Navigating Compliance in Text Marketing

Navigating Compliance in Text Marketing

The advantages of text marketing are obvious. Nearly every consumer has a smart phone in 2019 and it’s nearly impossible to not see every text message we receive. We know younger generations prefer texting to talking and a mobile campaign is perfectly suited to end up on a mobile device. If you haven’t thought of text marketing before, you may be asking yourself, “what have I been doing”! So why isn’t everyone doing it?

The answer is compliance. Text marketing is regulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Telemarketing Sales Rules (TSR). Both are enforceable by federal agencies and TCPA claims are the second most common lawsuit cases in the country. You’re probably well aware of the scourge of robocalls plaguing consumers as well as the major data leaks from Facebook and others. Regulators are keenly aware of the issue and facing more and more pressure to quell the epidemic.

At the core of TCPA compliance is consent. When collecting an online lead from a form you need to obtain express written consent to contact the consumer and let them know the means in which you will be contacting them, e.g. text. You also need to let them know if you plan on using automatic means to do so. If you’re thinking you can bury this information in the terms and conditions, case law from TCPA class-action lawsuits states otherwise. The law states the consumer was be presented with “clear and conspicuous disclosure” that they will receive future calls and/or texts that deliver auto-dialed and/or pre-recorded messages.

The Telemarketing Sales Rules require telemarketers to make specific disclosures of material information, prohibits misrepresentations, sets limits on the times telemarketers may call consumers, prohibits calls to a consumer who has asked not to be called again, and sets payment restrictions for the sale of certain goods and services.

When texting a consumer, be sure to tell the consumer who you are, why your texting them, and give them the option to opt-out (e.g. Text STOP to be removed). Always make sure uninterested consumers are removed. Many companies use keyword matching and humans to monitor the text conversations. TeleDrip leverages both, plus the most advanced Artificial Intelligence in the industry. Consumer sentiment is important, which is why using sentiment recognition technology is must when texting consumers.

Always seek professional legal advice prior to conducting any text or call campaign. TCPA and TSR fines are hefty and can result in litigation.