When a customer chooses to opt out of a text message marketing program, the company providing the service has the right to try and win back their business. Savvy marketers can provide incentives to keep their recipients registered and oftentimes, these methods work. A ruling made late last month by the Federal Communications Commission ensures that those tasked with winning back business are still given the opportunity to do so.
In recent years, a number of class action lawsuits have been filed against companies offering SMS services. Many individuals stated that they would receive one final message after they opted out of their respective service which they claimed was in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
However, while the act is designed to protect recipient privacy, it was designed for voice communication. In fact, the bill went into effect in 1991, one year before the first text message was even sent.
So on November 30, the FCC ruled that the act does not refer to SMS marketing and businesses are legally able to follow industry best practices and send a final text message before breaking off communication with their customers.
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said in a statement that it was an easy decision for the organization.
"Today's common-sense order ends the legal lacuna and the courtroom arbitrage it has inspired," Pai said. "Hopefully, by making clear that the act does not prohibit confirmation texts, we will end the litigation that has punished some companies for doing the right thing."
This is a big win for text message marketers as it allows them to use their skills to either win back businesses or end a marketing relationship on good terms, thus improving the likelihood that the customer will in fact return. However, these messages must be constructed following best practices, and Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to generate appropriate text messages for all marketing purposes.
Northern Illinois University is preparing to test a program that will send text message alerts to students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency. These emergency texts will provide basic information concerning the incident at hand and will provide instructions as to how to safely proceed and are part of a growing trend seen on college campuses across the country.
According to an article in NIU Today, the tests will be conducted by the university's Department of Police and Public Safety and will commence at 1:55 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. Emergency texts will go out to all individuals that have registered their mobile numbers with the department and recipients are encouraged to provide feedback pertaining to the timeliness and effectiveness of the message's content.
Darren Mitchell, acting chief of police and director of NIU's Office of Emergency Management and Planning, spoke with the news source about the importance of a successful test.
"This is an important test in order to make sure the new emergency notification system is working properly," Mitchell said. "We encourage people to verify their contact information in MyNIU before the test takes place and also to report if they have a mobile phone number listed but did not receive a text alert during the test."
If testing is successful and the service is rolled out to the masses, it should go a long way in preserving the safety of all those who teach, learn and work on campus. An emergency text service can help alleviate any safety risks surrounding campus life and can allow officials in the police, fire and emergency medical departments to use their resources – in this case, text message recipients – to help resolve any potentially dangerous incidents.
Swift SMS Gataeway offers the tools organizations need to implement effective emergency SMS services.