How to Send TCPA Compliant Business Text Messages and Avoid Fines

Is your business sending SMS text messages for marketing from your 10DLC landline through a texting app or a texting service? It is absolutely crucial that you are TCPA compliant with every text message you send to consumers to avoid fines that may cost up to $1,500 per each text message violation. Continue reading to learn all about it.
July 7, 2022
How to Send TCPA Compliant Business Text Messages and Avoid FinesHow to Send TCPA Compliant Business Text Messages and Avoid Fines

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.

What Is SMS Marketing?

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.

TCPA Compliance Consent Message

What Is TCPA? What Does TCPA Stand For?

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.

How Can I Get Consent From Customers to Send Text Messages and 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.

Get express written consent before sending a text message

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.

Implied consent for conversational text messaging

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.

Save all opt-in and opt-out records

Be sure to maintain all records on who has opted in and who has opted out of receiving your messages.

Check the National Do Not Call Registry

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.

Use a business text messaging service

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.

Comply with quiet hours

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.

Show required information in the text message

Make sure to add your business name and the reason for sending the consent text message.

Include clear messaging with CTAs, legal Terms of Service and Privacy Policies

In the text message, include the purpose of the campaign/message, frequency of the message, Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and disclose that data and message rates may apply.

Make it easy to opt-out

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.

Make it easy to get more information

Support keywords such as HELP to offer more information.

Prohibited SMS Content in the US & Canada

S.H.A.F.T. (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco)

S.H.A.F.T. stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco and it outlines the categories that are regulated by the CTIA.

Illegal Substances

Anyone promoting illegal substances will be blocked from sending SMS text messages in the US & Canada.

Other Prohibited Contents

Violence, Profanity, Profanity or Hate Speech, Gambling, Sweepstakes, Contests, Spam

What happens if I violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA)?

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.

Be Sure to Consult With Your Lawyer

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.

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