Business Text Messaging

SMS, MMS, and TCPA: What does it all mean?

In today's fast-paced world, text messaging has become a vital communication channel for businesses looking to engage with their customers. However, with the increasing popularity of text message marketing, it's crucial for businesses to be aware of the various types of text messaging and the necessary steps to ensure compliance with TCPA laws when messaging homeowners or prospects.


SMS stands for Short Message Service, which is the standard form of text messaging. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters and can be sent between any two mobile devices. SMS is a simple and cost-effective way for businesses to communicate with their customers, but it does have limitations when it comes to multimedia content.

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, which allows for the sending of multimedia content such as images, videos, and audio files. MMS messages can be up to 1,600 characters and are ideal for businesses looking to engage their customers with rich, visual content.

TCPA Compliance

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that regulates telemarketing calls and text messages. The TCPA was enacted in 1991 and has been updated several times since then to reflect changes in technology and consumer behavior.

Under the TCPA, businesses must obtain prior express written consent before sending any telemarketing messages, including text messages. This means that businesses must have a record of the recipient's consent before sending any marketing text messages. In the digital age, consent can be given as simply as filling out a form on your website for more information or a quote.

In addition to obtaining consent, businesses must also provide an easy opt-out method for every message they send. This means that recipients should be able to easily unsubscribe from future messages by replying "STOP" or "OPT-OUT" to the message. With most text messaging tools, including Hatch, this is built into the system so that when people opt out with specific keywords, they will be removed from messaging campaigns.

What You Need to Do

To ensure compliance with the TCPA, businesses need to take several steps when it comes to text messaging. First, businesses must obtain prior consent before sending any marketing text messages. Again, consent is given as soon as a person reaches out to you for more information and provides their phone number.

Second, businesses need to provide an easy opt-out method in every message they send. This means that businesses should include clear instructions on how recipients can opt out of future messages, such as by replying "STOP" or "OPT-OUT" to the message.

Finally, businesses need to keep accurate records of all consents and opt-outs. This means that businesses should maintain a database of all recipients who have consented to receive messages and those who have opted out.

In conclusion, texting is a powerful communication tool for businesses looking to engage with their customers, but it's important to understand the different types of text messaging and what businesses need to do to ensure they're compliant with TCPA laws. By obtaining prior express written consent, providing an easy opt-out method, and keeping accurate records, businesses can use text messaging effectively and responsibly.

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