Dedicated SMS Number Requirements (USA and Canada)
Starting from September 20, 2022, all Power Diary accounts in the US and Canada require a dedicated SMS number for sending and receiving text messages.
The requirement for a dedicated SMS number is enforced by mobile network carriers who will only send SMS from a number that has been verified for legitimate business use. This requirement was designed to tackle fraud, reduce spam and ensure compliance with industry best practices. Due to these requirements, all Power Diary accounts in the US and Canada will need to apply for a dedicated SMS number to be able to send and receive SMS. This article will cover how to apply for your dedicated SMS number, the benefits of having a dedicated SMS number, best practices for text messaging, and what happens if you don't have a dedicated number.
All existing customers: To prevent any disruption to your SMS usage, you must apply for your dedicated SMS number by 20th September. If you have an application in before this date, you will be able to continue sending SMS until your application is processed by the telecommunications provider.
In this article:
- What is a dedicated SMS number?
- Benefits of a dedicated number
- Cost of a dedicated SMS number
- Applying for your dedicated toll-free number
- How to register with your existing toll-free number
- Best practices for text messaging
- What happens if you don't have a dedicated number?
What is a Dedicated SMS Number?
A dedicated SMS number is a single number that is verified by the telecommunication providers and assigned to your business. All SMS sent from your Power Diary account will be sent from this dedicated number. The type of number that will be used is a Toll-Free number.
Benefits of a dedicated number
- A dedicated SMS Number will be assigned exclusively to the registered business account.
- Businesses with a dedicated SMS number will be able to send and receive text messages through Power Diary - reducing your no-shows, communicating seamlessly with clients, and improving your customer service. (See how appointment reminders and confirmations work or get ideas for other types of SMSes to send to customers.)
- Your clients will be able to save the dedicated SMS number in their contacts for future reference, making it more convenient for them to contact the business.
- Plus, messages will be less likely to be blocked as spam by telecommunication providers.
Cost of a Dedicated SMS Number
- The cost for a Dedicated SMS Number is just $4.99 per month. The SMS usage fees remain unchanged, and there is no additional application fee.
- As a special INTRODUCTORY OFFER, if you submit your registration now, Power Diary will cover the $4.99 monthly fee for the rest of this year. Your number will be FREE until January 2023. Plus, when you do start paying in January 2023 you will receive 35 free SMS credits every month.
Applying for your dedicated SMS number
The process for applying for your dedicated SMS number is simple!
Once you are subscribed to Power Diary, you can follow these steps to apply for your dedicated SMS number:
- Go to Setup > Subscription > Dedicated SMS Number.
(Note that you will need "Set Up and Configure" permissions in order to do this.)
- Click on "Apply for a dedicated SMS Number".
- A form, pre-filled with the business information you already provided, will load. Ensure that this information is correct and fill out any blank fields. This data will be used to submit your application for a dedicated number to the telecommunications provider.
- Click "Next" once you have completed the form.
- Read the disclaimer and click on the checkbox to indicate your agreement and consent.
- Click "Submit Application" to finalize the application.
What happens next?
After you submit the application, it will be reviewed by the telecommunications provider. Once it has been verified, you will be notified by us via email, and your new number will be visible in your account on the Dedicated SMS Number page, as well as in Setup > Configuration > Communication. You will then be able to send SMS from your Power Diary account using that number.
How to register with your existing toll-free number
If you already have a toll-free number you can use this as your dedicated number for sending in Power Diary. To achieve this, our messaging provider will take over the role of sending SMS for your TFN (this won't impact voice services for your TFN - these will remain with your current voice provider).
This is not supported by all providers, such as carriers like ATT, Verizon, and Bandwidth.
VOIP numbers are able to be used, but again the SMS component would be routed through our messaging provider.
There are no additional charges for using your own TFN.
If you would like to use your own TFN as your dedicated number in Power Diary, please follow these steps:
- Apply for a dedicated number and fill out the application form as described in this article.
- Once you have applied, please email email@example.com to request that your existing TFN is used and provide your TFN in the email.
- The support team will provide you with a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to fill out to proceed with moving the SMS component of your number to our provider.
Best practices for text messaging
Any business sending SMS should follow the best practices and compliance set by the regulatory bodies specific to their region. In the US, this includes the Federal Communications Commission, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, and the Mobile Marketing Association. We recommend reviewing their guidelines for comprehensive information on best practices and compliance.
In brief, best practices include (but are not limited to):
- Gain a person's consent before you message them
- Identify your business in every message
- List the opt-out on every message (i.e. reply STOP to opt-out)
- Do not use all caps
- Do not link to third-party sites
- Do not use public link shorteners (such as bit.ly)
- Do not include any content that falls into the definitions of "SHAFT" - ie Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and any illicit substance
Following best practices for SMS sending will help to reduce the likelihood of your SMS being flagged as spam or fraudulent which could block further sending from the number.
What happens if you don't have a dedicated number?
If you have not applied for a dedicated SMS number you will not be able to send SMS messages to your clients through Power Diary.
If you do not want to send SMS through Power Diary you will need to decline the dedicated number. To decline please follow these steps:
- Go to Setup → Subscription → Dedicated SMS Number
- Select "I do not require the text messaging service"