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SMS – What to know

SMS with Omeda

Sending SMS with Omeda provides another channel to reach your audience. A few things to note before you get started with SMS:

  • Omeda will require consent to send SMS messages to a recipient.
  • Omeda will only send to Domestic (US) & Canada mobile phone numbers.
  • Omeda will send via a toll-free number.
  • The use case for toll free numbers must be verified prior to sending.

SMS Consent

To send an SMS message to a recipient, that recipient must consent to receiving messages of that type to a specific phone number.

  1. Mobile phone numbers can be added to the database via a variety of mechanisms
    • Form Builder Form
    • Input
    • Data Loader
    • API
    • Audience Search
  2. Omeda will allow the mapping of the Country Calling Code for the mobile phone number. If not received Omeda will use the provided country and mobile phone to derive the country calling code.
  3. The recipient must opt in to the Message Type with that phone number which can be done via:
    • Form Builder Form
    • Data Loader
    • API
    • Audience Search
  4. Audience Members can opt out via the following mechanisms:
    • responding to an SMS message
    • Form Builder Form
    • Input
    • Data Loader
    • API
    • Audience Search

While consent does not expire at the federal level, it’s generally best practice to ensure opt-ins are within the last 12-18 months. SMS marketing via Omeda can be a powerful tool, providing a direct and immediate way to reach customers. However, to use it effectively and legally, marketers must navigate various federal and state regulations, primarily the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and additional state laws. Below are best practices for SMS marketing in the US, taking these regulations into account. Please note that Omeda cannot provide legal advice regarding US SMS compliance laws, and if you have questions about any of the points outlined in this guide, we recommend contacting legal counsel. 

Understanding TCPA Requirements

The TCPA sets strict guidelines to protect consumers from unwanted communications. Key requirements include:

  1. Prior Express Written Consent: Before sending marketing messages, obtain express written consent from recipients. This consent must be clear, conspicuous, and specific to the types of messages they will receive.
  2. Opt-Out Mechanism: Every message must include an easy and clear way for recipients to opt out of future messages, such as replying with “STOP.”
  3. Identification of Sender: Messages must clearly identify the business or individual sending the message.
  4. Time Restrictions: Marketing messages should be sent between 8 AM and 9 PM local time of the recipient to avoid inconvenience.
  5. Record Keeping: Maintain records of consent and message logs for at least four years to defend against any legal claims.

Navigating State-Specific Regulations

In addition to federal law, some states have their own regulations that may impose further requirements:

  1. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): While not specific to SMS, the CCPA requires businesses to inform consumers about the personal data being collected and allows consumers to opt out of data sale. Ensure your SMS marketing practices comply with CCPA by providing privacy notices and honoring opt-out requests.
  2. Vermont and Washington Privacy Laws: These states have additional privacy laws that require clear disclosures about data usage and consumer rights to opt out of data sharing and marketing communications.

Best Practices for Compliance and Effective Marketing

To ensure your SMS marketing campaigns are both effective and compliant with legal requirements, consider the following best practices:

  1. Transparent Consent Process: Clearly explain what consumers are signing up for when they provide their phone numbers. Use double opt-in mechanisms where recipients confirm their consent by replying to an initial message.
  2. Personalize Content: Send personalized and relevant messages to increase engagement. Avoid generic and overly frequent messages that might lead to higher opt-out rates.
  3. Segmentation and Targeting: Use segmentation to send targeted messages based on consumer behavior, preferences, and past interactions with your brand.
  4. Monitor and Respond to Opt-Outs: Immediately process opt-out requests and ensure that no further messages are sent to those recipients.
  5. Respect Frequency: Limit the number of messages sent per week to avoid overwhelming recipients. Typically, 2-4 messages per month are recommended.
  6. Provide Value: Ensure every message offers value, such as exclusive discounts, important updates, or useful information, to justify the intrusion into the recipient’s personal space.
  7. Audit and Update Practices Regularly: Continuously review your marketing practices and legal requirements to stay compliant with any new laws or changes in regulations.
  8. Educate Your Team: Ensure that everyone involved in your SMS marketing campaigns understands the legal requirements and best practices.

How Omeda Helps

Omeda will automatically filter out opt-outs when sending SMS, as well as filter non-opt ins when creating queries in Audience Builder. Upon upload, we will request confirmation of opt in for SMS sending.

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