Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts of SMS Campaigns: What You Need to Avoid

compliance, law, rule
Last Updated: 3 months by Josh

What SMS Marketing campaigns are not allowed?

SMS marketing holds immense potential for connecting with customers in real-time, but it comes with its fair share of regulations. As a marketer, you need to be acutely aware of what’s permissible and what’s not. Here at SMBcrm, we want to ensure that your SMS campaigns are effective, compliant, and deliver value to your audience. Today, we’re going to explore the things that are strictly prohibited in SMS campaigns.  Please note, these prohibitions come from Federal, State, and Local laws.  They are also enforced by the underlying carriers and providers of telephony and SMS services.  These are here to help you understand certain behaviors that are not permitted via text messaging but are not intended to be any type of legal advice of any sorts.

Understanding Compliance: A Breakdown of Error Codes and Rejection Categories

When crafting your messages, it’s essential to steer clear of content that can lead to your SMS campaign being rejected. Violations can be categorized under “Error Code 30441” or “Error Code 30443”, based on the rejection reason. Here’s what you should avoid:

Error Code 30441 – Content Violation – SHAFT Category

  • Sex – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Absolutely no content such as nudity, pornography, sex toys, or other adult content is permissible.
  • Hate – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Content that includes hate speech, egregious profanity, or any language that is violent or incites violence is banned.
  • Firearms – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • It is forbidden to include content related to firearms, ammunition, gun ranges, or similar weapons.
  • Tobacco / Vape – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Products like cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, vapes, and vape juice are off-limits.
  • CBD/Marijuana – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Any products or content related to cannabis, marijuana, CBD, THC, hemp, etc., are prohibited.

Error Code 30442 – Known Spam and Fraud

  • Known Spam Campaign – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Any campaign flagged by the Spam/Fraud team as spam or fraudulent.
  • Known Phishing Campaign – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Any phishing activities identified by the Spam/Fraud team will lead to immediate rejection.

Error Code 30443 – Disallowed Content

  • Loan Marketing – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Marketing of mortgage, auto, student, personal, payday or other types of loans is disallowed.
  • 3rd Party Debt Collection – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • You cannot send messages on behalf of third-party debt collectors.
  • Gambling – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Content related to casinos, betting, or any form of gambling is a no-go.
  • Sweepstakes – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Running sweepstakes or contests through SMS is not permitted.
  • Stock Alerts – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Sending information about stocks, stock markets, etc., is not allowed.
  • Cryptocurrency – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Discussions about cryptocurrency, NFTs, blockchain, etc., are banned.
  • Risk Investment – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Avoid any campaign representing transactions that promise a return on investment to end users.
  • Debt Reduction – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • SMS should not include anything about consolidating or reducing debt.
  • Credit Repair – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Messages about repairing or improving credit scores are disallowed.
  • 3rd Party Lead Generation – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Sharing personal information with affiliates or third parties that the customer hasn’t opted into is prohibited.
  • Federally Illegal Substances – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Obviously, any substances illegal under federal law are out of bounds.

Error Code 30444 – High Risk Alerts

  • Fraud – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Any campaign flagged as fraudulent will face strict rejection.
  • Deceptive Marketing – Not Eligible for Resubmission
    • Strategies considered as deceptive marketing will be rejected.

As SMS campaign creators, it’s crucial to design your messaging within the legal guidelines and maintaining ethical standards. Staying educated on what content is considered high-risk and understanding the error codes and rejection categories will help your campaigns run smoothly and effectively.

For more guidance on building a successful and compliant SMS marketing strategy, contact us at SMBcrm. We are committed to empowering your business while ensuring your marketing efforts are responsible, respectful, and within the laws and regulations that are laid out for SMS campaigns in the USA and other jurisdictions.

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