Guide to the United States SMS Messaging Compliance | Voicy.AI

If you are planning to run your first SMS marketing campaign, it is great news but are you compliant according to the CTIA and TCPA. All businesses running SMS Marketing campaigns in the US region have to be compliant with and follow the rules and regulations of CTIA and TCPA.

What is SMS Compliance?

SMS Compliance is simply to protect consumers from not receiving any unwanted messages they do not want to receive. It provides the guidelines and best practices to marketers on knowing who, how and when to message consumers in the United States. 

Sending a message will not only lead to putting your business in legal risks but also damage your brand reputation and customer experience. 

But do not worry, Voicy is here to help you understand how to be compliant with your customers and ensure you can still engage with your customers using SMS, as it is the easiest and best way to reach out to your customers with an open rate of more than 96%.

Voicy.AI is only advising best practices and advice of being SMS compliant, but the legal rules might vary depending on every business and scenario. To be compliant with legal frames like TCPA, we advise seeking guidance from your legal counsel to seek how CTIA and TCPA guidelines apply to your business and organization.

What is CTIA?

CTIA is a trade association representing the wireless communication industry in the United States. It enforces SMS best practices and legal guidelines and checks SMS Marketing programs to protect consumers from not receiving any irrelevant messages that they do not wish to receive. All though CTIA guidelines aren’t official laws, they have the power to stop or shut down non-compliant SMS programs.

What is TCPA? 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates telemarketing calls, text messages, auto dialed and pre-recorded calls, etc. The TCPA operates under federal law which means you can get into legal trouble if you do not follow its guidelines. 

SMS Compliance guidelines:

If you are here to run your first SMS Campaign, do not worry it’s not very complicated to follow the guidelines and best practices but it is mandatory. Text messages have a high open-rate, large reach and its the best way of reaching out to your customers. 

Opt-in Mechanisms: 

The most important practice of SMS Marketing is providing the option for consumers to choose what messages they want to receive. Take consent and send a message confirmation when they choose to opt-in. The confirmation messages must include business name, information, and the number of messages being sent every month, instructions to opt-out and help. 

You do not want to send messages to people who do not want to receive, it will only lead to poor customer experience.

Honoring Opt-outs: 

You need to always respect those people who do not want to receive any more messages from your business and provide the option for them to opt-out of your SMS marketing program anytime. Once they have chosen to no longer receive messages from your business. You need to send a confirmation message with the details of the business name, program details that they have opted out. 

Understanding what can be sent & what cannot be:

The CTIA has set certain rules and best practices for text marketing. One of those rules is SHAFT – sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco. Including content in any one of these topics in your messages is considered one of the highest violations and can result in a ban. 

There a few exceptions to this rule for businesses like bars, cigar stores, etc. But you need to operate a dedicated toll-free number and ensure anyone below age 21 is not enrolled for the text messages.

This guide provides best practices and examples to be compliant. But please note that there might be additional regulatory requirements and best practices depending on your use case and industry. You need to consult your legal counsel to ensure your use case is compliant with all applicable laws and frameworks.

For additional information and guidelines, you cant visit the official TCPA and CTIA website. 

Text messaging is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your customers and as long as you followed the rules and regulations of TCPA after your customers have legally opted in for your messages you will not have any issues.

If you need any assistance in running your first campaign, you can contact us at and our team will help you with it and set up a free 14-day trial account of our Two Way SMS Marketing solution for your business. 

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