4 Legal Alternatives to Solicit Business via Text Message
Let me begin by stating it is illegal to send group text messages soliciting your business without written consent from the recipients (i.e. subscriber opt-ins via a text messaging service).
It doesn’t matter if you have a pre-existing relationship with the recipients.
If they didn’t explicitly subscribe to said text messages with full explanation of what they were signing up for, it is not considered legal and can result in ridiculous fines among other penalties.
For those victimized by these unwanted solicitations, there are agencies you can file complaints with.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
One of the quickest ways to ignite the CyberSecurity Samurai in me is to loop me into a group text where the group responses aren’t disabled and the contacts aren’t hidden.
Unfortunately, someone in my contacts had to learn this the hard way.
I received a group text this past Friday night, and I immediately saw the contacts were visible to all and the group responses weren’t disabled.
This contact was soliciting their new service to myself and about 20 other individuals.
He closed the text by asking us to not reply in group text. We all know that rarely happens.
And just as I thought, the following morning multiple replies from recipients began to file in.
*Takes deep breath*
I decided to text the sender directly to voice that I would appreciate not being looped into group texts.
CyberSecurity extends to text messaging and the privacy of contacts.
He responded with what I could only describe as being tone deaf.
Interestingly enough one of the other recipients ‘replied to all’ referring to the text as spam.
Evidently I wasn’t the only one annoyed by this group text.
Just when I thought it was resolved, the next worst thing happened.
Someone from the group text (of strangers) decided to dial my number. What made them think that it was okay to go through that list in the thread and call someone they didn’t know?
To say I was disturbed is a grave understatement. The violation of my privacy and information was beyond unsettling.
When I informed the sender of what took place as a result of his mishandling of personal information, his response was less than professional, dismissive and quite honestly disrespectful.
It was at that point that I decided to take other measures to resolve this matter that preserved my energy.
Thus, the subject for this week’s Tech Tuesday!
This whole ordeal could’ve been avoided had he exercised proper digital etiquette, professionalism and common courtesy for the recipients by using a SMS text service.
These services allow you to invite potential clients to subscribe if they were interested in learning more, without using group text messaging.
It conceals all recipients and disallows cross-contact responses.
SMS services ensures the business owner is in compliance with digital communication privacy laws.
The extra effort is worth it if you want to maintain a good relationship with your contacts, avoid the embarrassment of recipients referring to your message as spam and avoid penalties and fines.
Otherwise you risk losing business before ever getting started.
The goal of a business is establishing trust. Sending group text messages creates annoyances and is a turn off, to say the least.
So I would like to empower those who have been victimized by group text messages by letting you know that you can file complaints and bring it all to a stop.
I would also like to give a heads up to those sending group text messages, knowingly and unbeknownst of the privacy violations, AND to offer better alternatives so that you can do business properly.
Features for SMS Text Services include, but are not limited to:
*CTIA and Mobile Carrier Compliance.
*Two-way SMS (if a recipient does reply, only the sender sees it and can communicate privately).
*MMS Messages (The ability to send photo attachments)
*Keyword opt-in with a designated number (not your personal contact) to sent SMS.
*Schedule a text.
*Free incoming messages
1 | Texedly
Textedly is one of the SMS services I use for my clients who have services and products they’d like to market via text message. Textedly has all the bells and whistles a business could want, with the exception of including emojis. Don’t assume that all smartphone features will be included. Those are different from these SMS text services. Their plans range from $29/mo to $50/mo. They offer a 14-day trial with all of the features at hand.
This was a great contender with Texedly. It’s a very straightforward and simple platform. They offer very similar features as well as a free trial period. Their plans range from $19/mo to $299/mo. Their less expensive plans are great but limited in some features.
Simple Texting is another all-in-one SMS/MMS service designed to market business services and products. They offer a free 7-day trial. Their plans begin at $25 and range depending on how many messages you choose to send. For example: If you choose the $25 monthly plan, you can send up to 500 SMS/MMS messages.
Slick Text prides themselves as being affordable for every budget, and they certainly hold true to that offering plans that start at $0 (limited features) to $139/mo that comes with everything to run an entire enterprise through SMS. One of the cool features I noticed that I didn’t see with the above three are repeating messages, workflows, rollover texts, loyalty rewards and shopify integrations.
As you can see, there are more than enough alternatives to sending personal group text messages to solicit your business that actually makes the experiences enjoyable for the recipients and gives you a competitive and professional edge to your new or growing business.
This is the short list. There are many other companies who offer SMS/MMS services for business. It’s easy to use, you don’t have to manually add contacts every single time AND you know that you’re sending to people who want to hear from you. Most importantly you’re respecting the digital communication privacy laws and protecting yourself from unnecessary penalties and fines.
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