Federal law and industry regulations are such that we manually review each import request. Before you import a list for text message marketing purposes, you must have prior express written consent from each contact on that list.
Express Consent Is Mandatory By Law
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. In order for their consent to be valid, you must provide a disclose of what type of messages the user will receive, as well as how often they will receive them.
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."
What About Informational Texts?
If a text is strictly informational, such as an order confirmation or appointment reminder, you don't need express written consent. However, the difference between informational and marketing texts is a fine line. We highly recommend getting express consent regardless of the type of message you intend to send.
If you’re unsure about whether your contacts have provided express written consent, seek the guidance of a qualified attorney.
This is kind of complicated—we know. Luckily, there some great resources out there for you. Here are some of our favorite links from experts in the legal field.
- Andrew Lustigman, Esq.—a respected attorney in the Advertising and Marketing http://www.insidecounsel.com/2014/10/28/tcpa-the-right-consent-for-the-right-message
- The American Bar Association http://www.americanbar.org/publications/blt/2013/05/01_smith.html
- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a large firm with great legal talent https://www.wsgr.com/publications/PDFSearch/wsgralert-prior-consent.pdf