Text messaging continues to be a top communication method in today’s world. With more and more companies shifting towards personalization, i.e. contacting existing and potential customers through their preferred method of communication, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations are evolving to protect businesses and consumers alike.
Many carriers and SMS service providers have implemented measures to prevent potential litigation, including closely monitoring their platforms. However, RIngy clients’ outgoing SMS communications could be flagged as “spam” by carriers, preventing that message from being delivered to customers on that carrier’s network.
The regulations outlined in the TCPA are straightforward: customers must opt-in to receive text messages from an organization.
Online Lead Generation Forms
Many of our customers use online lead generation forms to gather new leads. Here are a few rules that you need to follow when using online forms:
- Ensure that online forms have a clear opt-in message that indicates the lead is consenting to text message communications.
- The text and colour of the opt-in message must be highly visible
- Any opt-in checkboxes present on the online form must not be pre-checked; the lead must check it themselves as a demonstration of consent
Purchasing Numbers from Vendors
It’s the vendor’s responsibility to provide proof of consent, so make sure they are giving you the ability to see that consent was given. Lead numbers are often gathered through online forms, similar to how you might gather lead information. Therefore, the vendor should be able to send you proof that the lead acknowledged the consent field.
Tips for Compliant Text Messages
Best practices for sending text messages include the following:
- Ensure that messaging is clear and concise and serve the lead’s interests
- Schedule messages at realistic intervals — don’t schedule messages too close together
- For SMS drip campaigns, ensure that there is a clear “opt-in” and “opt-out” message included. Keep your text messages meaningful!
SMS is a great communication platform that allows an easy and effective way for businesses to keep in touch with their customers. Ringy provides SMS software tools and automation that can be used in a variety of ways, including drip campaigns, appointment reminders, and more as enhanced ways to connect with customers via SMS. It’s up to all business owners to keep ethically using communication tools so we can all continue to provide value to our customers.