US SMS/MMS compliance

US SMS/MMS compliance guidelines

When sending text messages to customers or potential customers, it's important to always obtain their express consent first. Just because your customer signed up to receive order notifications does not mean that they have consented to receive marketing messages.

Let them know that you may use an automatic telephone dialing system, or "autodialer," to randomize the numbers that you send promotional messages to.

Make sure to obtain consent through clear and explicit language that indicates the individual agrees to receive recurring marketing messages from you at the number they have provided, and that their consent is not conditional on them making a purchase.

Prior express written consent can be obtained in many ways:

  • Digital forms: A digitally signed agreement.

  • Paper forms: A physically signed agreement.

  • Opt-in keywords: Opt-in via text message is an easy way to confirm that the customer wants to receive promotional text messages from your business. You can include specific keywords that customers can respond back with to opt-in.

  • Sign-up widgets: You can include a messaging notice as part of your Terms & Conditions. Your customers or potential customers should always understand that they are signing up to receive promotional messages.

Opt-out Mechanisms

You must provide recipients with an easy way to opt out of receiving messages. It should be as simple as replying "stop", “end”, or “unsubscribe” to any text message you send.

To ensure that recipients have control over their messaging preferences, you should provide opt-out instructions at regular intervals and at least once a month. Certain carriers recommend including explicit opt-out instructions in every fifth message.

You also need to acknowledge and act on all opt-out requests from recipients regardless of the opt-out mechanism you choose to provide.

Once someone opts out, you are not allowed to send them any text messages in the future unless they specifically opt back in.

Time of Day Restrictions

The TCPA sets restrictions on when businesses can send text messages to their customers, prohibiting any telephone solicitation before 8 AM and after 9 PM in the recipient's time zone, which are commonly known as "quiet hours." However, it's important to note that some states have stricter rules.

To ensure compliance, we recommend only sending text messages during regular hours, which are typically between 9 AM and 8 PM in the recipient's time zone.

If your business has customers in different time zones, it's crucial to consider the time differences. For example, a message sent at 7 PM Pacific Time will be received during quiet hours on the US east coast at 10 PM Eastern Time.

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