How to Manage Opt-ins and Opt-outs for SMS in the UK

On: Jul 15, 2014    In: Tips & Best Practices

As a global provider of cloud messaging services, Dynmark now has an obligation to support its customers and partners with the knowledge necessary to meet the various legal and moral standards for communication via SMS. This eBook will provide support in the forms of guides and helpful tips to promote the use of ethical messaging. Further support can be found in the Cloud Portal under Support.

walking-streetOpting-in

UK law does not prohibit SMS marketing but it does require you to get the recipient’s consent before you send direct marketing.  Also, communicating with people who are not your customers, or who are not expecting to be contacted in this way is not wholly ethical and can result in complaints and poor brand image. To ensure that you are communicating with customers or leads who are interested you should always gain consent for your messaging as per the PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communication) guidance on opting here can be found here.

How to comply

Valid consent can be any positive indication that the customer has given to allow you to contact them with direct marketing; this could be anything from registration or an inbound text message, to completion of a form, or signing of consent. You need to be certain that the customer understands that the result of their action will be that you may send them marketing by SMS.  You can then be sure that when you are contacting customers or leads that they are waiting to hear from you, and as a result you will be able to expect better returns on your messaging and improved ROI.

Opting-out

If you are using SMS to market to your customers you are also required give them the opportunity to opt-out of future marketing communications. This is easiest done by using an inbound number and keyword combination. For example, “Text FINISH to 60006”.

As stop is the industry standard opt-out word, the Dynmark Cloud Platform is capable of automatically recognising STOP as long as it is one of the first two words of the message, and will instantly opt-out any number that submits a message like this.

How to comply

There are several inbound options that you can use for opt-outs:

  • A dedicated long number and keyword
  • A dedicated shortcode and keyword
  • A shared shortcode and keyword

If you own a dedicated number of any kind, you can allow your customers to opt out simply by texting the word STOP to that number. However, if you choose to rent a keyword on our shared shortcode to allow opt-outs you will need to choose another word (e.g. END, FINISH, NONE).

Once you have purchased your inbound number you can use signatures to append your opt-out message to all your outgoing messages. For example, “Text STOP to 447860003006”.

UK Compliance eBook