Political SMS Marketing

Political Text Messaging – Campaign Verify Explained

Sep 04, 2020

what is campaign verify

If you’re using political campaign text messaging, there’s a good chance that you’ve recently heard about Campaign Verify. In the past week, we at Tatango have been flooded with questions about Campaign Verify, so we thought it would be best to create an FAQ post to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Campaign Verify. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Campaign Verify that we’ve received.


What is Campaign Verify?

According to their website: Campaign Verify is a U.S. non-profit organization with a mission to provide a public service—on a non-partisan basis—to verify the integrity and authenticity of text messages and other communications related to political campaigns and elections. Campaign Verify exists in order to educate the public, ensure public confidence in American elections, and protect political and civil rights in the election system.


What is Campaign Verify… Really?

In our words: Political text messaging is very popular right now, and is super important as it allows political candidates and organizations to communicate with their supporters, especially during times when face-to-face communications may not be possible. The wireless carriers realize this and want to support political text messaging, but until now, there’s been no way for carrier spam filters to accurately determine if a political text message is legitimate or not. Campaign Verify solves this problem for the wireless carriers and allows legitimate political text messages to get to supporters while protecting consumers from illegitimate political text messages.


Is Campaign Verify For Real?

When we first heard about Campaign Verify, we had questions, too. However, after researching the matter, we’re 100% confident that Campaign Verify is for real. Some of the industry confusion may have arisen because Campaign Verify was simply rolled out very quickly.

In text message marketing, whenever you want to get to the bottom of something, you talk to the wireless carriers. In this case, we spoke directly to wireless carriers, who have confirmed that Campaign Verify is for real.


Do Short Codes Need to be Verified?

Currently, only 10-digit phone numbers being used for political SMS marketing (federal campaigns only right now) need to register on Campaign Verify. We do anticipate in the future that political campaigns will have to register short codes on Campaign Verify, but it will not be required this year.


How Does Campaign Verify Work?

Getting your political text messaging campaign verified by Campaign Verify is an easy 5-step process. See below for an outline of the process, and when you’re ready to get verified, click here.

1. Find your filing record online

Locate your committee’s filing record with the FEC. Copy the URL, and make sure you have access to check the email inbox or postal mailbox that’s listed on the filing.

2. Submit your information to Campaign Verify

Sign into Campaign Verify with your email address or Google account. Fill in the information on the filing record, including the URL, and pay the applicable fee for the manual verification.

3. Get your secret PIN code

Once you submit, a Campaign Verify staff member will verify your information. Once approved, you will receive a secret PIN code sent to the email address or mailing address listed on your filing record.

4. Generate a secure authorization token

Once you log back into Campaign Verify and enter your PIN code, you will be able to generate secure authorization tokens for approved texting service providers that you want to use to communicate with voters.

5. Start texting!

Your approved texting service provider will collect your secure authorization token, proving your identity to them and other systems in the text messaging network. That’s it!


Which Wireless Carriers Require Campaign Verify?

[UPDATE – 09/08/2020] After publishing this post and the video below, T-Mobile has clarified to the industry that the requirements are only for new campaigns on the sanctioned 10DLC channel. Existing political campaigns on Short Code, Toll-Free, or Greyroute 10DLC will have no policy changes prior to the 2020 general election.

[ORIGINAL POST] This is where it gets a little tricky with political text messaging and Campaign Verify. The only wireless carrier that has publicly come out and required that political text messaging campaigns register with Campaign Verify is T-Mobile.

Below is from T-Mobile’s recently released Code of Conduct document.

T-Mobile supports all political parties and messages to their constituents. To run political messaging, the requirements are the campaigns run on the correct non-consumer channel. We require all parties who support political messaging services to follow CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices, CTIA Political Campaign Messaging Document, as well as, T-Mobile Code of Conduct. We especially require any political campaigns to honor “STOP” opt-out requests from subscribers.

To run a political messaging campaign on the T-Mobile network, a special registration and third-party verification check is required (i.e. Campaign Verify). This process is required to the ensure authenticity of the political candidate or entity.

Currently federal-level candidates or entities (e.g. Presidential or Legislative Candidates, PACs and Committees) are available to registry on Campaign Verify.

While T-Mobile is the only major wireless carrier the has publicly stated that political text messaging campaigns need to use Campaign Verify, we’ve spoken to other wireless carriers and it’s likely only a matter of time before the entire industry will require this verification.


‍How Long Does the Verification Process Take?

Once information is submitted, a Campaign Verify staff member will verify your information within one to two business days. If an email address is available on the filing record, the PIN code is sent immediately after verification. If no email address is listed and postal mail is required, the PIN code will take five to seven days to arrive via U.S.P.S.


How Much Does Campaign Verify Cost?

There is a one-time fee per entity verification. For Presidential Campaigns, PACs, and other non-campaign Committees, and there is a one-time fee of $2,500. For Senate campaigns, the fee is $750. For Congressional campaigns, the one-time fee is $199. There are no fees for generating authorization tokens once an entity is verified.

For more information about political text messaging, contact our text message marketing experts.

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