How to Keep Your SMS Marketing Program Compliant

How to Keep Your SMS Marketing Program Compliant

SMS is an excellent marketing channel, and you’re wise to use it.

But… as with every channel, there are rules.

Here are some guidelines for making sure your SMS marketing program checks all the legal boxes.

Let’s look at the main ones…

Location-based regulations

Depending on where subscribers are from, you’ll have different regulations to follow:

  • US: Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CTIA’s guidelines (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association).
  • Canada: The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
  • Europe: General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
  • United Kingdom: The UK GDPR and the Public and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (“PECR”).
  • Australia: The Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations 2021.

Look up the relevant regulations based on where your subscribers live.

How to Keep Your SMS Marketing Program Compliant

List growth compliance

Like email subscribers, you need users’ permission if you want to send them SMS texts.

When they subscribe, inform them of the following:

  • Messages will have marketing/promotional content.
  • Messages may be sent via an autodialer.
  • Message frequency (For example: “Msg frequency varies”).
  • Opt-out instructions (e.g., Reply STOP to unsubscribe).
  • Help instructions (e.g., text HELP for help).

Here’s an example of a compliant SMS subscription form.

Here’s an example of a compliant SMS subscription form

Message timing

Send SMS and MMS campaigns between 9 am and 9 pm in the recipient’s time zone.

The interval before 9 am and after 9 pm is known as “quiet hours,” and messages sent during “quiet hours” are considered intrusive, even prohibited by some regulations.


Include your brand name so people recognize who the message is from, and always include an opt-out option.

Boring? Yes.

Yes, we know… Dealing with laws and regulations is boring. But it’s better than getting fined!


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