Mass SMS Marketing
With an estimated 95% open rate, it should come as no surprise that businesses are embracing mass SMS Marketing.
In the United States any company that uses SMS as a means to communicate with clientelle must comply with laws governing electronic communications, privacy and anti-spam regulations. Breaking these laws will result in significant penalties and fines. The laws regulating electronic communications are very carefully regulated. Additionally two organizations, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) have worked to establish "ethical standards" for mobile marketing. While not all the ethical standards are rooted in law, they are widely endorsed, and businesses are encouraged to follow them.
The general ethical standards for mobile marketing include the following:
Companies must receive written consent to add subscribers. While the permission while must be "written", it does not necessarily have to be on paper, the options for customers to opt in to mobile marketing include:
1. Texting a keyword request to opt-in
2. Filling out a paper form
3. Completing an online form.
It is highly recommended that companies remain completely transparent in their marketing plans. Provide clear information to potential subscribers so they understand what they will be receiving if they choose to subscribe.
Clearly explain the topical nature of the messages that will be sent. Be clear are the messages going to be daily lunch specials, discounts, daily devotionals or other types of information.
Number and Frequency
Clearly disclose the number and frequency of messages that will be sent over a specified period of time. (ie. once per week, once per day).
Company's should make every effort to protect and secure customer information, data and preferences from any potential vulnerabilities. Consumers and subscribers want to know that businesses will implement strict security policies to protect their personal information.
Any sent messages should be relevant and closely related to the topical nature previously disclosed and not stray from what the customer is expecting to receive.
Messages sent should be timely. If you are sending out lunch specials send them before the lunch rush. Additionally, be aware of the time of day that messages are sent. Be aware of your audience, if you are sending to subscribers in multiple time zones keep that in mind, when you opt to send a message.
Provide detailed instructions to opt out of future text messages. Perhaps circumstances have changed for the subscriber, maybe they have moved away and your "lunch specials" are no longer relevant, make it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe.
Only provide marketing for closely related products or other companies if the customer has expressedly agreed to receive them.
Please keep in mind the Can-Spam Act makes it illegal for companies in the US to send unsolicited marketing messages. Additionally, the rules and regulations of text or SMS marketing differ for other countries so if you are targetting an International audience it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of other jurisdictions. Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strictest privacy and security law in the world. Europe's GDPR regulates how a company can target or collect data of people located in the EU. Keep that in mind if you are intending to target a European audience.
Article Date: September 28, 2020