The Do’s & Don’ts of SMS Marketing: A Guide To SMS Compliance

With the eruption of SMS marketing over the past few years, the powers that be have started to crack down hard on people who are abusing the system.

Think A2P 10 DLC, which still sends shudders down marketers’ spines.

But, as with all these regulations, the dust settles, and it actually benefits those who are serious about marketing.

In my community, there is a lot of confusion around SMS compliance and what are the do’s and don’ts they need to look out for.

So I thought I’d put down how I go about things to try and help people settle their nerves. 

Full disclosure, I am not a legal expert and you should be consulting with one if you are unsure what you are meant to be doing. 

This is just what I do in my Agency.


A2P 10 DLC SMS Compliance

Up first is of course the dreaded A2P compliance.

This is a non-negotiable if you are SMS’ing US numbers. US carriers will block your messages if you haven’t verified your number. So do this ASAP after signing a client. 

A few myths to Dispell…

  • You CAN verify your US number using a registered Business address outside of the US.
  • It is NOT difficult to get verified, just make sure you follow this tutorial to letter and you should be good (reach out and ask for my template if you are confused here)
  • It DOES NOT cost a lot of money to get verified.
  • It ONLY Affects you texting US numbers. 
  • One Business CAN have multiple phone numbers verified to them.
  • You need to verify a number for EACH client.

What is the regulation around SMS marketing?

Ok so firstly, this is based on EU legislation, which at the time of writing is the most stringent, so it’s a good starting point.

Firstly it depends on the consent collected from the lead. 

If you have collected their consent to SMS them then you are pretty much good to go, and opt-out messaging isn’t necessarily needed but obviously still good practice.

If they haven’t given their explicit consent, you can still SMS them using the “loop-hole” called a “soft opt-in”.

A soft opt-in is where you have a customer’s details, but don’t necessarily have their consent to SMS them.

The soft opt-in allows you to send marketing SMSs based on the assumption that they can reasonably expect to receive them, after their interactions with your company.

Whether that’s a purchase or an enquiry.

However, you will need to add an opt-out message on each marketing text to allow them to unsubscribe. 

NOW the million dollar question in our community…

If you are using Our Sleeping Beauty Android, or an AI Chatbot in general…

AND, you have a list of “Soft Opt-Ins”…

Do you need to add the opt-out message on EVERY message from the bot.

My answer is… NO.

You only need to ad the opt-out message on the first message.

This is because the first message is classed as a Marketing Text. 

But if the lead responds, they have now entered into a 1-on-1 conversation (even if it is with AI) and the opt-out message is not longer needed.

Hopefully that helps clear that up.

The must haves  SMS messaging

So there are a few must-haves in your SMS messaging…

  • You must state your name in the first message and also the company you are messaging from. This helps be transparent upfront and ensures companies can’t send shady texts that can confuse people as to who you are.
  • In the first message, you should be adding an opt-out on the end. I.e. Reply “STOP” to Unsubscribe. This is only if you are messaging soft opt-ins.

Want to learn how optimise your Email Deliverability?

Check out our Flexxable YouTube channel…

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