5 Best Practices for Text Messaging Compliance (High-Level Overview)
- Obtain Consent: Mobile carriers do not allow marketing text messages to be sent without the recipient's permission.
- Store Proof of Consent: The mobile carriers may ask you to provide proof, so keep a record of text message consent for any contact you text. If you purchase leads, ensure your lead provider obtains consent and stores it.
- Provide Opt-Out Instructions: Include opt-out information (“Text STOP to end”) in the initial text.
- Identify Yourself: State your name and company name in the initial text.
- Monitor Opt-Outs: Carefully watch your opt-out rate. This is how often your SMS recipients unsubscribe from your communications by texting the word “STOP.”
Business Texting Tips and Tricks:
- Keep it conversational. PhoneBurner, just like your mobile phone, is designed for informal and personalized one-to-one communications. Contacts are less likely to opt-out if a message feels personalized.
- Keep it trustworthy. Using shortened links, ALL CAPS, poor spelling, or Emojis make your message look suspicious.
- Keep it brief. Try keeping your initial message under 160 characters, including the STOP messaging.
- Keep it sensible. Be careful of your message frequency. Even contacts who welcome your messages can easily change their mind, especially if they start to see those messages as an annoyance. Vary your messaging for follow-up texts, so the contact is not receiving repeated messages.
5 Best Practices for Text Messaging Compliance (Detailed Overview)
- Obtaining Consent: Prior to sending the first text message, you must obtain an agreement from the message recipient to communicate with them. Consent is invalid unless you clearly explain what kind of messages your recipient agrees to receive and how often you will receive them. Consent collection may be as basic as the consumer entering their phone number in a form on your website and checking a box attesting to the fact that they agree to receive marketing texts.
- If you are purchasing leads, ask your lead provider what their method of obtaining consent is.
- If you do not send an initial message to that individual within a reasonable period after receiving consent (or as set forth by local regulations or best practices), you will need to reconfirm consent in the first message you send to that recipient.
- Storing Proof of Consent: Keep thorough documentation of this consent and update it any time a subscriber changes their communication preferences, for example, a copy of the document or form the message recipient signed. You may be required to share your compliant opt-in process for new leads that you text message thru PhoneBurner. It is important to have records showing that you are acquiring consent from contacts before messaging them.
- If you are purchasing leads, ensure your lead provider is storing proof of consent should you ever need to provide it in the future.
- Providing Opt-Out Instructions: The initial message that you send to an individual needs to include the following language: “Reply STOP to unsubscribe,” or the equivalent using another standard opt-out keyword, such as STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, and QUIT.
- Identifying Yourself: Every message you send must clearly identify you (the party that obtained the opt-in from the recipient) as the sender, except in follow-up messages of an ongoing conversation.
- Monitoring Opt-Outs: You can see your current opt-out rate by logging in as the admin on your account, clicking 'Team' in the top navigation, 'Reports,' and then SMS Usage. (NOTE: If you can't see the team tab, please let us know, and we can turn that on for you.) The carriers like to see an opt-out rate of less than 1-2% per phone number. If you have consent to text your customers and your opt-out rate is still too high, please be sure to review the Tips and Tricks section above.
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