Import Guidelines and Rules

Learn more about our import guidelines.

Drew Wilkinson avatar
Written by Drew Wilkinson
Updated over a week ago

We want to make importing contacts as easy as possible while ensuring we help our customers say compliant. That’s why we cap the number of contacts you can import when you create an account and at various intervals thereafter.

We know it can be frustrating, but this limit helps our customers stay on the right side of the law. We’re not being dramatic either.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires companies to have prior express written consent from each contact on their subscriber list.

While remaining compliant is our customer’s responsibility, we’ve put guardrails in place, like our import limit, to make this easier.

Not only can it prevent you from making a costly mistake, but it also prevents SimpleTexting from being used to send spam.

Import Rules and TCPA Compliance

The best way to illustrate the importance of our import limit is with an example.

Let’s say a marketing manager at a large e-commerce brand signs up to SimpleTexting to send text promotions to existing customers.

She exports a list of 10,000 phone numbers from the company’s CRM so she can add them to her SimpleTexting account.

Since texting is a new marketing channel, she hasn’t obtained express written consent to message these people and isn’t even aware it’s a requirement.

She tries to import the list of phone numbers and can’t because of our import rules.

She speaks with our support team who explain the reasons for the limit, educate her on express written consent, and let her know how she can quickly collect phone numbers.

What initially seemed like an inconvenience has prevented her from inadvertently breaking the law.

What Is Express Written Consent?

We go into what express written consent is in detail in our step-by-step compliance guide. We highly recommend reading it before getting started. Here's a quick overview:

Express consent is permission given by someone on paper or electronically. For their consent to be valid, your opt-in language must provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure that they are agreeing to marketing or promotional messages sent via an autodialer (note: 'autodialer' is the the TCPA legalese for our SMS platform).

This disclosure must be clearly visible. It can't be hidden in a privacy policy or user agreement.

Also, you cannot force someone to opt in to your text marketing program by making the opt-in a condition of purchasing property, goods, or services. In other words, you can't say "to complete your purchase, please enter your phone number."

The good news is that there are tons of ways to collect phone numbers in a compliant manner. This article covers nine of them.

Further Reading

If you’d like to learn more, there are some great resources out there for you. Here are two of our favorite links from experts in the legal field.

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