01 Sep SMS Compliance Essentials: A Deep Dive
As we navigate the digital era, telecommunication laws and regulations have matured hand-in-hand. Along with overarching Australian regulations, mobile carriers and SMS service providers like touchSMS, provide guidelines to ensure your SMS communication is both effective and compliant.
Breaching regulations can lead to various repercussions, including fines or even a complete ban on sending SMS.
However, it’s crucial to understand that SMS compliance isn’t designed to penalise businesses. Instead, it seeks to shield consumers from deceitful and undesired messages. Ultimately, this enhances the user experience, fostering trust within the industry.
An Overview of SMS SPAM Compliance in Australia
The regulations for SMS compliance vary, but here’s a look at the overarching themes, focusing on Australia:
SPAM Act 2003
SPAM Regulations 2021
Communications Alliance LTD
Industry Code C661:2022 Reducing Scam Call and Scam SMS
In-Depth on SMS SPAM Compliance Guidelines:
Opt-in and Opt-out:
Before sending any SMS campaigns, having recipient consent is non-negotiable. Your recipients must either voluntarily opt-in, being aware that they might receive business-related SMS or have inferred opt-in relating to recurring transactions with your business.
Mandatory opt-in methods include:
Written or digital consent via form.
Texting into a virtual number.
Verbal agreement in store or over the phone
Implied consent, relating to transactional communication
Opting-out is equally pivotal. This can involve:
Replying “STOP” to a message they receive.
Texting in “STOP” to a virtual number.
Opt-Out link in SMS to online form.
Making the opt-out process straightforward is crucial. It’s about respecting preferences rather than incurring costs on unwanted messages.
Ensure you identify your business in all SMS communication to customers and contacts, either by signing off with your company name, mentioning it in the message content or using a verified Alpha Sender ID (this is primarily available in Australia). While it isn’t mandatory, reminding recipients why they are receiving your message can be a good practice also. Including something like “As a VIP member, you’ll get these exclusive offers..”.
‘Do Not Contact’ Directives:
Several countries, including Australia, offer avenues for consumers to dodge telemarketing calls and messages through “Do Not Contact” registries. Although engaging with numbers on these lists can lead to penalties, numbers that have opted-in expressly can be engaged. However, their wishes to opt out at any time must be respected. For Australia, more information is available through the Do Not Call Register.
Messaging timeframes are often regulated, with most countries allowing business outreach only during specific hours. A general guideline suggests SMS communication between 9 am to 8 pm. Keeping in mind the varied time zones of your audience can maintain compliance and improve engagement.
Have any further questions on how to keep your SMS compliant? Chat with our team of experts at 1300 794 419 today!