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SMS Marketing Best Practices

Brands Still Playing Catch-Up To New TCPA SMS Laws

If you haven’t heard, the entire text message marketing industry went completely crazy earlier this month due to changes in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that went into effect on October 16, 2013. While many brands that had previously not received consent to text message their customers frantically tried to re-opt in SMS subscribers before the deadline, some brands took a different approach. This approach was to wait till after the TCPA deadline to then try and re-opt in SMS subscribers. Yea, this makes no sense to me either…

One such example is Domino’s Pizza, who sent the following re-opt in message on October 19, 2013, three days after the TCPA deadline for compliance. Then to make matters worse, they sent another re-opt in message to their mobile subscribers ten days later on October 29, 2013, now thirteen days after the TCPA deadline for compliance. You can see the message Domino’s sent to their mobile subscribers below.

TCPA SMS Rules

This wasn’t an isolated case either, as Costco followed suit three days after Domino’s first message with their own message on October 22, 2013, six days after the TCPA deadline for compliance. You can see the message Costco sent to their mobile subscribers below.

TCPA Text Message Copy

The actions taken by Domino’s and Costco to ask their mobile subscribers for permission to text message them after the TCPA deadline has passed, has me completely dumfounded. The TCPA is very clear that starting on October 16th, brands would have to have prior express consent to text message consumers. By Domino’s and Costco sending text messages after October 16th asking for this consent, it really makes me wonder if these brands understand what the definition of a deadline is. This reminds me of the very costly mistake that Jiffy Lube made back in 2012, which resulted in a $47M class action lawsuit settlement. In Jiffy Lube’s instance, they text messaged 2.3M Jiffy Lube customers asking for their consent to text message them, when they didn’t have the consent in the first place to text message them.

If you’re a brand using the Tatango SMS marketing platform, there’s good news though. Tatango has always required brands to gain prior consent before text messaging consumers, even if not required by the TCPA previously. I’d like to say we could see the future, but really us requiring brands to get prior consent before using Tatango to text message their customers, was our way of making sure that we weren’t allowing text message spam to be sent through Tatango. So for brands using Tatango to run their SMS marketing campaigns, this whole re-opt-in debacle, while funny to watch, doesn’t effect your SMS campaign like it has for many large brands like Costco and Domino’s.


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