4 Things You Need to Know about TCPA Guidelines
You're enchanted by the possibilities of text message marketing. With a single text, you've managed to draw people into your store to redeem a coupon. Before you leap into an ongoing text campaign, did you know that the information you send through texts is subject to specific rules? Whether you're running a business or sending information to the parents of every child at your school, you need to make sure that you comply with regulations around text message marketing. Here's what you should know about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA):
1. Text Messages Are Regulated
There are consumer protections around text message marketing. The Federal Communications Commission regulates communication that occurs through satellite, television, cable, radio, and wire, so text messages fall into this category. Since text messages come through your phone, they are specifically regulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This Act is the anti-telemarketing act in the USA, and it works to reduce the amount of spam consumers receive. The shortcodes you text to your customers and leads are designed to combat spam.
2. You Need to Have Consent to Send Marketing Texts
Spam is unsolicited material that is sent without the consumer's permission. Spam can be valuable to consumers, or it can be irritating. For instance, some consumers could redeem an offer for a free drink with a pizza purchase, but if they did not sign up for your text message marketing list, it is still spam. The only exception occurs when the text is sent for emergency purposes.
3. Consumers Can Opt-In Using Various Means
Text message marketing regulations allow consumers to opt into messages in a number of different ways. The customer could sign a physical agreement or a digital agreement. The customer could also sign up through SMS messaging. For example, if you have an ad in your restaurant that says, "Text DRINK to 12345 join the pizza club and get a free drink with your pizza," customers who do this can join the club and put themselves on the text message marketing list.
4. Give Your Customers More Information
That initial offer doesn't seal the deal for your customers: when your customers sign up to receive your text marketing messages, you must make sure that they know what they are getting into. You can't just subscribe them on the basis of a one time text. Your customers need to know the following information:
- The name of your company
- What they will get by signing up
- Any fees that they could be charged
- How many messages they will get per month
- How they can opt out in the future
Your customers must explicitly consent to receive text messages through an automatic telephone dialing system and know the parameters, such as the frequency of these messages. By giving your customers full information, you ensure that you are TCPA compliant.
See other resources related to: