Posted: November 4, 2014
These days, nearly everyone has a cell phone within arm’s reach 24/7. According to Pew Internet Research, 91% of all U.S. adults own a cell phone. Mobile messages have a 97% open rate, generally within 5 seconds of receiving the message, according to the Digital Marketing Association. CTIA.org states that it may take a person 90 minutes to respond to an email on average, but it only takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message. If I might add, it also helps that text messages are never routed to a spam folder where they may be lost forever.
With statistics like these in circulation, it’s no secret we will likely see overall mobile marketing efforts increase in 2015. As more consumers move to a wireless-phone-only environment, marketers will exercise their best strategies to generate consent to contact prospective customers on their wireless numbers.
However, the increasing use of text message marketing strategies is met with increasing regulation and enforcement activity. In the past year alone, we’ve seen several events to evidence this. The amendments to the TCPA that went into effect last October have certainly caused a stir in the mobile marketing world. A fear of class action lawsuits and lack of guidance from the FCC make matters worse. The TCPA includes text messages under its umbrella of “automated calls” covered by the Act, requiring marketers to obtain prior written express consent from individuals before texting.
We’ve also seen several states amend their laws to include specific text message consent and opt-out requirements. There have also been numerous class action settlements for the unlawful sending of commercial text messages to consumers including Papa John’s, who paid $16.5 million including cash and free pizzas, and Buffalo Bills, who paid $3 million in Bills merchandise to the class.
Still, there appears to be very promising results where marketers are able to successfully obtain cell phone numbers and appropriate consent.
With expectations of mobile marketing efforts surging in 2015 being met with an expected rise in texting regulations and enforcements, some companies will take text/SMS rules seriously while others may suffer potentially damaging consequences.
We encourage you to simply understand the rules and regulations and consider the risk of stiff fines and penalties before conducting blast or personalized texting campaigns.
We also invite you to check out our webinar titled “ TXT MSG 101.” CLICK HERE to view the recording.
CJ Arthur is an Associate at CompliancePoint with a focus on direct marketing compliance. She works with clients in a variety of industries in developing and refining processes and procedures for complying with the ever-changing state and federal regulations related to direct marketing and consumer privacy law. CJ has earned her certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and has a BA in Marketing from the University of Georgia.