In the world of marketing, text messages have the highest open rate at 98%. Additionally, given that 80% of individuals use text messages, text marketing offers businesses easy access. Many businesses use text marketing to offer discounts and loyalty programmes, drive sales, and retain customers. One such business is the retail sale of cannabis.
It is one of the primary methods through which cannabis retailers and pharmacies reach out to their customers to share deals, offers, and alerts. However, it’s not only supposed to be adhered to but also required by the law. This blog offers practical advice on how to comply with text message marketing regulations.
Please be aware that this manual is just for informative reasons. We advise speaking with a lawyer to get more information on the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and Text marketing.
The Cannabis Industry Thrives on Text Marketing
A whopping 98% of consumers use text marketing to communicate. Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) research shows that text messages are typically responded to within 90 seconds.
Text message marketing effectively allows cannabis marketers to connect with their target audience. However, some rules apply specifically to how cannabis dealers must promote and interact with their clientele. This indicates that SMS marketing is efficacious for CBD and cannabis businesses since each state has defined rules and restrictions.
In light of this, regulations and industry standards regarding text message marketing must be respected. Cannabis marketers must adhere to the regulations at all times.
Laws Governing Text marketing
Cannabis is not officially authorized in the United States. Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has classified it as a Schedule 1 Substance. Text marketing for SHAFT (sex, hatred, alcohol, gun, and tobacco) content is strictly regulated by the CITA and individual states. This covers cannabis, CBD, and other associated goods.
U.S. Governmental Organizations and Acts
The following laws apply specifically to cannabis text marketing in the US
The FCC has the authority to punish companies $500 to $1,500 for each illegal communication without accounting for losses or additional legal costs.
Regulating entities must comply with the TCPA, however, they are unclear. And for those who market cannabis and CBD, this is very worrying.
Several things in your text marketing campaign could be deemed unlawful:
- Include words associated with transactions, such as “buy now.”
- Advertise promotions or deals using language like “20% off.”
- Suggest positive health effects, such as “reduce weight.”
- Encourages leisure consumption.
- Promotion of marijuana in jurisdictions where it is prohibited.
But, the TCPA does specify certain guidelines for compliance. For instance, the TCPA mandates that companies adopt a double opt-in procedure before delivering text messages. A double opt-in, also known as double consent, necessitates the recipient’s explicit approval before the text message is delivered.
To comply with regulations, you must have consent from the recipient before sending text messages.
As long as you adhere to regulations and adopt best practices, you can leverage text messaging marketing as your cannabis and CBD-related marketing activities. However, you require a platform for SMS marketing that’s been designed to guarantee legality.
What is the TCPA and why should I care?
In 1991, a law known as the “Telephone Consumer Protection Act” (TCPA) was enacted. It restricts the utilization of automated calling systems, fake or programmed audio messages, text messaging, and fax machines for any communication with customers.
What happens if I breach the TCPA’s rules?
Companies may be subject to fines from $500 to $1,500 from the FCC, excluding any damages or additional legal costs.
What is the CTIA, and why should I care?
As the national association representing the wireless industry in the United States, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) was formed in 1984. The CTIA lays forth the standards and advice that telecom firms must follow.
How does CTIA regulation work?
Federal legislation does not apply to CTIA. Yet, disregarding the CTIA’s rules can reduce the success of your text marketing.
What are the ideal compliance strategies?
The Wigzo text marketing solutions include the best practices for text message compliance listed below.
Getting Wigzo and Cannabis Marketing Campaigns Up and Running
In Wigzo, all text message marketing guidelines are “on by default.” They’re there to make sure your text marketing is legitimate, but it’s up to you to adhere to them.
1. Double-opt option
Before delivering text messages, the FCC mandates customer opt-ins, as was already mentioned. You may ask your users to get text promotion in a variety of ways:
- Joining a loyalty programme when making online purchases.
- Enable text message notifications when paying in-store.
- When a customer “checks out,” for example, as one of your point-of-sale systems.
- Sending a text message with a keyword, such as “START” or “JOIN”.
Whatever the customer’s manner of opting in for text marketing, it’s better to use the double opt-in strategy when initiating a campaign. Any Wigzo customer using one of their automation templates may use double opt-in.
Here are two kinds of double opt-in campaigns you can leverage:
Double opt-ins with reply-backs
Double opt-ins with reply-backs send a text message to the opted-in number asking for confirmation that the recipient wants to receive texts. Verifying that the mobile number used to sign up is agreeing to get text marketing is crucial, particularly when a consumer opts in on your website. It’s quite easy and practical to use.
Opt-in with forms
An opt-in with a form asks the subscriber to fill out a form with more information by texting a link to their subscriber number. Although the information “collected” via form-based opt-ins is more thorough, the receiver may find them to be too demanding.
2. Unsubscribing becomes easy with Wigzo
It should also be simple for receivers to unsubscribe from your text messaging campaigns. The receiver can unsubscribe from Text messages by responding with STOP, QUIT, REMOVE or other phrases.
Add “Reply STOP to opt-out” in every text you send. Although unnecessary, it is highly advised.
Wigzo conveniently incorporates this language when writing a text with a single tap. Moreover, Wigzo’s deliverability score tools will issue an alert if this content is missing.
3. Incorporate new terms of service into your website
Terms of service should already be present on your dispensary or product website. For customers using Wigzo’s text marketing campaign service, additional terms of service should be added to their website.
These terms of service for text messaging marketing are some examples. To be certain that these terms of service are appropriate for your company, you must speak with an attorney.
Normal message and data rates could be imposed. Text “HELP” to receive assistance.
Send the word “STOP” or get in touch with support to unsubscribe from any [dispensary name] text marketing.
4. Keep track of your text message responses
As a two-way medium of communication, text messaging requires constant attention to the responses you get. You may have to opt a recipient out sometimes directly.
When you send questions like “Who is this?” “Who sent this,” or “I didn’t sign up for these” to a recipient, you may be texting to a non-opted-in number.
Your adherence may be in jeopardy if you get responses like this. Responding in these circumstances and ensuring the receiver still wants to get text marketing from you is advisable.
Manual text message opt-outs are available for contacts.
Additionally, Wigzo will look out for specific terms and phrases that have been proven to be used by text message recipients who don’t want to receive your messages. Those are “STOP,” “QUIT,” and “UNSUBSCRIBE ME,” for instance.
5. Audit log for text messaging
Along with all opt-ins and opt-outs, even the work done by Wigzo users is tracked in an audit record by Wigzo. This will ensure your security by creating a log of all opt-in and opt-out actions performed on your contacts.
The exemption to this rule is that no audit trail records are made when contact data is transferred and the system has “opted-in.”
Adding the opt-in status to an import is possible in Wigzo.
6. Keep an unsubscribe list
Whenever you change marketing platforms, such as moving to Wigzo, make sure that your opt-out settings are respected.
Maintaining conformity with federal laws requires respecting consumer opt-out requests. As a result, a record made in Wigzo may be cross-checked without being completely removed. Maintaining the opt-in/opt-out status of the contact and any accompanying audit records is crucial.
7. Assess deliverability with Wigzo
For texts, Wigzo has a tool for assessing deliverability. It can assist in detecting communications with offensive or unlawful text.
Despite the fact that it can’t guarantee compliance, a deliverability score can help stop provider breaches.
Things to remember while running a cannabis marketing campaign
To avoid breaking the law, you must abide by a few key text message marketing regulations when communicating with cannabis clients.
1.Do not get lists of mobile numbers.
Refrain from acquiring or distributing lists of mobile phone numbers. These people have not chosen to receive your text messages. You will be in blatant violation of FCC laws, which is unlawful.
2. Never send texts to numbers that have not given their consent
Even when a customer’s cellphone number is known to you, the same guidelines still impose: Texts cannot be sent to customers unless they have chosen to accept them.
3. Avoid texting numbers that have opted out.
You are not permitted to text a receiver again unless they choose to receive texts after opting out once.
Wigzo automatically keeps track of each recipient’s opt-in status.
4. Avoid marketing in jurisdictions where cannabis is illegal.
This is a challenging issue to resolve for several cannabis retailers. Consider the possibility of out-of-state visitors to a Colorado dispensary. You shouldn’t be delivering those out-of-state people text messages if they reside in a place where cannabis is illegal.
By enabling laser-targeted consumer segmentation according to geographic region, Wigzo offers a solution. Through this, you can easily limit your marketing to people in your area or inside a certain vicinity of your store.
Consider compliance as the last point.
Your cannabis text marketing will reach customers who wish and hope to hear from you if you put a lot of effort into ensuring that it is compliant. Implementing the tips in this guide can help you execute effective campaigns using text messaging, a useful tactic for cannabis marketers.