Finance

What marketers must know to stay compliant with the regulations of SMS marketing

Since the advent of mobile phones, SMS messaging has become the mainstay of non-verbal marketing communication. SMS is attractive as it can happen anytime, anywhere, and between any number of cell phone owners. This gives marketers the to be on the job while on the go. Any businessman will vouch for SMS as a highly effective communication channel that still has the shine and sheen despite being over two decades old. Most importantly, you can send bulk messages for businesses almost dirt cheap, making the returns even more attractive. Companies are eager to connect with customers personally, for which there is hardly anything better than sending SMS messages. When marketers want to send some personalized marketing communication, they naturally fall back on SMS.

marketing

Customers’ liking for SMS is evident as surveys show that 64% of customers welcome business messages to interact with them via SMS. More than 80% of marketers have expressed their willingness to pursue SMS marketing aggressively and are even willing to enhance their budget. Mass messaging platforms are excellent for running various marketing campaigns, from appointment reminders to personal birthday greetings, payment confirmations, and sales promotions. Review this article to read more about integrating messaging into your business strategy while complying with regulatory requirements.

Integrate messaging into your business strategy.

The success of a business depends largely on your communication style with all stakeholders, especially customers. Engaging closely with customers personally is an effective marketing technique for which you must have a proper communication strategy. SMS is most effective in sending personalized messages at the appropriate times, and the communication channel receives good customer responses. Since almost everyone is familiar with SMS due to its convenience and ease, customers are ready to engage in touch via SMS and welcome business messages. Timely messaging is essential for business; SMS makes it easy to shoot out messages at will. The speed and flexibility of SMS messaging give a shot in the arm of marketers who can stay in touch with customers without any concern about annoying them. The communication channel is highly effective for creating a reliable customer support infrastructure.

Understand the regulatory requirements.

Before implementing SMS marketing, you should understand the regulatory requirements and the laws governing it. Telemarketing began in the early nineties, and it necessitated some rules to regulate marketers’ activities and create a framework for operations. Adhering to the laws of whichAdheringunderstand them is essential.

The laws

The first law, The Tel is essential phonic Consumer Protection Act or TCPA came into force in 1991 and aimed at regulating telephone marketing calls and using pre-recorded messages and ATDS or automatic telephone dialing systems. The law seeks to protect consumers’ privacy from intrusive marketing calls and messages from marketers and companies, most of which could be unwanted. The law allows individuals to file lawsuits and even collect damages for unsolicited calls and messages for marketing, including auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls and fax messages.

As technology advanced, it became necessary to modify the rules, which resulted in new TCPA regulation that came into force in 2013. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)issued an order in 2015, TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order, which includes clarifying the rules that expand the scope of the law to bring new technologies like text messaging within its ambit.

The rules stipulate the dos and don’ts for businesses concerning telephonic messaging services of which SMS marketing is a part. It sets the limits for companies in contacting consumers for marketing needs. However, violations keep occurring and in no small measure. In 2016 alone, more than 4 billion US consumers filed complaints with the FCC stating that they still received unsolicited calls and texts despite requesting the senders to stop it.

To stay compliant with the law, marketers must follow the stipulations regarding obtaining customers’ consent, including the messaging service.

Written consent is a must.

According to the law, marketers planning to launch a telemarketing campaign should obtain customers’ written consent before including their names in the list to send out messages. Marketers or Companies should tell customers that they would receive calls, pre-recorded or auto-dialed, related to marketing messages and that the consent does not entail any purchasing obligation. The consumer should declare a designated phone number for reaching them, which the marketer should not disclose to anyone in any manner.

Although such consent is not required for SMS marketing, there are some separate guidelines. The customer must expressly request the text message. The message must respond to a customer request and must contain only the piece of information requested and no other advertorial or marketing information.

Right to opt-out from messaging service

The consumer can revoke the consent and even verbally communicate it to marketers. Consumers can withdraw consent by calling the marketer on their own or during a conversation with the marketer during a marketer’s telephone call. They can even inform the store about revoking the consent.

Consumers can type STOP and massage text messaging to the marketer. It would mean the consumer requests to opt out of all text messaging programs subscribed to earlier. The messaging to the consumer should stop immediately upon receipt of the STOP message.

Marketers must refrain from managing the SMS number database to comply with the laws. It might lead to phone numbers of unwilling consumers still appearing in the database who could still be receiving unsolicited messages. A bulk messaging platform with automated opt-in and opt-out features could eliminate the risk of staying non-compliant.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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