Ahoy there, matey! If you're ready to set sail on the high seas of SMS marketing, you better make sure your ship is TCPA compliant.
Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds! We've got your back and won't let you sink! In fact, it's super easy with our happy and upbeat guide to TCPA-compliant SMS marketing. So, let's get started and keep your text message marketing fun, happy, and compliant!
What is TCPA-compliant for SMS Marketing?
You might wonder what TCPA is. Let me wrap all in this story for you.
"You - a man trying to sell aroma oil and candles for ladies - those who are ready to pay $60 (even more) for a candle. Karen - who just fills in your checkout form to check the shipping fee then dip (aka. abandoned cart). So now you send her a message to tell her to checkout now with a discount code.
So if things go well, Karen rushes to checkout with your discount. Easier huh? But (yeah things often don’t flow the way we want) if Karen is not in the mood right now and feels like such an invasion of her privacy. She sues you - the owner of the aroma store, with proof of TCPA Violations and you might pay up to $1500 per violation. Ouch!"
TCPA compliance requires businesses to obtain prior express written consent before making telemarketing calls or sending text messages to consumers.
It also mandates certain disclosures and opt-out mechanisms and imposes penalties for violations.
Why do I have to comply with the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which was signed into law in 1991, is federal legislation pertaining to telemarketing. That law sounds like an ancient story, but it bites nowadays marketers and businessmen.
To simply put, you must ensure that your messaging content and contact list are in compliance with TCPA guidelines as well as all applicable State and Federal laws because subscribers can sue you if you don’t adhere to these guidelines. Hence those who send unwanted messages can be hit with fines up to $1,500 per text message per customer. Ouch. ?
How can you ensure your SMS marketing campaigns are TCPA compliant?
- Get permission: Don't be a spammer. Make sure you have explicit consent from customers before sending SMS messages. You must regularly review and update their policies to align with TCPA regulations. You can try this template for your policy.
- Be upfront: Don't be a liar. Be transparent about what type of messages customers will receive, how often, and how they can opt out. It's like dating. You wouldn't want to lead someone on or hide your intentions, would you?
- Identify yourself: Don't be a mystery. Every SMS message you send must include the identity of the sender, such as your business name or phone number. It's like introducing yourself to someone. You wouldn't want to have a conversation with someone without knowing who they are, right?
- Don't be robotic: Don't be a robot. Don't use auto-dialing or pre-recorded messages without explicit consent. It's like trying to have a conversation with a robot. No one likes that. So, make sure you're sending personalized messages manually or with the customer's consent.
- Honor opt-outs: Don't be a stalker. If a customer opts out, immediately stop sending messages to them.
Here is a checklist for keeping you and your eCommerce safe and sound
To ensure proper consent under TCPA regulations over time, businesses should take more of these steps.
- Get consent from your customers to receive any information from your business via SMS.
- Disclose easy and accurate opt-out instructions, such as a “STOP” keyword
- Disclose that normal messaging and data rates may apply.
- Only message people between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm (appropriate timing)
- Be specific about what you’re offering. Use a short code (type YES to opt-in) or shortened link.
In conclusion, keeping your SMS marketing campaigns TCPA compliant is crucial to avoid any legal issues and maintain a positive relationship with your customers. By obtaining consent, identifying yourself, providing value, keeping records, and following the rules, you can ensure that your SMS marketing campaigns are safe, effective, and enjoyable for everyone involved. Remember, a compliant campaign is not only good for avoiding legal trouble, but it's also a way to show your customers that you value their privacy and respect their preferences. So, keep your SMS marketing TCPA compliant, and keep sending those messages with confidence!