If you’re thinking about adding text to your marketing mix, you know text is a great way to reach consumers via their preferred channel in real time. It helps raise awareness and boost sales.

What You Need to Know Before You Collect Mobile Numbers for Text

Before you get started, however, you should be aware of the guidelines in place for collecting mobile contact information from customers. Growing an SMS text marketing list isn’t as simple as growing an email list. There are standards, set in place by the CTIA, that should be adhered to every time you ask consumers to opt in to your list. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a citation and — at worst — the suspension or termination of your program.

What does this mean for you? Every time you create an opportunity for users to join your text message list, you MUST include certain information in your call to action, whether it’s a print advertisement that runs on the side of a bus, a television commercial, a web page, or a piece of in-store signage.

Here’s what must be included:

Program identification

The name of your business, or the name of your particular text club or promotions initiative, must be identified. Example: Acme Mobile Alerts, or AAA Text Club.

Product description and frequency

Describe what the customer will receive by singing up with you and how often you intend to send text messages each month. Example: Receive sales alerts and coupons, 2-3/month.

Opt-out instructions

Opt-out instructions must appear in boldJust include the keyword customers need to text to discontinue receiving messages. Example: Text STOP to unsubscribe, or Text QUIT to discontinue.

Message and data rates may apply

Let customers know that their mobile carrier may charge them for the alerts. Also, avoid using the word “free” unless your alerts are configured to be 100% free of charge to the end user. To include this language, simply add: Message and data rates may apply.

Links to privacy policy and terms and conditions

You must create a privacy policy and terms and conditions for your SMS marketing program. The terms and conditions should be hosted somewhere online and should always be accessible. Looking for a sample privacy policy or terms and conditions to copy for your text program? If you’re using a shared short code (the 5-digit number messages send/receive from), a service we provide, you don’t have to worry about creating your own privacy policy or terms and conditions, as you’re covered by the one we’ve already drafted for each shared short code. Larger companies interested in creating their own private short code will want to draft their own terms and conditions specific to that short code.


photo credit: pennstatelive via photopin cc

Katherine is the Community Manager at Signal.

Posted in Mobile Marketing, Tips, Trends and Best Practices