SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines - UK and AUS customers

United Kingdom and Australia guidelines for SMS unsubscribe and privacy.

 

SMS (“short messaging service”) is a powerful marketing tool! Think about how often mobile phones are in use in your personal life, now apply that to everyone else. There is ample opportunity to extend your marketing to SMS. Similar to email marketing, SMS is an opt-in-only channel and each country has separate privacy laws around consent, opting-out and data protection. In this article we will review SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines in the UK and Australia.

 


Topics covered in this article:

Start here: Global MMA guidelines

UK: SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines

Australia: SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines

Examples of UK and Australia SMS unsubscribe options

 

 

Start here: Global MMA guidelines

 

A good place to start is to look at global standards. The Mobile Marketers Association was started to provide universal standards around SMS.

 

Let’s look at what they have to say about SMS code of conduct:

  • Obtain explicit opt-in to the mobile messaging program.
  • Implement a simple opt-out process.
  • Send targeted SMS messages with relevant content that provides value to each recipient.

 

Now let's review the UK and Australia guidelines...

 

 

UK: SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines

 

There are two main pieces of legislation covering the use of SMS in the UK:


The Information Commissioner's Office (IOC) enforces this legislation and provides all needed information to understand each one in full.

 

What you need to know if you send SMS in the UK:

  • Only text subscribers with opt-in consent (unless contacting previous customers).
  • Offer an opt-out (by reply or unsubscribe link).
  • Keep a list/record of anyone who opts out.
  • Suppress your list against the opt-out list.

 

See Examples of SMS opt-out

 

Download the ICO’s direct marketing guidelines pdf to review practical application of both laws in terms of your SMS marketing.

 

 

 

Australia: SMS unsubscribe and privacy guidelines

 

There are two main pieces of legislation covering the use of SMS in Australia:

 

What you need to know:

  • All commercial electronic messages (CEMs) must have consent to be sent to subscribers.
  • All CEM’s are required to provide sender identification.
  • All CEM’s must have a functional unsubscribe mechanism.

*The unsubscribe: must remain functional for at least 30 days, must be sent to the organization sending the message, must be clear and conspicuous, the subscriber must be removed within 5 business days, must be at low cost or no cost to the subscriber.

 

See Examples of SMS opt-out

 

Download the Office of Australian Information Commissioner’s interaction between privacy act and spam act to review practical application of both laws in terms of your SMS marketing.  
    

 

 

 

Examples of UK and Australia SMS unsubscribe options

 

The following table provides examples of unsubscribe options for SMS customers sending from the UK and Australia:

 

COUNTRY METHOD DETAILS
UK + AUS Link Provide a link to your website where a subscriber can opt-out of messages or modify preferences. The link is included in the SMS message.
UK + AUS Reply

The subscriber is allowed to reply to the SMS with a phrase to opt-out. Example, 'Reply with STOP to Opt out' or 'Unsub: reply NO' .

(*This option is not currently available in WordFly but is on the roadmap)

AUS Toll-free number Provide a toll free number for the subscriber to call to opt-out of messages or modify preferences. Example, 'Unsub: (1800-number).’

 

Visual examples of the unsubscribe options:

 

Link to website

 

 

Toll-free number

 

Reply STOP (currently not available in WordFly)

 

 

 

 

 

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