As the Chinese government continues to strengthen personal data protection, SMS compliance has become a focal point for brands. In 2023, the Chinese government introduced a series of new SMS compliance regulations, raising the bar for brands' SMS marketing activities. In this article, we will explore these latest compliance requirements and the measures brands need to take to ensure their SMS marketing campaigns are compliant.
New Compliance Requirements:
1. User Consent
First and foremost, brands must obtain explicit consent from users before sending any form of SMS marketing. This requirement can be achieved through the following means:
- Registration Consent: Users can explicitly consent to receive SMS marketing when registering for a brand's product or service.
- SMS Confirmation: Users can confirm their consent by clicking a link in the SMS they receive, indicating their willingness to receive further SMS messages.
- Opt-Out Option: Brands need to provide a convenient opt-out option, typically including an unsubscribe link or phone number in each SMS.
2. SMS Content
SMS content must be truthful and accurate and not mislead users. Brands are prohibited from including the following in their SMS messages:
- False or Exaggerated Claims: Brands cannot engage in false advertising or exaggerate the efficacy of their products or services.
- Inducing User Purchases: SMS messages should not be used to induce users to make purchases.
- Violating Public Morality: SMS content must not contain any offensive or inappropriate material.
3. Sending Frequency
Brands are not allowed to send SMS messages more frequently than once a day. However, brands can choose to send messages at different frequencies based on user preferences.
4. Right to Opt Out
Users have the right to opt out of a brand's SMS messages at any time. Brands must provide clear and easy opt-out options, usually including an unsubscribe link or phone number in each SMS.
Compliance Measures for Brands:
To ensure compliance with SMS marketing regulations, brands should take the following measures:
- Establish SMS Marketing Policies: Brands need to clearly define the purpose, content, and frequency of SMS marketing, ensuring it aligns with compliance requirements.
- Explicit Consent and Opt-Out Options: Ensure that every SMS clearly informs users how to provide consent and how to opt out of the SMS service.
- Use SMS Marketing Platforms: Brands can benefit from specialized SMS marketing platforms that assist in managing SMS sending opt-outs and provide SMS compliance auditing services.
Penalties and Recommendations:
If brands violate SMS compliance regulations, they may face the following penalties:
- Suspension or termination of marketing campaigns
Therefore, brands should prioritize SMS compliance, prepare accordingly, and take measures to avoid penalties. Additionally, here are some recommendations to help brands enhance their SMS marketing compliance:
- Use SMS Marketing Platforms: These platforms can assist brands in generating SMS content, managing SMS sending and opt-outs, and offering SMS compliance audit services.
- Regularly Review SMS Marketing Campaigns: Ensure that campaigns comply with the latest compliance requirements to avoid issues.
- Collaborate with Legal Experts: If there are any legal concerns, it is advisable to collaborate with legal experts or consulting firms to gain professional legal advice.
By taking these measures, brands can ensure that their SMS marketing activities are compliant, avoid penalties, and safeguard user's personal information. Compliance with regulations not only helps brands maintain their reputation but also builds user trust, leading to greater success. Therefore, brands should closely monitor changes in SMS compliance and ensure their marketing activities stay within the bounds of the law.