This article is to help you use AVADA Marketing Automation to send SMS in the US/CA in compliance with the TCPA and CTIA laws.
First, we will explain simply what is TCPA and CTIA laws then give you a checklist to follow to make your SMS marketing compliant. Let’s get started!
What is TCPA?
TCPA (a short called for The Telephone Consumer Protection Act) was implemented in 1991. The law’s main purpose is to protect users’ privacy in using telemarketing communication channels such as voice calls, SMS texts, and fax.
Merchants who violate this law can receive penalties for at least $500/SMS sent and up to $1500/SMS depending on how serious the violation is.
For small/medium businesses, this may be a huge problem for their finances. Hence, kindly try to read the article before starting your SMS marketing in AVADA.
You can learn more about TCPA laws here.
What is CTIA?
The CTIA (or called Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) is an Association of several U.S. wireless communication organizations. You might hear about them, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many more.
Although CTIA is not a government law, the association rules can massively affect your SMS marketing. If you violate their rules, the CTIA can report you to the mobile carriers to shut down or suspend your sending to their customers until you correct your issues.
Read more about CTIA rules here.
SMS Compliance checklist
Depending on the TCPA and CTIA laws for US/CA SMS marketing, AVADA list out some checklist for any merchants to prevent the legal violations which can cause you loss in financial and operation of your businesses. (Although, we still recommend you to consult with an attorney agency).
1. Customer consent
Ask for customers’ consent to receive your SMS. Please notice that SMS and Email are two separate marketing channels. Hence, if you want to send text messages, it is not enough for email subscribers’ consent, you must ask them for subscribing SMS channel. (For example, using double opt-in to collect customer phone number)
2. Send the right type of SMS
Clearly let your customers know what kind of text messages you will send them if they opt in your SMS channel. Whether it is Transactional SMS or Promotional SMS, please make sure you state it plainly in the signup forms. And of course, only send the type of SMS that they consent to opt in.
3. Unsubscribe option
Allow your SMS recipients to unsubscribe from your SMS sending. You can use unsubscribe link or simply reply STOP to opt out.
4. Send appropriate content
You should send transaction confirmation, offer deals, coupons, promotions to encourage them to engage more. Please avoid sending illegal materials related to drugs, abuse, adult content or hate speech.
5. Send at appropriate timing
Try to send your messages at the approriate time. It is recommended to send your SMS within the customers’ time zone. This is not only laws compliant but also helps you increase the conversion rate.
6. Sending frequency
Do not send too many SMS in a short time. For SMS campaign, it is reasonable to send once a week. And for automation, try to adjust the wait time of your workflow to make sure they do not receive several SMS per day.