Even though we are an email deliverability services company, we get a lot of questions about SMS marketing, including about SMS marketing services and text message marketing best practice. This is a really important question, because the laws around SMS text message marketing are very strict, and very clear. So we’re going to first tell you about those very clear laws around SMS marketing, and then we’re going to tell you about an SMS marketing company with which we have partnered because they are doing it right, by which we mean that they are making sure that their SMS marketing-sending customers are educated about, and don’t run afoul of, the law.
(If you already know about the law, and are just looking for an SMS marketing platform that does it right, one such company is SimpleTexting.com.)
TCPA and the Law Around SMS Marketing
The TL;dr: The bottom line is that if you send an SMS marketing message to a phone number that is on the national Do Not Call registry, and you do not have their explicit, express consent for you to send them marketing text messages, you have just violated a Federal law that has built into it stiff penalties, which the person to whom you sent that message can invoke; in other words it does not require the government to get involved, the individual can sue you directly (the government can also sue you, of course, and will if your actions are egregious enough).
The slightly longer version: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lays out what telemarketers must do, must not do, and may and may not do, and part of that is that they must honor the Do Not Call (DNC) list. That means that they must not initiate marketing calls and solicitations to any telephone number that is on the DNC.
In 2016 the FCC issued an ‘enforcement advisory’ that articulates and makes extremely clear that the rules and regulations set forth in the TCPA also apply to SMS marketing by text message. So if you send an SMS marketing message to someone whose phone number is on the Do Not Call list, and you don’t have their express consent to send them a marketing message, you have just violated Federal law.
If you want to read even more about this, see our article The Federal Do Not Call (DNC) Registry and the TCPA as it Applies to SMS Marketing.
Doing it Right
When we talk about an SMS marketing service “doing it right”, what we mean is that they know about the Federal law, they care about the Federal law and the Do Not Call list, and they care about their customers not breaking the law, and so they communicate the requirements of the law to their customers and they help their customers to be sure that they are obtaining consent, and doing their own SMS marketing right.
In other words, they care about their customers, and about their customers not getting into trouble, and they help their customers to be sure that they have express, verifiable consent (which not only keeps them from breaking the law, but also provides the most responsive list of people to whom to market). Make no mistake, there are SMS marketing services out there that don’t care whether their customers have consent, and don’t pay attention to the DNC list, because they (the SMS service) won’t get into trouble if their customers send to unpermitted phone numbers, and they don’t really care whether their customers break the law or get into trouble, as long as they keep paying; that’s not a company you want to do business with.
For all of the above reasons, we have partnered with SimpleText because they are a company that “gets it”, and does it right. In fact, they talk about the TCPA and consent both here and here. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other SMS marketing services who do it right, but SimpleTexting is one that we know is doing it right.
Questions? Drop us an email at email@example.com.