Can You Buy Mobile Phone Numbers for Text Message Marketing?
The answer to this question is complicated. You can legally purchase phone numbers, since there is no law that forbids you to do this. When you are buying phone numbers, you are essentially purchasing data. However, it is what you do with those purchased phone numbers that determines if you stay on the legal side of the law or not. Read on to find out more about what you can or cannot do with purchased phone numbers.
Sending Text Messages to Consumers
Do you want to purchase phone numbers? Then you have to keep in mind that it is illegal to send text messages to the numbers that you have bought. Furthermore, you cannot even send one message asking if someone would like to join your campaign.
The United States law that forbids you to do this is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (also known as the TCPA). The TCPA is a federal law, because it is falls under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The TCPA law states that you cannot send marketing related text messages to consumers who have not provided their expressed written consent, which means that they have not agreed to receiving your messages.
Why Purchase Numbers
When you purchase a list of numbers, you are really going after the attached consumer data. You cannot use the actual numbers to grow your list, but when an owner of a purchased number does opt-in to your SMS campaign, you can connect the data to the subscriber. This will allow you to target messages with content that will result in a higher success rate.
Avoid Costly Lawsuits
Sending text messages to phone numbers of owners who have not opted-in to your SMS campaign is an illegal practice. It is a violation of federal law under the TCPA, and it can result in costly lawsuits. Consumers can sue you for sending them unsolicited messages, and they can claim between $500 and $1,500 for every unwanted text message that you have send to them.
Make sure to keep this in mind the next time you are planning to buy phone numbers with the intention to sending out text message marketing messages.