Updated: Nov 20, 2019
You hear enough about compliance.
If you're here it means you're in the cannabis industry and you already know compliance is important. We're not here to talk about seed to sale or any of the other cannabis compliance headaches. We're here to talk about your marketing. Text message marketing is a great way to engage with your audience, but it also has its own rules that need to be followed.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) is the rule book here. It can seem daunting, but don't worry, the good thing is that the rules make sense and are therefore easy enough to follow. If you have any doubts, we'll help you in the right direction. It's key to set up a culture of compliance with practices and tools put in place to make it habit. Although we're not attorneys, here are some best practices we've found will keep you on the right path.
1. Have they really opted in?
Maybe it was through your POS, or at a local event, or on your website. It doesn't matter where, just make sure you can show where your audience signed up from. Make sure your audience is genuine, if you purchase a list then it is likely they will not welcome your messaging and may issue a complaint.
2. Let them out.
In text message marketing, no matter your provider, characters are a prized possession. With character counts low, it's tough to use them on compliance text. The good news is you can keep it short and don't have to do it on every message, just often enough for your audience to know about it. Try endings like 'STOP2end' or include fine print in your graphic every few messages.
3. Don't be a menace.
Remembering your manners can go a long way. Texting gets open rates above 90% because its such an intimate form of communication. Don't blow it by texting junk mail, at odd hours, or if unwelcome. Focus on timing and quality to make sure your audience is happy to hear from you. With character limits as a standard, this restriction keeps us focused on being meaningful with our words.
4. Segment, segment, and segment again.
Segmenting your audience will end up being your secret weapon. It'll increase the effectiveness of your messaging as much as how happy people are to receive it overall. Keep an analytic eye on your audience and their interaction with your messaging. Keep it relevant and determine who likes a "daily specials of the week" vs. "flash specials" each day. This will increase the likelihood of your messages being welcomed - without any complaints.
5. Leave the tools in place.
Make it easy for yourself to succeed. Implementing good habits will provide the right environment, but don't forget to add tools to help you automate as many of the repetitive tasks as you can. The text messaging platform you choose should include the ability to automatically store opt out replies and unsubscribe those users for you. This is a great way to make sure you don't miss any unsubscribes and get complaints.