SMS Marketing Compliance Overview Guide

At Postscript, compliance is our top priority. That's why we've put together this guide that makes it easy for you to ensure your SMS/MMS marketing campaigns comply with U.S. laws and regulations, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Before You Get Started


Postscript allows you to send consumers text messages regarding your Shopify store. As you use Postscript, it's important to keep the following questions in mind:

  1. Have I researched and reviewed all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines related to text message marketing, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the applicable CTIA guidelines?
  2. Have I implemented a Terms of Service Agreement and a Privacy Policy for my Shopify store’s use of Postscript to conduct SMS/MMS marketing campaigns?
  3. Have I obtained TCPA-compliant written consent from each consumer, through which they have acknowledged and agreed to receive automated marketing messages from my Shopify store?

What is TCPA?


U.S. Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its accompanying regulations to control how companies can use SMS and MMS text messaging services to reach out to their consumers.

It is your responsibility to ensure that when using Postscript to send messages to consumers, you understand and are complying with all relevant TCPA regulations. Therefore, you should make yourself familiar with all applicable TCPA laws and the relevant industry guidelines that build on these laws, including the CTIA guidelines for text message marketing.

You can boil down the TCPA’s regulation of text message marketing campaigns to the following statement:

Consumers have the right not to receive unsolicited marketing communications via SMS, and companies should not send consumers automated SMS marketing text messages unless they have obtained a consumer’s prior express written consent.

Key Elements of Compliance


Under the TCPA, you can only send a consumer automated marketing messages once that consumer has provided you with prior expressed written consent. You can gather consent electronically, including through text messaging keywords.

However, at minimum, consent must contain explicit language for every element identified below and indicate that the consumer acknowledges and agrees to each.

  1. To receive recurring marketing messages on the consumer’s mobile phone number.
  2. That text messages may involve the use of an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”).
  3. That consent is not a condition of purchase.

You should retain consent so that you can produce it in the event of litigation as federal law dictates that it is the burden of the person sending the messages to prove that the consumer provided express written consent to text them.

Furthermore, you should ensure you are following the practices outlined in the latest version of CTIA’s Short Code Monitoring Handbook and CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices Guide, as these practices are designed to protect consumers and ensure your messages are being sent in a manner approved by the nation’s wireless carriers.

Compliance Language Requirements


You should include TCPA and CTIA-compliant language wherever a consumer is giving their consent to receive automated marketing messages.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Popups
  • Forms
  • Instagram Stories
  • Printed materials with QR Codes
  • Emails containing opt-in links

Below is TCPA and CTIA-compliant language: 

*I agree to receive recurring automated marketing text messages (e.g. cart reminders) at the phone number provided. Consent is not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. View our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

SMS Quiet Hours


At Postscript, we've implemented safeguards to ensure campaigns and automations adhere to SMS quiet hours specified by TCPA, CTIA, and additional legislation.

Our waking hour windows ensure subscribers receive messages from your store during normal hours regardless of their area code or current location.

Postscript's current global campaign and automation waking hours are as follows:

  • Global campaign waking hours: 8 am - 11 pm EST
  • Global automation waking hours: 11 am - 8 pm EST

If a user subscribes to (or unsubscribes from) your store during quiet hours, Postscript will still send opt-in or opt-out messages as required by federal law.

How Quiet Hours Work

Postscript prevents you from sending campaigns and automations during SMS quiet hours. For more information on how quiet hours affect automations and campaigns, check out the tabs below.

Automations Campaigns
If a subscriber triggers an automation (ex: abandoned cart) during quiet hours, the automation will send during the next waking hours window.
Note: SMS quiet hours affect Florida subscribers differently due to recent changes to Florida state legislation. You can learn more about Florida SMS quiet hours here.

List Upload Compliance


If you are new to Postscript, you may be able to upload a list of SMS subscribers you collected on another platform. These subscribers need to have been collected in a TCPA-compliant manner in order to be uploaded into Postscript.

You can upload your list by completing this form. Please note that by submitting a list for upload, you certify that you collected subscribers in a TCPA-compliant manner. If you're not sure, please consult a TCPA defense attorney.

Our team uploads lists as quickly as possible. Please note that lists of 1,000+ subscribers may take up to 48 business hours.

If you have collected subscribers on Facebook or by other means while already using Postscript, our team can review these subscribers but their upload is not guaranteed as list upload assistance is geared for accounts that are just getting started. 

Compliance Best Practices


Avoid Sending Spam Profanity in Messages

While using Postscript, it is crucial that you adhere to our anti-spam policy, as well as all relevant laws and regulations where you operate (such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)). Violations of the TCPA can lead to damages of $500-$1,500 per message, while violations of CTIA guidelines can lead to being prevented from using the wireless carrier networks.

While not a comprehensive list, here are two critical guidelines to always follow when adding subscribers to your text message marketing program:

  1. Clearly display TCPA & CTIA-compliant opt-in language. Clearly display language that states what the subscriber is signing up for and ensure that the language complies with all relevant laws and regulations, such as the TCPA and CTIA. 
  2. Do not precheck boxes on opt-in forms. Avoid prechecking boxes on any subscriber opt-in forms such as your checkout page. This helps ensure customers aren't automatically subscribed.

Please note that failure to follow the above guidelines violates our terms of use, and can lead to suspension or termination of your Postscript account.

Additional Resources


At Postscript, we're committed to helping you stay up-to-date with legislation and guidelines that impact compliance.

Below we've gathered a few additional resources you can review for the latest compliance updates.

Get Support


Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to our wonderful Support team at support@postscript.io or via live chat. You can also submit a support request here!

Need ongoing channel strategy guidance? Please fill out this form and we'll connect you to one of our certified partners.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful