A guide to understanding opt-in consent and why you need it.
We feel it’s our responsibility to be transparent with you about the responsibilities of sending text messages. As the text message sender, it is your responsibility to secure consent. This is not legal advice. It’s only our way of giving you a head’s up. Consult with your legal counsel if you have additional questions. To get started here's a simple way of looking at why you need texting consent:
Why do I have to get consent?
You cannot send text messages just because you have someone’s number — you have to have consent. The Federal Communications Commission (”FCC”) enforces rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (”TCPA”) to protect consumers from unwanted calls or text messages. Most of the rules are pretty simple, but organizations that call or text consumers should know about them. Violation of the TCPA is a serious matter, with statutory damages between $500-$1,500 per violation (text or call).
What are the benefits of consent?
Having consent creates a trusted connection between you and the audience you're texting, ultimately increasing comfort levels and decreasing opt-outs. These will be your very best contacts, people that want to hear from you, your raving fans. They will tell others about you and help you grow your list over time the right way.
Types of messaging and required consent
There are three categories of text messaging that all come with different types of consent. They are conversational, informational, and promotional.
This is a two-way conversation over text messaging. If the customer texts you first and you respond with a single message, it’s conversational.
This is when a customer gives you their number and asks to be contacted in the future. Appointment reminders, welcome texts, and alerts fall in this category because the first text sent by the business fulfills the customer’s request.
This is just what it sounds like– a sales or marketing promotion. Some examples of promotional messaging include adding a call-to-action like a coupon code, a message about a sale, or even a message about a service or product.
Don't ever use a third-party list
Consent can’t be bought, sold, or exchanged. Third-party lists of phone numbers are strictly forbidden. This includes purchased or rented lists, lists collected by someone other than you, and lists scraped from third-party sources, including public websites. Your audience should be gathered and consented entirely by you.
If you're going to use a mobile keyword or collect contacts from your website, you have to include some vital information for your contacts. This also shows them you're a trusted sender. Here is a sample:
Message & data rates may apply. Up to XX messages per month. Reply HELP for help or STOP to stop. For terms and privacy, visit: YOUR LINK.