We’re excited to offer powerful text messaging features at no cost to you! Thanks to generous donors who want to see the “big C” Church thrive, funds have been secured that allow your text messaging plan to be included at no cost to you.

This means you can send and receive unlimited text messages from your Gloo account! However, this doesn’t mean we encourage you to send and receive unlimited text messages. This article is designed to help you understand the best practices and industry guidelines so that your messages continue to be sent and your phone number does not get blocked by carriers.

Curious why Gloo uses toll-free numbers? Check out this article.

What is happening in the industry and why?

The messaging industry is making changes to the message volumes that can be sent over an unverified Toll-Free number.

With text messaging being such a personal and effective form of communication, it makes it susceptible to spamming and ill-intended usage. This means that carriers are cracking down in order to protect consumers. This is good news! And it also means there are some implications and regulations you need to be aware of to ensure your text messages continue to get sent.

What are we doing about it?

Currently, we are not enforcing any volume limitations in your account. However, see the section below for what we recommend you implement for your account’s volume.

Additionally, as a service to you, every new account phone number that is claimed will be initiated into our Toll-Free Number Verification process.

Note: This is not the Account Verification Process that you complete at sign up. Toll-Free Number Verification is a secondary process.

Important: This Toll- Free Number Verification process can take anywhere from 2-3 months to complete after initially claiming your phone number. This does not mean that you cannot send any messages until that time. This only means that we recommend a lower volume to be sent while your Toll- Free Number Verification is pending.

Note: Toll-Free Number Verification decreases the likelihood of your text messages getting flagged as spam by carriers. Toll-Free Number Verification doesn’t systematically remove or prevent all spam blocking. However, it will allow us to resolve blocked messages with the carrier more quickly. Verification only impacts active deliverability with our toll-free messaging partner and not mobile carriers.

What do you need to do?

No additional action is required of you to verify your phone number except to take the time to wait for the approval!

Until your claimed number has completed the Toll-Free Number Verification process, we suggest that you stay within these recommended message limits to prevent carriers from marking your messages as spam:

  • Daily limit: 2,000 messages

  • Weekly limit: 12,000 messages

  • Monthly limit: 25,000 messages

Additionally, please take some time to familiarize yourself with these best practices. Follow these guidelines in order to prevent your phone number from being blocked. Continue to follow these even after your phone number is verified too!

  • Obtain a clear opt-in from your recipients before sending them messages (the opt-in does not need to be via SMS).

  • Provide easy ways for your users to opt-out of messages.

  • Maintain a very low opt-out (STOP reply) rate from your recipients.

  • Use shortened, branded URLs for the highest deliverability levels when sending links in the message body. (We recommend our internal Gloo app URL shortener.) Do not use shared URL shorteners (such as popular free URL shortening services like Bit.ly) as these are forbidden by US carriers and will result in filtering.

  • Avoid inappropriate content and any language related to it - including but not limited to profanity, violence, gambling, controlled substances, etc.

What if you don’t take action?

If you do not follow these guidelines, your phone number may get blocked by our provider and carriers. This means you would no longer be able to send and receive messages until that gets resolved. Even though we can help you pursue this after a phone number blockage, we cannot guarantee at this time how long resolution will take. As the saying goes - prevention is the best medicine, and that applies here too!

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