How To Keep Your SMS Marketing Strategy Compliant In The Age Of GDPR?

Marketing teams have been reluctant to get in touch with clients after the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation aka GDPR. This is primarily out of concern that they would encounter compliance issues.

GDPR-compliant SMS campaigns have proven to be especially difficult because businesses are unsure of what’s required of them and how it’s different from other kinds of promotion.

Essentially, SMS marketing adheres to identical regulations as the remainder of the GDPR. It implies that advertisers are only permitted to get in touch with clients under certain compliance conditions. Let’s learn more about this in the next sections.

8 Ways To Ensure That Your SMS Marketing Strategies Comply With GDPR

The primary GDPR-compliant SMS marketing standards are described in this article, along with information on how to comply with them.

1. Obtain Written Consent

You can easily obtain content with keyphrase-driven sign-ups. Simply request that clients text a certain term to a given contact number for opting in.

You may target SMSs more effectively by employing proper search engine optimization using specific terms for different kinds of communications. Also, use keywords, which are representative of your company and its products – to boost engagement.

Sign-up widgets are frequently hosted by companies on their websites or apps. A customer usually texts to confirm after the widget opens on their mobile email.

Your site’s registration form can include a box where users may confirm their consent and lists your T&C and privacy statement. You can also utilize printed forms when you mail out additional paperwork or collect sign-ups at physical events.

2. Include Hyperlinks To Your Privacy Statement

You’re required by the GDPR to develop a privacy statement that informs customers of their GDPR regulatory requirements. There are two justifications for this.

It guarantees a degree of confidence between the individual and your organization and eliminates any ambiguity regarding how private details are used. Additionally, it provides individuals more say over how your corporation acquires their personal information.

If they discover something they don’t like, they can request your entity to stop processing it by submitting a DSAR (data subject access request). A DSAR form is a document where a user can ask for access to a duplicate copy of personal information or ask for specific actions to be taken on their data. 

3.Have Legitimate Reasons For Gathering Personal Information

You’re only allowed to collect personal information as per the GDPR when you can show that you’ve got a legal basis for doing so. There’s a widespread misunderstanding that this entails seeking people’s agreement. In actuality, you’re free to choose from certain legal justifications.

Rely on permission if you don’t have any other legal basis for doing so because it can be difficult to obtain and maintain consent. You can utilize the legal justification of legitimate rights for the majority of occasions when you want to deliver SMSs

Of the permitted grounds for handling personal information under the GDPR, genuine interest enjoys the greatest latitude. Technically, it pertains to any time your business utilizes a client’s self-data in a manner that people would anticipate – leading to a boost in client engagement with your campaign.

Almost everything can be referred to as an interest – such as your organizational objectives, other parties, or the larger societal good. You can ask for consent while showcasing interest under the following scenarios.

  • There’s a small chance that the procedure will violate the confidentiality of the user data.
  • The recipient of the data must be able to anticipate that usage of their information is being done in a rightful way.

Nevertheless, since legitimate interests are so broad, carefully defend their use in your paperwork and outline how individuals’ private information would be secured.

4. Never Send Outlawed Material

Sexting, hatred, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco (SHAFT) are the five major SMS subjects that are forbidden. Messaging about these subjects might lead to an automatic suspension from phone companies, if not lawsuits. If you carry out the necessary age checks and monitoring, there’re numerous exemptions for smoking and drinking.

Additionally, you shouldn’t communicate sensitive information, marijuana, loans, and other monetary pitches, gambling or betting, or classified info. When advertising a casino, for instance, it’s acceptable to mention non-gambling facilities like fancy hotels in the neighborhood.

Rewards campaigns are subject to specific rules. Each contest must have its own T&Cs on your site, along with age restrictions.

5. Handle Personal Information Following Gdpr Guidelines

Identical privacy rules apply whether you’re utilizing personal data for other reasons apart from SMS campaigns. Your employees first need to go through a staff awareness program to understand how to deal with personal information.

Develop procedures and rules that staff members must adhere to, as well as put in place the necessary technical safeguards. In addition, anytime personal details are processed that pose a substantial threat to the freedoms and rights of users, conduct a DPIA (data protection impact assessment).

Additionally, ensure that the person using the client information has a solid knowledge of the facts and possible uses for it. If you ever need extra information from your clients, be certain to take appropriate action by asking for the details rather than just mailing a new poll for them to finish. 

Understand that it’s not permissible to gather information just for its own sake. The details and intent should be clearly mentioned. Also, your clients must have the option to view, revise, move, or erase the information.

6. Incorporate Opt-in Techniques

Authorization is the lowest-ranked legal foundation. The fact that permission is only valid when data subjects take positive actions counts as a significant problem.

Your firm requires a method that substitutes a conscious action for pre-ticked checkboxes for opt-in. Individuals also have the freedom to change their minds at any time.

When they do, stop processing personal data and erase their records. There may be instances, though, where giving permission is the only choice. You must make sure you’re employing an opt-in approach in such circumstances. This could entail asking the person providing the data to:

  • Publish your signature on the consent letter.
  • Digitally, click the opt-in box or URL.
  • Select your preferred marketing dashboard or technical settings.
  • Answer a request for permission by email.
  • When asked for clear verbal consent, say yes.
  • Choose between equally well-known yes or no alternatives.
  • Provide supplementary details for a specific use.
  • Place business cards inside boxes.
  • Consent inquiries should not depend on idleness, apathy, preset preferences, exploiting obliviousness, or inherent prejudice.

The GDPR further stipulates that the opt-out procedure must be simple. For instance, it can entail adding unsubscribe and opt-out links to SMSs or URLs to the user’s profile allowing them to modify their authorization settings.

7. Ensure That Your Customers Have Indicated Their Preferred Methods Of Contact

The kind of opt-ins your platform’s visitors have selected will need to be described. Make it obvious to your users that they can select between being contacted by SMSs, posts, or emails for instance, and then use that method to engage with them. 

Additionally, make it simple for customers to remove their information at any time. If they persist, offer a clear choice in your texts or site to remove their information from your system.

Although certain data like “your pet’s name” is not totally personal, you must still include a concise T&C page, which explains why such details are required.

Utilizing the appropriate contact method will also guarantee that you get the most out of your promotional campaign’s ROI. You’re most likely to be successful when you provide your clients with the choice to specify their desired communication methods. 

The GDPR rules aren’t particularly clear on the communication method that should be employed. You now have the freedom to effectively plan and improve the communications network. Having a multi-channel capacity is frequently the greatest option for meeting your customers’ various communication requirements.

8. Ensure Compliance With Each Campaign

As soon as you receive consent, abide by it in order to stay in compliance and uphold your consumers’ trust. When building campaigns and monitoring your subscriber databases, keep the following advice in mind – in conjunction with abstaining from using forbidden content:

  • Every communication should contain the name of your company.
  • Ensure that each campaign complies with the consumers’ particular consent. 
  • Make sure the categorization you’re doing is aimed at the correct group of people if you’ve obtained consent for sending different types of messaging.
  • Send opt-out information with each text. 
  • Customers who can’t identify the unsubscribe process are much more likely to flag your communications as trash.
  • A subscriber should never again get messages if they want to unsubscribe. Make sure that anyone who requests it can immediately be unsubscribed from your automatic messaging system. 

Make Your SMS Campaigns GDPR-compliant: Truthfulness Is The Correct Approach

Although the GDPR regulation may have put a wrench in the wheels, consider it as a chance to reexamine your marketing objectives and enhance your consumer communication.

Throwing a broad net and assuming the best had its advantages before. GDPR now makes it possible to toss a narrower net with a considerably higher chance of success and advance to better seas.

Utilize bulk SMS messaging to its full potential by following our GDPR-compliant advice! 

Any questions? Let us know and our experts at Metrics Watch will be happy to help. 

Metrics Watch is a reporting software tailored to Marketing Agencies, allowing them to automate their client reporting in a beautifully designed, mobile-first, email-based solution. Clients get regular, actionable data on their marketing spend, allowing the Agency to focus on what they do best.

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