Restricted message categories for
SMS and MMS in the US and Canada

The Following Content is Restricted when using Saay

Note: you must have direct permission from each number you text.

Category

Examples

Notes

Risky Financial Services

• Payday loans
• Short term high-interest loans
• Third-party auto loans
• Third-party mortgage loans
• Student loans
• Cryptocurrency
• Other loan types & lending
• Debt consolidation, reduction & repair
• Tax relief programs

“Third-party” means originating from any party other than the one which will service the loan.

Lead generation services

• Companies that buy, sell, or share consumer information.

Debt collection or forgiveness

• Third-party debt collection
• Debt consolidation
• Debt reduction
• Credit repair programs

“Third-party” means originating from any party other than the one who is owed the debt. For example, a hospital could send messages regarding bills for its own patients, assuming they provided opt-in to receive that messaging.

“Get rich quick” schemes

• Work-from-home programs
• Risk investment opportunities
• Pyramid schemes
• MLM schemes

This is different from outreach about employment as a result of compliant opt-in practices, messages from brokerages to their members, investment news alerts, or other investment-related messages.

Illegal substances

• Cannabis (United States)
• CBD (United States)
• Prescription drugs

Cannabis is federally illegal in the United States. Cannabis businesses will not be permitted to use SMS/MMS messaging in the US, regardless of message content.
CBD is federally legal, but is not legal in some US states, so US carriers do not permit messaging related to CBD.
Offers for drugs that cannot be sold over-the-counter in the US/Canada are forbidden.

Gambling

• Casino apps
• Gambling websites

While gambling traffic is prohibited on Toll Free, it is allowed on Short Code, or Long Code, as long as proper age gating procedures are in place.

Shortened URLS

• When sending SMS or MMS messages containing shortened URLs, use a dedicated short domain that belongs to your business, or a service which offers a unique (non-shared) domain for your URLs.

Do not send links that have been shortened using shared public URL shorteners, such as free TinyUrl or Bitly links. In the United States, carrier policies forbid the use of shared public URL shorteners, due to the frequency of use by spammers, scammers and other bad actors. 

The following is also prohibited

• Sex
• Hate
• Alcohol
• Firearms
• Tobacco
• Vaping-related traffic

Saay does not support traffic for anything in this category

Restricted Words:

The following words can get your campaigns restricted and/or banned by carriers.

Words associated with the restricted message categories are prohibited. COVID-19, pandemic, sweepstakes, cash, learn more, register, smallbiz, biz, free quote, free, bank, HARP, Department of Education, entitled, reduced, refi, refinance, payment, discharge lend, lending, profanity, lender, loan, loans, fund, funds, bank, approval, approved, debt, money, rate, apply, application, CBD, transfer, qualify, forgive, forgiveness, sex, sexual, firearm(s), gun(s), weapon(s), tobacco, cannabis, marijuana, vape, vaping, $$ symbol, any drug or alcohol related words, repeating symbols (Ex !!!) (ALL CAPS are also prohibited).

Other Prohibited Topics:

The following content is prohibited. All messages that do not have Prior Express Consent. Any messages containing financial services, personal attacks, sex, sexual products, hate, alcohol, sweepstakes, firearms, tobacco content, vaping, weapons, drugs, cannabis, cannabis products, gambling, fraud, spam, phishing, deceptive marketing, distribution or malware or app downloads from non-secure locations, loan, debt consolidation, debt relief and student loan programs from any enterprise that is not able to grant loans itself, affiliate marketing programs that seek to obtain opt-in subscriber lists, lead generation campaigns that indicate the sharing of collected information with third parties, work from home opportunities.

Two-Way Texting Guidelines & Best Practices

When using Two-way texting, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Texts must always come from the human sender:  Tip: (Ex: “This is Mike Anderson from Target ”)
  • Texts should come directly on behalf of the sender: Tip: Texts should be from you on behalf of who you are helping & should always be in 1st person. (Ex: I’m contacting you to remind you about a upcoming sale)
  • Limit Identical content: Messages should not be identical as these could look like spam when sending a large amount. TIP Use dynamic field replacements to add more variation to your messages
  • NO SPAM like messages: Tip:Messages MUST always sound natural. Just one person texting another person. TIP P2P is 1:1 texting and if it does not look and feel like a person is just sending out a message it could be blocked.
  • No Shortened URLs (ie bit.lys, tiny etc) – Tip: Use a real domain name
  • Always use the recipient’s name – Tip: (Hi John, this is Ed Lewis with Home Depot)
  • No Redirect URLs Tip: 301 & 302 redirects where the domain stays the same are okay)
  • No Use of Restricted Words & prohibited topics: Tip: See Above
  • Links must go to a legitimate site for the registered sender. Tip: Site must contain contact information & the site owner/purpose must be clearly labeled. Ex: Elect John Smith
  • No repeat sending: do not send more than one message to a same person within a 72-hour period

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