Best Practices

What is Opt-in Text Messaging?

Marketing and promotional messages are regulated in the United States. Businesses who are sending out text messages for marketing purposes must follow guidelines for customer opt-in.

Text messaging for businesses has grown into an efficient way for customers to contact businesses. Additionally, SMS marketing has become a new way to reach your customers. The rate at which text messages are read and acted upon makes it perfect for quick interactions to answer questions and provide business information. Text messaging is often more effective than email marketing. Check out more texting statistics to see how fast and effective text messaging is in general as well as in business.

All businesses need to be aware of best practices when using text messaging for a business. For business text messaging, there are a few additional factors required. Opting-in is one very important aspect of professional text messaging. Make sure you are familiar with the best practices for business texting. Business SMS rules are similar to other contact methods, you want to portray a professional manner and not spam customers.

Unwanted text messages are possibly more annoying to customers than other methods of contact because of how immediate texting is. A negative impression can do more harm than good to your business. With SMS marketing, you must receive consent before sending customers any messages. It should be clear when they are enrolling what they will receive. You also need to be explicit in how to stop receiving messages, or opt-out.

We suggest using Texty Pro for customer service and a general business contact method. Texting is a great way for customers to get in touch with businesses. Responding to incoming messages is important to keep interested and existing customers satisfied. Conversational text messaging allows for tw0-way conversations. Customers can actually reach an employee for individual support.

Promotional messages

Promotional or marketing messages are messages you as a business send out to advertise your product or service. Most often, businesses use email lists on websites or in person. Businesses can send promotional messages via text message, but there are laws to prevent consumers from spam messages. You are required to get permission from customers to send them promotional messages. However you have customers opt-in, you must make it clear. You do need to have an existing business relationship to begin messaging someone. Messages that include special offers and discount codes will entice consumers to opt-in to text message marketing. Providing value for the customers will keep them on your list and a possible repeat customer.

Opt-in

To protect consumers from spam, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires that you receive full consent from the customers before sending marketing messages. There are multiple ways of customers opting into receiving SMS messages. An ideal time to ask for consent is when they enter their phone numbers. You must make it clear they are consenting to receive your marketing messages. You can ask customers to sign up to join your marketing list. Ask customers after they order to provide their number if they would like to receive promotional SMS messages. Offer special discounts or coupon codes sent via text message. You cannot contact a customer via text for permission to send promotional text messages.

You can allow customers to subscribe to SMS in person, with an online form, or through email. You should have written consent from each customer. Be sure to include your business name in your messages so customers can identify your number. Your messages should include your company name, message frequency, offered discount (when applicable), possible SMS fees, and opt-out instructions. SMS carrier fees may affect customers and determine if they want to opt-in. You can risk fines if you are not following the regulations required for opting in.

Opt-out

Consumers must also have an accessible way of opting out of receiving your messages. Provide clear instructions for how to stop all following messages. Messages that prompt users to reply “STOP” are a way of easily allowing consumers to opt out of future text messages. You must manage which customers have opted-out to ensure you no longer send them promotional SMS messages. Following such rules will also ensure interested customers are receiving your messages. Unsolicited messages are not beneficial to your business and will be considered spam.

Customer initiated

When customers text your number to start a conversation, the conversation is then customer initiated. Customers initiating a conversation via text message are requesting your response. There is implied consent. The following conversation should pertain to their topic and provide the support expected. If you are providing customer service and support through your text messaging, you do not have to worry about customers opting in. This does not mean they are consenting to receive unsolicited marketing messages.

Consumers prefer texting. With how easy and convenient texting is, users are ready to use it in business communication. For high-volume marketing, you may need specific needs to ensure you are following laws. Shortcode messaging may be a better alternative to conversational services. Make sure you have explained clearly the conditions of SMS messaging. At Texty Pro, we offer two-way conversational text messaging. We want customers to connect easily with businesses by text message. If you have a landline phone number for your business, you can sign up with your existing number to start texting. For more information or to contact us, visit our support page.