The Double Opt-In Method, a Crucial Aspect of SMS Compliance in Marketing Campaigns

SMS Compliance seems just by its name, intimidating. At SendHub, we understand that and want to provide you with a clear-cut guideline on why Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs are such a vital part of a legal SMS marketing campaign in any business. While there are many rules and regulations within SMS compliance, failing to provide proper Opt-In and Opt-Out options puts your business at a major risk for being marked as spam and potentially facing legal action by consumers. That is why here at SendHub, we offer the Double Opt-In method.

Furthermore, laws in place like the TCPA or agencies like the FCC and CTIA want to ensure that consumers are protected from the bane of every cellphone user, spam. Here at SendHub, we, alongside these government agencies, pride ourselves in making sure everyone is protected from spam…like we always say, spam is not cool, period.

At SendHub, we provide easy to use resources to make sure each message you send in your next marketing campaign is compliant through the Double Opt-In method.

Why SMS Compliance Is Crucial

Failure to obtain consent from a consumer when sending marketing messages is illegal. There are fines in place between $500 to $1500 per spam text a business could potentially pay if sued for spam messaging/calls/emails etc.

  • In 2015, The Body Shop paid a 7 million dollar settlement to consumers for unsolicited marketing-related texts
  • In 2013, Steve Madden paid a 10 million dollar settlement to consumers for unsolicited marketing-related texts

How SendHub Makes SMS Compliance Easy

The Double Opt-In Process

At SendHub, every time a subscriber texts your unique keyword to your SendHub number, our API automatically sends out two messages in terms of Opting in and Opting out, producing the Double Opt-In method.

The first automated text the consumer receives within the Double Opt-In method provides them with:

  • Business Name
  • Messages May Be Marketing-Related
  • MSG&Data Rates May Apply
  • Reply YES to consent to receiving texts

The YES reply is what makes this the Double Opt-In method. It gives your business the express written consent confirmation that a customer is consenting to further messages. That way you never have to second guess and will always have proof that a customer has agreed to join your SMS campaign.

The second automated text the consumer receives after replying YES provides them with:

  • Your Business Name & Subscription Confirmation
  • Opt-Out info i.e. Txt STOP
  • Customer Care info i.e. Txt HELP
  • MSG&Data Rates May Apply

Let’s say you own Dime Coffee and you want to let your customers know every time your store is having special discounts for the week. You then create your group keyword, “Dime” within your SendHub account, and advertise that keyword along with a Call to Action in your store for customers to text in.

Now in terms of compliance and consumer consent, once a subscriber texts in that keyword to your SendHub number, our platform does all the work:

SMS Compliance Example

Double Opt-In = Better Customer Engagement

While a Single Opt-In may be much easier for consumers to Opt-In to, the Double Opt-In process provides your business with more engaged customers. When a subscriber takes that extra second to respond with “YES” to our initial Opt-In message, it proves that they are truly interested in what your messages and business have to offer.

The single Opt-In process is likely to provide you with a larger quantity of customers, as it takes only one text to join your campaign. But, the Double Opt-In process provides quality; it gives your business a pool of genuinely engaged consumers who want to learn more about your brand and product.

Key SMS Compliance Terms

Express Written Consent

Express written consent is the required permission a business must obtain before texting a consumer. Businesses sending marketing-related messages without prior consent are not being SMS compliant. This may sound scary, but through SendHub it is extremely easy to get consent. Potential customers simply text your group keyword to your SendHub number which confirms consent.

Ways to obtain consent:

  • Texting a keyword to your business number
  • Clicking “yes” on an online website/form
  • Verbally expressing consent which must be recorded
  • Written “yes” on a collected form

Call to Action

A Call to Action is a message from a business informing the subscriber on what they will receive if they choose to Opt-In to your business’s messages. A Call to Action can be advertised anywhere customers obtain your product.

  • Keyword and Phone Number to Opt-In Through
  • Business or Brand Name
  • Purpose of Messages
  • Frequency of Messages
  • Customer Care Information
  • How to Opt-Out
  • Message and Data Rates May Apply

It is important to remain transparent in all SMS marketing campaigns. Transparency keeps you fully compliant with all regulations and provides an overall better experience for the customer. For example, embellishing the message frequency of your campaign not only breaks CTIA, TCPA and FCC guidelines but deceiving a subscriber is only going to make them Opt-Out sooner and generate a poor image towards your brand or business.

Opt-Out

Making sure a subscriber has the option to stop receiving your messages is extremely important. If a customer is not able to Opt-Out from your messages, you could face legal trouble and have your account and messages marked as spam. Opting Out from messages is fairly simple on SendHub’s group feature:

  • Customer replies “STOP” to your messages
  • Customer receives a text confirming the number is blocked and to text “unstop” to undo the action
  • You will not be able to contact that number through your account when they have sent “STOP”
  • If/when the customer decides to message “unstop” to undo the action, you will see their contact as available to send messages to again

Always honor when a subscriber chooses to Opt-Out of your campaign. Continuing to message an opted-out subscriber through other channels is considered spam and can result in a lawsuit.

SMS Compliance Rules and Regulations

The FCC, CTIA and TCPA are common abbreviations for the variety of different laws, agencies and organizations that regulate SMS marketing campaigns.

What is the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)?

An independent agency of the United States overseen by the U.S Congress that regulates all communication by satellite, wire, radio, cable and television within the United States. All rules and regulations created by the FCC can be found in “Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations”.

What is the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association)?

An association that represents the wireless communication industry within the United States. Advocating for various laws and regulations to make the overall wireless communications safe and enjoyable for all parties is one of the CTIA’s main priorities.

What is the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) of 1991?

Signed into law in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, the TCPA governs a majority of telecommunication compliance.

Use SendHub, Stay SMS Compliant!

Here at SendHub, we make it easy to remain compliant, all you have to do is join! Our Double Opt-In process is the best way to keep your customers happy and help keep your business compliant within the SMS world.

Want a quote on how to join? Get in touch with one of our sales representatives today or please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns on SMS compliance.