The SMS Marketer’s Guide to TCPA Compliance

Don't make the mistake of exploring mass texting without first understanding TCPA compliance! Check out this guide to ensure you're following the rules.

SMS marketing is making a huge comeback. Between 2015 and 2017, it grew 92% among business-to-consumer marketers and 197% between business-to-business marketing.

Even though text marketing is growing, there are real limits to who you can and can’t text. Consumers and their phone numbers enjoy protection from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

If you want to send messages to both current and potential customers and reap the benefits, you need to understand the text messaging laws.

What is TCPA compliance, and what does it mean for you? Keep reading to find out.

What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from the misuse of their phone numbers by marketers. The act is most famous for the creation of the National Do-Not-Call List, which allows consumers to choose whether they want to receive marketing calls. It’s also the genesis of the ban on auto-dialers and prerecorded voice calls without consent from the person who owns the phone number.

Today, the TCPA applies not only to phone calls (including landlines and cell phones) but also to text messages.

How Do You Make Your Text Marketing Compliant?

The TCPA means that you need written permission to text a message to a mobile device. It doesn’t just apply to potential leads and other people you’ve never contacted before. You still need consent if the person who owns the number is an existing client or a former customer. In other words, having someone’s phone number doesn’t give you blanket permission to use it.

Some exceptions do exist. You can use text messages to provide a service, like using text appointment reminders or delivery notifications. But you can’t use them for marketing without permission.

So what do you do?

First, you need to get explicit consent from each and every customer you intend to text. Consent isn’t as simple as opting in. TCPA compliance requires you to:

  • Get permission to send customers informational texts
  • Get permission to send customers marketing texts
  • Maintain records of every customer’s consent
  • Provide an opportunity to opt-out (and make it easy to find)
  • Share any message or data rates that apply

Second, you must follow the rules. You can only text people between 9:00 AM and  9:00 PM in their local timezone. You should also make sure your content is specific: they should know the message is from you.

Remember: if you don’t comply, you face fines of up to $500 per violation and $1,500 per willful violation. It’s in your interest to know the law.

TCPA Compliance Must Be Priority #1

The TCPA exists to protect American consumers from seeing their phone numbers passed around like candy. As marketers interested in SMS and mass texting, your biggest priority must be TCPA compliance. If you aren’t getting consent and texting responsibly, your company could see more fines than leads.

Are you ready to start your big texting campaign? We can help automate your processes. Get in touch to learn how Txtfyre can help you grow your customer base.

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