Who Owns The SMS List?

by zoro
12 replies
As there could be legal remifications down the track if I get this wrong, I am hoping some warriors can assist with their thoughts or advise to the following question:

If I setup a SMS Text Marketing Campaign for my client, using my strategies and my knowledge, plus using my SMS account or software, then I use my clients customers for opt-ins, Who Owns The Database List?

Anyone care to share their ideas. All comments welcome.
#list #owns #sms
  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    I cannot answer this question technically or legally, but ethically your client owns the database list. Because although you are using your strategies, knowledge, SMS software to build the list, it is the products, services or content of your client what customers sign up for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sajid
    i agree

    You will be providing a service.

    A weber or other email service providers do not own the users' database.

    hope this helps
    Signature

    Saj

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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      That is going to depend on a number of factors.

      If it your software, and not a Third Party Platform, It will depend on:

      1) The wording in your TOS

      2) The laws in your Locale

      Keep in mind that the opt ins are your clients customer's, not yours.

      Keeping a client hostage by isn't a good way to do business in my opinion and claiming ownership of their customer dater data could have legal ramifications.

      I feel it's better to control attrition through excellent service than it is to withhold your clients customer data.

      If you are using a 3rd Party Platform:

      1) Just about every platform that I am aware of considers a Clients Customer Data to be the Clients Property

      2) The only platform I am aware of that does not make the Customer data readily available to the Client is DotGo, but they arent a true SMS Marketing Platform. again, this is what I am currently aware of...it does not mean there arent others. This would also apply to any service using the Shortcodes 368266, 368638, 368674, etc.

      Keep in mind that these Customers Opted In to your clients SMS Campaign...which means the data can only be used to market for your Client. to use it in any other way or for any other campaign would be a violation of MMA Best Practices.

      I think to play it safe, it would be best to talk to an attorney to get clarification on the matter.
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Zoro, the regulations do not allow for anyone else to text the list so why would you be interested in them. When a customer opts into a keyword they are opting to receive the messages from that company and if anyone else were to be sending them messages it would be considered spam. I have had several people approach me about having a keyword that collects opt ins and they then sell the message that they send out to different vendors. (example: coupons would be the keyword and different companies coupons would be sent out) The way I have read and heard it explained this would work.
        b
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        • Profile picture of the author zoro
          Originally Posted by BKH View Post

          Zoro, the regulations do not allow for anyone else to text the list so why would you be interested in them. When a customer opts into a keyword they are opting to receive the messages from that company and if anyone else were to be sending them messages it would be considered spam. I have had several people approach me about having a keyword that collects opt ins and they then sell the message that they send out to different vendors. (example: coupons, keyword) The way I have read and heard it explained this would work.
          b
          Because I have an arrangment with the business owner to do their text marketing for them.
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          • Profile picture of the author BKH
            Originally Posted by zoro View Post

            Because I have an arrangment with the business owner to do their text marketing form them.
            So are you just wanting to not allow them to take their list elsewhere or are you wanting to use them?
            If your just wanting to keep them from taking the list that would work but the end user is only opting in to receive messages from the specific company not whomever is providing the service.
            b
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            • Profile picture of the author zoro
              Originally Posted by BKH View Post

              So are you just wanting to not allow them to take their list elsewhere or are you wanting to use them?
              If your just wanting to keep them from taking the list that would work but the end user is only opting in to receive messages from the specific company not whomever is providing the service.
              b
              Appreciate your comments.
              I don't have a problem with giving my client the list if they want it (usually they don't know what to do with it anyway), but I was just wanting to clarify in my own mind just in case legalities should arise, "Who Owns The List"?
              Eg; Is it owned by both of us, is it owned by my client, or is it owned by me?
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  • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
    +1 for the client owning the list if you set it up specifically for the client and the list is populated the list with their customers. It would be bad business to use another clients list plus I don't think it would be that valuable once everyone started to jump ship.

    However, if you setup a generic deals list and the recipients know that's what they signed up for then I could see how you could possibly lease the list out to several clients without offending recipients. Data companies have been leasing lists for years.
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    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by Legacy3 View Post

      +1 for the client owning the list if you set it up specifically for the client and the list is populated the list with their customers. It would be bad business to use another clients list plus I don't think it would be that valuable once everyone started to jump ship.

      However, if you setup a generic deals list and the recipients know that's what they signed up for then I could see how you could possibly lease the list out to several clients without offending recipients. Data companies have been leasing lists for years.
      Great comment thanks. So if I let the opt-in know they may also get offers from other businesses, I should be able to lease out the list for advertising, is that what you mean?
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        Great comment thanks. So if I let the opt-in know they may also get offers from other businesses, I should be able to lease out the list for advertising, is that what you mean?
        Yes, it totally depends what agreements you have in place. If you were hired by a business for SMS marketing and you helped them build up a list of their own customers, you couldn't then go and lease out that list to other businesses. It would not be very ethical.

        However if YOU generated a list yourself by placing ads around town and the like, you could then go and lease out that list to as many businesses as you want.

        University students are a great audience for this type of setup. Go and find a popular place near the campus that a lot of the kids eat at. Ask them for a special deal in return for bringing them more customers and you then advertise that special deal on notice boards, flyers, etc within the college.

        After you start to build up a bit of a list you can then go and approach other popular businesses in the area, maybe clothes shops, cinemas, bowling alleys, bars, and charge them for a weekly or fortnightly broadcast message to your list.

        You could get it to the stage where you are offering these college students a new deal everyday. The great thing about the college crowd is they love sharing things so these deals and coupons would spread fast and your list would grow quite quickly I would imagine.
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      • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        Great comment thanks. So if I let the opt-in know they may also get offers from other businesses, I should be able to lease out the list for advertising, is that what you mean?
        WiLLR expressed exactly what I was thinking. EVERYBODY, from the business owners to the subscribers would have to know it was a shared list from the lists inception and YOU would have to build the list to claim the right to lease it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Think of it this way. If you hired someone to build you a website and the person hosted the website on their own server for you, does that mean you don't own the website you just paid for? Of course not, you paid for it. These people are paying you for the sms service and the list you are generating for them. Just because you are in control of that list would not mean you own it. You would not be building that list if they were not paying you the money -- so that kind of answers the question for me.
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