SMS compliance laws are put in place to ensure that proper consent is being obtained when businesses are texting marketing messages to their consumers.
When you are conducting SMS campaigns, it is extremely important to obtain express written consent and include double opt in methods in order to make sure you are following SMS compliance laws.
SMS marketing can be an extremely valuable asset to your business, but you have to make sure that your customers are willing and eager to receive your messages.
We’re taking a deep dive into the SMS compliance laws and exactly what they mean for your marketing efforts.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to strengthen and streamline important business communication.
In other words, SMS marketing messages are delivered from your business to your respective client base.
These text messages can include transactional messages, a clear call to action, simple text conversations, and other content that is suitable for SMS communications.
SMS marketing messages usually take the form of text messages.
When your business begins their SMS program, the first step is usually to decide who will be receiving your text messages, and also what the content of those messages will look like.
If your business’s main communication goal is to foster client relationships, model your text message marketing after that premise. You’ll want to include personalized content and options for them to respond if this is your marketing goal.
Maybe your business is more concerned with appointment reminders and sending text messages meant to encourage feedback from your customers. If this is the case, you’ll want to model your message frequency and text messaging program accordingly.
You’ll also be able to adjust the frequency and content settings for your SMS messages at any time.
Once you clearly establish the goals and intentions for your business and marketing venture, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful SMS campaign.
What Do Text Messages Do For My Business?
Depending on the text program you employ and your marketing goals, text messages can serve a variety of purposes and give your business many benefits as well.
Some of these benefits include:
Giving your customers a reliable way to reach you.
Having a platform for your customers to provide reliable feedback to you and your business.
Using text messages to communicate back and forth with your client base with ease.
Having access to your client’s mobile phone number, thus being able to reach them outside of normal business hours if needed.
Being able to create mass messages and channels for your customers to speak with one another.
Increasing your website traffic by linking other media into your SMS messaging.
Having a database with each customer’s phone numbers to ensure easy communication.
With each text message you send, you’ll get something in return.
You may receive feedback, phone calls, or a confirmation message that indicates your client would like to continue receiving text messages from you.
Even if you receive opt out instructions and opt out information from a client, you can take this as feedback and use it to evaluate your messaging strategy.
However you choose to send SMS messages, consider it as a learning experience.
Follow the SMS compliance rules and you’ll learn the best way to send SMS text messages along the way.
What is the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association?
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable consumers to lead a 21st century connected life.
In simpler terms, CTIA makes it their mission to ensure safe and stable communication via electronic modes.
The CTIA’s primary concern is with the safety and compliant manner of web forms.
They deal with sending messages, receiving messages, mobile carriers, obtaining explicit consent via the phone number provided.
They may also provide legal counsel in cases where SMS compliance requirements have been violated.
Since the CTIA is concerned primarily with mobile communication, they are heavily involved in the production and carrying out of SMS compliance requirements.
The CTIA would also deal with any issues pertaining to message and data rates, spam text messages, unwanted messages, and other text messaging issues that may arise.
What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?
The telephone consumer protection act (TCPA) restricts telemarketing certain phone calls, text messages, and other electronic communications.
TCPA also restricts use of automated phone messages and the data rates that apply to those specifically.
Something to note about the TCPA is that it does not apply exclusively to cell phones and text marketing.
It will protect against a number that will send unsolicited text messages, but it will also protect against other unwanted communications via other web forms as well.
The most common message the TCPA will aim to prevent is a carrier compliance message, especially if the consumer has submitted an opt out request and does not want to receive text messages from your business.
Like the CTIA, the TCPA is all about making sure people who want to receive messages do, and the people who do not want to receive messages are excluded from text message marketing.
What Does It Mean To Express Written Consent?
The biggest piece of the SMS compliance puzzle is obtaining express written consent from your users.
Without obtaining consent, you will not be able to send your text message and will thus be violating the consumer protection act (TCPA) if you ignore the lack of consent.
The best way to receive express written consent is to include a call to action within your SMS marketing program that opens with an option for the customer to opt in or opt out of receiving messages from your business.
This should be the very first text message that your client receives from you, as stated by SMS compliance rules.
Once your client has received the opt in message to their phone number, they’ll be able to opt out easily with provided opt out requests included in the message.
As part of the text messaging compliance laws, you must receive written consent from your client before enrolling them in unlimited texting or communication via another web form.
Once you have obtained clear consent via a double opt in feature or other express consent, your customer will now be able to receive text messages from you directly or from a dedicated toll free number linked to your business.
The most important piece here is ensuring that you have both opt in and opt out instructions clearly labeled in your first text message. Otherwise, you are not in accordance with the SMS compliance rules!
How Can I Make Sure That I Am Using SMS in Accordance with the Mobile Marketing Association?
The best way to make sure that you are using your SMS campaign correctly and without violating any rules is to consult the Federal Communications Commission handbook that is linked with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).
Both of these organizations, coupled with the above TCPA and CTIA, are designed solely to protect consumers from unwanted telephone solicitations.
They also aim to minimize the amount of SMS campaigns that can spam or send messages without written consent attached.
When you are looking into SMS compliance, it is critical to make sure that you are hitting all of the bases needed to keep your customers safe by giving them opt in and opt out options frequently.
Having access to a client’s phone number is a privilege, so be sure to conduct your SMS campaign with this in mind.
How Kennected Places Importance on SMS Compliance
At Kennected, we like to use SMS to connect with our client base quickly and efficiently.
We know that having a phone number attached to a given customer is a valuable asset, and we don’t take it lightly.
We like to send a confirmation text after receiving consent, just to reiterate our opt in and opt out instructions for our clients.
We don’t want our customers to feel pressured to sign up or forced to opt in if they would rather opt out.
In short, we keep the safety and comfort of our clients in mind throughout all of our SMS campaigns.
Make sure you do the same in your own SMS marketing endeavors.
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