How to Protect Your Brand from SMS Spam Complaints
SMS Marketing is so easy that you’re having a blast sending messages to your customers — but are you spamming them?
You signed up for a texting service like EZ Texting because you wanted to boost revenue while providing value to your current and future customers. It’s so quick to communicate with them that you may find yourself sending out more messages than you originally thought you would.
At first, your customers loved the new form of communication and the offers they are getting. You are messaging them all the right content, and they are eating it up.
But then people start opting out suddenly — and you have no idea why.
If you are indulging in spammy behavior, your hard-won subscribers will start dropping like flies and it could cause you legal trouble. Don’t let that happen to you. Follow the five tips below to help keep from annoying your customers or breaking laws.
How to Protect Your Brand from SMS Spam Complaints
If you're investing in text message marketing, you need to know that it's a permission-based activity. You can't just text anyone you want whenever you want.
You need to get their permission first.
Unfortunately, non-compliant marketing can cost your business thousands of dollars and all of your subscribers.
The three organizations that regulate SMS messaging are the:
- Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).
CTIA and MMA promote the best practices for SMS marketing, but the FCC is a government agency. The FCC passed several laws to regulate SMS marketing and protect consumers from spammers. Two of these laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and CAN-SPAM.
A Quick Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, and we cannot give you legal advice. The following information is our recommendation based on the current laws and our understanding of them. Always consult a licensed attorney anytime you have legal concerns.
Now, how you can protect your brand from SMS spam complaints?
1. Partner With a Reputable Text Messaging Provider
A reputable SMS messaging provider will ensure their software follows all of the guidelines laid out by government officials. They do the hard work to understand the laws so you don’t have to and create software that helps you avoid spam complaints.
For example, SMS messages should only be sent to subscribers that opt-in. Your software provider should make opting out quick and easy and ensure that you don’t send messages to anyone that has unsubscribed.
What does a reputable text provider look like?
We have been providing top-notch customer service to over 160,000 customers since we launched our software in 2004. We have been featured as one of the top 20 Best Products for Marketers, and we have helped thousands of clients achieve their marketing goals through the implementation of our software.
Check out these text marketing case studies for some examples of how we have helped our clients and see how we can help you achieve your goals too.
2. Always Ask for Permission Before Texting
Getting permission to send messages to contacts on your list is not a choice – unless you want to risk being sued.
Note: EZ Texting makes this easy. Our SMS messaging software won’t even allow you to send messages to unverified numbers. This means that a person has to opt-in, permitting you to message them before you can send them a single message.
“EZ Texting does not condone sending UNSOLICITED TEXT MESSAGES, NOTIFICATIONS, ALERTS, OR ANY MESSAGES THAT YOU MAY RECEIVE FROM SOMEONE WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE YOUR MOBILE NUMBER.”
How to Get Your Customers to Opt-In
Create an incentive that makes your customers want it bad enough to give up their number. Use a keyword for your opt-in campaign and keep it simple — keywords can only be up to 12 characters max.
Create ads and promote your keyword on social media and wherever your customers are.
3. Always Give Recipients an Opportunity to Opt-Out
If you don’t offer a clear, simple way for your subscribers to opt-out, you are violating spam laws and could be gearing yourself up for a lawsuit.
EZ Texting’s software gives your contacts an easy way to opt-out if they decide they no longer want to receive messages from your brand. All they have to do is reply to any of your messages with the keyword “STOP” or send that same keyword to 313131.
How to Keep Subscribers from Opting-Out
The number one way of keeping your subscribers from opting-out is to be respectful with the messages you send — we’ll cover that in more depth in the following section.
Other ways to keep them on your list include:
- Create content that delivers so much value they would be crazy to leave.
- Keep the tone of your messages from sounding too robotic or sales-y.
- Take care of your customers and provide support for them when needed.
- Send them exclusive coupon codes and discounts, so they look forward to receiving your messages.
- Host special subscriber-only contests, events, or giveaways.
4. Be Respectful
There is no faster way to lose your subscribers than by bombarding them with messages. Overeager marketers make this mistake all too often — and it’s a costly one.
Keep the number of messages you send within a certain amount of time to a minimum. It’s all about learning to balance giving your customers the content they crave at a frequency that won’t become an irritant more than a benefit.
How Often Should I Send Messages?
We recommend creating a marketing calendar where you pick 3 days per week that you are going to send something valuable to your subscribers. Never send a message that doesn’t have a strategic purpose for your marketing strategy.
It would be better to skip a day than to send something your contacts won’t want to read or be bothered with.
Don’t forget to include the opt-out keyword in every message that you send. The law requires you to provide this, and your customers might be more forgiving of messages with little value or being sent too many too fast if they know they can easily opt-out at any time.
Recommended Reading: What Makes Customers Opt-Out of SMS Marketing?
5. Reference Federal Communications Commission Information
As mentioned above, the FCC is a government agency that is responsible for regulating SMS messages. You should make yourself familiar with all their laws and guidelines if you want to steer clear of legal trouble from your SMS marketing efforts.
Read the FCC’s Consumer Guide from start to finish and keep it in mind when you are messaging your subscribers.
Do I Even Need to Be Using SMS Marketing for My Business?
The idea of screwing up and being sued might make it tempting to ignore SMS marketing altogether and stick with what you know. After all, who has the time to read through all the laws and figure out how it works anyway, right?
However, businesses don’t succeeded by ignoring stuff that’s “too complicated.”
Don’t take our word for it! Download your free copy of our 2019 mobile usage report for even more shocking statistics.
Photo: Adobe Stock/Masson