How to Avoid a Text Spam Lawsuit

How to Avoid a Text Spam Lawsuit

Could your business afford a $47M mobile marketing mistake? Or, if you’re an agency working on behalf of a client, can you imagine the backlash if your client had to pay a high price for your mistake?

Jiffy Lube recently made a mistake that cost them that much. All because they sent a text message that contained a really great offer — 45% off an oil change. Unfortunately, this offer also violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

This costly mistake could have been avoided if they had just followed these simple rules.

Text Spam Lawsuits: 4 Tips to Avoid Them

The TCPA Act and CAN-SPAM Act regulate how your business can contact customers through telephone calls, text messages, and emails. Compliance with these two laws is necessary if you don’t want to face some pretty hefty fines or jail time. 

Keep reading to find out more about how you can avoid making the same costly mistakes that others have made.

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1. Get Permission Before Texting

Jiffy Lube made a costly misstep by breaking the first rule of text message and email marketing — they sent a text message to their existing customers without getting consent first.

Unsolicited messages like this can quickly have your business in trouble with the law. No matter how good the offer is, no one wants to be bothered by a business that didn’t get their permission first. 

How Can You Avoid Making the Same Mistake? 

Use a permission-based service and always get consent before you upload a contact to your list manually. A permission-based service is any service that requires a subscriber to “opt-in” is getting their permission for you to send them messages by requiring them to take this step. 

EZ Texting is a permission-based service, and your subscribers can opt-in by texting a predefined Keyword to your EZ Texting number — aka shortcode.

2. Follow CAN-SPAM and TCPA Regulations

As mentioned above, the TCPA Act and CAN-SPAM Act provide clear guidelines on sending messages/emails to your customers. Familiarize yourself with the TCPA and CAN-SPAM Acts on the Federal Communications Commission website, and follow these tips to help you comply.

  1. Include a statement reminding subscribers that message and data rates apply.
  2. Make it clear how they can opt-out if they no longer want to receive your messages or emails.
  3. Include any links or additional rules that apply in your welcome messages.
  4. Provide contact information so they can communicate with you effortlessly. 
  5. Give them a way to opt-out in every message you send.

Disclaimer: We are not legal experts, and you should always consult a licensed lawyer for all your legal needs.

Recommended Reading: What Does the CAN-SPAM Act Mean for Your Business? → Link to article 6.3

3. Provide Clear Value

There’s nothing worse than receiving emails or messages about offers that don’t interest you or benefit you in some way. Don’t irritate your subscribers with constant announcements and alerts. Make sure the information you send them is something they would really want to read.

The more you know about your customers and the people on your list, the better you can tailor your content and offers to suit their wants and needs. The following case study is a perfect example of how providing value to your subscribers can lead to more sales.

National Home Improvement Retailer's Sales Manager Re-Engages Leads With Text Marketing

Robert Love is a Market Sales Manager with a large home improvement retailer. His job is to supervise his sales team and convert new leads. Robert uses EZ Texting to reach out to cold leads and re-engage these potential customers with limited-time promotions. These promotions create a sense of urgency and encourage buyers that are on the fence to act now. 

“I was excited enough about text marketing that I initially paid for EZ Texting out of my own pocket to prove that it could work. The investment was definitely worth it — I reached out to 40 leads, and more than half responded!”

— Robert Love, Sales Manager

Robert was able to get more than 50% of these cold leads to engage, and he closed $97k in new business with this strategy. He was able to increase conversion rates by 6% in only one month!

How did their campaign provide value? The offers he sent to cold leads allowed them to save money or receive bonuses for free with their purchase.

Read the full case study.

4. Exercise Restraint

Don’t bombard your subscribers with more messages than they can read. Limit the number of messages/emails you send, and how often you are sending them to a reasonable amount. Create a schedule for how often you are going to send something to your subscribers and stick to it. Learn some more tips to exercise restraint and how to avoid some common mistakes businesses made with text message marketing in the recommended article below.

Recommended Reading: 5 SMS Text Messaging Mistakes Businesses Make Every Day

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Text Marketing

Don’t let the TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act scare you away from communicating with your customers! It can be tempting to avoid sending emails or messages altogether, so you don’t have to stress about breaking the law. The less you know, the more you worry you’ll overlook something or make a careless mistake — like Jiffy Lube.

Knowledge is power, and the more you familiarize yourself with the law and how SMS marketing works, the less you will have to worry. EZ Texting makes mastering text message marketing simple. 

Follow the steps in The 9-Step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing for all the information you need to create amazing campaigns that your customers will be excited to know about! 

Download your free copy of this guide now!

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

Photo: Adobe Stock/Jirapong