Today, recent changes to the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act go into effect. While I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on T.V. (this means you should consult your own attorney about this law should you have questions on how it impacts your business), and although some elements of the new law regulations need clarification, one thing seems clear…
It will no longer be possible for business owners to use past relationships with customers and contacts – however inconsequential – as an “excuse” to opt them into receiving mountains of SMS / text marketing messages. From now on, there are going to be very serious ramifications for sending “spam”, which includes fines up to $1,500 per unauthorized text.
Going forward, business owners must receive express consent from their contacts before opting them into any text message marketing campaign. This can be accomplished by having them sign (either digitally or physically) a written agreement that clearly authorizes the business in question to send such messages.
When you consider that the mobile carriers now require that any “non handset opt in” be double opt in, it’s a pretty good day for SMS / text message marketing.
Yes, you heard that right… a good day.
In my opinion, spamming people with text messages only devalues the medium, which makes it tougher for businesses who are interested in using text in a genuine, ethical manner to do so. We can do, for instance, without the behavior of big companies like Papa John’s Pizza, which is now facing a $250 million class action lawsuit for allegedly sending out half a million unwanted text messages.
This doesn’t help increase the value of marketing messages delivered via text.
And that’s not good for us, it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for your customers and prospects.
The changes therefore are good; they ensure that your messages are only delivered to a highly qualified audience. Consequently, you spend less, and your ROI (Return On Investment) is greater. There are no legal liabilities.
What’s not to like?