We've made some important updates to text messaging in Populi we wanted to let you know about.
Verified Toll-Free Sending Numbers
As part of a telecom industry effort to cut down on the number of spam texts, carriers will soon require that toll-free sending numbers be registered with a verified business entity. To prepare for this, Populi has updated its infrastructure for text messaging. Each of our customers now has its own dedicated toll-free sending number that will be used for all sending and receiving of text messages originating from Populi. Your school's number will be registered to your school's verified business entity to comply with the industry regulations.
You don't need to take any action on this—Populi is handling the number registration and verification on your behalf.
The only change you may notice is this: where your school used to send texts from a pool of Populi-provided sending numbers, now they will all originate from your one, single dedicated number. The old sending numbers are being retired, as it were. Otherwise, there is no change in functionality whatsoever.
Temporary Sending Limits
As of this writing, our messaging provider is taking several weeks to verify new numbers. During this period, numbers awaiting verification are subject to temporary sending limits. Those limits are:
- Daily limit: 2,000
- Weekly limit: 6,000
- Monthly limit: 10,000
Once a number is verified, those limits will go away.
For schools where multiple departments regularly text a student simultaneously, we're offering the option to buy additional numbers for $1 per number per month. Using additional numbers ensures that when a student responds to a text, the response will be routed to the correct department (without multiple numbers, the response would be routed to the most recent text exchange). You can designate your additional number(s) to one of five top-level texting categories. For example, if your Admissions office texts a lot of inquiries, leads, and applicants, you can get an additional number dedicated for that purpose.
You can see a list of texting categories and other information in this article.
New numbers can be requested by your school's Populi Account Administrator by opening a Support request. In the request, specify which category you wish the number to be designated for. New numbers will enter the carriers' verification queue, during which time they will be subject to the sending limits mentioned above.
Pricing Remains the Same (Except for Additional Numbers)
These updates do not affect the pricing of text messaging included with your Populi account. You still get 5,000 texts included each month, with additional texts costing 2¢ per text recipient. The only new charge is the dollar a month per additional number.