At DojoMojo, we understand that compliance is hugely important but something you don’t want to constantly worry about in your marketing. To put you at ease, we take the guesswork out of compliance and automate the process of staying compliant.
What’s TCPA? Why is it so crucial for text messaging as a business?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was a federal statute created in 1991 to protect consumers’ privacy and unregulated use of their personal information and guard consumers against harassing, unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes. With the many technological advancements in the last 20 years, there have been amendments to TCPA to clarify how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interprets and upholds the law in context with today’s technology. You guessed it–these amendments also include parameters for how companies can use automated text messages to reach consumers.
What happens when you violate TCPA?
If you break the law, you will be fined. Like, a lot.
Violations from the FCC can be as high as $1,500 per violation, and under TCPA, each text message violation constitutes a separate violation–ouch. Especially with the uptick in SMS marketing adoption and new technology advancements, the number of TCPA-related lawsuits has risen in recent years, so you’ll want to pay close attention to the next few steps to compliantly set up your text marketing program.
Sounds serious... tell me what I need to know and do to remain TCPA-compliant!
Ultimately, the goal of the TCPA is about data privacy protection for consumers. As a business, the main thing you need to know is that you need to collect voluntary, explicit consent from consumers before you may contact them via text messages.
- Get explicit permission from subscribers for marketing purposes
The most important rule is that businesses can’t call or send a text message without the recipient’s prior consent. All of our tools acquisition tools, including sweepstakes, website lightboxes, and online store checkouts, allow people to volunteer their phone numbers and opt-in via TCPA-compliant forms to join your text marketing list specifically.
- Provide clear instructions on how to unsubscribe or request help
When a subscriber first joins your mobile contact list, you must also give clear instructions on how your subscribers can opt out of your contact list. Each of your “welcome” messages sent from DojoMojo automatically includes information on how to unsubscribe or receive additional help.
- Set expectations for your SMS marketing program, such as the frequency and messaging rates
The intent of your program must be very clear when your people sign up for your program. Your recipients should know exactly what they’re signing up for, including the frequency of messages, the types of content they’ll receive from you, and applicable rates and costs for receiving texts. This means updating your terms of service, including information about your SMS marketing program on the sign-up form, and reiterating these conditions in your welcome text message.
- Mention your company name in your messages
Be sure to take the time to identify yourself within your message, leaving no question for your customer when your text message comes in.
- Send messages at appropriate times
One really good way to make sure you don’t end up with a lawsuit is not to annoy the people who signed up for your text messages, such as optimizing the time your messages go out. DojoMojo’s handy SafeSend feature tailors the delivery of your SMS campaigns based on the recipient’s time zones, so you don’t have to worry about sending your messages at the wrong time.
- Avoid sending anything inappropriate or illegal - content matters!
This is a no-brainer. All of your content must follow all applicable federal and state laws and must be appropriate for the intended audience. Steer clear of depictions or endorsement of violence, adult or inappropriate content, profanity or hate speech, or endorsement of illegal or illicit drugs.
Here’s How DojoMojo Keeps You TCPA-Compliant
✓ Explicit Permission from Subscribers
All supported subscriber acquisition tools (such as Sweepstakes Post Entry, On-site Lightbox, or Post Checkout Opt-Ins) include:
- Non-editable explicit descriptions of the marketing the consumer is opting-in to,
- Non-editable compliance language detailing the text marketing,
Additionally, our acquisitions tools are also entirely optional for the consumer, standalone and not bundled with any other offer. We do this to avoid forcing a consumer to sign up for SMS in order to receive some other offer or service.
Lastly, our acquisition tools and permissions apply to only one brand. Meaning, a Unlike Partnership Sweepstakes, where a consumer can opt into email marketing for all partner brands, the consumer will not be opted into multiple SMS marketing programs with a single sign up.
✓ Clear Instructions to Unsubscribe
Every "welcome" message–the message sent to a new subscriber–automatically includes information regarding how to unsubscribe or receive additional help.
DojoMojo also goes above and beyond and automatically appends this information to subscriber messages every 30 days.
✓ SMS Marketing Program Expectations
DojoMojo's legal language includes all necessary notifications, including an estimate of messages a consumer can expect to receive on a monthly basis.
✓ Filtering inappropriate or illegal content
Our system attempts to detect and block any illicit or illegal content, but also all content sent using DojoMojo's SMS Marketing Suite is the sole responsibility of the brand. DojoMojo does not support the promotion of illicit content, including the following:
- Depictions or endorsements of violence,
- Adult or otherwise inappropriate content,
- Profanity or hate speech, and
- Endorsement of illegal or illicit drugs.
All content sent through DojoMojo must be in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. All content must be appropriate for the intended audience.
At this time, DojoMojo does not support industries requiring age gating, such as alcohol or tobacco.