This guide is designed to help explain opt-in messages, their importance, as well as some best practices for your business. For specifications and additional information it is best to consult an attorney to ensure that you are in compliance with current regulations.
: to make a choice
especially : to decide in favor of something
Being compliant to rules and regulations is crucial to the success of any business. In order to be compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, you must receive permission from your customers for your business to text them. The written permission from your customers to willingly receive text messages from your business, is their SMS Opt-in. You should never send text messages to anyone who has not opted-in with you.
Opt-In Message Details
Receiving an opt in from your customers is fundamental to your business being able to successfully send text messages to your customers, while remaining compliant. For this reason, your opt in request message is one of the most important messages you will ever craft.
Does Email Consent Cover Opt-in?**
No. Consent for emails, does not translate to a consent for text messages as well. Conversely, an opt-in for text messages does not cover consent to receive emails from your business, these require their own individual opt-in’s.
Opt-In with Incentives
One strategy is to offer a reward for opting into receiving your text messages. If you decide to go this route, the TCPA requires you to send that reward or an ability to redeem the reward, in your first text message to your audience.
Opt-In example with text
- With an SMS opt-in, you will provide people with a number to text with a particular phrase or code which will give you consent to message these people. To ensure the opt-in was genuine, it’s a best practice to send them a message confirming the agreement
- Let the subscriber know that they will be contacted in the future with a specified kind of content.
- It helps to disclose the kind of content you plan to share and the frequency of the messages.
- In subsequent text messages, you should mention your company by name as a reminder, inform about carrier expenses, support options, or the ability to opt-out of future campaigns.
Opt-In Message Opportunities
For most businesses, a clear choice for when to present their audience with an opt-in message is at the time of requesting or receiving your customers phone number.
More than likely you have received a text message at some point which had a bottom line text with “Reply STOP to stop receiving messages” this is an opt-out message.
In addition to requiring customers to opt-in to receive text messages, the TCPA also requires that you provide clear instructions and an easy method for opting out of receiving text messages.
What if my users opt-out of my SMS campaign? How long am I required to honor opt-out requests?
It’s important to note that the most popular way for people to retract their consent is to reply “STOP” to received messages. However, be aware that some individuals may request to withdraw consent via other avenues, such as email or phone call, or even contacting you via social media.
It’s your job to ensure that these contacts get removed immediately, as to ensure total SMS compliance. By failing to remove these contacts, you could face penalties.
Your customers are a valuable asset, and if they have opted-in to receiving messages from you that means they also find value in your company. The last thing that you want, is to send messages that your customer's don't want, and that they eventually opt out of receiving. To avoid this, simply send messages that truly provide value to your audience.
Another consideration to make when planning your SMS campaigns is the TCPA's restrictions around telephone solicitation. The TCPA restricts hours to between 8am and 9pm in the recipient's time zone, however some states have additional rules as well. A safe bet is to send out your texts between 9am and 7pm in the recipient's time zone.
Disclosing to your audience that their current phone plan or carrier may charge them an additional fee for incoming text messages is a best practice to use. The last thing you want is to sabotage a successful text campaign by your customers unknowingly being charged by their phone providers.
Updated 12 months ago