Political Text Messaging – Campaign Verify Explained
If you’re doing political campaign text messaging, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about Campaign Verify recently. In the last week we’ve been flooded with questions about Campaign Verify, so we thought it best to create an FAQ on the subject, 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?
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 message and other communications related to political campaigns and elections in order to educate the public, ensure public confidence in American elections, and protect political and civil rights in the election system. (Taken from their website)
What Really is Campaign Verify?
Political text messaging is very popular right now, and super important as it allows political candidates and organizations to communicate with their supporters, especially during times where 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. (Explained in our own words)
Is Campaign Verify For Real?
Honestly when we first heard about Campaign Verify, we had questions too. After some digging though, we’re 100% confident Campaign Verify is for real, it was just rolled out very quickly, causing a bunch of industry confusion. 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 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?
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!
What 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 only a matter of time before the entire industry will require this verification we believe.
How long does the verification process take?
Once information is submitted, a Campaign Verify staff member will verify your information within 1-2 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 5-7 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.