SMS Marketing Services has a NO TOLERANCE policy against spam. Any account found to be using SMS Marketing Services for spam will be suspended immediately and without notice. If you are not familiar with the definition of spam, please read the spam test below, as you may unintentionally be in violation already.
What is Spam?
Spam is any type of unsolicited messages. By sending messages to only those who have explicitly requested to receive it, you are following accepted permission-based messaging guidelines. You should not assume a preexisting relationship to be a substitute for explicit consent to send messages. For example, if your customer disclosed a mobile number in a normal course of business but did not specifically express consent to receive your messages, you cannot send messages to the number. If it is discovered that you have been delivering any type of message to recipients who have not granted you consent, you will be held fully accountable for your actions. You are subject to any legal actions that result from such violations including class action lawsuits whether you use our software user interface or API. Please refer to the following list of resources to help combat possible spam violations:
What Constitutes Consent?
The recipient of your message has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his or her contact information and has consented, as required by law, prior to receiving your calls or messages. Consent can be obtained in handwritten form, email, website form, text message, or other methods in compliance with the E-SIGN Act. You will have to obtain consent from the recipient of your messages, even if you previously had a business relationship with the recipient. You DO NOT have consent if any person purchased a product or service from you or partakes in an event, meeting, conference or general gathering. Nor do you have consent if a person “Likes” or “Follows” your business on Facebook or Twitter. If you require people to confirm that they opt in to your system but have not received a response from those people, then you DO NOT have sufficient consent and may not send messages to those individuals. Subscribers must also be aware that consent is not a condition of purchase.
What constitutes Prior Express Written Consent?
The TCPA rule defines “prior express written consent” as a signed written agreement that clearly and conspicuously discloses to the consumer that:
- By signing the agreement, he or she authorizes the seller to deliver telemarketing messages to a designated phone number using an automatic telephone dialing system and
- The consumer cannot not required to sign the agreement or agree to enter into it as a condition of purchasing any property, goods, or services.
- The required signature may be obtained in compliance with the E-SIGN Act, including via an email, website form, text message, telephone key press, or voice recording. For more details for the revised TCPA rule, click here.
Take the Spam Test
If you answer “yes” to ANY of the questions below, you will likely be labeled as a spammer and are at risk of being shut down by carriers. In an extreme case, you may even be subjected to a potential class action lawsuit by your subscribers. If you think you may be spamming, please contact your SMS Marketing Services account manager or Customer Support at 1-888-707-3030 to devise a compliant strategy.
- Are you sending messages to a distribution list or non-specific email addresses such as: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com?
- Are you sending emails or text messages to anyone whose contact information you received or purchased from a third party?
- Are you sending solicitation message to any phone number without prior express (for informational alerts) or written consent (for promotional messages)?
- Do your text messages, emails, or voice broadcasts contain false or misleading information?
- Are you sending messages more frequently than you expressed you would when the contact opted-in?
- Are you sending messages that contain prohibited content such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.?
- Are you sending messages with content type that does not match what you initially said you would message the contact about when they opted-in?
- Are you sending solicitation messages past 9PM or earlier than 8AM (recipient’s time)?
- Are you sending messages under a company name that is different from the company that the subscriber originally opted-in with?
- At SMS Marketing Services’s discretion, any account will be suspended without a refund if the account knowingly or unknowingly contributes to spam or violates federal, state, local or carrier laws or rules. In addition, in SMS Marketing Services’s defense, SMS Marketing Services may be required to assist the parties claiming damages from your actions related to spam.
- You agree to not access or use ANY third party mailing lists for email addresses, phone numbers, or otherwise prepare or distribute unsolicited messages in connection with our service.
- You agree to import, add, edit, access or use only lists for which all listed parties have opted in to receive correspondence from you (“Permission-Based Lists”). You hereby covenant that you shall not use any other lists in connection with your use of the service. In addition, it is prohibited to import phone numbers without tangible proof of the subscribers’ explicit consent to receive messages. Doing so will deny you of this feature or be subjected to a stringent qualification process to comply with various local and federal laws. The process includes the proof of method for opt-in, to provide evidence of opt-in, your legal identity and your organization’s identity.
- You acknowledge and agree that not all messages sent via SMS Marketing Services’s service will be received by their intended recipients. For example, sending a message to a distribution list may deliver messages to unintended recipients due to the list changing. It is your responsibility to keep your distribution lists updated.
- You agree to comply with all local, state and federal regulations and general practices governing your specific content or promotion type. Additionally, content affiliated with pornographic or sexually explicit material or alcoholic beverages is prohibited. In particular, alcoholic beverages or entertainment content or promotions targeted to people under 21 years of age may not be sent through the system.
- You agree to identify your organization, product and service accurately and not deceive your recipients in any message with reference to your identity, offering, availability, pricing, benefits, and any other aspects of your communication.
How SMS Marketing Services Protects Against Spam?
SMS Marketing Services is a permission-based text messaging, voice broadcast, and email communication tool that follows strict protocols:
- Contact Collection– All opt-in methods including mobile keywords, online sign-up pages, paper forms, and widgets must clearly state why you are collecting the person’s contact information, how you plan to use the contact information, and how often you plan to message them.
- Note: When a subscriber opts-in to receive a certain type of message, that is the only message content that you are allowed to send them. For example, if a contact gave you their phone number to receive customer service or account information, you cannot then send them a marketing offer in the future unless you clearly stated that you would be doing so when they submitted their phone number. For a standard disclaimer to include with every opt-in method, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a similar disclaimer wherever and however you collect contacts (poster, flyer, web page, radio ad, TV commercial, verbal promotion, 3rd party announcement, paper signup form, etc.).
- Unsubscribe– Messages sent from SMS Marketing Services’s platform automatically contain instructions for subscribers to opt-out. If they do so, they will automatically be removed from your contact database. Subscribers can also call the SMS Marketing Services Unsubscribe Hotline at 1-866-866-0009.
- Text Messaging: Subscribers can reply to any text message with the word “STOP”. When a contact opts-in to your messaging program, the first message they receive delivers these instructions.
- Email: Every email contains an unsubscribe link which allows contacts to opt out of future emails.
- Voice Broadcasts: Subscribers can opt out of receiving voice broadcasts by pressing “7”.