STOP Protocol and Regulations for SMS Marketing

November 28, 2011 Tips, Tricks & Ideas

An effective SMS marketing campaign is one that relays pertinent information to those who’ve elected to receive it. So what happens when subscribers no longer want to receive your marketing or event-related messages? Are there any enforced rules for allowing users to opt-out of text message marketing campaigns?

According to the Mobile Marketing Association’s 2011 U.S. Consumer Best Practices report, users should be able to send any (or all) of the following responses to your phone number, short code, or in reply to any marketing messaging to immediately opt-out: STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT. They also state that instructions for opting-out should be included with every message sent. (For example: “Reply STOP to be removed”)

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After a user has opted-out, it’s always recommended that a confirmation of their removal be generated to ensure they know they’ve been removed. Failure to comply with these regulations doesn’t have any direct repercussions as of yet since they’re not strictly enforced, but it’s best practice to do your best to structure your marketing campaigns around these rules.

Want to reduce the number of people opting-out of your SMS marketing campaigns? Make sure you’re following these guidelines for happy customers: 

  1. Make sure you never add subscribers who’ve not opted in!
  2. Keep messages short, to the point, and relevant.
  3. Include your company/event name, links, addresses, and pertinent contact information with each message sent. (Some subscribers may be new and not know who the message is from yet.)
  4. Segment your list as much as possible to ensure people are getting targeted messages.
  5. Keep an eye on frequency! Being annoying is the quickest way to scare people off.