Text Messaging Best Practices

Texting is quickly becoming one of the preferred means of communication among people, businesses, and organizations. However, as the popularity of messaging grows, it is essential to follow best practices for sending text messages to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and to maintain a good user experience. Here are some best practices and guidelines to follow when sending mass text messages:

What you should do

  1. Get permission:
    Always ask people if they want to receive text messages from you. Only send messages to those who have said "yes.". Opt-out rates are consistently lower when you obtain clear consent. At any time, Text-Em-All or wireless carriers may require evidence from you of documented opt-in consent.
  2. Identify yourself:
    Make sure people know who you are. Include your business or organization's name in the message.
    1. Avoid mentioning other large companies such as Amazon, Verizon, Netflix, FedEx, etc. These company names are commonly used in SPAM messages and make it much more likely that wireless carriers will block your messages by mistake. 
  3. Clearly address your audience:
    If the message is going to employees, for example, make that clear in the body of the text. 
  4. Make it personal: 
    Try to make each message special for the person who is receiving it. Use their name, if possible. Avoid sending messages that are not important or interesting to them. You can utilize our personalization feature to ensure each message includes the person's name or other information. 
  5. Keep it short and sweet:
    Text messages should be brief and to the point. Focus on the most important information.
  6. Timing is key:
    Think about when people will be most likely to read your message. Avoid sending messages too early or too late in the day or on weekends. Also, consider time zone. 
  7. Use only one number:
    Including a number in your text that is different from the sending number can be a red flag. Do not repeat the same messages over several numbers.
  8. Provide a way to opt-out:
    Always give people a way to stop receiving messages from you. We automatically add opt-out instructions the first time you send a message to a phone number. You can include instructions like "Reply STOP to opt-out" after that.
    1. Avoid giving alternative opt-out instructions like asking a user to say a keyword like "No" or "Not Interested" as this is a common spam pattern that could result in blocks by the carriers.  

What you should avoid

  1. Avoid using URL shorteners: Many URL shorteners (bit.ly, tinyurl.com) are associated with spam, so it's best to avoid using them in your messages. If you must use a URL, make sure to use the full URL or a branded shortened URL (ex: ESPN uses es.pn, Nike uses swoo.sh). Branded shortened URLs are something you have to pay for so weigh the cost/benefit of simply including the entire non-redirecting URL in your message.
  2. S.H.A.F.T: Never send text messaging content related to S.H.A.F.T.:
    • Sex
    • Hate
    • Alcohol
    • Firearms
    • Tobacco (including cannabis)

    Text messages with content that’s directly or remotely related to these categories will most likely be blocked as SPAM

  3. ALL CAPS!: Avoid all caps and excessive punctuation (THANKS, ASAP, @, %, !!!, ???).

  4. Separate callback numbers: Don't include a callback number that is different from the number you are sending the text message from. (If you need the user to call you back consider registering your landline for text messaging or setting up call forwarding for your Text-Em-All text numbers - please contact our Customer Experience team to set this up!)

Note: This guide is meant to help you follow the best practices for mass text messaging. It doesn't constitute legal advice. All messaging traffic is required to comply with relevant laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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