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Mobile Messaging Senders Need to Play by the Rules Too

Cloudmark provides spam and abuse filtering for email, text messaging and social networking traffic.  So in addition to encouraging email senders to follow good email sending guidelines, we also want text message senders to follow good text message sending guidelines.

Over on tatango, which is an SMS Marketing Blog, they have a good write up today on making sure that your text messaging marketing is compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) Consumer Best Practices. (See: Lessons Learned From Trump Mobile Alerts)

Just like in email, senders need to tell people up front and make it very clear, what they’re going to be sending people and how often they’re going to be sending it.   And senders need to check that the phone number a person signed up with is actually their phone number and not someone else’s phone number.  Just like senders should confirm that the email the person signed up with is their email address and not someone else’s.

Unlike email, some people get charged per message for each text message they receive.  Plus their phone is going to beep or buzz when the message arrives.  So senders better make sure the person wants that SMS.

Spam buttons have been available in email clients for a long time and when people get annoyed by email messages they don’t want, they often mark the email as spam.  Although many people aren’t aware of it, some mobile providers also have a system for reporting unwanted SMS text messages.  The process differs by operators but can be as easy as people forwarding unwanted SMS text messages to “7726” (S-P-A-M).

Of course, if a person legitimately signed up for an SMS message, and they trust the sender, they should be able to unsubscribe by replying STOP to the sender.  If the sender is playing by the rules, no further SMS messages should come from that sender.

Cloudmark is involved in an initiative with the GSMA to collaborate with operators globally on the war against SMS spam. See: http://www.gsmworld.com/our-work/mobile_lifestyle/spam/spam_reporting.htm for more details.

In summary, text messages senders should check to make sure they’re following all the rules and only sending to people who know what they’ve signed up for.  Because 7726 and similar services, are going to let the Mobile providers see which senders are not playing by the rules.


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