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Messaging Compliance Guidelines

Compliance is a crucially important part of contacting any customers through SMS. Depending on where your store is located, you may fall under the jurisdiction of either GDPR (European data protection and privacy regulation) or TCPA (The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) and must adhere to the regulations. Countries outside of Europe or the USA may also be subject to their own laws however they will broadly follow similar rules, namely:

"Consumers have the right not to receive unsolicited marketing communications via SMS, and companies should not send consumers automated SMS marketing text messages unless they have obtained a consumerโ€™s prior express written consent."

**Failure to comply with these regulations will result in your account being suspended by our messaging provider and potential legal action from consumers.**


GDPR (European data protection and privacy regulation) is the law that protects the privacy and personal data of individuals within the European Union, as well as addresses the export of data outside of EU borders. See here for more information.

TCPA (The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) protects consumers in America and Canada from unwanted telemarketing calls, prerecorded or autodialed calls, fax transmissions, and text messages. See here for more information.


It is your responsibility to ensure that when using Blueprint to send messages to consumers, you understand and are complying with all relevant TCPA/GDPR regulations. Therefore, you should make yourself familiar with all applicable laws and the relevant industry guidelines that build on these laws, including the CTIA guidelines for text message marketing. 

Setting Up Blueprint

Checkout

To obtain subscribers through the checkout it's vitally important that your checkout language and settings are updated in line with our guidelines. Please follow these steps to ensure your checkout is compliant.

  • The checkout wording must contain reference to SMS marketing so the customer is explicitly opting in to receive marketing SMS messages.
  • The marketing box should not be pre-ticked - a customer should actively need to check this box to opt-in.

Quiet Hours

To ensure that customers do not receive messages at unwanted times of the day, follow these instructions to set up when a customer can receive a marketing message.

Smart Sending

Smart sending allows you to control how many marketing messages a customer can receive within a given time period. This is useful so that a customer does not receive multiple marketing messages within a short period of time and therefor reduce the amount of unsubscribes that may occur. To setup Smart Sending, please follow these instructions.

Sending Messages in Blueprint

S.H.A.F.T Guidelines and Prohibited SMS Content (US Only)

Similar to the CAN-SPAM act for email, there are several types of content that are prohibited by the legislation and the carriers for SMS marketing. S.H.A.F.T. is an acronym which stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco, and it outlines the categories of text messages that canโ€™t be sent due to moral and legal issues. S.H.A.F.T. also covers any messages that contain verbiage related to Vaping, CBD, marijuana/cannabis, and any content associated with either one of these. Please also refrain from use of Adult or otherwise inappropriate content and profanity.

Any messages that contain words even remotely related to the categories listed in S.H.A.F.T., will be flagged and blocked by carriers. This will result in your account being suspended by our messaging provider and unable to send further messages. In some cases, this suspension is permanent and will not be lifted.

  • Remove any reference to any of the prohibited categories from all Automation copy.
  • Do not explicitly reference any prohibited category in any replies to customers (even if directly asked). 
  • Do not send any Group Messages that reference prohibited content.

You can find more information on the S.H.A.F.T. regulation in the CTIAโ€™s Handbook. 

General Guidelines

  • When a customer receives a message for the first time, it must include instructions on how they can opt out. E.g "If you don't want to hear from us, send "stop" at any time." This message is already contained in our pre-created templates in Automations, however it is advisable to add this message copy to all messages that are received first in any given message flow. 
  • When a subscriber replies with the "stop" keyword they will automatically be opted out and will be automatically blocked from receiving any more messages from your brand number. 
  • When a contact proactively messages the Blueprint number for the first time (or they're not currently registered as 'opted in'), the system will automatically send an opt-in message. If a contact has made a purchase before or registered as opted-in (perhaps included as part of an upload), they will not receive this message. For more info on this, see here.
  • Each message must contain the brand name so a customer is always aware of who the message is from. The dynamic brackets of {brand_name} will appear at the start of any group message sent. Please note this cannot be deleted so please contact your account manager if you would like your brand name updated.
  • It is advisable to refrain from using any URL shorteners such as bitly links.

Opt-out rates

Message accounts can be flagged and suspended if they have high opt-out rates (subscribers replying with "stop"). A good opt-out rate is anywhere between 0-0.3% and you should aim to have a figure within this range. Your opt-out rate can be found by heading to the Message Analytics section and can be found in the SMS reply rate box. 

To reduce the opt-out rate you will need to employ all the tactics advised in this article such as correct number acquisition and messaging customers an appropriate amount and at the correct time.