The Legal Issues Of Text Marketing Every Restaurant Owner Should Be Aware Of.

SMS Marketing Legal IssuesIn October of 2013 the “Telephone Consumer Protection Act” (TCPA) was amended to include provisions specially related to SMS Text marketing. In this article we’ll go over some of the “best practices” that you should know about. It should be noted that I am NOT an attorney so I can’t advise you on any legal issues, I am only reporting what my research has found. As always, you should contact your attorney to discuss any concerns you may have.

First, unauthorized text marketing is considered SPAM. You cannot just start texting offers to people. You need to obtain your customer’s permission first.

Experts agree, that it is crucial to confirm each opt in and to capture and save that data. Our system does this automatically by immediately sending a text to any new opt-in we receive, that first text lets the consumer know that they are agreeing to receive marketing texts from the restaurant, it also requires a response back of “Yes” before the customer is added to the list.

After your customer has confirmed the opt-in, you’re not completely off the hook, here are some of the best practices that we recommend (using common sense is key here!).

1. Don’t Over Text. Text marketing can by very powerful, but don’t go crazy with the number of marketing texts you send. We recommend about once (and occasionally twice) per week to be the maximum number to send. Over-texting will lead to a high level of opt-outs and possible complaints.

2. Be Wary Of When You Text. You should never send a text in the middle of the night. Send your text coupons during the day and evening hours. Weekends are probably okay but we recommend not sending in the early morning hours, a Sunday text at 11:30AM is probably okay, 8am would be too early.

3. Maintain The Written Records Of Your Customer’s Opt-in Activity. If there is a Spam complaint made against you, your best defense is to produce the documentation of the customer’s opt-in. Our system keeps these records automatically and are easily accessible in the event of  a complaint.

These are our guidelines for safe effective text marketing. I can’t stress enough however that I have no legal training and you could contact your attorney for any specific answers that you need.

Good luck and happy texting!

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