Tips on how to keep away from spam clients with textual content messages
- SMS spam contains texts that are used to sell unwanted products from consumers or to steal their personal information.
- Sending spam text messages can damage your company’s reputation and result in significant fines.
- By following proper business text messaging etiquette, you can avoid legal troubles and maintain close relationships with your customers.
- This article is aimed at business owners who want to use SMS marketing without spamming their customers.
Writing business texts or sending bulk messages to customers who have chosen to receive those messages can be an extremely effective way of reaching your audience. This method of casual communication, also known as SMS marketing, MMS marketing, or SMS marketing, has a better engagement rate than other channels, including email and social media: on average, it takes a person less than two minutes to to reply to a text Almost two hours for email, according to Campaign Monitor.
However, text messaging marketing also comes with some risks. It is important to follow texting etiquette so as not to damage your company’s reputation. If you want your customers to be engaged, they cannot interpret your text messages as spam. Follow these best practices for implementing an effective SMS marketing campaign that won’t spam your audience.
What is a spam text message?
Spam texts contain various types of junk mail that are either used to sell unwanted products from customers or to steal their data, passwords, and personal information.
In common business practices, spam text messages include sending SMS to a company’s marketing department without consumer consent, sending multiple texts at the same time, using group texts, and using multiple forms of communication for the same call to action (CTA), e.g. Customer and then send a text with the same information.
The more malicious type of spam comes in the form of phishing or “smishing”. These text messages are attempts to collect customer data by posing as a business, friend, or family member. Recipients could risk a data breach while engaging with these messages.
Sending text messages with consent
To send text messages to customers, you need to get their consent. If you have a committed relationship with a consumer, you can get the customer’s consent to send transactional text messages such as: B. Company updates, appointment reminders and payments. Asking customers to opt for text messaging twice can cover the consent requirement and ensure open communication between your company and your customers.
It is illegal to promote the following business categories in any form via SMS:
- Fire arms
- Illegal drugs
Key takeaway: always get customer approval before sending SMS marketing.
Examples of spam text messages
Text messages can be shown as spam if they are filled with typos or grammatical errors. Consumers can also interpret text messages as spam if they are impersonal with simple greetings, create a sense of urgency, or make an offer that is too good to be true. Avoid sending texts on the following topics that your customers might mistake for spam:
- Win a competition unrelated to your business
- Refund notifications
- Free bitcoin
- Credit card offers
- Parcel delivery unrelated to your business
Personal account numbers
- Checking a bank account
- Compromised credentials
Friend or family member
- Financial support requests
- Help with student loans
Key Factor: Proofread and personalize your text messages to instill confidence and professionalism.
What are the legal ramifications of spam text messages?
Depending on the type and number of spam text messages a sender distributes, this can have significant legal ramifications for spam text messages. Consumers can report spam through apps, cellular carriers, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If messages continue after a consumer has blocked and reported them, businesses could be held liable for heavy fines per message.
Key Factor: Sending spam text messages can damage your company’s reputation and result in significant fines.
What action can a consumer take on spam text messages?
A customer can easily filter and block messages from unknown senders via Android and iOS. You can also look for spam blockers through your mobile operator or a third-party app. According to the FTC, consumers can report spam in two ways:
- Use the FTC mobile messaging app.
- Copy the spam text messages and send them to 7726 (SPAM).
If consumers are still getting spam after taking blocking and reporting measures, they can file a civil lawsuit under the Federal Telemarketing Act.
Consumers are protected by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 1991 (TCPA), which was originally enacted for unsolicited telephone advertising but has since been expanded to include consumer consent to businesses participating in robocalls and text messaging.
Under the TCPA, consumers can sue companies (see, for example, the Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster Inc. case from 2009) for damages of up to $ 500 to $ 1,500 per spam text message.
Key Factor: Under the TCPA, consumers can block, report, and sue companies that send spam text messages.
How to avoid sending spam text messages to customers
These 10 text messaging marketing tips can help you improve the quality of your texts, making them more effective without compromising customer satisfaction:
1. Be upfront.
Introduce yourself or your company in the first text message. Your phone number is probably not in the contact list. So don’t let her guess. Customers want to know what kind of text messages to expect from you.
If you offer multiple types of messages, consider providing a sign-up form so the customer can choose what content they can receive and a polite way to ask for permission. Dividing your list into segments will help you target the right customers.
2. Look at your audience.
A casual tone invites the customer directly to a conversation. It’s okay to use familiar abbreviations and emojis, but do so sparingly. Take into account the age, location, interests, needs, etc. of your target audience. Avoid vague or confusing messages.
3. Personalize each message.
Use an SMS platform to customize the text for each customer. With software like SnapDesk, you can easily enter your customer’s first name automatically. Always proofread any message before sending it.
4. Create a clear call to action.
Whenever you request an action from your customer, always include detailed information in the text. When a customer needs to pick up an order, let them know when it will be available and how best to get their items off. Other possible CTAs include requests for a product review, discount codes, and timely sales notifications.
When sending a CTA in text, do not use that CTA to send an email or phone call. Using multiple channels to get your point across can annoy customers and create unnecessary message overload.
5. Keep the URLs short.
Getting a text with a URL that is too long is a nuisance. Long URLs look unprofessional. So run your URL through a shortening service like Bit.ly before inserting it into any text.
6. Respond quickly and precisely.
Since a text message doesn’t disrupt your customer’s schedule like a phone call, your response shouldn’t include waiting time. Customers should feel like you care about their business.
However, if your response time is not within 9am and 6pm, please wait until the next business day. The only exception to this rule would be if the customer contacts you outside of business hours first. If you are automating your text messaging, stick to business hours as well, unless it makes sense to deviate from it. For example, if you are a restaurant, you can send a text during the hours when your customers typically have lunch or dinner.
7. Limit your texts to 160 characters.
If the conversation gets complicated, consider using a different means of communication. Sending multiple paragraphs can confuse the customer and make it difficult for them to take action.
Texts longer than 160 characters may be split into multiple texts and arrive in the wrong order in your customer’s inbox. Additionally, multiple messages create multiple notifications, which can be annoying to your audience.
8. Skip sensitive information.
Sending personal information via text can hold you liable. Always use an encryption service platform such as Signal to send and receive sensitive information.
9. Limit the number of texts sent.
If you’re looking to increase leads or encourage customers to buy again, don’t spam them with repetitive texts. Keep warnings to a minimum.
10. Always offer a way out.
Whether you’re texting a potential lead or a long-standing customer, sometimes the customer will have to stop receiving your promotional messages. Follow TCPA guidelines and offer a simple deactivation (“Text STOP to stop receiving these messages”) to avoid legal problems.
Key Factor: Follow business copy etiquette to avoid legal trouble and maintain a close relationship with your customers.