Messaging Compliance for Text Message Marketing


A few of the regulations that are in place are there for obvious reasons. Those include:

  • Opt-in only – messages can only be sent to subscribers that opt to receive them.
  • Stop message – gives the user the ability to stop receiving messages from the campaign at anytime.
  • Help message – gives the user the ability to find out more information on the campaign that they are subscribed to.

These two regulations are tested several times over by the wireless carriers before campaigns can be provisioned and lack of compliance keeps a shortcode from being provisioned and can shut down an already provisioned one. The importance of these abilities to the growth of the industry are self explanatory, nobody wants to receive “spam” on their phone and if I can’t ever stop receiving messages after I opt to receive them, I’m a lot less likely to ever opt-in to start with.

There are a few regulations that are not so obvious to the reasoning but they do have heavy implications to the mobile marketing industry. A couple of those are:

  • Opt-in in confirmation message – When a user subscribes to receive messages from a company, there is information that is mandated they receive. Message frequency, stop, help and message and data rates may apply.
  • Stop to Stop, Cancel, End, Quit, Unsubscribe – every outbound message must include the information to allow a subscriber the ability to opt-out.

The initial opt-in message that is sent when a user opts-in needs to show the information pertaining to the messaging campaign. This is important because should the subscriber opt-in and find out that they are going to be receiving one message a day and do not want to they have the option to opt back out. Message and data rates may apply, is the disclaimer that needs to be made clear to the user on both the call to action as well as the initial message. This is not saying that they are being charged for opting in to the campaign, rather, if they do not have a messaging plan with their wireless carrier they can incur per message charges.

To keep the steady growth of text message marketing and to ensure the use of it by consumers, the following of these regulations is vital. These regulations are in place to protect the users and also to protect the marketer. Violations of regulations can lead to a complete shutdown of a shortcode and/or fines from the FTC up to $500 per text.

Due diligence needs to be taken when selecting a text message marketing company not just for how than can best suit your needs, but also, is it following the proper regulations. Visit the MMA guidelines for complete list of best practices and guidelines.

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