With texting one of the most effective methods for communication and marketing, more companies than ever are leveraging it to connect with customers and staff alike. But to do this, you'll need to utilize a specific type of SMS: opt-in text messaging.

Opt-in text messaging is a permission-based form of communication between companies and consumers. Mobile users consent to receiving texts from a specific company, with the understanding that they can rescind consent at any time. It has several benefits for both companies and consumers.

Keep reading to learn everything you'll need to know about mobile opt-in.

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Opt-In Text Messaging: What Is It, How It Works, And Benefits

You've probably heard of SMS marketing and mass texting, but may be wondering, “What does opt mean in text? And how is it different?” In the sections that follow, we'll cover text messaging opt in and why it's crucial to so many businesses.

What Is Opt-In Text Messaging?

Opt-in text messaging requires users to agree to receive texts from a company prior to actually receiving those messages. This acceptance means that businesses can send that user messages about communication and marketing, such as sales, appointment reminders, delivery updates, and more.

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What Does “Opt” Mean In Text?

The ‘opt' in mobile opt-in refers to the choice users make by agreeing to receive messages from a company. When users opt-in to receive texts, they consent to the company sending SMS or MMS messages. In the same way, users who opt-out of these texts mean they are withdrawing consent and will no longer allow that same company to send messages.

How Does Opt-In Text Messaging Work?

There are several ways consumers can agree (i.e., opt-in) to receive messages, including entering a phone number, clicking a check box, or sending a specific keyword to a number. By providing consent, users are agreeing to receive communication via SMS from a specific business.

For example, many companies include an option to receive SMS messages during their sign-up process for services and products.

There are several agencies that regulate SMS messaging and other consumer communications. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) are two such agencies.

According to the TCPA, companies must receive explicit written consent from a user before sending that user communication or marketing messages via SMS. This includes companies who already have an existing relationship with the user, such as a hospital who wants to send appointment reminders to patients.

This permission is vital to staying in compliance with the TCPA, CTIA, and other regulatory agencies. Companies can request permission from users in a variety of ways. But to be TCPA-compliant, these consent practices must outline:

  • How users can opt-in
  • The number of messages users will receive
  • If message and data dates may apply
  • Details of the company's privacy policy, if applicable
  • How users can get help (such as texting the keyword HELP)
  • How users can opt-out

Applicable legislation that the agencies helped create include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act, both of which are intended to protect customers and prevent unwanted communication from companies. Along with state-specific privacy acts, this legislation provides the bulk of SMS opt-in rules.

When Should You Use An Opt-In Text Feature?

Companies should use a text message opt-in feature prior to contacting any customer via SMS. Pre-existing relationships do not exempt companies from asking for users' permission prior to sending them text messages.

As we've covered, there are a variety of ways to ask users to opt-in. But consent is vital to building compliant and effective SMS subscription lists.

Text message opt-in language should be clear and straightforward. It should be as easy as possible for the user to understand and act on. Unclear language could result in confusion, leading to lower opt-in rates, or potentially open your company up for compliance issues.

Prior to sending any messages, make sure to research applicable SMS regulations and SMS marketing best practices.

Benefits Of Opt-In Text Messaging

Mobile opt-in has a variety of benefits, including its position as a cost effective, versatile, and convenient form of communication and marketing.

Text opt-in service is one of the most expedient ways for companies to both connect with customers and streamline their own costs. The effectiveness of SMS is bolstered by its versatility and convenience, meaning that both companies and customers alike benefit from it.

1 – Cost-Effective Marketing Method

SMS opt-in is one of the most cost effective marketing methods available. Using the correct SMS API or bulk text software, companies can send hundreds (or thousands) of text messages in seconds. To save even more time and resources, you can select a time and date for your text campaign to automatically send in the future.

The return on value for opt-in text messaging is also higher because your subscribers want to hear from you— in fact, they expect it. By opting-in to your SMS list, users have already expressed interest and are more likely to respond to your message's call to action.

2 – Versatility Across Industries

SMS messaging is a practical communication method across all industries, from healthcare to education to debt collection to nonprofits and more. The widespread use of text messaging and cell phones, and increasingly smart technology, creates a diverse user base that all industries can connect with and benefit from.

(Want to learn more about how effective SMS marketing is? Read 5 reasons why SMS marketing still works.)

3 – Convenient Communication

SMS is one of the most convenient and non-intrusive methods of communication for users. Messages are received quickly and reliably; once received, users can easily address the text whenever suits them.

The texts themselves are concise, relaying only the most pertinent information and a direct way for users to interact with that information. This saves users time and, combined with SMS opt-in rules, gives them power over their communication and marketing experience.

Create And Manage Your SMS Marketing Campaign

Esendex's programmable SMS API and SMS software allow you to easily send mobile text messaging campaigns to your subscribers and expand your SMS opt-in lists. You can quickly, easily, and reliably communicate with customers both domestically and internationally— a promise backed by our Tier 1 network and 99.9% uptime SLA.

In addition to providing you with powerful and varied features, our platforms allow you to easily build your campaigns according to applicable rules and regulations. That means you can connect with customers and remain in compliance in just a few easy steps. Create templates that include opt-in information, schedule your campaigns according to timezones, and effortlessly build your SMS subscription lists.

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