The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing

CHAPTER 06 Staying Compliant with Texting Laws

Introduction

Before you send a message, you need to know a few things. There are various laws and regulations that are enforced regarding how you send messages, how you gain consent, and who you are allowed to message. Here’s what you need to know about the two most important pieces of legislation:

1. TCPA

The TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, is a federal law regulating promotions and messaging by phone. It includes the following major points:

  • You must have express written consent before messaging.
  • Solicitation messaging requires proof of consent. Evidence may include electronic opt-ins via mobile keyword and online sign-up pages. Written consent may be evidenced by paper sign-up forms explicitly describing SMS messaging content.
  • Non-solicitation messages (e.g., internal communications, emergency alerts) require documented written or verbal consent.
  • Solicitation messages may be sent only from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., recipient’s time.
  • Messaging programs must allow opt-outs by any reasonable means, and senders may not restrict opt-out methods.
  • Every TCPA violation is subject to a fine of up to $1,500 per each message sent per recipient.

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

2. CTIA

The CTIA, or the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, is an organization created by mobile carriers to regulate message content and frequency. The following types of content are strictly prohibited by the CTIA:

  • Adult content (e.g., nude dancing clubs, escort services)
  • Illegal or illicit drugs (e.g., marijuana)
  • Alcohol, tobacco, or firearms
  • Gambling
  • Violence, death related messages, hatred, or profanity

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

3. Why are these regulations in place in the first place?

Texting is the most powerful communication channel available, making it both highly effective and easy to abuse. Because of this, the government and wireless carriers have regulations in place including the TCPA and CTIA. These regulations need to be taken very seriously, as fines or other legal proceedings can be brought about through improper use of this platform.