Remaining in compliance is beneficial to all as it will ensure that your content will not only be delivered but that the recipients will engage positively with that content. There are a number of compliance considerations. First and foremost is the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), which outlines legal restrictions for texting consumers. In addition, telecommunication providers and mobile carriers themselves have messaging policies and codes of conduct. The guide below provides key points to ensure you remain in compliance. Violating these policies could result in suspension or loss of service, as well as legal action.
- Before your first campaign, register to become a verified sender with mobile carriers. All users of our platform will need to register as a verified sender. For more information, see the article Becoming a Trusted Sender of SMS messages.
- Consider your audience.
- Send to people who have opted in to receive communication. Consumers will identify and report spam to carriers. It's important that the recipient wants to hear from you and wants to hear what you have to say so you don't risk heavy filtering, account suspension, or even potential legal action.
- To increase engagement, send to smaller targeted lists so you're communicating with people who have definite interest in the message you're sending.
- Consider your content.
- Avoid content that could be in anyway perceived as spam. SMS is a top priority communication channel that gives instant access to your recipients, and as such it should be treated with respect. Any message should provide value to the recipient. This will keep them engaged and provide a positive experience for all. Valuable content is much less likely to be reported as spam.
- Verify your identity with your audience by indicating the organization or office who's sending this content in your initial message so they know right away who the message is coming from and that it's legitimate.
- Always include instructions for the recipient to opt out using keywords such as "STOP".
- Keep the message short to avoid being flagged as spam. Messages are split up into segments if they are longer than 140 characters. This means some recipients with older phones could possibly get multiple pings on their phone with a single message, which could be irritating and result in more opt outs. The shorter the message, the better. We'd recommend one or two sentences and sticking to that 140 character limits as closely as possible in your initial message. (Your follow up message can be longer and include information such as links to resources, additional details, or directions to events.)
- Never use link shorteners as carriers will block these messages. When including a link, ensure that it is the full url with your domain.
- Include links in a follow-up message rather than in the initial message as this can also trigger carriers' spam filters. For example, send a message asking if they'd like more information and set your "Yes" response to include the link.
- Send only the type of content you've been verified to send. (For example, if you've been verified with the Public Service Announcement use case, do not send out a poll or survey question.) For more information about use cases, see our article Becoming a Trusted Sender of SMS messages.
- How we help limit compliance risk
- Automatic opt-outs when messages start with key words such as "STOP" or "UNSUBSCRIBE" are used
- Automatic opt-ins when messages start with key words such as "START" or "SUBSCRIBE" are used
- Easy manual mark as opt-out option available on each conversation
- Automatic removal of wrong numbers when message includes the key phrase "wrong number"
- Easy manual mark as wrong number option available on each conversation
- Starter text automatically includes your identity verification
- Starter text automatically includes opt-out text
- Starter text limited to 250 characters
- List cleaning prior to uploading lists
- Mobile number verification upon send
- Compliance consulting and training
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