How are companies sending all those SMS messages illegally?
Last month the Information Commissioner issued enforcement notices to two companies that violated regulations by sending marketing text messages to people who had not agreed to receive them.
Help Direct UK sent SMS messages regarding people’s pension values. The text implied that by replying, people would get help in recovering money lost over the last few years. An investigation into the 659 complaints received revealed the company had sent 187,960 SMS messages over nine months covering a variety of financial topics.
The other company, Sweet Media Ltd, sent 4.5 million marketing messages over a period of 8 months. The ICO received 796 complaints before issuing the warning. The details of the messages are not mentioned in the enforcement notice, but Sweet Media is a Lead Generation company according to the Information Commissioner Office (ICO).
How can these companies send so many SMS messages without prior permission? Well, they generally buy lists of mobile numbers. Even though regulations have changed so you aren’t supposed to send email or text messages (or any “electronic communication”) to those who haven’t asked for them, there are still companies out there selling the lists. Those that buy them are either unaware of the rules, or don’t care about them.
So while it might be tempting for you to buy a list of mobile numbers to get your SMS marketing campaigns started, don’t do it.
The first good reason not to do that is you’ll be added to the list of companies receiving enforcement notices. That’s because when you send marketing texts to people who didn’t ask to receive them, they will complain to the ICO. The investigation will then result in a notice to you to stop sending text messages to people without permission. If you want to know more about the regulations, you can find them on the ICO website.
The second good reason is that it just isn’t good marketing. One of the huge benefits of SMS marketing is that you have a fairly captive, and interested, audience after they choose to opt in to your offers. Unlike email, with low open and conversion rates, SMS isn’t about having the biggest list. It’s about having people choose to receive your messages, which means they will be more interested in your offers than a bunch of random people. In the end, you send less messages, therefore spend less money, and have a higher ROI because your offers are exactly what your list members signed up to receive.
If you have questions about how to grow your list legally, just give us a call or grab us in our live chat. We’re happy to help you build a list that fits your business, and keeps you out of trouble.
As an entrepreneur, it is notoriously difficult to get your message out there. It's even harder to get seen and heard in a meaningful way that doesn't offend people. Email marketing has been the darling of entrepreneurs for years, but it's time for something new. Something that supersedes the email and circumvents the spam folder.
As with anything in business, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. Some of the key ones are laid out in the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR) - and while this can seem like a daunting document at first, it doesn't need to be...
Need to know all about mobile marketing with SMS messaging? We’ve pulled together the top ten blog posts that tell you everything you need to know. The list starts with the basics and goes through analysing the success of your campaign.
Enterprises are large companies. Sometimes that means they think they should be able to do everything themselves. But when it comes to SMS messaging, building an in-house gateway is more difficult than you might think. Read why finding a good SMS service provider is a better option.
Electronic marketing is a tricky thing. There are rules and regulations you need to follow, and it can all seem pretty intimidating at first. To help you get started, I’ve gathered five of the most commonly asked questions about SMS marketing and the regulations and summed them up here.
SMS Marketing, also known as test message marketing, is one of today's most powerful and cost efficient marketing tools when used correctly and offers endless opportunities with a little creativity added to the mix. However, whether careless or intentional, some mistakes can be harmful to your brand and reputation - as well as leaving you in legal trouble in certain circumstances. Luckily, this is extremely rare and it is easy to stay safe and make sure your SMS Marketing is an all round success. In this article, we look at come examples of how not to do things and offer our advice for ensuring your campaigns are effective and profitable.
The UK may be leaving the EU, but the GDPR is still coming. Find out what it means for your business, and your SMS messaging, in our post that looks ahead and reviews the ICO guidance to prepare for the new rules.