Just Say No to Texting without Permission

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?