The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates telemarketing calls, auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes. But there’s more to it than that. There are many government and state agency's you have to learn guidelines and laws to. Better yet have an attorney draw up your companies privacy policies and procedures. Why is this even important? Look into last year's 2017 TCPA Dish Network having to "dish out 341M" because of their violation of TCPA. Below is a short overview:
Dedicated short codes are unique to each individual business but expensive to rent. There are two types of dedicated short codes - “random” and “vanity”. “Random” dedicated short codes are a random combination of numbers (for example 468591), whereas “vanity” short codes are those which are easiest to remember (for example 112233). You could also use a vanity short code if your business had a six-letter name that could be spelled on a keypad (for example Costco = 267826).
Random short codes I suggest using for one off events or if the business has to save monies starting out. Vanity Short Codes are great for repetitive events, restaurant specials, or custom branding of the business that has a more established customer base. ***side note here: Even if you have email permission please make sure to get new Text Marketing Opt-in.
Mobile marketing can be a great tool for your business, but you should know that SMS marketing is not a free-for-all. There are some laws and best practices you should follow and consider when you plan your campaigns.
The TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which was developed by the FCC, has some laws that you need to be sure you follow while you’re collecting contacts and sending out text messages. Not everything in the TCPA applies to text message marketing, but it’s still a good idea to review these laws and be sure you are compliant with them. Some protocols you want to be sure you follow include:
Get permission from every contact before you start sending mass text messages to them
Only send text messages between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. Remember that this is in the time zone of the person you are texting and not necessarily the time zone from which you are sending messages.
CTIA & MMA
The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) and MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) have similar guidelines on how to appropriately use text message marketing. These guidelines are not laws, but they do provide best practices you should consider following.
Some of these best practices include:
Don’t use the term “free” unless you have a free-to-end-user program.
All advertising should include program name, production description and quality, link to terms and conditions, stop instructions, and the message and data rates may apply message.
Or, you can have all this information available when the customer texts HELP.
Have opt-in approval prior to sending messages
You must allow your customer the option of opting out
Opt-in and opt-out records should be maintained for at least six months
You should not directly advocate the use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs
Age verification may be required for some text message marketing campaigns
A few companies I would suggest:
PS: Here is another site you might want to follow regarding this topic tcpablog.com/
This is a very general overview and in no way to be considered legal advice.
Tonie Boaman is a champion of a small to medium sized businesses! Read More Click