CTIA Compliance for Mass Text Message Marketing

July 11, 2018

Hi there, Derek Johnson with tatangocom

I'm doing this video because I think there's a lot of miscommunication and misinformation in our industry about what is required to be put into a mass text message So, the CTIA, they require two things in a mass text message And a mass text message is the text messages that consumers receive after they've opted-in to a text messaging campaign These can be daily, weekly, monthly text messages and usually have coupons or offers or alerts in the text message So, what does the CTIA require in those mass text messages? There are two things, one is the brand name

So, that makes a lot of sense The brand name has to be in the message so the consumer knows who the message is from We usually recommend that the brand name gets put right up front at the very start of the text message Then secondly, which I think causes a lot of confusion in our industry is the opt-out instructions And this essentially tells the customer how to opt-out of the text messaging campaign if they wish

So, I'm reading directly from the CTIA guidebook It says, "Recurring message programs must also display opt-out instructions at regular intervals in content or service messages at least once per month" Okay So there are two components that the CTIA requires, the brand name and then opt-out instructions need to be present at least once per month Now, let me show you what I'm seeing in the industry

And I think you can see, maybe, where there is some confusion And hopefully, by showing you this, you can save some characters in your message and make your message look a little cleaner So, I'm gonna show you three examples of things I'm seeing So, on this phone here, this brand, Hibbett, what they're putting down here is, "HELP4help, STOP2stop" So the only component that is required by the CTIA is STOP2stop, which essentially means, reply STOP2stop the messages

The HELP4help is not required in a mass text message That is not one of the components, it's brand and then STOP instructions So, here, they could be saving all of these characters by removing HELP4help Now, you don't have to remove HELP4help If you like having HELP4help in there, then you can keep it in there, but it is not required

And I think a lot of these brandssomebody has told them, maybe during their campaign, that HELP4help is required Now, that is required in certain other messages but not in a mass text message

And I think maybe that's where the confusion is coming from So, let's look at Papa Murphy's Papa Murphy's is putting "Msg&DataRatesMayApply; STOP to end" So, again, Papa Murphy's is required, that's the brand name, and then the STOP instructions, that's required at least on a once a month basis

So, you can put it in daily or, you know, daily or monthly or weekly, whatever your frequency is, but it's only required once a month But "Msg&DataRatesMayApply;" is not required I think I have one more example here So, this is an interesting one It says "HELP/STOP call," and then there's a phone number

So, this HELP portion is not needed because that's not required And then STOP, it should really be STOP instructions I don't think you should be asking consumers to call a phone number to stop messaging You should just tell them, "reply STOP2stop," or, "STOP to unsubscribe," something along those lines But as you can see, a lot of these messages by adding in things that are not needed are taking valuable space away from your 160 characters

And they make the message just look not as nice on the mobile phone, make it harder to read because there's just more information that the consumer needs to digest So, again, you don't have to take out Msg&DataRates; or HELP4help or any other random thing that people are putting into their messages Sometimes it does help the consumer to put maybe HELP4help or maybe a phone number for them to click to call for more info But I just wanna make it very clear to people in our industry that the only thing that's required in a mass text message is the brand name, which always has to be in the message, and then at least once a month, it has to have instructions on how to opt-out of the text messaging campaign That's required by the CTIA

Anything else is just taking up characters in your text message and is not required So, hopefully, that dispels maybe some miscommunication or myths that are out there and really shines a light on what needs to be in a mass text message and what is optional

Source: Youtube