Human vs Automated Texting
What's the difference?
Most customers seeking a new texting platform are not aware of the most important question to ask: are the texts sent by a human or an autodialer?
This question, while seemingly simple, has decades of legal battles behind it. The FCC imposes strict fines (up to $16,000 PER violation) against any organization that violates the law regarding automated messaging.
If you are a political campaign looking to add Texting to your marketing efforts, it's important to be informed on the technology behind your voter outreach.
- Human to Human Text Messaging
- No different than texting one of your friends from your cell phone
- Each message is sent individually and manually by a human
- Doesn't require special permission to message a contact
- The only texting option offered by RoboCent
- Uses an AutoDialer to send thousands of texts a second to a list of contacts
- Requires Prior Written Opt-in Consent to contact a phone number with an AutoDialer
- RoboCent does not send bulk texts
RoboCent offers both Managed and Self-Service options. This determines who is sending the outbound text messages, one-by-one.
If you select the Managed option, RoboCent’s team of In-House Agents will handle all outbound sending. Our agents will ensure your message begins sending at the start time selected.
If you select the Self-Service option, your team of staff and volunteers are responsible for all outbound sending for this campaign.
The RoboCent Platform requires every text message to be sent by a Human Agent.
Peer-to-Peer Text Messaging is not automated. While RoboCalls use a dialer to automatically call every number on the contact list, text messaging has much stricter legal requirements. In order to send a text, a human must initiate the message to the contact. This is exactly what you're picturing, a human must individually and manually click the "Send Message" button for every text that is sent through our platform. As you can imagine, this can become quite time consuming for most organizations.
Thankfully, RoboCent has a solution (sensing a theme?). We staff over 30 agents who are here specifically to send your outbound text messages. Unlike other providers who offer "In-House Texting Agents", all RoboCent texting Agents and support staff are US Citizens, registered to vote, speak and write fluent English, and regularly participate in US elections. No overseas call banks or overworked office workers, just a freelance network of people who are interested in US Politics. Our Agents are vetted and trusted with your content, in addition to being under an NDA with RoboCent to ensure your information is secure and private.
Of course, if you would rather use your own staff, volunteers, (or yourself) to send the messages, the Agent Portal is designed specifically for you. Learn more: Agent Portal
In-House Agents average 7,500 to 10,000 texts per hour. Typically, our users average 4,000 to 6,000 texts per hour but can theoretically send at the same speed as our Agents.
A human initiated text means that a human was involved in the sending of that text message. This requires a person to click a button to actually send the text message to the contact. An automated (or bulk) text is sent by an autodialer with no human intervention.
Unless you have written Opt-In consent to contact your voters, you cannot legally message them with an automated text.
Thankfully, RoboCent's system uses human agents to send each and every text through our platform. You can send text messages through RoboCent with confidence knowing that a human is behind every message.
This depends on the type of consent you have to message your contacts. According to CTIA (https://www.ctia.org/), a text message that originates from the political entity or business is a one-way alert and requires express written consent to contact the consumer.
To use an automated texting platform, you must first obtain express written consent from the owner of each phone number you are contacting.
As long as you have obtained consent, the consent has not be revoked, and you have independently created and vetted the opt-in list, you are able to use an automated platform.
The Consumer must give express written permission before a business/political organization sends them a text message with an autodialer.
CTIA represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and companies throughout the mobile ecosystem.
For Text Messaging, RoboCent exclusively uses a proprietary, human initiated texting system. We do not provide an autodialer that is capable of sending automated text messages to contacts in bulk. For every text to be sent through our system, a human must initiate it.
This means you can use RoboCent's human-based system to message your contacts one-by-one.
RoboCent offers our in-house agents to send your messages via our "Managed Sending" option. You can enable this feature when scheduling your text campaign. Alternatively, you can use our "Self-Service" option to add your own agents to send the messages.
Our resource guide below has more information to help answer this question.
An autodialer is a system that is autonomously able to text numbers in rapid succession without any human intervention. The legal definition, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission, is below:
The TCPA defines an autodialer as “equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.”
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is an act that went into effect in 1991 by the FCC. This document outlined the approved ways to contact landline and mobile phones and has set the legal precedence for all phone communications for political and business use since.
A summary of the TCPA is below.
Contacts that receive the text won't be able to tell the difference between a manual, human initiated message and a bulk, automated text message.
Yes. And it's an expensive headache.