Create and send broadcast text messages through Salsa Engage. Target specific supporter segments who have provided you with their mobile number and opted-in to receive text messages from you.
Broadcast Text Training and Overview
Check out the Salsa Scholars Broadcast Text training course. Watch our Quick Clips video (below) to get a quick overview.
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.
You must make sure to obtain prior express consent from the supporters you are trying to contact. It's important that your supporters understand the types of message content that they are signing up for and the frequency at which they should expect to receive texts. Even information-only text messages from your organization require consent. Add the Text Opt-In Activity Field on your forms to aid compliance and consent.
Text Best Practices
Mobile carriers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and trade associations set the rules for the text marketing industry. For the safety and satisfaction of their customers, mobile carriers are putting all text message traffic under increased scrutiny. This consortium is implementing filtering and blocking as they see fit. Adhering to the points below will help to ensure that your text messages are being delivered to your supporters as smoothly as possible.
Only Send Messages to Opted-In Supporters
Make sure to obtain prior express consent from the supporters you are trying to contact. Your supporters should understand the types of message content that they have signed up for and the frequency at which they should expect to receive texts. The easiest way to accommodate this is to add mobile phone opt-in elements to your Engage Activity forms.
Avoid Questionable Content
The SHAFT mnemonic (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco) is to help you remember what NOT to text. Generally, including any sales marketing of these content topics in your call-to-action or any of your messages is considered one of the highest violations, and usually results in an immediate ban. Please refer to the list of prohibited content for more information.
Do not use third-party link shorteners
Carriers will tend to block messages containing shortened links from such providers as bit.ly and tinyurl in your hyperlinks. Salsa already shortens links for you.
Keep Text Message Content Relevant
The text campaigns you send should pertain to your organization. Sending messages or solicitation that falls outside the scope of your organization's programs and activities could result in supporters reporting your messages as spam and getting your messages blocked by mobile carriers. As always, consult your attorney for clarification on any potential legal issues.
Time Zone Considerations
You are responsible for adhering to regulations and best practices when sending text messages. Time zones should be considered when sending to large geographic areas. Keep text message communications within normal daytime hours for your supporters, regardless of their time zones.
Salsa Engage supports text messaging to supporters with United States 10-digit telephone numbers. Leave off the 1 before the area code.
Text Subscription Status
Supporters may explicitly opt-in to receive your messages by entering their mobile number on one of your activity forms and agreeing to your Opt-In field settings. Supporters may also explicitly opt-out from receiving your text messages by replying to a text message with a STOP command. If the supporter's cell number is either imported into the system without an opt-in status or manually added through a supporter edit, their opt-in status is Unknown.
Supporters who are explicitly opted-in will receive text messages. Supporters should remain in Engage, even if they opt-out of receiving texts.
Campaign Manager Workflow
Campaign managers need to...
- Create the broadcast text message.
- Provide supporters with a way to opt-in to receive those text messages.
Supporters opt-in to receive messages on one of your Activity forms that have a Text Opt-In Field. Supporters receive messages from you until they reply to your Broadcast Text number (the same number from which they receive the text messages) with a supported command to unsubscribe.
When a supporter completes an Activity form with the Cell Phone field completed, Engage searches the database for matching Cell Phone numbers. Engage does not force Cell Phone numbers to be unique in the database, but only one record with a given Cell Phone number can be opted in at any given time.
If there is only one matching record and it is a Text-Only Subscriber record, then Engage will merge the two records with the updated activity form information. If there are one or more matching records with different email addresses and the new form submission opts in to receive text messages, then all existing records except the most recently submitted record will be the one that is opted in to receive text messages.
At the time of opt-in, whether for the first time or re-subscribing from an unsubscribed state, the supporter will receive a confirmation message for compliance purposes.
When a supporter actively opts-out by replying with a STOP keyword to a broadcast text, that number is blacklisted by our text message gateway. This is to protect the supporter from receiving unwanted messages that would violate anti-spam regulations. It also protects your organization from receiving spam complaints from accidentally messaging opted-out supporters.
Signing up and opting-in on an activity form will not opt the supporter back in to receive text messages. If a supporter has opted out by replying STOP to a broadcast text message, the only way for them to opt back in to receive messages is to text START or UNSTOP to the same number.
Supported one-word commands include...
STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE,
|Unsubscribe from Broadcast Text messages.|
|Subscribe to Broadcast Text messages.|
|Basic helpful information, such as how to opt-out.|
Add Supporter Mobile Numbers Manually
To manually add a cell phone number to an existing supporter record, edit the existing supporter record. If the cell phone number already exists on a different supporter record, you will see a warning when you attempt to save the number:
There is already an active Text subscriber with the Cell Phone number ###-###-#### (supporter name, supporter email, supporter ID). Saving the same Cell Phone number on this record will unsubscribe the current supporter from Text messages. Click OK to save this Cell Phone number and unsubscribe the current supporter. Click Cancel to go back and change the Cell Phone number for this supporter.
NOTE: All cell phone number fields initially have a status of Unknown. Adding a mobile number manually will not change that Unknown status. Only supporters may opt themselves into receiving your text messages, and simply adding their number will not opt them in.
Import Supporter Mobile Numbers
If you have been using a different service and would like to import already consented numbers into Salsa Engage, we've made it easy for you. Use the existing functionality to import a list. Normally you would have to deduplicate on email address. If you do not have email address, import a list consisting of only cell phone numbers.
When importing a list of Text-Only subscribers in the Supporter Import tool, choose the Supporter List with Cell Phone Only option. For records that include Email Address or External ID values, we recommend importing using the Supporter List with Email and/or Unique ID option. Using Email Address or External ID as matching criteria is a more certain way to prevent duplicate records in your system. To import using Engage UUID values as the matching criteria, you must use the “Supporter List with Email and/or Unique ID” option.
Consent is important for all your contacts, not just new contacts. Be sure that each and every phone number has given you permission to send them messages.
Please contact Salsa Support if you have any questions or concerns before importing a list of opted-in cell phone subscribers.