When collecting phone numbers and using SMS features in Octane AI, an important consideration is keeping consistent marketing compliance across your brand's SMS pipeline. This guide includes some general suggestions on what you'll have to keep in mind when evaluating how compliant your Shopify store's SMS marketing is with certain important regulations.
Defining SMS marketing compliance
The exact details of compliance can depend on the regulatory set of rules and laws that you're measuring compliance with. In the United States, some of the most important set of regulations include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
If your business or customers are located in Europe, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is important as well. However, at the moment Octane AI only offers SMS opt-ins and features for the United States and Canada.
The TCPA is an act passed by the US Congress that includes rules on how companies can use SMS / MMS marketing and is the most important set of regulations to meet compliance for.
We recommend that all brands using SMS marketing familiarize themselves with the full set of guidelines in the TCPA. However, one of the most important aspects of the TCPA can be summarized as protecting the consumer right to not receive unsolicited SMS marketing, which means companies should not send anyone SMS marketing without explicit written consent.
CTIA & CCPA
CTIA is a non-profit trade association that represents the wireless communications industry of the United States. Under the CTIA, a set of guidelines for marketing in the telecommunications industry exists called the Messaging Principles and Best Practices.
While these guidelines are technically voluntary, we recommend adhering to these guidelines for best deliverability with wireless carriers.
CCPA is a set of regulations in the state of California designed to protect consumer privacy. Under this act, the state of California considers any users located in California as well as businesses that interact with them to be subject to the CCPA.
Similar to the GDPR, this act includes, but is not limited to the right for consumers to request their data as well as opt out of data collection.
SMS Compliance with Shopify
It wasn’t possible to capture SMS-specific consent at checkout within Shopify for Octane AI until December 14, 2021.
We encourage you to assess the applicability of any SMS marketing consent requirements to your store with your legal counsel. If you determine that such a requirement applies to your store, we encourage you to confirm your store obtains required consents through features enabled by 3rd party apps or follow the steps outlined here (https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/promoting-marketing/create-marketing/customer-contact-information) to enable the separate SMS-consent-at-checkout feature for your store.
Please reach out via the Shopify Help Center with any questions.
Shopify Help Center: https://help.shopify.com/en/questions#/login
Key Elements of SMS Compliance
Some of the most important factors in SMS marketing compliance include:
Acquiring clear & explicit consent.
Avoid unclear or ambiguous phrasing in your opt-ins & SMS.
Provide clear methods to opt out.
This does not include voluntary best practices, such as avoiding sending users too many SMS in a short period, sending SMS during off-hours or sending content unrelated to what a user opted in for.
Collecting Phone Numbers
When setting up your SMS opt-ins, you should make sure that the opt-in language clearly and precisely indicates that:
The opt-in is for receiving recurring marketing messages through the submitted phone number.
Text messages may be sent through an automatic telephone dialing system.
That consent is not a requirement for purchase or use of the store.
These guidelines should be followed through any method you use to collect phone numbers. In Octane AI, this includes a shop quiz, pop-up, through Facebook Messenger or Shopify checkout.
When you add an SMS opt-in form to an Octane AI pop-up, compliance language is automatically included: