The Importance of SMS Opt-Ins

Approximately 74 million people have opted-in to receive text messages from their favorite brands. However, many companies choose to bypass the opt-in process, and it comes with its fair share of consequences.

SMS Spam Lawsuits

Recently our friend Derek Johnson of Tatango blogged about a settlement regarding a SMS spam lawsuit with Lithia Motors.

"The lawsuit claims consumers received unsolicited text messages from Lithia Motors, which violated federal and state laws barring the use of automated devices to send text messages to individuals without their consent. The unsolicited text messages came from the short code 35703."

Although thousands of consumers opted-out after the first message with words such as Stop, Cancel, or Unsubscribe, they received an additional unsolicited text message offer. Eventually they came to a $275 million settlement, paying about $675 to each person who received the unwarranted messages.

Many companies that do not follow opt-in protocols are facing SMS messaging lawsuits. For instance, a recent Simon & Schuster lawsuit sought $90 million in damages, or almost $1500 per unsolicited automated message.  The text messaging campaign sent to promote an upcoming Stephen King novel was sent to about 60,000 people.

Sending text messages to those who have opted-in is not only the legal approach, but also good business practice. When businesses send texts to those who have opted-in, they are spending valuable time and resources to people that actually want to hear the message.

Blocked Short Codes

Many carriers may even block a specific short code. If the carrier (such as T-Mobile) knows a certain text provider does not require opt-ins, they will often block that short code from sending any messages to its numbers.

Many unapproved short codes can either delay or prevent the delivery of SMS messages; we have heard of delays up to three days for messages where recipients did not opt-in.

In conclusion, if you are looking for automated texting, make sure to have proper opt-ins before sending any messages. Otherwise, you may face lawsuits of at least $275 per message sent, or important messages may not be received.

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SMS Text Messaging