SMS Marketing Best Practices

Service Delivery Frequency or Recurring Messages Disclosure?

Service Delivery Frequency or Recurring Messages Disclosure

If you’re running a recurring text messaging program, the CTIA requires that you either disclose a service delivery frequency or recurring messages disclosure, but which one is better to use? Luckily you have Tatango in your corner to help you with these types of important text message marketing decisions!

First off, what is the difference between a service delivery frequency disclosure and a recurring messages disclosure?

  • Service Delivery Frequency Disclosure: This is when you tell consumers a maximum amount of messages that they’ll receive by participating in your mobile messaging program. Usually, this frequency is displayed as either a weekly or monthly maximum, so something similar to either “max 2msgs/week” or “max 8msgs/mth” would be used.
  • Recurring Messages Disclosure: Instead of telling consumers exactly how many mobile messages they’ll receive from your program, a recurring messages disclosure is simply telling consumers that they’ll be receiving recurring messages when they participate in your mobile messaging program. So instead of saying that a consumer would receive “max 8msgs/mth” when participating in the mobile messaging program, they’d simply say be participating in the program, a consumer is going to receive “recurring msgs”.

Before we get into which disclosure is better to use, it’s important to know where these disclosures are actually being disclosed to consumers. According to the CTIA’s Short Code Monitoring Handbook, this disclosure needs to be present in the following three places.

  1. Call-to-Action
  2. Messaging Terms & Conditions
  3. Opt-In Confirmation Message

So which disclosure do we recommend brands use when running a mobile messaging campaign? Here at Tatango, we recommend brands use the Recurring Messages Disclosure. Why? Adam Bowser, one of the top TCPA legal experts from Arent Fox, sums it up below.

Adam Bowser - TCPA Attorney

The Recurring Messages Disclosure option allows brands more flexibility in how they run their mobile messaging programs. Given that a consumer’s “prior express written consent” amounts to a written contract regarding the receipt of telemarketing messages, CTIA’s prior frequency-disclosure requirement added one more condition that could trip up the unwary. Even for informational messages, recent FCC rulings to the effect that “context matters” could provide a TCPA plaintiff ammunition to argue that he released his telephone number in reliance on receiving no more messages than originally disclosed.

Need example of brands that were sued by consumers for sending more text messages than were disclosed in their Service Delivery Frequency Disclosure? Check out the examples we’ve written about on the Tatango blog below.

The CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook was updated in April of 2017, to see what changed, click here.

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