DISCLAIMER: The information provided below is not legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. You must obtain advice from a legal council on SMS Compliance for TCPA and CTIA as you assume all responsibility for all legal matters.
SMS text messaging is hands down the best way to reach customers and many businesses and organizations already rely on SMS marketing to reach consumers to increase sales, promote their brands, and create loyalty as SMS text messaging is the most effective form of communication nowadays with the highest engagement rate of 97% or more. The best part is that you are no longer have to text using a shared short code that can’t receive text messages. You can text from computer using your existing 10 digit (10DLC) business phone number you’re currently using to talk to customers.
Businesses are increasing sales and brand loyalty through SMS Marketing messages that may contain sales or promotions messages including limited time offers and updates that have given explicit written consent to receive your marketing text messages from your business.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the US Congress and signed into law in 1991. The TCPA federal law restricts telemarketing communications through various communications channels including SMS text messages. Under the TCPA, brands or organizations may only send automated marketing text messages to consumers after they legally obtain explicit written consent to avoid fines.
There are many important rules you and your business must know about TCPA compliance before sending text messages to consumers using a texting app or a texting service. Be sure to read the tips below.
Before you send a marketing text message to a consumer through a business text messaging service, you must make sure that they opt-in to receiving your text messages.
There are exceptions for this requirement such as for healthcare. Individuals who provides their mobile phone numbers to medical practices are giving consent to receiving text messages related to instructions, appointment reminders, confirmations, and more.
If a customer sends you a text message first to your business phone number that is text-enabled through a text messaging service, it implies consent to respond to the text message sender. As long as you respond to the text message with relevant information, it may be considered conversational text messaging.
Be sure to maintain all records on who has opted in and who has opted out of receiving your messages.
You must register with the FTC to get access to the National Do Not Call Registry to make sure that you are not sending marketing text messages to anyone who have opted out.
Sign up to a business texting service to send and receive text messages using your current business phone number instead of a one-way short code messaging.
Under the TCPA, businesses are not allowed to call or send text messages to consumers before 8AM or after 9PM in the time zone your text message recipient is in.
Make sure to add your business name and the reason for sending the consent text message.
Support keywords such as STOP or CANCEL to opt-out of receiving the text messages and include the instruction on how to opt-out in the first text message you to them.
Support keywords such as HELP to offer more information.
S.H.A.F.T. stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco and it outlines the categories that are regulated by the CTIA.
Anyone promoting illegal substances will be blocked from sending SMS text messages in the US & Canada.
Violence, Profanity, Profanity or Hate Speech, Gambling, Sweepstakes, Contests, Spam
The fines or penalties for not following the TCPA law are per-violation basis. The standard penalty for violating the TCPA is up to $500 per each unwanted text message or up to $1,500 per violation for knowing or willful violations.
The information provided in this article is not a legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. You must obtain advice from a legal council on SMS Compliance for TCPA and CTIA as you assume all responsibility for all legal matters.