Q: In the US, what are the standard rules, regulations and/or guidelines for running SMS services?
A: All US carriers have adopted the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross-Carrier Mobile SMS Services.
In addition, txtNation ensures that the USA SMS services that client’s run comply with these Guidelines due to a comprehensive Campaign Administration review and audit process of each USA SMS service that goes live.
At a minimum submitted programs should be run in a manner that is consistent with the letter and spirit of the MMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Marketing.
The Guidelines are available at:
Each carrier may also have additional unique requirements that are informed via formal carrier news releases, or from rejections in the approval process that are then set as precedence for future applications. txtNation will then inform you of the adhoc carrier additions as part of the approval process or through newsletters if you are already live.
For example, please see attached some specific Verizon audit requirements with visual demonstrations and indepth analysis procedures. Also a more recent requirement, whereever you have the price, list next to it also "Msg & Data Rates May Apply", and also ensure that all STOP and HELP information in your summary terms and full terms is in a bold font.
Programs that include any premium charges must disclose: (1) any premium charges associated with the program including whether any charges are recurring and (2) the nature of the program, including the type of content delivered to the consumer’s mobile device. This disclosure must be clear and conspicuous throughout all marketing materials including on-line, print, or television advertisements, throughout any Internet sites associated with the program, and throughout the opt-in process.
For example, programs such as an on-line quiz that require a subscription to a premium charge program to obtain the results of the quiz must include proper disclosures in any advertisements, on each web page associated with the quiz, and during the opt-in process in order to make the consumer aware that the actual program being offered is a premium charge program rather than an on-line quiz.
For programs, such as on-line quizzes, in which non-messaging content is offered to consumers as an inducement to participate in a premium charge program, or in cases where a single delivery of content (for example: survey results, quiz results) is promoted in order to induce a consumer to opt-in to a subscription-based program, content providers are required to: (1) disclose all affiliate marketing and websites within which the program will be advertised including keyword advertisements; (2) provide examples of the actual advertising used and/or text used in keyword advertisements; and (3) provide a fully operational website that details full consumer experience in conjunction with the program.