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So you want to be (or are) an SMS Marketer. As you navigate the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, it’s crucial to understand the SMS marketing legal landscape and SMS marketing laws and best practices. One key thing that SMS marketers in the U.S. often overlook, but which actually requires your attention, is the Federal Do Not Call (DNC) list. The thing is, checking the DNC list is not only essential (in fact required by law), but it can actually increase your ROI, and benefit your customers and your business! Here’s how.
Compliance with the SMS Marketing Laws
First and foremost, let’s get the SMS marketing legal stuff out of the way. In the realm of SMS marketing, compliance with Federal law is non-negotiable. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) clearly outlines the rules regarding SMS marketing, and among those rules is the requirement that you not send any SMS marketing to anyone whose mobile number is registered on the Federal Do Not Call (“DNC”) list! By cross-referencing your contact list with the DNC list, you ensure compliance, reduce legal risks, and protect your business from potential legal action. Keep in mind that the TCPA allows a consumer whose number is on the DNC list and to whom you still send SMS marketing to take you directly to court, do not pass go, do not collect $200! In fact, pay that consumer somewhere between $500 and $1500 per SMS message!
While it’s very easy to break this Federal law and get into trouble by not comparing your list to the DNC list, it’s also very easy to comply with it! So before you send out any SMS marketing be sure to compare your list of phone numbers against the numbers that are registered on the Do Not Call list.
Note: If someone has specifically opted in to your SMS marketing, and you can prove that consent, then that overrides their number being listed on the DNC list, because they have given you direct, express consent.
The Fun Stuff: DNC Compliance + Best Practices = Great Responses and Conversions!
In addition to having to comply with the TCPA and Do Not Call list, you need to follow best practices. The thing is, best practices also means best ROI! SMS marketing best practices basically means:
- Only sending SMS marketing messages to those who requested them, or who agreed to them
- Including a way in each message for someone to opt-out (basically to tell you to STOP)
- Honoring that opt-out immediately
In case you haven’t put two and two together, if someone’s phone number is on the DNC list, and they give you permission to send them SMS marketing, but then they tell you to “stop” and you keep sending them messages – yep, now you get it! You’ve just violated that Federal law. So it’s important to honor opt-outs immediately not only for good customer service, but to keep you on the right side of the law.
It’s also very important to run your whole list against the DNC list regularly, because numbers get added to the Do Not Call list all the time, and a number that isn’t on the DNC list today may be on the list next month. Generally doing it once a month is sufficient as the legal protections of the Do Not Call list kick in 30 days after a number is first registered.
Here’s how following both the SMS marketing law and SMS marketing best practices actually is to your advantage.
You are Respecting Your Customers’ SMS Marketing Preferences
Picture this: you’re at a cozy café, enjoying your favorite latte and catching up on texts. Suddenly, your phone buzzes with an unsolicited marketing message. Annoying, right? That’s exactly why the DNC list exists. It allows consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls and, yes, text messages too. By checking the DNC list regularly, you demonstrate respect for your customers’ preferences and project a positive brand image. Remember, if their number is on the DNC list it means that they really don’t want unsolicited text messages. And if they are your customer and their number is on the DNC list, and you send them SMS marketing without their permission, are they going to be happy to get that message, or are they going to be annoyed with you? That’s right, you’ve just hurt your brand, because you aren’t respecting their preferences, or the law.
You are Enhancing Customer and Lead Satisfaction
Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyalty is the lifeblood of any successful business. By respecting the preferences of those on the DNC list, and following best SMS marketing practices, you foster a positive customer experience. Customers appreciate businesses that prioritize their needs and desires. When you avoid bombarding them with unwanted messages, you create a better relationship and increase the chances of repeat business and positive referrals.
You are Building Trust and Credibility
Trust is the foundation of every successful business relationship. By diligently checking the DNC list, and removing people who opt out of your SMS messages right away, you demonstrate your commitment to ethical marketing practices. Customers appreciate transparency and honesty, and by respecting their privacy choices, you build trust and credibility. This, in turn, enhances your brand reputation and sets you apart from less considerate competitors (of which there are oh-so-many)!
All of this leads to…
Improved Conversion Rates
Checking the DNC list regularly, and following best practices, will actually boost your conversion rates! By focusing your efforts on engaging those leads and customers who have expressed an interest in receiving your messages, you are automatically targeting the most receptive audience! This increases the likelihood of conversions, as you’re communicating with individuals who are genuinely interested in your products or services. Remember, quality engagement is more valuable than mass outreach!
In conclusion, the Federal Do Not Call list is not something to be ignored or taken lightly, but it really is your friend, not the enemy. By checking the DNC list regularly, you show respect for your customers’ preferences, ensure compliance with regulations, and enjoy the benefits of improved conversion rates, enhanced customer satisfaction, and a solid brand reputation. So, take the time to review your contact lists, maintain a healthy relationship with your customers, and keep your SMS marketing strategy on the right side of the line, and your conversions on the right side of your bottom line!