Disclaimer: This article is not intended as legal advice. It’s merely for informational purposes. Always consult a qualified legal professional for guidance on compliance matters.
Texting offers an almost instantaneous means of reaching your audience. However, this immediacy comes with responsibilities. To ensure you’re not overstepping legal boundaries, it’s crucial to understand the compliance guidelines surrounding SMS.
SMS & Text Message Compliance Overview
While SMS marketing boasts impressive stats like a 98% read rate, it’s essential to remember that a user’s inbox is a private space. To safeguard consumers, various entities have rolled out SMS regulations. They include:
- Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA): This body includes mobile carriers responsible for setting SMS marketing standards.
- Mobile Marketing Association (MMA): A consortium of mobile marketing firms.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) & Federal Trade Commission (FTC): These U.S. government agencies monitor media communications, address complaints, and enforce relevant laws.
Under the FCC’s purview, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act are particularly pertinent to SMS marketing.
SMS Compliance Key Terms to Know
Before diving into the compliance checklist, let’s clarify some essential terms:
- Opt-In: When consumers willingly join your SMS program.
- Opt-Out: The act of a subscriber choosing not to receive messages anymore.
- Express Written Consent: The explicit permission businesses must secure before texting a consumer.
- Transactional Text Message: Messages that provide critical information, e.g., order status or account alerts.
- Promotional Text Messages: Messages meant for marketing, which require prior written consent.
- Text Spam: Unwanted SMS messages sent without the recipient’s consent.
SMS Compliance Checklist
With the groundwork laid, here’s a step-by-step guide to ensuring your aesthetic practice remains compliant:
- Outline Your Program Details at Opt-In: Clearly describe what subscribers are signing up for. This should include the type of messages they can expect, frequency, any charges, and privacy practices.
- Receive Prior Express Written Consent: The TCPA mandates this for all promotional messages. Fines for non-compliance can be hefty.
- Confirm Opt-Ins: Send a follow-up message to reconfirm subscribers’ decision to join your SMS program.
- Clearly Communicate Terms and Conditions: Regularly update and remind subscribers about your SMS program’s terms.
- Time Your Texts Appropriately: Avoid sending texts too early or too late.
- State Your Business Name in Every Message: For transparency’s sake, always identify yourself in your communications.
- Allow Your Audience to Easily Opt Out: Make the unsubscription process straightforward.
- Avoid Banned Language: Familiarize yourself with the CTIA’s SHAFT list to ensure you’re not sending prohibited content.
- Don’t Message Opt-Outs: Respect the choices of those on the National Do Not Call Registry and those who’ve opted out.
Maintaining SMS compliance is crucial for fostering trust and avoiding legal pitfalls. While this guide provides a starting point, always consult with legal professionals to ensure you’re on the right track. And remember, the right tools, like Aesthetix CRM, can make managing your SMS campaigns simpler and more effective.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about matters of compliance and regulations.