What the FCC’s New Text Message Vote Means for Mobile Marketers

December 20, 2018 Vibes Marketing

What the FCC’s New Text Message Vote Means for Mobile Marketers

If you use mobile marketing to connect with your audience and haven’t been following the daily battle against unwanted marketing messages, here’s something you might want to catch up on: the FCC’s recent vote on regulations to help block spam. Because it involves text message marketing, it’s definitely important to get the lowdown. 

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted to classify many text messages as “information services,” putting them in a separate category from marketing and sales phone calls. The purpose of this vote was to block spam texts from annoying consumers. At this point, we’re seeing a lot fewer spam texts — under 3%, in fact — than we are spam emails, which is why some are opposed to this move by the FCC, feeling like it was an unnecessary move. 

With both SMS and MMS texts being categorized as information services under Title I (along with email and websites; a less-regulated category of communication), cellular companies can choose which automated text messages they block from recipients. There is concern that carriers could block texts from brands that compete with the services they offer, which would, of course, be unethical and could cause big problems down the road. 

We don’t yet know whether RCS (Rich Communication Services) will also fall under this classification. And messages sent through apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger won’t be impacted. 

What This Means for Your Mobile Marketing 

Likely, you won’t be affected by this policy...as long as you’re not sending unwanted robotexts. Here are a few tips to make sure your text message marketing can continue uninterrupted. 

1. Make Sure EVERYONE Has Opted In 

There’s never been a more important time to ensure that your mobile marketing list is only made up of people who want to get messages from you. With GDPR now fully in place, consumers are more aware than ever of their rights with regards to only being on lists they want to be on. Violate privacy rules and you risk your business being slapped with a fine. 

Getting opt-ins is simple. You can even send an opt-in text to everyone on your list right now (even if they opted in years ago) just to make sure they still want to hear from you. Better safe than sorry. 

2. Keep it Personalized 

Another key to making sure carriers don’t block the texts you send consumers is to only send relevant content. It takes effort to get to know your audience and pay attention to mobile marketing metrics so that you can send highly-tailored content that resonates with your subscribers. Companies that robotext don’t bother with that effort; they simply use the “spray and pray” technique, knowing that at least a small percentage of people will convert.  

But personalizing content with relevant offers will not only help you see higher conversions; it will also ensure that carriers don’t become concerned about the content you’re sending, and you’ll stay on their whitelists. 

3. Monitor Unsubscribes 

Your mobile marketing platform can show you when people unsubscribe. Pay attention to patterns: do you see a high instance of unsubscribes after a particular campaign? Or when you send more than two texts a week? This data can help you understand what’s turning people off so that you can modify your campaign to keep subscribers happy. 

Even if you have no worries that this new vote will negatively impact your brand’s mobile marketing, it’s always a wise idea to stay on top of policies and regulations in both the mobile communications and marketing so that you are on top of anything you might need to modify with your marketing strategy to stay compliant. Vibes will continue to keep you informed about important industry updates so that you stay sharp. 

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