How Financial Companies Can Stay Compliant with Text Marketing
Got a hot stock tip for your clients? Need to inform them about new tax laws? Or perhaps you have a message regarding their planning goals? Whatever your message is, texting's incredible engagement and efficiency – 98% open rate with 90% of people responding within 30 minutes – make it perhaps the most effective way of communicating with your customers.
The numbers don’t lie - texting is an incredibly effective marketing tool, but there are some simple rules you have to follow in order to stay compliant:
GET PERMISSION BEFORE YOU START TEXTING
In order to text your clients they need to opt in first. This is the most important step in maintaining compliance with federal regulations. Failing to do this will risk you being labeled a spammer, and with it, potential legal trouble.
To attract new clients, consider advertising a keyword with a short code, such as: “Text "MONEYHELP" to 858585 to get all the latest financial news delivered by text!” In this instance, "MONEYHELP" is the keyword and "858585" is the short code. Texting the keyword to that short code is a proven way of driving opt ins for a contact list. Advertise the message to existing clients and spread the word via social media, newsletters, and in-office signage.
SET EXPECTATIONS ABOUT FREQUENCY
You’ll want to set up an auto-reply response for new contacts that lets them know approximately how often you’ll send texts. Auto-replies save you time and you can set them up to be sent whenever a client texts your office with frequently asked questions.
ONLY TEXT RELEVANT INFO
It might be tempting to text vacation photos to clients, but that can get you labeled a spammer. As a legal best practice, keep text messages strictly limited to relevant and high-quality financial information. This holds true whether you’re texting individual clients, groups, or even your entire contact list.
Also, check out our Guide to Text Message Marketing Compliance. You can learn more about how to boost opt-in rates, discover additional best practices, and learn how to drive a stronger ROI.
DEDICATED SHORT CODES
EZ Texting customers typically use a common-use short code. If it’s in your budget, you can get a dedicated short code. The value in a dedicated short code is two-fold: 1) Only your company uses them, and 2) You can customize your code to make it easier for customers to remember or link it to a marketing/business strategy.
How do you know if a dedicated short code is right for you? If you send a substantial volume of messages, want brand recognition, or use multiple keywords at once a dedicated short code could bring down your costs.
It's also worth noting that if your messaging falls into one of the following categories, you are required to send from a dedicated short code based on carrier policies enacted in 2017. (Please note, carriers only approve short code programs for these categories from lenders or banks. No affiliate marketing content will be approved.)
- Loan origination and/or matching
- Payday loans
- Short-term loans
- Auto loans
- Mortgage loans
- Student loans
- Debt consolidation and reduction
- Investment opportunities
- Credit repair programs
- Tax relief programs
- Work from home programs
Got more questions about how EZ Texting can help you strengthen your outreach strategy and protect your clients' financial future? Start your free trial today!