Getting permission from customers to send them text messages is a crucial part of 10DLC compliance. Mobile carriers have specific rules about what businesses can say in text messages and require them to have proof of consent before sending any SMS messages. Not all ways of getting consent are 10DLC compliant. However, by understanding the rules and using some creativity, any organization can set up a system for gathering subscribers and using SMS messaging effectively. This blog will discuss 10DLC opt-in best practices for text messaging compliance.
What is Opt-in Consent?
An opt-in is a simple process where you seek permission from a customer to send them text messages. When seeking this permission, be clear and transparent about the type of messages you plan to send and their purpose. It’s crucial to remember that an opt-in for one type of communication, such as receiving a one-time password (OTP), cannot be used for other types, such as marketing texts. Each type of communication requires its own distinct opt-in.
Why are Opt-ins required for 10DLC compliance?
Regulating the vast volume of SMS messages sent daily is a challenging task. Among these messages, there’s a risk of encountering harmful content, such as phishing scams and unsolicited marketing promotions. After years of ineffective regulation, the US government stepped in to hold cell carriers accountable for the data on their networks.
In response, carriers established organizations to enhance their monitoring of business texting, particularly messages originating from application-to-person (A2P) platforms. One such organization, The Campaign Registry, manages SMS campaigns using 10DLC phone numbers.
The critical characteristic of spam is its unsolicited nature. Opt-ins serve as evidence that an SMS is indeed wanted. Carriers enforce various regulations to ensure that SMS messaging is consensual. While complying with these rules can be challenging for new entrants, they ultimately improve the texting experience for businesses and customers.
Types of Opt-Ins
According to TCPA rules, you must keep written records of certain types of opt-ins, including those for automated SMS marketing messages. If you plan to send customers promotional messages, ensure you record all opt-ins correctly. Let’s take a quick overview of what you should document for your opt-ins:
- The date and time the customer gave consent
- How the customer gave consent (e.g., filling out a form, sending a text message)
- The specific campaign for which the customer opted in
- The customer’s phone number
- The customer’s name or other identifier (e.g., online username)
Some mobile network operators require you to keep records of all opt-ins for at least six years. This helps to prove that you have permission to send text messages to that customer’s phone number.
Many companies use a double opt-in process: after the customer initially opts in, they send a welcome message asking the customer to reply with a keyword (e.g., “Y,” “Yes,” “OK,” “Begin”) to confirm their consent. This is not an industry requirement, but it is a best practice that is highly recommended.
Critical Requirements for Texting Opt-Ins
Opt-ins give people the power to decide whether or not they want to receive messages from a brand. This approach, based on consent, helps build trust, reduces the risk of spam complaints, and ensures compliance with legal rules. As a result, businesses can create meaningful and effective connections with their audience.
- Provide an easy way to opt out: Make sure users can close the opt-in form or decline to subscribe without pressure.
- Don’t pre-select the opt-in checkbox: By default, leave the opt-in checkbox unchecked so that users have to choose to subscribe actively.
- Set expectations about message frequency: Tell people how often they can expect to receive messages, whether daily, weekly, or monthly.
10DLC Opt-In Best Practices for Text Messaging Compliance
Use clear and concise language when sending messages. Customers should know what they’re signing up for when they opt in to receive text messages. Avoid vague or confusing language that could lead to misunderstandings.
Opt-out with SMS
Even if someone signed up to receive text messages, they should have an easy way to opt-out if they no longer want them. The Campaign Registry and other organizations require this. A clear opt-out option helps ensure you have proper customer consent and builds brand trust.
Standard opt-out instructions include replying with a keyword like “STOP” to a text message. Some brands include an opt-out message with every text, while others do so less often. When subscribers reply with an opt-out keyword, they should receive a confirmation that they will no longer receive messages. Businesses should also honor opt-out requests sent through email or phone calls.
Use a two-step opt-in process to make sure people want to receive messages. First, they have to sign up for your campaign. Then, they must click a confirmation link in the text message to confirm their subscription.
Keep a record
Keep a detailed record of everyone who has opted in to receive your messages. This helps you track your subscribers and ensures that you comply with The Campaign Registry’s regulations. A record of your subscribers is essential for A2P 10DLC compliance and the overall success of your SMS marketing campaigns.
Opt-in opt-out examples.
“Welcome to Polly Store! Be the first to know about our exclusive offers and discounts. Reply ‘YES’ to join our Premium Club and receive 10% off your next purchase! T&Cs apply. Reply STOP to unsubscribe.”
“Stay in the loop with all the latest event updates from the JLC Conference! Reply ‘JOIN’ to receive reminders, schedule changes, and exclusive announcements. Msg & data rates may apply. To opt-out, reply ‘STOP.'”
“Hello! Our clinic cares about your well-being. Opt-in to receive appointment reminders, health tips, and important updates. Reply ‘ENROLL’ to start. To stop, reply ‘QUIT.’ Standard rates may apply.”
“Bon Voyage! Join our travel alerts to get flight status, gate changes, and travel tips for your upcoming trip. Text ‘FLY’ to enroll. To cancel, reply ‘END.’ Msg freq may vary. Std rates apply.”