Will this be the Death of SMS?

36 replies
Hi Guys,

It's time to get compliant or face fines...

"Marketers who do not have prior written consent from consumers to send them marketing messages via SMS will potentially face fines of up to $1,500 per unsolicited message starting Oct. 16 under new guidelines."

To be compliant, marketers need to ensure that consumers read and agree, in writing, to receive marketing text messages from a specific brand to the mobile number provided and that they understand they are not required to provide their consent as a condition of purchasing any goods or services.

The required written signature can be obtained via email, Web site form, text message, telephone key press or voice recording.

Many marketers unprepared as deadline looms for new SMS guidelines.
#death #mobile marketing #sms
  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    This doesn't signal the end of SMS but more like we will need to go to double opt-in, replying the word YES to confirm when someone signs up to our SMS lists. Probably not a bad idea anyway.

    I recently got on my local library's SMS list to be notified of books that are either due soon, or overdue. I had to reply back to confirm I wanted to be on the list. So the people that get on your lists with double opt-in SMS REALLY want to be sent promotional SMS messages.
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  • Profile picture of the author ItWasLuck3
    Can't say I've ever dabbled into this space as a marketer, but I have to say, as a consumer, I am surprised aspects such as this one didn't already exist. Not saying I get a lot of "text spam", but with something as personal as your cell phone, I'd assume double-optin would be a standard.

    imsolutionsgroup makes an great point - permission based marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author mickelinjac
      Originally Posted by ItWasLuck3 View Post

      Can't say I've ever dabbled into this space as a marketer, but I have to say, as a consumer, I am surprised aspects such as this one didn't already exist. Not saying I get a lot of "text spam", but with something as personal as your cell phone, I'd assume double-optin would be a standard.

      imsolutionsgroup makes an great point - permission based marketing.
      But this makes sms or mobile marketing that much harder right?
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  • Profile picture of the author RaymondB
    No, it will not be the death of SMS marketing. As "SMS marketing has always been permission based marketing" it would just require marketers to be extra careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Howlerckc
    Just making it a double opt-in process is not enough, you must make every effort to inform direct to the end user that they will receive Advertisements, if you can do that in the double opt-in portion more power to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bilal622
    I think SMS are getting famous day by day and people are making more and more sites thats why people are feeling this.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeadStartSEO
    Without reading the law in detail, I get the feeling that "consent" is going to be a moving target. If someone enters their phone number online as part of a sign-up, then that number has been given with consent, has it not?

    Interesting to watch this unfold... hopefully IMs find a way to innovate without getting burnt by Uncle Sam.
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  • When you text the keyword to a short code you ARE agreeing to receive texts and be on an opt in list. To be compliant, an advertiser needs to include four things if he is to put a person on an Opt-in list for future contact.
    1) How many messages per month or week will be sent out
    2) That the person can text help to find out about the campaign
    3) That the person can text stop to opt-out
    4) That standard msging fees apply

    If it comes down to it, the first text will simply be a push and not an opt in. The text will say if you want to be on the list text something else to the short code like, "Yes".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Originally Posted by RDelgado View Post

    Hi Guys,

    It's time to get compliant or face fines...

    "Marketers who do not have prior written consent from consumers to send them marketing messages via SMS will potentially face fines of up to $1,500 per unsolicited message starting Oct. 16 under new guidelines."
    Prior WRITTEN consent? lol I would be very surprised if there was ever one single human being that ever gave written permission to SMS marketing. That "law" is a joke and uncompliable.

    The required written signature can be obtained via email, Web site form, text message, telephone key press or voice recording.
    So pressing a button is now "written permission"? Written means with pen or pencil on paper. I think they mean "express permission" which means nothing has really changed. If they press a button to "agree" you're safe. A storm in a tea cup.
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    • Profile picture of the author jakeduvall
      Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post

      Prior WRITTEN consent? lol I would be very surprised if there was ever one single human being that ever gave written permission to SMS marketing. That "law" is a joke and uncompliable.



      So pressing a button is now "written permission"? Written means with pen or pencil on paper. I think they mean "express permission" which means nothing has really changed. If they press a button to "agree" you're safe. A storm in a tea cup.
      I was getting a little worried about the written consent part...
      for about 3 seconds then I realized that would be unrealistic. Besides, with SMS Masterminds sending out millions of messages per month, Trumpia, Avid, Lime... I am just a small fish in a big lake.

      I use a kiosk tablet for my clients with all the proper language at the bottom of the screen (they have to press submit to agree and opt in) and the subscribers also receive the same language as soon as they 'opt in' in the form of a 2nd welcome sms message.

      Even a 'Double Opt In' is still not written consent so... none of this makes any sense to me and if it doesn't make any sense it probably isn't enforceable to any relevant extent.

      They are probably going to be targeting the marketers who scrape Craigslist for mobile numbers and then blast those numbers with Viagra and MLM offers...
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    For mobile marketing companies that have been doing it the right way and enforcing opt-in laws with their clients this should really be a non-issue.
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    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devin2290
    This is a minor speed bump.
    Simply enforcing a shift to a "double opt in" instead of single.
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  • Profile picture of the author imsolutionsgroup
    "Beginning October 16, 2013, prior express written consent will be required for all autodialed and/or pre-recorded calls/texts sent/made to cell phone and pre-recorded calls made to residential land lines for marketing purposes.

    Compliance with the E-SIGN Act satisfies this requirement, meaning that electronic or digital forms of signature are acceptable (i.e., agreements obtained via email, website form, text message, telephone keypress or voice recording).

    Consumer consent must be unambiguous, meaning that the consumer must receive a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” that he/she will receive future calls that deliver autodialed and/or pre-recorded telemarketing messages on behalf of a specific advertiser; that his/her consent is not a condition of purchase; and he/she must designate a phone number at which to be reached (which should not be pre-populated by the advertiser in an online form). Limited exceptions apply to this requirement, such as calls/texts from the consumer’s cellular carrier, debt collectors, schools, informational notices and healthcare-related calls.

    If a dispute concerning consent arises, the advertiser bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that a clear and conspicuous disclosure was provided and that the consumer unambiguously consented to receive telemarketing calls to the number he/she specifically provided. It is a best practice for advertisers to maintain each consumer’s written consent for at least four (4) years, which is the federal statute of limitations to bring an action under the TCPA. Evidence of Internet-provided written consent includes, but is not limited to, website pages that contain consumer consent language and fields, associated screenshot of the consent webpage as seen by the consumer where the phone number was inputted, complete data record submitted by the consumer (with time and date stamp), together with the applicable consumer IP address."
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  • Profile picture of the author mobilizebrand
    Interestingly, this move to ensure opt-in data compliancy is part of a global effort / directive to "can spam" and the selling of consumer data. In my country, the selling of consumer data is rife and so the government is looking to ensure how this exact same bill gets implemented here, along with the independent industry regulators and the associated fines, blah, blah, blah etc.

    They call it POPI here - protection of personal information bill. Not sure how it'll work in the US, but once the regulators get set up they'll be looking for a large financial institution e.g. a bank or a parastatal to make an example of first, before really coming for the SME business owners.

    In the mean time, the incurred cost for the "cleaning" of data lists incurred by the likes of say mid cap companies will not be inexpensive - dependent on how large that list is, where their data is being held (duplicate systems / data repositories) and perhaps most importantly, how they plan to communicate with the individuals on a non-opt-in list...
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Also note, that this is geared mainly towards SMS marketing campaigns.
    Your clients that are currently using SMS as an internal communication tool will not be impacted.
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    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author jakeduvall
    Here is a thought/question. Is a Loyalty Kiosk/Tablet considered a mobile signup?
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  • Profile picture of the author mjs
    For people in the UK. O2 have banned "grey" routes for sms.

    If you have been left in limbo and get stuck. I can get some REALLY good rates on txts.
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  • Profile picture of the author triinlinamagi
    SMS has aways been permission based when it comes to SMS marketing.
    Do not forget that SMS is not only used for marketing purposes by businesses. According to our customer survey, most businesses use SMS for internal and external communication in their company. It means customer communication (alerts, reminders, confirmations, notifications) and communication with staff (meeting reminders, changes in working schedules, event reminders, interview reminders, logistic etc).
    It is not just a tool for marketers but a tool for business owners to increase operational efficiency.
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  • Profile picture of the author javrsmith
    Everyone should be aware of the rules, so thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author radhamohan
    It is one great idea and action, maybe you find the telephone number and contact them before your death.
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  • Profile picture of the author radhamohan
    thanks......
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Helms
    I've never received an sms advertisement, is this because I'm in the us? I'm really interested in mobile marketing, but aside from apps im drawing a blank as to advertising my wares!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    I'm glad that sending SMS spam will start to have some real consequences. There are plenty of other ways to reach potentially mobile customers other than SMS.
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