What Is Double Opt-In in SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing campaigns have quickly become one of the most efficient and effective forms of marketing for businesses worldwide. However, SMS marketing has rules governed by federal law that must be followed.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal regulation that protects consumers from fraudulent and unsolicited text messages from businesses. A major component of the TCPA is the opt-in requirement.
What does double opt-in mean?
Double opt-in is a two-step process to ensure your customers willfully and voluntarily agree to receive SMS marketing messages from you. You may be wondering why you need to do this twice rather than simply relying on a single opt-in.
Say, for instance, a customer is inside of your business. While checking out, they are asked by one of your employees if they would be interested in receiving text messages about future sales and promotions. Their affirmation of this when they enter their number is the first opt-in. The second comes when they receive a text message from your business to their phone with your business name and phone number asking them to opt-in.
Sending the SMS opt-in message guarantees compliance with the TCPA by giving the customer the business name and phone number they’re agreeing to receive text marketing messages from.
How does double opt-in SMS marketing work?
Receiving initial consent to receive SMS messages from your company through a webform or checkout option is only one step in the opt-in process. It is still necessary to send an opt-in text with your business name and phone number.
This process is simple and seamless with TextSanity ensuring that you comply with federal rules and regulations. Additionally, your customers will appreciate that you respect their privacy and wishes.
If you receive initial consent from a customer, sending an opt-in request seals the deal. This ensures you remain honest with your customers and avoid spam messaging.
Do you need to require a double opt-in in SMS marketing?
The short answer to this question is no. But, as with most things, it’s more complicated than that. For instance, if you have received initial consent from your customer to receive SMS marketing text messages during checkout through an online webform, but it doesn’t have your business name and phone number, then you’ll need to send an additional opt-in.
Therefore, sending out an opt-in request with this information is necessary for you to comply with text marketing regulations. And it’s always a good idea to let customers know they can opt-out at any time and how to opt-out.
Subsequently, while you may not be required to receive SMS double opt-in regarding federal regulations, it should be a requirement of your internal marketing policies.
Why it’s important to stay compliant with SMS regulations
Refusing to remain compliant with SMS regulations can lead to serious consequences, including suspension of your phone number and hefty fines and legal fees. As mentioned earlier, the TCPA was signed into law to protect the rights and privacy of consumers.
Failing to abide by text marketing laws can result in your inability to market through SMS texting and even bring down your profits. Moreover, losing the public’s trust in your company is just as damaging as any federally levied fine.
Other key SMS terms and their meanings
The advantages of text marketing campaigns cannot be understated. If you are new to this exciting marketing method, you may not be familiar with some of the SMS terms and their meanings. Add in legal jargon, and you have a very complicated soup of terminology, and no, it doesn’t sound tasty!
Below are three terms used in SMS marketing and their meaning, including a call to action (CTA), opt-out, and express written consent.
What does call to action mean?
A call to action (CTA) is simply a message that encourages or drives the customer towards an anticipated engagement. For instance, if you were to send a text asking a customer if they are interested in signing up for a food drive your company is helping with, you may send a follow-up call to action text that requests them to follow a link to sign up.
In the above example, signing up would be the action to your call. You may send a message that instructs the customer to follow the link to be entered into a drawing. By following the link, the customer is performing your desired action.
Because CTA’s allow you to gather very valuable personal customer data, it is important that you follow TCPA rules and guidelines regarding their consent to receive messages. Calls to action are a great way of increasing engagement with your SMS marketing and, as a result, increasing your conversions and sales.
What does opt-out mean?
The opt-out function simply allows your customers to stop receiving further SMS business texts from your company. Having the ability to opt out is just as important as the requirement to consent and opt-in.
The TCPA governs this option similar to how it governs opt-in consent. Providing an easy method for your customers to opt-out is essential to ensuring you remain FCC compliant and that your customers continue to trust your business and its practices.
Suppose you have ever been on the customer side of marketing and found it difficult to unsubscribe to future messages, especially with political campaigns. In that case, you can understand why providing your customers with an easy way to opt out is crucial to your company’s integrity in the public’s perception.
What does express written consent mean?
To understand express written consent, you must first understand the differences between implied and explicit. Implied consent essentially means the consent is implied without any formal expression, and explicit means there is a formal and direct consent given.
Therefore, express consent means that the consent was given directly, formally, and explicitly. Regarding SMS marketing, the TCPA and FCC require that consent to receive marketing text messages from your company be given expressly. Therefore, implied consent is not allowed
Essentially, express written consent is an agreement in writing between you, the business, and your customer to receive text messages. This express written consent is accomplished with a simple “Yes” response from a call to an action text message requesting their consent to opt-in to receiving future text messages.
The importance of express written consent, as seen here, is why getting a double opt-in confirmation can be very important in ensuring you remain compliant with federal laws and regulations.
What to do next
At TextSanity, we provide you with all of the tools and resources necessary to ensure your company remains compliant with the TCPA and FCC. We provide various tools, such as text message keyword campaigns and a customizable manual opt-in form, to assist you in getting your customer’s opt-in to receive future marketing messages.
Additionally, our platform allows you to automate these opt-in messages so that you can focus more of your energy and resources on designing and implementing your text marketing strategy and set up easy opt-out options and messages.