SMS Compliance Guide for Businesses and Organizations

What is SMS Compliance for TCPA and CTIA?

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.

A few important facts that businesses and organizations may not be aware of is that in order to send promotional or marketing text messages to a consumer’s mobile phone in the United States, they must adhere to the TCPA federal law and legally obtain explicit written consent prior to sending them to avoid fines.

They must also follow the CTIA’s Best Practices Guidelines for SMS Marketing and Communications to avoid getting their messages blocked by carriers. Lastly, they must register with the FTC to get access to the National Do Not Call Registry to make sure that they are not sending text messages listed on the registry.

Happy Woman Texting with a Business
Woman Looking at phone
Shop-Today: Reply Y to receive txt msgs from Shop-Today. Msg&Data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply STOP to cancel.
(555) 555-1212 - just now
Sending a text message from a computer | Texty Pro
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Young man texting from a computer | Texty Proputer

What is TCPA Compliance?

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) established the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991), a federal law in the United States created back in 1991 that regulates how brands and organizations can communicate with consumers via text message marketing. This legislation restricts telemarketing communications through various communications channels including SMS text messages.

How does it affect businesses that are sending text messages to consumers?

Before sending out promotional marketing text messages, all businesses and organizations in the United States must legally obtain explicit written consent from the recipients. 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.

Section (4) and (5) of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 U.S.C. § 227 applies the most to businesses and organizations who are looking to send SMS messages for marketing.

(4) The term “telephone solicitation” means the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person, but such term does not include a call or message (A) to any person with that person's prior express invitation or permission, (B) to any person with whom the caller has an established business relationship, or (C) by a tax exempt nonprofit organization.

(5) The term “unsolicited advertisement” means any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to any person without that person's prior express invitation or permission, in writing or otherwise.

What industries are texting with consumers through business SMS text messaging?

With an open rate of over 98% and an average response time of 90 seconds, SMS business text messaging with Texty Pro is one of the most effective and preferred way of communicating with customers and business contacts. Take a look a few industries below that are striving through business SMS text messaging while remaining TCPA compliant.

Customer texting with a realtor | Texty Pro
SUBSCRIBE
Save Mart: Reply Y to subscribe to recurring automed marketing text messages from Save Mart.
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Customer texting with a realtor | Texty Pro
Y
Save Mart: Welcome to Save Mart Text Alerts! Consent not req'd for purchase. Msg&Data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help or STOP to cancel. Terms: www.web.com/tos
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Save Mart: Here's your 15% OFF special offer. www.web.com/offer
Stay tuned for new promotions, updates and more.
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Legally obtain explicit written consent from text message recipients prior to sending marketing text messages.

How can I sent TCPA compliant business text messages?

TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) is a federal law in the United States that regulates how brands and organizations can communicate with consumers via text message marketing.

To be TCPA compliant, businesses and organizations must legally obtain explicit written consent from text message recipients prior to sending text messages. 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. 

  • Company Name: Let text message recipients know who you are.
  • Message Frequency: How many messages you plan to send every month.
  • Value Proposition: Deliver the offer or reward that the recipients are opting in for.
  • Costs & Fees: Disclose potential SMS and data usage costs and fees.
  • Opt-out & More Information: Provide an option to opt-out or get more information.

Explain what the text message recipient is giving consent to

Are you sending SMS text message alerts and reminders? Promotional coupons? Order and delivery confirmations? Let your text message subscribers know what you'll be sending so that they know whether to subscribe to it or not.

Woman texting a business
Cabana Shop: Reply Y to receive automatic recurring promotion txt msgs from Cabana Shop. Up to 4/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help or STOP to cancel.
(555) 555-1212 - just now

What is CTIA?

CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), established in 1984 is a trade organization for the wireless industry that includes members such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, plus more that creates messaging principles & best practices to protect consumers from unwanted messages.

Brands and organizations must follow CTIA’s messaging principles & best practices guidelines to ensure that their text messages are delivered. CTIA may block your SMS traffic if the principles are not followed. Click here to view CTIA’s latest Messaging Principles and Best Practices updated on July 2019.

marketing text message
Style Hunter: Reply Y to receive automatic recurring promotion txt msgs from Style Hunter, max 6/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help or STOP to cancel.
Moe's Tacos - just now

Disclose the frequency of the text messages you'll be sending

How many text messages will you be sending out? Let your subscribers know if they'll receive 1 text message a month, or if they'll receive multiple recurring text messages. You must include the frequency of text messages the subscriber will receive in given time such a day, week or a month.

Allow the recipient to opt-out by replying “STOP” or similar keywords such as CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE

Per TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) law, businesses and organizations that are sending text messages to consumers must provide a clear way of opting out of receiving the text messages.

  • Let recipients know that that they can opt-out of receiving your text messages by frequently letting them know about the keywords.
  • Allow text message recipients to opt-out of receiving your text messages with keywords such as STOP, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE.
Woman texting a business
Store Beyond: Reply Y to receive automatic recurring promotion txt msgs from Store Beyond, max 4/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help or STOP to cancel.
Moe's Tacos - just now

What is The National Do Not Call Registry?

The National Do Not Call Registry is a database created and maintained by the United States federal government ((Federal Communications Commission in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission) in 2003 that lists telephone numbers of people who have requested that telemarketers do not contact them. The Do Not Call Registry applies to both phone calls and SMS text messages. A brand or an organization must register with the FTC to get access to the National Do Not Call Registry to make sure that they are not sending marketing text messages to anyone who have opted out.

Do not text between 9pm and 8am

Only send text messages during business hours

Under the TCPA, businesses cannot make calls or send text messages to residential subscribers before the hour of 8AM or after 9PM in the time zone your text message recipient is in.

  • You must comply with quiet hours. Do not send text messages before 8AM or after 9PM.

Check with the National Do Not Call Registry before sending

Businesses and Organizations (sellers, telemarketers and other service providers) in the United States must honor the National Do Not Call Registry. To gain access to the list,  set up a profile and register your business by visiting the National Do Not Call Registry page for telemarketers. Violators may be subject to fines of up to $46,517 per violation. Each call may be considered a separate violation.

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TextyPro is an awesome service! They are personable and are always a phone call or email away! Super helpful and the service is very easy to use for a busy business!

Kirstin Meeks
Texty Pro Business User

amazing company and the employees

Felipe Soto
Texty Pro Business User

the customer service and platform are fantastic. I will choose a company first every time who has a genuine representative on the other line! Thank you David and the TP team!

Mandi Jenkins
Texty Pro Business User

Once we signed up with Texty Pro we were able to send and receive texts our regular landline telephone number. Very handy and easy to use!

Thom Thompson
Texty Pro Business User

Just getting started but already impressed with the great customer service!

Jeni DeGeeter
Texty Pro Business User

Great application to help with our business workflow. Better ability to reach customers through texting than actual phone calls. Great service!

Kunal Gupta
Texty Pro Business User

Amazing Company. So accommodating and flexible. Highly recommend them. Quick responsive service.

Andy Ward
Texty Pro Business User



Frequently asked questions about business landline text messaging.

Have other questions? Here are 10 frequently asked questions about business text messaging including why you should use your current business landline phone number instead of getting a new one.

Learn how you can save time and build better customer relationships

Start by learning the ins and outs of business text messaging today. When you're ready to get ahead, give the free trial a try.

Can landlines text? If you want to send and receive text messages using a landline number, you can! Using a landline number and a computer, you can use a text messaging service to text-enable your phone number. Landline texting is perfect for businesses with existing local landline numbers.

Continue reading
May 11, 2021

Learn how you can save time and build better customer relationships

Start by learning the ins and outs of business text messaging today. When you're ready to get ahead, give the free trial a try.

Can landlines text? If you want to send and receive text messages using a landline number, you can! Using a landline number and a computer, you can use a text messaging service to text-enable your phone number. Landline texting is perfect for businesses with existing local landline numbers.

Continue reading
May 11, 2021

Consider the many options available today that allow you and your customers to contact each other. From the traditional to the modern, having a mix of multiple contact methods is ideal for all the support and marketing your business needs.

Continue reading
July 9, 2021

Learn how you can save time and build better customer relationships

Start by learning the ins and outs of business text messaging today. When you're ready to get ahead, give the free trial a try.

Can landlines text? If you want to send and receive text messages using a landline number, you can! Using a landline number and a computer, you can use a text messaging service to text-enable your phone number. Landline texting is perfect for businesses with existing local landline numbers.

Continue reading
May 11, 2021

Consider the many options available today that allow you and your customers to contact each other. From the traditional to the modern, having a mix of multiple contact methods is ideal for all the support and marketing your business needs.

Continue reading
July 9, 2021

See the benefits of adding text messaging to your business phone number to send and receive text from a computer. Compared to phone calls and emails, business SMS is a fast and convenient way to interact with your customers whenever and wherever.

Continue reading
January 14, 2021
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