US mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are working hard to cut down on spam call and text traffic on their networks. Overall this is a good thing (how many times have you been asked about your car’s extended warranty?), but it also means that the landscape of using calls and texts as a business is changing. You may need to change how you call and text to ensure your calls and texts go through to your leads and to keep them from being flagged as spam by carriers.
Carriers are looking at calling/texting behaviors to identify spam traffic, such as:
- Answer rate (Percentage connected; unique answered)
- Call length (<4 seconds, for example)
- Calls attempted per unique number (calling the same number 3-10 times, such as wardialing)
- % Unwanted calls (Calls declined; calls reported)
- Time of reported calls (3 am, for example)
The good news is that by conducting legitimate business and using your Follow Up Boss numbers for ongoing conversations with your clients, you’ll be set up for success.
Your business information is required by US mobile carriers to avoid text delivery failures. This information is provided once per account on the Business Registration Form. More information here: How to register your phone numbers.
From now on, your numbers will be tied to your business. What does this mean?
- Your business’ phone reputation will be increasingly important.
- If you're being flagged as SPAM, just swapping out numbers will not be a viable solution.
Not to worry. Follow these best practices to keep your numbers from being flagged as spam.
Build Your Number Reputation
- Make your number known
- Include your Follow Up Boss phone number in your email signature and website
- Ask contacts to save your Follow Up Boss number on their phones
- In texts with someone you don't know, introduce yourself and your company name
- Be clear and transparent about who you are and why you’re calling/texting
- Be as personalized as possible in voicemails and texts
- Obtain opt-ins before contacting people
- Offer clear opt-outs for people who no longer want to be contacted
- Do not contact people after they ask you to stop
- Provide value and service so people will not flag your number as spam
- Follow your state’s laws and regulations for call opt-ins and opt-outs
- Do not call cold lists of numbers who are not expecting to hear from you
- Do not call numbers on the Do Not Call Registry
- Have a clearly defined process for how you mark contacts in your database who tell you not to contact them. (Make sure any agents on your team follow this process, too)
- Maintain a high call answer rate. Use your Follow Up Boss to conduct ongoing phone conversations with your contacts to keep a higher answer rate.
- Leave voicemails or send a follow-up text if you do not reach someone to let them know who you are and how you can help them vs. calling over and over
Remember that Follow Up Boss is designed for you to grow your business by sending 1 to 1 text messages between you and clients with whom you have a relationship. It is not for mass texting, drip texting, or spamming.
- Maintain high response rates and low opt-out rates. Use your Follow Up Boss number for text conversations with your clients to help maintain a high response rate.
- Follow Up Boss scores your text templates automatically. Review your text templates’ performance score regularly and fix templates with low reply rates or high opt-out rates.
- Text Message Behavior
- All leads need to give consent prior to you texting them for the first time (unless you have established a business relationship with them through means such as a form on your website)
- Filling out a form on a website is NOT an opt-in unless opt-in verbiage is present on the form (stating that you may text them). Inquiry about a property/service is consent to message/call for 90 days, prior business relationship e.g. sell/buy a home is 18 months as long as there is clear consent opt-in.
- Phone numbers on the Do Not Call list should NOT be texted
- Avoid texting leads multiple times when you have received no response
- Only text leads who expect to hear from you. Do NOT cold text leads, import lists of leads and text, copy/paste text lead by lead, or spam text messages using the lead navigator and our text templates.
- Text Message Content
- Initial outreach (first) text messages should include opt-out verbiage such as "Reply STOP to unsubscribe".
- Personalize your texts and introduce yourself and your company name
- When texting a URL, include the full URL (not a shortened link) so carriers know which business the link directs to.
- Avoid spammy language in your text messages (i.e. "Click on this link for more information about how we can save you thousands on your next home")
Caller ID Shows “Spam Likely”
If someone you call tells you your number is showing “Spam Likely” that means your number has been flagged as spam on their cell phone carrier. Each carrier has its own list of numbers they’ve flagged as spam, their own process for spotting spam traffic on their network, and they don’t make this process public. This means that you may call two different leads and one sees “Spam Likely” and the other doesn’t.
Remember: Every person you contact can flag your number as spam with their own cell carrier. Don’t give them a reason to flag you as spam; provide value and service.
If you are following the best practices outlined above and have been flagged as spam, we can request that carriers clear the spam flag from your number.
- Review the best practices above to ensure compliance.
- Fill out the Free Call Registry form to request that carriers remove the spam flag from your number: https://www.freecallerregistry.com/fcr/#submitform.
You can include multiple phone numbers on the form. If you are registering more than 5 numbers and need a list of all the phone numbers in your Follow Up Boss account, contact us at email@example.com and we can provide that to you.
For Calling Company URL, fill in your business website. For Service Provider, fill in "Twilio."
- Once your information is submitted, each carrier’s spam provider will respond directly to you by email. This part of the process happens outside of Follow Up Boss and is controlled by each carrier and their spam provider. Typical response times are:
- Hiya (on behalf of AT&T): 24 hours
- TNS (on behalf of Verizon): 24 hours
- First Orion (on behalf of T-mobile, Sprint, Cell1): 30 days
Follow Up Boss is here to partner with you. If you are following the best practices and are still being flagged as spam, please let us know so we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
The same rules apply when contacting a consumer by phone or text, regardless of the software you use to contact them. We recommend asking the provider how they help you stay in compliance with business texting laws and regulations.
There are some options for drip texting or mass texting outside of Follow Up Boss.Drip Text: