Introduction to SMS Compliance

Ensuring your store remains compliant as you grow your SMS program is our number-one priority, so we've put together this article to introduce you to foundational compliance knowledge.

SMS Compliance Overview

In short, SMS compliance is adhering to the rules and regulations that dictate how businesses can use SMS and MMS messages to contact their consumers. This includes how shops collect subscribers, the content of the messages that shops send, how frequently shops can send messages, and what time of day messages can be sent.

Shops are obligated to comply with these rules and regulations. Non-compliant shops run the risk of being shut down by wireless carriers, and once this happens, the process to regain access can be time-consuming and frustrating. Shops also run the risk of expensive and time-consuming class action lawsuits.

SMS Compliance Laws and Regulations

SMS compliance is informed by two entities: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).

What is TCPA?What is CTIA?

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

It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand and are complying with all relevant TCPA regulations when using Postscript to send messages to your consumers. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with all applicable TCPA laws and 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 SMS marketing campaigns to the following:

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

We've identified four key elements of compliance that your shop should be mindful of when collecting and messaging your subscribers.

Opt-In ConsentMessage CopyOpt-OutsQuiet Hours

You should include TCPA and CTIA-compliant consent language anywhere a consumer is giving their consent to receive automated marketing messages. Missing or incorrect consent language is a TCPA violation and can result in major fines or class-action lawsuits for your shop.

Here are some examples of places where consent language must be displayed and your terms and privacy policy must be linked:

  • Popups (desktop and mobile)
  • Social media stories or posts
  • Print media (package inserts, flyers, product packaging, etc.)
  • QR codes displayed in print or digital media
  • Forms or landing pages on your website
  • Banners, website footers, email campaigns, or anywhere else you display the call-to-action "Text KEYWORD" and your toll-free number or short code.

Below is TCPA and CTIA-compliant consent language:

*By providing your phone number, you agree to receive recurring automated marketing text messages (e.g. cart reminders) from this shop and third parties acting on its behalf. Consent is not a condition to obtain goods or services. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. You also agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Additional Resources

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