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Responsible SMS Marketing: 6 easy rules to follow



Text message marketing is more complex than you may realize. Once you dig into it you’ll quickly find yourself Googling terms like opt-in, opt-out, SMS, MMS, P2P, A2P, TCPA, and CTIA.


This many acronyms may put a damper on your excitement. Afterall, sending the wrong text to the wrong person may not only affect your brand, but could put you at risk of painful fines.


On the other hand, many studies show that most consumers today favor brands that engage with them via SMS. A welcomed text message to the right person at the right time can be a powerful driver for your brand.


Engaging with your customers via text has quickly become the norm. The new realities of how business is done after covid requires more direct, personalized, mobile, immediate, and secure communications that allow customers to engage dynamically without downloading apps.


SMS/MMS marketing checks all the boxes and adds great ROI to the statline.


Aside from sharing promos/offers that’ll be “saved for later”, emails and apps aren’t cutting it anymore for direct to consumer engagement. SMS/MMS marketing offers a nimble and reliable solution with open rates of over 97%.


There are rules to follow however. Simply stated, these rules exist to ensure that you, the marketer, are being responsible and that people only receive SMS communications from businesses or organizations that they want.


As a brand, it makes sense that you would proactively monitor the welcome status of your messaging campaigns. With such high open rates, unwelcome messages will quickly become an irritant for the recipient. The bright red line to avoid is being considered spam by the recipient.



Spam boils down to repetitive unwelcomed messaging. So monitor your bots and make sure you yourself implement best practices. Here are a few easy rules to follow.


1. Opt-Ins - Implement clear and transparent “opt-ins” for all of your audience members - whether from a web-form, a third party system, or an initial text confirming opt-in. There are many ways, but make sure you have a clear line connecting the audience member to their opt-in.


2. Opt-Outs - Even more important is giving your audience the ability to opt-out. Make it automated so it doesn’t rely on a human. Make sure the opt-out is working and removing them from your campaigns. Make sure they know how to opt-out and that it is easy and accessible.


3. Mind your manners - The key to avoiding the spam label is in remaining welcome. Know your audience and mind your manners. Texting is a privilege. Don’t text during off hours. Don’t send explicit images that’ll be visible without a secondary click/link within the body of the message.


4. Know the Regs - Not all industries are treated the same in SMS marketing. Mobile carriers and messaging platforms alike each have their own policies on what they allow. The industry you’re in may also have its own rules imposed by regulatory agencies you should look up and observe.


5. Actively segment - Segment. Segment. Segment. We get it. We often forget that segments must be kept up on the backend as well for them to be valuable. Someone who fits your segment this month may no longer be a good fit as time passes. Update it to stay welcome.


6. Accept replies - One of the most undervalued strategies in SMS compliance is also one that will boost your brand. Give your audience the chance to send inbound replies. Being able to have a dialogue creates engagement, but also adds trust and helps you catch problems early.




Please note that compliance with legal frameworks, such as the TCPA, may be fact- and and context-specific. The information contained in this whitepaper should not be relied upon as legal advice or to determine how CTIA requirements or the TCPA applies to your use of SMS. This information is provided “as is” and may be updated or changed without notice. You may copy and use this content for your internal, reference purposes only.


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