Many small businesses are still on the fence about using SMS text messaging as a tool to communicate with their targeted opted-in customers. One major reason? The hefty $500 – $1500 fine per spam text message but this is 100% avoidable.
As you may already know, the Telephone Consumer Protect Act (TCPA) restricts unsolicited telemarketing, including SMS text messaging. If you send out an unsolicited text message to people without their consent the fine could amount to thousands of dollars.
The good news is that you can easily avoid spamming in SMS marketing as long as your customers opt in to receive text messages from you. So to help you get started with SMS text messaging for your small business, here are the most important rules to follow.
Do’s and Don’ts
- You’re not allowed to send a customer anything without asking for their permission. To build your opt-in list, hold a text-to-join campaign or create a web form on your website where interested customers may sign up to receive business SMS from you.
- Allow your subscribers to unsubscribe from your contact list at any time.
- Let your subscribers know if they may be charged for (or data rates may apply too) some of the text messages they receive.
- Invest in a keyword and a short code that customers can use as a point of contact.
Keep your text message short and direct
The rule of thumb is to limit your text message to 160 characters only. Although some SMS gateway providers can offer up to 320 characters/SMS, mobile networks will either break this long message into two separate texts or refuse to send it at all.
Shorten long URL with a Link Shortener
If you have an external web page to promote or drive traffic to, be sure to shorten your URLs with a url shortener tool. This will make your message (especially your call-to-action) look more presentable and not spammy, which can be key to encouraging your recipients to click through.
Promote your text-to-join campaign
Grow your contact list organically by advertising your text-to-join campaign on all marketing channels and materials. Make use of your social media, email, website, flyers, and even your store windows to promote your keyword and mobile short code all over your community.