Text message marketing is the brave new world of sales and marketing outreach, and a great way to stay in touch with leads and clients, but your contacts will have different communication preferences. Just as it is important to your relationships to offer unsubscribe options in email, it is also best practice to obtain your contacts’ approval to receive text messages from you, and a critical way to ensure that your phone number is not blocked from texting due to unsolicited messages.
So how do you navigate text message marketing so it’s beneficial to your leads without being disruptive?
By requiring your leads and clients to opt in first.
Why Require a Text Message Opt In?
First and foremost, it’s a legal issue. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (The TCPA) you must have consent in order to market via text message. The fines for not following this guideline are $500 in damages for each violation.
It’s also important to distinguish that implied consent is not consent.
- Having a customer’s phone number alone and/or having previously had any kind of phone communication does not imply consent to texting.
- For online forms, explicit consent for using a phone number for texting is required. You cannot have one consent for emails and texting. Each type of communication requires its own explicit consent at point-of-capture. This is considered Single-Opt-In. Guidelines generally recommend a text response to get a secondary text opt-in; considered “Double Opt In”
- If a customer texts you first, that does not necessarily imply consent. At this point, you should respond with a consent request.
- Verbal consent/confirmation is only valid if it is recorded. In the case of discussing consent over the phone, best practice is to immediately text the customer with an opt-in message.
Learn more about consent specifics here.
Long story short, it’s important that you get explicit consent, no matter what, to be in the clear.
But all legal stuff aside, there are some other really great benefits to requiring opt in before you start text message marketing!
Increased User Engagement
We see this with all forms of marketing, oftentimes it’s beneficial to pare down a list of fewer people who are more engaged. In a way, this comes down to segmentation. People have preferred methods of communication. Some prefer communication phone, some email, and some text.
By allowing people to decide how they want to communicate, you increase your user engagement across all platforms, not just texting, and create a better, more positive experience for your contacts.
Higher Open and Clickthrough Rates
In addition to increasing engagement, you will improve your marketing metrics overall. By only sending text messages to those who have opted in, you will improve your overall open and clickthrough rates, which will help you determine the effectiveness of your overall text message marketing.
Lower Spam Complaints
By offering a proactive opt in option, you will lower your spam complaints overall. This includes email spam complaints as well as text message spam complaints.
In doing so, you take control of your text message list and communicate in a positive and helpful way rather than a disruptive one. This will also save you time so you won’t have to remember who doesn’t like to text, and so you don’t have to manually remove numbers from your mass text message lists.
Want to Add Texting to Your Marketing Suite?
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