We’re all very familiar with the Mobile Marketing Association’s Best Practices (PDF file) regarding getting consumers’ permission before sending text messages. And the lengthy amount of time it takes to get a short code and campaign approved. Even though it sometimes seems like a real pain in the you-know-what, it turns out that all those guidelines and oversight serve a very useful purpose.
Timberland, (yes, the shoe company) had a class-action lawsuit filed against them for sending unsolicited text messages in 2005. As reported in the Chicago Sun Times, Jeffrey Weinstein, a business analyst from Logan Square received an unwanted text offer and decided to take a stand against text spam.
Without admitting any wrongdoing, Timberland has settled the lawsuit out of court, creating a $7 million fund for anyone who received an unwanted text message from Timberland.
The line in the sand has been drawn and I urge you not to step over it. Follow all guidelines regarding text messaging. Get permission before sending a single text message. Have your customers text in to sign up for your offering or use an online widget. Make sure that you use a clear opt-out process as well. All ethical and smart text messaging vendors will help ensure you follow these guidelines.
What do you think about text message spam? The lawsuit? Best practices?