Safe and Spam-free SMS Campaigns – in 2020 and Beyond

2020 has been quite the year for mobile messaging.

For months, much of the globe has been in lockdown or in some form of pandemic-related disruption. Businesses have closed, governments have gone into crisis mode, and we’ve all had to learn to adapt to a new way of life.

The result? In just half a year, the world has seen the equivalent of several years of digital transformation.

This blog post sets out what the SMS industry, brands, and consumers can do to ensure mobile messaging stays healthy. We share some useful new content from the CTIA along the way too.

SMS-powered transformation

SMS has been – and will continue to be – at the center of this digital transformation. As local lockdowns are lifted (and then enforced again), and as communities do their best to get back to work, SMS messaging will continue to support that transition.

According to the CTIA, over 2 trillion text messages landed in American messaging inboxes last year. Think how many more 2020 will rack up.

Unfortunately, unexpected and unwanted texts are still damaging the messaging experience for consumers. According to the CTIA, just 27% of people like receiving unexpected texts from organizations – and even fewer like those from political campaigns. In fact, 60% of Americans deem political campaign texts to be “just spam”.

Working to protect the messaging experience

If mobile messaging is to maintain its reputation as a valuable, largely spam-free channel then we have to work hard to keep it safe and secure for consumers.

Brands sending messages today know how important it is to stay on the good side of the carrier spam filters. And the CTIA has published a timely reminder to organizations of all kinds – from businesses and political parties to schools and governments – that they must follow the rules and best practices laid out by the wireless industry.

At the top of the list of best practices is the need for consent and the requirement to provide clear opt-outs to your recipients. The CTIA cites survey findings that show 80% of Americans believe consent should be essential before any organization sends a text.

In an explainer document specifically targeted at those planning political messaging campaigns, the CTIA goes into greater depth about the need for opt-ins to be clear and conspicuous so that the consumer’s consent is informed.

Staying spam-free in the future

The good news is that text messaging is still an overwhelmingly safe, trusted communication channel – with a spam rate of just 3% – one of the lowest around.

The onus is on the organizations sending messages to play by the rules. But there’s advice to help consumers keep it that way too. This blog post shares practical tips like how to opt-out by texting “STOP” in response to any unwanted messages or forwarding them to 7726 (or “SPAM”) to report them.

Useful CTIA resources:

Sep 3rd, 2020
3 min read