Compliance Requirements

Best Practice Overview

Whilst getting SMS text messages delivered is far easier than sending email, there are still some compliance requirements you must be aware of and adhere to or your campaigns will be blocked, continued misuse will result in your account being terminated

 Do not add links in your messages to spammy websites or websites with poor a domain reputation, this can result in messages being blocked and continued misuse can lead to your account being terminated

If you find a website you want to link to has a poor reputation, you might want to use a bridge page in your message which can then provide the link to the final destination page

Do not buy lists of contacts in any form, you must obtain express permission to send marketing messages to each of your contacts

You must include an unsubscribe message in all regular campaigns clearly showing how to stop all future messages using our built in unsubscribe link

Make sure your messages are delivered during normal office hours, no one wants to get a message at 3am

Please read and understand the legal requirements of sending SMS marketing messages

You, as the sender are responsible to ensure your campaigns are compliant and adhere to the terms below, failure to comply can result in heavy fines or lawsuit settlements and annoyed customers almost a certainty. As tempting as it is, it’s never worth it to take the shortcut.

Per our terms of service the individual/account/user responsible for sending messages via a SMSBotsify  account is ultimately responsible for ensuring that express consent has been obtained (and, ideally, documented for verification purposes in the event of a compliance audit or formal complaint).

We have a zero tolerance policy for illegality here at SMSBotsify, and consent violations at the very least can result in account termination with no refunds due

With all of that being said, we don’t want to scare you off! But rather than burying the facts within a terms and agreements page, we want to be upfront with all of our customers about the responsibilities that come with the platform.

Express Written Consent

Express written consent is permission your contacts give you via paper form or electronically. It shows that they understand they’ll receive marketing text messages and don’t have to agree to receive them as a condition of any transaction with you.

Your main takeaway here is that express consent is not implied or assumed. Just because someone has given your business their cell phone number doesn’t mean they have agreed to receive texts from you. Until they have given you written proof signifying their agreement to receive texts in an opt-in with the required terms, you’re risking a violation.

 If you’re importing contacts, always double check you have consent before uploading. And hang onto those consents, because it is the sender’s duty in a TCPA case to prove that they sent a text with the consumer’s prior express consent.

Also worth noting is that “written” doesn’t actually have to mean written by hand. A digital agreement is sufficient. The FCC definition includes express written consent given on website forms, in promotional materials, and in a recorded verbal agreement

Opt-In SMS Keywords

Once you’ve picked a number for your business or organization, it’s a good idea to create keywords. A keyword is a word or phrase that people can text to your number in order to opt-in for text messages. If someone texts in a keyword, this counts as express consent as long as the advertisement contains the required opt-in terms.

Part of your responsibility when using keywords is to advertise them properly. To ensure your advertisements are TCPA compliant, they must clearly and conspicuously disclose that a) the messages to be received will be marketing/promotional in nature, b) the messages will be sent via an autodialer (Chat bot) and c) the agreement to receive the promotional text messages isn’t a condition of any purchase.


An SMS opt-out is the action a contact takes to show that they no longer want to receive text messages from you. In most cases, contacts opt out of text messages by replying STOP.

 Think of it like an email unsubscribe button.

It’s mandatory for all SMSBotsify Regular campaigns and we include an unsubscribe feature that can be added using the link provided, any regular campaigns sent without this message displayed are in breach of our terms and conditions which at the very least can result in account termination with no refunds due

Chat bot campaigns should be created using promotional materials or webforms and the terms and conditions of the offer should be clearly presented in all materials which include how the recipiant can opt-out replying with the word STOP

You can see examples of how we obtain express written consent here and all marketing materials should include these conditions


Opt-in Method

Your opt-in method is the way you collect express written permission from your contacts. Some popular opt-in methods include keywords, web forms, and paper forms.


An SMS opt-in is the action a contact takes to show that they’ve given you permission to text them for marketing purposes.

Transactional Text Message

Transactional text messages are sent to keep customers up to date on important information or to help them perform an action that doesn’t result in a sale. These types of messages don’t require express written consent, but it’s still a good practice to make sure your customers are comfortable receiving texts from you.

Promotional Text Message

Promotional text messages are sent with the intent to sell, upsell, or advertise a product, business, or service. These messages require express consent.

No matter the opt-in method you choose to get your contacts’ express written consent, you should have a clear and compliant call-to-action (CTA) in the messaging.

A CTA is the phrase that prompts the individual to opt in to your SMS campaign. It should consist of the following:

Automated Marketing Messages

The federal rules for express written consent require consumers to agree to receive automated marketing messages, so be sure to make that clear in your CTA.

You must also advise them that they don’t have to agree to receive the texts as a condition of buying anything from you.

SMS Campaign Purpose

Let your contacts know what they’re signing up for. Are they getting reminders? Coupons? Tips? Specify what you’re offering so there aren’t any surprises.

Message Frequency

Let them know if they’ll only receive one message (like a one-time coupon) or if they’re agreeing to sign up for a recurring message campaign (like weekly alerts or deals).

You can include the approximate number of messages the customer should expect to receive in a given week or month.

Message and Data Rates

Even though unlimited texting has become more common, some users may still have to pay a small fee to receive text messages. Wireless carriers require you to inform your contacts that these charges may be incurred if they sign up for your texting program.

Dos and Don’ts

Don’t Send SHAFT Content

The CTIA has outlined a set of content rules is known as SHAFT — sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco.

Including content related to any of these topics in your call-to-action or any of your messages is considered one of the highest violations and may result in an immediate ban.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If, for example, you operate a bar, you may still be able to send messages about happy hour specials. However, it is crucial that you operate on a dedicated, verified toll-free number or registered local number and have an age gate preventing under the age of 21 from signing up for your texts.

6. Don’t Text Contacts During Quiet Hours

According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you can’t send promotional text messages during “quiet hours” — the time before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. (local time for the recipient).

This might make things tricky if you have contacts all over North America, but you can segment your contacts into lists (if you know where they’re located) and schedule text message campaigns to send at different times.

Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on express written consent, let’s talk about methods for acquiring it.

 Key Takeaways:

You must include an unsubscribe message in all regular campaigns clearly showing how to stop all future messages using our built in unsubscribe link

All Chatbot campaigns should either be activated sending a regular campaign with an unsubscribe message included or all promotional materials/webforms etc should clearly include the terms and conditions of joining the offer which include how to opt-out of receiving any further messages

You cannot send text marketing messages just because someone’s given you their number—you must first obtain express written consent.

Buying lists of contacts and texting them is expressly forbidden.

Texting without consent is against the law.

As the text marketer it is your responsibility to secure consent.

Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.