SMS Marketing Best Practices

SMS Marketing Best Practices for Alcohol

In the video above, Tatango CEO Derek Johnson shares SMS and MMS messaging best practices for alcohol-related marketing campaigns. Prefer to read instead? No problem, please see the post below. You can also find answers to all of your SMS marketing questions in the resources section of our website; click here to browse.


SMS Marketing and Alcohol

Organizations that promote alcohol (bars, nightclubs, breweries, wine clubs, etc.) within their SMS marketing campaigns must follow a few extra guidelines in order to be compliment with CTIA regulations.

A failure to comply with alcohol-related SMS marketing campaign regulations can result in a Severity 0 audit by the CTIA. This type of audit will suspend the usage of your brand’s short code and require a lot of time-consuming paperwork to get back to good standing and resume SMS marketing. The audit process is frustrating for the brand, the wireless carrier, and it doesn’t create a good customer experience.

One factor that can lead to a Severity 0 audit from the CTIA is when a brand that is promoting alcohol through its SMS marketing does so without verifying the age of consumers who are opting in to review SMS alerts.


How to Age-gate Your SMS Marketing Campaign

There are two main ways to age-gate your SMS marketing campaign and we recommend implementing both, as they ensure maximum compliance and mitigate your risk of being audited, which is a real pain to go through.

The first way is to add an age-gate to your website. Before anyone enters your website, they can be promoted to enter their age, thus eliminating anyone under 21 from seeing any SMS marketing call-to-action. There is an issue with this method, as you may be advertising your SMS campaign through other mediums, or the age alert on your website is somehow bypassed, which can lead to a Severity 0 audit.

This is why we recommend creating an age-gate default on your SMS marketing campaign. The way that you would age-gate an alcohol-related SMS marketing campaign is by adding an additional step to the opt-in process. For example, if a customer texts your SMS keyword “OFFERS” to your short code “12345” in order to opt in to the SMS campaign, you would need to prompt them to respond with their birth month, date, and year to verify that they want to receive communications from your brand and confirm their age. A vital part of this verification process is that your backend SMS platform needs to be configured to opt-in only those who are 21 years old or older. If the customer is under the legal drinking age, they should be denied entrance into the SMS campaign.

It is vital to age-gate your SMS marketing campaigns when promoting alcohol, along with any other steps that you’d take, like on your website, or in an actual advertisement. No matter what steps your brand takes, we always highly stress that you include these precautions in the opt-in process. That way you can be confident in your compliance, and can safeguard your organization from an audit headache.

Are you thinking about launching an SMS campaign around alcohol? Before you send your first SMS campaign, be sure to review the Mobile Marketing Association‘s five rules regarding the promotion of alcohol in SMS marketing.

As always, if you have any questions about your own SMS promotion, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Tatango.

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