Bulk text messaging is a useful addition to any mobile marketing strategy - but there are rules and regulations to be understood before deploying this powerful technology. Understanding telephony law is crucial if you don’t want to be hit with a lawsuit.
The power of a text blast lies in the way SMS messaging is consumed. Most text messages are opened and read within minutes of receipt, and it remains a highly personalized, spam free medium. The ability to deliver tailored brand messages direct to consumer’s palms is attractive to businesses in practically any industry.
To continue reaping the manifold benefits of bulk text messaging without the headache of costly legal action, it’s important to understand what the law says:
Text Blasts and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) requires commercial interests to gain consent before sending text messages to an individual’s phone or other mobile device (when the legislation first passed it related only to landline telephony, but was updated in 2012 to reflect the growing commercial use of bulk text messaging as a marketing tool).
The TCPA is a Federal law. It prohibits unsolicited calls and tex messages, with anyone found in breach of the law facing up to $1500 in statutory damages for each violation. If you step on the wrong side of the law during a text blast campaign, it could be very expensive indeed. Bear in mind also that recipients of unsolicited text messages are not required by the law to prove any harm was done - the damages apply irrespective.
It’s easy to see how falling afoul of the TCPA could ruin a business. Even small businesses are now running bulk text messaging campaigns in which thousands of messages are sent. The costs are appealingly low compared with other forms of advertising - providing the campaign abides by the law. Take a wrong step and it would be a financial disaster.
If you’re thinking about sending a text blast to promote your business, make sure you’re TCPA compliant before setting up a campaign. Failure to do so could result in a very expensive settlement. To protect your business, acquaint yourself with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act before you embark on any bulk text messaging campaign.