Promotional vs Informational Text Messages

February 24, 2020

Promotional vs Informational Text Messages

Many small businesses have faced issues when it comes to communicating with customers in a modern way. Unlike traditional methods of communication such as face to face, emails or calls, texting customers has become the preferred method across the board.

However, knowing what is an acceptable message to send to customers is a mystery to many people. In many cases, adapting to a text messaging platform may feel as though you are walking in the dark not to mention the legal implications that are needed to protect yourself and your business.

It is crucial for a small business to understand and follow the SMS text message laws and regulations in compliance with the telephone consumer protection act (TCPA).

TCPA Compliance Best Practices for Small Businesses:

  • Get written consent whenever possible.
  • Keep messages conversational.
  • Use messaging services that support local 10-digit long codes.
  • Include calls-to-action, terms of service, and privacy policies.
  • Support “Stop” for opt-out control.
  • Maintain a record of who’s opted-in and opted-out with a Do Not Contact List (DNC).

Read the full guide to TCPA compliance: TCPA Compliance Checklist and Guide for Small Business

You may be asking yourself “How do I know if I have the right permission to send text messages to my customers?”. The answer is simple, in order to have the correct level of permission, it is crucial to know if you have: Implied, Express or Express Written consent from your customers.

  • Implied Consent: refers to the “ reasonable to believe '' level of permission to text a customer. You can also think of implied consent as being more casual or inferring permission.
  • Express Consent: According to the TCPA, expressed consent is either a written or oral agreement that clearly indicates consent to receive text or calls to a particular phone number.
  • Express Written Consent: Express written consent is recorded permission the customer or contact has given your business either on paper or electronically (i.e. Digital Agreement).

Informational Messages vs Promotional Messages

  • Informational Messages: Informational messages don’t try to sell or promote anything regarding your business. These messages inform your customers of things like service updates, appointments and scheduling.
  • Promotional Messages: Promotional messages directly promote, market or sell your business’s products or services.
Types of Consent Overview Informational Promotional
Implied - Two Way Conversation
- response to a specfic customer request
- Conversational text message
Express - Written or oral agreement
- One-way alert or two-way conversation
- messages containing relevant customer information
Written Express - Automated one-way campaign with promotional offer
- messages to promote products or services
- Prompts customer to to buy or take action

TCPA Violations

TCPA lawsuits can range anywhere from $500 to $1500 per violation. With this being said, it is critical for a business to get the right level of consent to send the right type of message in order to avoid any violations. Check out The Comprehensive Guide for more information regarding TCPA violations.

  • Sending unsolicited texts or making unsolicited calls to residential phone numbers.
  • Not gaining the proper consent.
  • Not allowing contacts to opt-out.
  • Calling people listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.