December 05, 2012
Opt Out Confirmation Email for Text Messaging Campaigns Doesn't Violate TCPA
For the past several years, text messaging has been an optimal method for sending short bits of information in place of making a phone call that can take more time. Once a preferred method of communication for anyone under the age of 20, mobile subscribers of all ages are finding this channel to be effective and efficient.
With the growth of text messaging among the consumer base, commercial and nonprofit organizations have recognized the marketing potential associated with text messaging. After all, research has shown that most subscribers keep their mobile devices on them at all times and open their text messages almost 100 percent of the time. No other marketing channel offers this kind of reach.
There is a limitation, however. Customers have to want to receive text messages from these organizations and each message has to offer the opportunity to opt out of receiving further messages. In the on-going battle between consumer protection groups and marketing companies, a balance has to be achieved between wanted promotions and relevant information. Activities also have to fit within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
According to this recent news, the FCC (News - Alert) has ruled that a company or organization can send a single opt out text message to a consumer after he or she drops out of the mobile marketing program. If the text is to confirm the action, it does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This ruling was the result of a petition by SoundBite Communications (News - Alert) that such actions fall within TCPA guidelines.
In the FCC ruling, the agency shared that the request by SoundBite Communications was granted; confirming that text messaging of just one message to confirm a consumer’s request to suspend further messages from that company or organization is allowable under the Act. The ruling allows organizations to engage in the practice of sending that final note to confirm the wishes of the consumer.
It is important to note for all organizations engaged in text messaging as a marketing strategy that the ruling only applies in cases where prior express consent was obtained by the mobile marketer, granting permission to send text messages with an autodialer or automatic telephone dialing system.
Ultimately, these final messages are designed to benefit the consumer, confirming their request to opt out of a program that includes a short code campaign. It is also required by the Mobile Marketing Association's (News - Alert) U.S. Consumer Best Practices to ensure the wishes of the consumer are always protected.
TSG Global is one company offering text messaging capabilities for companies seeking to connect directly with their current and prospective customers. With the company’s FlexTALK, companies can connect, communicate and collaborate with their preferred audience. And, with the tools built in to assure compliance with all telephony rules in the text messaging space, this direct method of communication produces greater success.
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Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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