCR has introduced industry standards that now require toll-free numbers to be registered and vetted before they can be used for SMS marketing.
Benefits of Toll-Free Message Verification
Toll-Free Messaging provides benefits for brands and consumers:
Build consumer trust
Toll-free messaging verification requirements are in place to eliminate bad actors and spam from the SMS marketing ecosystem and ensure the trust of consumers. By enforcing stricter verification processes, consumers can trust that their SMS inboxes are being protected from spam and fraud schemes.
Reduce the chance of being filtered by carriers
Toll-free numbers are recognized as belonging to a business, which gives consumers confidence that they’re engaging with a business or brand. This reduces the chances of consumers unsubscribing or reporting your message as spam, which makes your messages less likely to be filtered by carriers.
Ensure better deliverability rates
Toll-free numbers are ideal for high-volume and promotional messages like sale reminders, back-in-stock alerts, limited-time offers, and more. This means that you can send more text messages without worrying about delayed delivery or processing times.
Complying with these verification standards offers more stability, better delivery rates, and improved security for consumers.
Toll-Free Messaging Verification Process Overview
What is a toll-free number?
Toll-free numbers are those that start with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833 numbers like +1 (800) 968-00xx. Toll-free numbers are great for businesses new to SMS marketing as they give your brand a professional phone number to send text messages. As the SMS marketing industry has evolved, Toll-Free Messaging has become the industry standard due to its ability to support high-volume messaging often associated with SMS marketing. Toll-free messaging is a system that outlines how applications like Privy send text messages to your customers on your behalf. Privy Text uses toll-free numbers so users can send marketing text messages.
Verified vs. unverified toll-free numbers
A business can have 1 verified toll-free number associated with their brand.
To be verified, a toll-free number must go through an application process to be approved by wireless carriers. Once approved, the toll-free number will be associated with that specific business and the number will be recognized as ‘verified’ by wireless carriers.
We don’t recommend collecting phone numbers or sending text messages until your toll-free number has been verified. You can design your displays and draft your SMS campaigns and automations, but do not publish or activate these until your number is verified.
Unverified toll-free numbers are those that are:
- Pending verification, meaning that the number is currently undergoing the verification process
- Not verified, meaning that the number was rejected for verification
Note: Not all organizations qualify for toll-free message verification. Privy Text does not support SMS marketing for industries restricted by wireless carriers as certain materials and content are prohibited from being sent via SMS. If you are using Privy Text, please ensure you follow our Acceptable Use Policy, as this is agreed upon in our Terms and Conditions when you first sign up for an account with Privy.
Your website must be live for your toll-free number to be verified. If your toll-free verification request is rejected, a member of the Privy team will contact you to resubmit your request to our carrier partner.
If your number has been rejected for verification, you will not be able to send any messages or collect phone numbers that are textable in Privy.
How do I submit my application for verification?
The first time you attempt to access a feature of the Privy Text product, such as abandoned cart texts or broadcast texts, a registration modal will appear. To submit your registration, please ensure any pre-populated information is accurate and provide any missing information. Once your registration is submitted, the toll-free message verification process will begin.
The following information is required, you will not receive a toll-free number unless you provide it:
- The business owner’s first and last name
- Business’s billing address (street, city, state, zip code, country)
- Business phone number
What happens after I submit my registration
Once your registration is submitted, your toll-free number for SMS marketing is put in a ‘pending’ state while your registration details are verified. The toll-free message verification process typically takes approximately 2-3 weeks, though it may take longer if the initial verification request is rejected due to insufficient business information.
Please note that your website must be live throughout the entire verification process in order to be approved. A key part of verification is checking that the business is active and not a scam. If you haven't already, make sure to set your website live.
While you are in a Pending state, your toll-free number is considered ‘Unverified’ and your access to Privy’s SMS marketing features are limited. Any phone numbers you collect with Privy displays while your verification is pending will not be considered testable.
Additionally, you won’t be able to take the following actions in your Privy account until fully verified:
- Send or schedule SMS campaigns
- Activate SMS automations like After Signup Texts and Abandoned Cart Texts
You may draft SMS campaigns and automations to send and activate once your toll-free number is verified.
When your verification status is set to ‘Verified,’ you will be able to access the features outlined above to begin collecting textable phone numbers and sending text messages.
What can I do while my verification status is pending?
While you await verification for your Toll-Free number, Privy Text features will be limited in your account. That said, we recommend getting your account ready so you can hit the ground running once you’re verified:
- Design displays to collect phone numbers
- Draft your After Signup Text
- Draft your Abandoned Cart Text Message
- Draft your first SMS campaign
As noted above, you won’t be able to collect textable phone numbers until your Toll-Free number is verified. Any SMS automations and campaigns you draft while unverified can be activated or sent once you’re verified.
What should I do once my Verification is approved?
It’s best to start sending text messages with your toll-free number soon after being approved. Carriers expect SMS marketing programs to be active and consistently messaging subscribers. If there is a long pause of multiple weeks between your toll-free number being verified and sending your first message, carriers may revert your status back to unverified and filter your message.
What can I do if my verification request is rejected?
There are a few common reasons why your verification request may be rejected:
Your business is in a restricted industry
Wireless carriers have additional restrictions for certain types of brand and part of the verification process includes checking your site for any prohibited content (often referred to as SHAFT). SHAFT refers to sex, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco, including CBD. Carriers block or filter text messages that contain SHAFT content to protect consumers, especially underage consumers, from being exposed to SHAFT products and marketing. At this time, Privy is unable to support SMS marketing for brands who sell items that fall within any SHAFT category.
Incomplete or unpublished product catalog
If your product catalog is not published, your Toll-Free verification request may be denied. Similarly, online stores that are still being built may have their verification request rejected by carriers if the website or product catalog appears incomplete.
Website not live or password protected
Your Toll-Free verification request may be denied if your business’ website is not yet live or is password protected because this prevents your site from being reviewed by audit teams. You can expect your verification request to remain rejected until your site is live and can be fully audited.
If your toll-free verification request is rejected, a member of the Privy team will contact you to resubmit your request to our carrier partner.
Have additional questions?
Please feel free to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.