When engaging customers through SMS messages in France, you are legally required to give end-users the ability to opt out from all promotional messages via a short code. You can choose to use a dedicated short code or a shared short code through a local partner for your opt-out/STOP messages. Be aware that these processes can differ by aggregator, such as mGage or Infobip.
Timeframe restrictions for marketing messages
Before you get started, it's important to note that marketing messages are not allowed in France:
- Before 08:00 AM or after 08:00 PM on weekdays
- Before 10 am or after 6 PM on Saturdays
- Anytime on Sundays or national holidays
During these time frames, all promotional message traffic is blocked by either the local vendor or carrier and will fail. If you send messages between these time frames, Acoustic is still charged for this traffic and bills your organization. If an SMS send is started too late, it can create a situation where only a portion of the messages is delivered while the balance of outgoing SMS messages fails.
The aggregator opts out the sender ID by using the last message sent before the opt-out request. As the aggregator enforces opt-outs at the sender ID level, all messages from that sender ID are blocked and the contact is added to the suppression list. If the contact wants to rejoin your SMS program, then you must provide clear evidence of the contact's request to Acoustic. The request is forwarded to the SMS partner who will then follow the required processes. If approved, the aggregator removes the requested mobile user from the suppression list.
Short code regulations
Dedicated short codes
With a dedicated code, you need to provide details of how to opt out, such as STOP <your code> in your messages. Dedicated French codes function in every way as normal dedicated codes.
SMS partners (such as mGage and Infobip) do not check for opt-out requests or do any local suppression. This is your responsibility.
Shared short codes
Shared short code for SMS messages in France works a little differently than in other countries. For a French shared code, you need to collect SMS consent through a web service, e.g. Campaign web forms. If you use other web forms, make sure to import consent into Campaign. You cannot obtain consent by keyword text from a handset.
Shared short codes:
- Opt-in via mobile originated (MO) messages is not supported for shared short codes, only by web form.
- Campaign pre-approval is not needed as long as spam does not run through it.
- STOP MO messages to the designated stop short code have an automated confirmation in French provided directly by the local vendor. Customers will not be able to respond to the confirmation.
Note: When a contact submits a STOP MO message, the opt-out is in direct relation to the last MT message received from the last sender ID.
- Include your opt-out text STOP <your code> at the end of each outbound message. If you use a shared short code with one of our SMS Partners, then you must specify the designated shared short code:
- mGage: STOP 36184
- InfoBip: STOP au 36173
For Campaign Manager users
The following details apply to Campaign Manager users only.
French mobile operators do not notify the SMS campaign manager of STOP requests in the same way as other operators. As a result, the STOP requests do not appear in the SMS Campaign Manager Messages area. Instead, the STOP request is forwarded to your aggregator, where the mobile number is added to a local suppression table. If you try to send new SMS messages to the same mobile number with the same sender ID, the message will be cross-checked and suppressed.
How sent messages move from your campaign to an end user
- When you create and send an SMS campaign and program, Campaign uses API to deliver outgoing SMS messages to the SMS Campaign Manager and to mGage USA. You need to use text STOP 36184 at the end of each outbound message.
- For each outgoing SMS message, the designated mobile number is checked to determine if the end user's mobile number is associated with France. There are no direct connections to mobile carriers in France, so outgoing messages are sent to its local French partner.
- The local French aggregator forwards the SMS messages to the carriers’ SMS gateway for delivery.
- The French mobile carrier then delivers the outgoing SMS to the end user, generates a delivery receipt and forwards it to the local aggregator.
- The local aggregator then forwards the delivery receipt and adds its acknowledgment (in the form of a universal behavior) to the Campaign database. The SMS Campaign Manager messages report shows that the delivery receipt is received after the message is delivered to the end user.
When the end user wants to stop receiving messages and opts out of the program
The end user creates a new message to the shared short code that is specified in the client’s original message. The end user specifies keyword (STOP) text and requests to unsubscribe from the SMS Campaigns.
The French mobile carrier forwards the end user opt-out request to the local aggregator. The local aggregator processes the end user request and sends an auto reply to the end user. For example:
M6 Boutique: Nous avons recu votre demande. Vous ne devriez plus recevoir de message de notre part. SMS non surtaxé.
The local aggregator forwards the mobile number to the opt-out list to prevent any future SMS messages from being sent to this mobile number. The mobile number and the last sender ID used to send to that number are added to the suppression list.
Update the SMS consent status within the Campaign database
- End user receives a message from Acoustic Content provider.
- End user replies STOP to a shared short code provided by a local vendor.
- Local vendor posts the STOP response, which adds the end user/sender ID combo to an existing suppression table and prevents future messages from reaching the end-user on the same sender ID.
- Acoustic Content provider attempts another send to the end user on the same sender ID and finds that the message fails to deliver. At the same time, an error response (061 Destination Blocked) is returned as a result of the suppression table insert.
- This error response triggers the new consent behavior to automatically update the SMS consent status to opted out within Campaign.
For the time being, clients who wish to update their systems to reflect contacts who have opted out of the text to join program (and are now on the suppression list) can request the opt-out list mentioned above. You can also use the report to update the SMS consent status so you do not send any new SMS messages to these users in the future.
How opt-out works in Infobip
When using a shared short code, French mobile operators will notify Infobip of opt-out requests. However, Infobip will not pass these to Campaign. Instead, Infobip will add this mobile number to its local suppression table. If you try to send a new SMS message to the same mobile number with the same Sender ID, your new outbound message will be cross-checked and suppressed.
- When you create and send a campaign, Acoustic forwards the mobile terminated (MT) message to Infobip. At the same time, Infobip stores the information about the original sender and MSISDN to match mobile originated (MO) messages later. A delivery report is then forwarded to Acoustic.
- If an end user chooses to opt out of SMS messages, they send the STOP request to Infobip through the shared short code. Infobip adds the phone number to their suppression list. When you send your next campaign to the same phone number, Infobip discards the requests and responds to Acoustic.
- Acoustic send the opt-out trigger for that user from the organization/program ID that was used for sending the campaign.
- Once the end user is opted out, they will be removed from the subsequent campaign in that program from your organization. If you use a different program for a campaign, Acoustic will send an MT message to Infobip for that user number. Infobip will then discard the request.
- Acoustic opts out the user's number from the second program. This process will continue for any new program that is used for the campaign for that user.
Infobip's online reporting portal shows whenever the end user sends an opt-out request on the shared short code. You do not have to send a second SMS for the SMS consent to be automatically updated. You can use the opt-out data from the reporting portal and manually opt out the end users from your Campaign database.