Text messaging campaigns can be an effective way to reach more customers. Unlike emails, digital ads, and other traditional marketing channels, there is a much larger read rate, which in turn leads to a potential for a much higher rate of action. According to Aine Doherty at Business2Community, text messages have an open rate of about 98 percent, compared to just 22 percent for email messages. Additionally, only 1 percent of text messages are considered spam, meaning that 99 percent of messages are legitimate, which makes this a highly trusted form of communication.
Texting still packs a punch.
Before launching your mass text messaging campaign, you first need to ensure you know all the rules to remain compliant. Following the rules is extremely important. It can help your business avoid lawsuits, loss of profit, and other potential problems.
What Rules You Need to Know
Mass text messaging is highly regulated, and there are several organizations that are in charge of governing the service. Federally, the FCC (Federal Communication Commission), the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and the CTIA (The Wireless Association) all have laws and rules in place by which you must abide. Many of the rules come from a 2013 addition to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). Additionally, states and local governments may also have certain guidelines in place.
It is important to read up on laws coming out of the state and federal government.
The most important rules related to mass text messaging apply to permission and privacy. You must have written permission from the consumer, and you must provide an easy way for mobile users to opt-out. Even if you already have a customer's phone number and permission from another type of campaign, such as email or direct mail marketing, you still need to obtain permission before you can send them text messages. You also have to provide detailed information on how you plan to use the text messages, including the frequency and type of messages. To help businesses remain compliant with current laws, Mogreet has released a guide for text message regulations and best practices.
Avoid Costly Fines
One of the big reasons for abiding by the rules when creating your text messaging service is to avoid costly fines. If you break any of the guidelines, you could end up with fines that range from $500 to $1500 per unsolicited message. This could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, depending on how many instances of misuse you have. The fines can quickly counter any additional patronage you receive from your campaign, so it is important to follow regulations in order to avoid any penalties.
Potential for Lawsuits
If you do not abide by the commercial text messaging rules and regulations, you may find yourself facing a class action lawsuit. Several companies and organizations have already experienced legal troubles as a result of sending unsolicited text messages. Well known pizza chain Papa John's was hit with a $250 million class action lawsuit due to spam texts in 2010. A fan also sued the Pittsburgh Penguins for sending more text messages than they had declared in the terms and conditions for their campaign. Other companies have also faced lawsuits due to text message marketing efforts gone wrong, and you do not want your business to experience the same problem.
Make a bigger profit by avoiding costly lawsuits.
Not only are lawsuits potentially expensive, they can also damage your reputation. Large companies can usually bounce back from such a problem, but smaller businesses and organizations may end up having to close due to legal troubles.
Customer Retention and Service
It's important to abide by the rules when your business is using mass text messaging because it helps to keep your customers happy. By treating your customers well, including not abusing your text message privileges, you will experience higher customer retention rates. You will also have more satisfied customers, which helps to increase brand loyalty over time.
It is easy to abide by the rules. All you have to do is have a clear opt-in and opt-out for mobile customers, along with detailed terms and conditions to which your customers have access. This protects your company from potential fines and lawsuits, while also ensuring that you remain in good standing with your customers, clients, or members.
If you are ready to start your first text message campaign, try ClubTexting for free!