Texting your customers and prospects is the most effective way to communicate with them. But before you begin there are a few things you need to consider in order to legally text with your customers.
Don't Use Your Personal Number
For starters, always use a business-grade texting platform. For many years before there was a great option for business-grade texting, many professionals faulted to their personal mobile devices in order to further gain relationships with customers and prospects. This created a wide range of problems from angry customers with your personal number to HIPAA violations causing fines and potentially, jobs.
Business-grade texting apps such as Beetexting have safeguards in place to keep customer information confidential, and your personal life separate from your work relationships. NOTE: Not all business-grade platforms are created equal, make sure you ask if they follow HIPAA compliance.
The Texting Consent Laws
There are a few laws in place protecting people from receiving SPAM texts. Even though you have good intentions and believe you have value to share, it’s still considered SPAM if you are sending cold texts. And cold texting someone is illegal.
TCPA: TCPA Rules
CTIA: Managing Principles and Best Practices
The Campaign Registry
The campaign registry was formed by wireless carriers to provide consumers with a reliable experience. Before you can text customers from any business-texting service you must register your business with the registry. We have a whole post about the registry: New Requirements to Text with 10DLC: The Campaign Registry
Is it Unprofessional to Text Clients?
After so many years with few good options beyond email and phone calls, texting is a welcome change for most people, even business professionals. Texting is 98% more often read than emails or phone calls.
But when you cold text a person you’re invading their personal messaging space with unwanted and unapproved messages. We’re used to receiving unsolicited emails, but an unsolicited text just makes people feel mad and will almost never create the results you’re looking for. And may lead to considerable fines from wireless carriers.
Texting is personal. You are entering into someone’s personal space with your message. It will be much more effective if you’ve been invited to text them.
Gaining consent before texting someone will provide much better results and most importantly a better relationship.
Oral vs. Written Consent
There are three specific kinds of consent outlined for texting customers and prospects. The main differences include the type of consent they give in relation to how you plan to text them. If you want more details on these types of consent, we go into greater detail here: How to Get Consent to Text with Your Customers
- Conversational / Implied Consent: This type of consent means that if someone texts you first, you are allowed to respond. In order to send them future texts after this initial conversation though, you need express consent.
- Informational / Express Consent: When the message that is being sent is purely informational and not promotional, you need express consent. Express consent comes in the form of an individual agreeing to receive texts in the future.
- Promotional / Express Written Consent: If you want to send promotional marketing messages via text then you need express written consent. This form of consent protects people from receiving robo-texts and spam texts. To gain express written consent, people must provide written consent (or documentation that you can trackback).
SMS Text Messaging Opt-outs, Disclosure, and Help
When texting customers and prospects you need to provide clear information about what kind of information you're going to send them and how often. You also need to provide options to opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving your text messages.