The Importance of Opt-in and Opt-out in Text Marketing
It’s the Golden Rule of text message marketing – get permission before sending your first SMS or MMS. Why? Simply put, federal law requires it. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) mandates that before sending commercial text messages to anyone, you must first get written consent. We all hate receiving spam, and the TCPA was designed to help combat it.
Make it easy for your customers to Opt-in
So how do you get your customers’ permission to text them? Make it easy for them by offering multiple ways for them to join your list. You can post flyers in your business with a phone number for them to text, made even easier by using a simple keyword, that will automatically add them to your subscriber list. You can set this up to add clients to your general subscriber list or use different keywords and subscriber groups to segment your list to facilitate more-targeted marketing messages. Using a provider that offers you unlimited keywords and groups makes this a quick and customizable approach.
You can also add a simple snippet of code to your website so anyone who visits your page can subscribe to your list quickly and easily – just make sure your provider includes integration tools with your service.
Getting opt-in has been crucial since the early days of text marketing, but now it’s even more crucial. Carriers are now requiring registration for many kinds of commercial texting and providing proof of your opt-in process (screenshots, URLs, etc.) is part of the process.
Always provide Opt-out instructions
Now you understand the importance of opt-in, but what about opting-out? You never want to send messages to those who don’t want to receive them – it is wasted money to send to people who will not only disregard your message, but they will also be likely to complain to their carrier about you, potentially negatively affecting the deliverability rate of your text blasts.
When someone joins your list, and in every communication thereafter, you must include opt-out instructions in your texts. To give your recipients more options than the standard “stop” and “cancel” wording that is already used by the carriers to block messages to an individual number, you can create keywords that when texted to you will unsubscribe them from your list.
Keep your customer data up to date
Keeping an up-to-date list of those who really want to hear from you maximizes the return on investment in your text marketing program and keeps you in compliance with the law. It is a simple, but critical, concept to always keep in mind when creating and executing your text marketing strategy.