There’s really only one rule when it comes to SPAM, and that is DON’T DO IT!
Apart from hefty fines – thousands not hundreds - you damage your reputation, and you'll lose the business on the way.
What is it they used to say? When customers have a good experience they tell 6 people, when they have a bad one, they tell 20.
Enter the internet and voicing a complaint is now on steroids - AND it will stay out there for millennia to come!!
In 2013, Grays Online was fined a record $165,000 after sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited emails.
They did three things terribly wrong.
1. They made the decision to NOT treat the email introducing a new sales website as a marketing (commercial) campaign.
Right about now I’m resisting the urge to write “HELLOOOOO” However, it does introduce an interesting topic for another day - Is it Customer Service or Marketing?
2. They sent what was clearly a commercial email without an Opt Out.
3. Worst of all, they sent the email to people who had previously withdrawn their permission to receive marketing messages via email.
So what should you take away from this for your text message marketing campaigns with respect to including an Opt Out?
First, if you don’t have, or are not sure if you have, the “express” or “implied” permission of your intended recipient to send promotional (commercial) messages to their mobile phones, play it safe and include that opt out. In a text message, it’s a simple as including “To opt out reply STOP” at the end of your text message.
Second, make sure that the link for your Opt Out or Unsubscribe is functional - otherwise you are in contravention of the legislation.
Third DO NOT force the recipient to visit your website to Opt Out - that's in contravention of the legislation.
With respect to the management, if you are using a quality text-messaging platform (like ours) you will not be able to text these Opt Out numbers again - so you can't mistakenly include someone you shouldn't.
And even if you are using a Marketing Consultant, I highly recommend you be familiar with the legislation yourself.
For the facts, go to the ACMA website - here's the link.
Finally, if you have any doubts, speak to a specialist – either a good marketing practitioner or an online law specialist. I can highly recommend Jeanette Jifkins from Onyx Online Law who is an highly respected practitioner in this area.
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