In simple terms, get the consent (electronically, paper, etc). Bascially however or wherever you're obtaining the cell number,
you must notate and inform the user that the number might be used to text relevant information.
"Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991,
the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) plays a crucial role in helping consumers stop unwanted calls, text messages and faxes."
What does it mean to "give your consent?"
For email and texts sent to your mobile phone:
- For commercial texts, your consent must be in writing.
- For non-commercial, informational texts (such as those sent by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations, those for political purposes, and other noncommercial purposes, such as school closings), your consent may be oral.
While most unsolicited commercial emails and text messages are not banned by law, they are required to include three elements:
- Honest and relevant content
- A method to "unsubscribe"
- Compliance with a set of "sending behavior" practices to help inform and protect consumers, such as including at least one sentence of text and a valid header in each email.
Please make note, FCC is working really hard to reevaluate its very generic definition of "consent" and working with several agencies to come up with specific scenarios.
Numerous associations are involved in such negotiations considering the broad definition does not fit every scenario and criteria. For the most part these associations represent
the interest of member driven organizations and wanting to send out important information or account related specifics to their members via sms.
To learn more, click here
More information around these guidelines can be obtained from here.
Consumer Guide | CanSpam Act | Stop Unwanted Calls, Texts and Faxes
TCPA Rules and Regulations.pdf
Declaratory Ruling and Order around TCPA
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) represents the U.S Wireless industry offers a set of voluntary recommendations developed with the
industry stakeholeders so that:
- Consumers are protected from unwanted information
- Consumers can exchange wanted messages with other consumers, and
- Enterprise and Consumers can exchange wanted messages
CTIA's Messaging Principles and Best Practices Guidlines can be obtained here
In addition,CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook is also available here.
Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is a global non-profit trade association and its mission is to accelerate
the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement. Similarly to CTIA and FCC
MMA also has a Best Practices Handbook that can be used a guideline for entities engaged
in using the mobile messaging systems using Short Codes.
DMA Nonprofit Federation serves the nonprofit marketing and charitable fundraising community. It has published its own guidelines specific to nonprofit sector that you may follow.