How to Send Mass Marketing Texts without Breaking the Law

How to Send Mass Marketing Texts without Breaking the Law


Text message marketing has so many benefits – people love to engage with their favorite businesses via text. Customers open marketing text messages about 99 percent of the time, and often they open them within 15 minutes of receiving them. Text messages are therefore a great way to reach your customers, especially when you have a time-sensitive offer for them.

But you can’t just be cold texting people. It’s against the law. According to the acts established, you need to get express written consent from your customers before you can text them, and there are other rules to follow as well. Here’s what they are.

The biggest mistake you can make when engaging with your customers via text is to not get their express written consent to receive marketing texts before you start texting them. The TCPA requires it. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) provides guidance on how to obtain express written consent from customers to send them marketing texts.

There are five criteria that you must meet when seeking express written consent from your customers. You must:

  • Tell the customer why your business wants to text with them;
  • Tell them how often they can expect to receive texts from you and what information those texts will contain;
  • Offer access to a document fully outlining the terms and conditions of their opt-in;
  • Let them opt out at any time and for any reason by replying to a text; and
  • Let them know that their standard messaging and data rates will apply to any text interactions you may have.

There are several ways you can obtain express written consent from a customer before you enroll them in your bulk marketing text campaign. Advertise your bulk text messaging program wherever you think customers will see it. Add your texting number to your social media pages, website header and footer, landing page, contact page, and paper mailers. Display it in your physical locations. Use a keyword short code that customers can text to your number to sign up for marketing texts. By contacting your texting number, customers are giving their consent to receive marketing texts.

You should respond with a text that meets the five criteria for express written consent under the TCPA. It’s not as difficult as it sounds to get all that stuff into one text message. For example, you can send something like, “Hello, [Customer Name], and thanks for signing up to receive text messages from [Company]. We’ll send you great deals up to eight times a month. Message and data rates may apply. Reply INFO for terms, STOP to opt out.”

Make Opting Out Easy

In order to adhere to the TCPA, you have to make sure it’s easy for customers to opt out of marketing texts. If you’re sending marketing texts, then you must allow customers to opt out by simply replying to the text.

Only Text During Approved Hours

You can’t send marketing texts at any time of the day or night. The TCPA requires you to restrict your text marketing activities to between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Identify Yourself

You must identify yourself in your texts to your customers, and clearly state your reason for making contact. Usually, that’s as simple as including your company name and stating the promotion or sale you’re currently marketing.

Understand Auto Dialer Restrictions

The TCPA was originally passed in 1991 to protect consumers from harassing telephone calls and faxes. To that end, the TCPA forbids the use of auto dialers in telephone and email marketing. Automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) devices are defined as having both the capacity to store or create phone numbers, and to dial those numbers. Recent court rulings have clarified what constitutes an auto dialer and when and how auto dialers can be used. If you’re going to use an ATDS, you need to make sure you obtain express consent from those you’ll be contacting.

When it comes to marketing your product and services directly to your customers via text messaging, you have to be careful to follow the law. Fines can easily reach into the millions of dollars if you’re caught violating the TCPA or the CAN-SPAM Act. It’s not worth sinking your business over – not when so many customers are eager to receive your marketing texts.