SMS Marketing Code of Conduct

The SMS marketing Code of Conduct issued by the Mobile Marketing Association encourages companies to regulate their SMS marketing programs. Companies should provide customers with security protections as well as choice regarding the marketing messages that they receive.

To guarantee the best mobile user experience while protecting customers' privacy rights, the Mobile Marketing Association developed Code of Conduct for SMS marketing. By following best practices, businesses will keep text message marketing spam-free and will reduce instances of consumer backlash or regulatory oversight. The five elements of the Code of Conduct include notice, choice and consent, customization and constraint, security and enforcement and accountability.

Notice

Consumers should have sufficient information to make choices about enrolling in marketing programs. Marketers should provide information about the terms and conditions of the program as well as the products and services that are offered. Users should know ahead of time what types of text message communications they will receive and how often they should expect to receive messages.

Choice and Consent

Consumers should have the ability to control the quantity of messages that they receive. An easy-to-follow opt-in and opt-out process should be prominently explained on the web form or on the SMS opt-in form. In addition, businesses should offer opt-out instructions regularly when they send text message communications to their customers.

Customization and Constraint

Consumers deserve relevant and responsible messages. Marketers will use information collected about customers to segment their offerings and to create a personalized customer experience. At the same time, any information that the company collects should be treated responsibly and with sensitivity. Only messages that provide value to the user should ever be sent to a user's mobile phone.

Security

Customers deserve to know that their personal information is kept private. In the words of the MMA, companies should implement "reasonable technical, administrative and physical procedures" designed to protect user information. No sensitive information like names or cell phone numbers should be disclosed or changed for unauthorized purposes.

Enforcement and Accountability

While there is no governing authority that regulates SMS marketing, companies have an obligation to abide by certain rules of conduct. Messages should comply with federal and state laws and should always disclose any text or data rates that may apply. Also, companies should require participants to be 18 years of age or older or to have parental permission. Subscribers should be able to use the keywords STOP and HELP to either opt out of messaging or to find out more information. In addition, companies should never sell their mobile opt-in lists.

The MMA Code provides guidelines concerning premium rate charges and subscriptions. In addition, the Code discusses guidelines for sweepstakes and contests, charitable giving and chat programs. By keeping SMS programs user-friendly and free of complications, businesses will both guarantee a positive customer experience and continue to promote trust in text messaging campaigns.