Canada to implement anti-spam laws in July

The Canadian Radio and Television Commission has implemented a new series of laws to combat spam-based ad campaigns in commercial electronic messages through Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

With the help of the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commission, CASL will enable this Taskforce on Spam to use economic sanctions against advertising agencies which use spam, fraud, spyware, or even malware tools for the purpose of finding out more information on consumers without their consent.

The penalty for an individual advertiser who violates CASL per penalty $1,000,000 while the penalty for an organization is $10,000,000 per penalty.

CASL is the product of a mulit-year Taskforce by industry professionals, law enforcement, and other entities created in 2004 responsible for studying spam and malware in online advertising.

This new legislation was officially materialized through the organization of 25 recommendations in a 2005 report from the Taskforce on ways to reduce ad-related spam.

Starting on July 1st, all SMS texts must have:

1. the sender’s name along with the name of other parties if sent upon another’s behalf.

2. the sender’s mailing address

3. Other relevant contact information (including URL and/or contact number)

4. A clearly visible “Unsubscribe” button.

 text message picture

Requests for consent must also have such information included for consumers, as well as a specifications about the function of the product discussed in detail in the CEM.

text message consent

For more details on how to ensure that your text message marketing efforts to consumers are within the legal specifications of CASL, contact us today.

Customer Service Goes SMS

At a time when text-message is as natural as eating for many people, small businesses need to integrating SMS marketing into their customer service efforts.

According to Demandforce:

  1. 91 percent of cell phone owners keep their devices within three feet of them.
  2. 2 out of 3 people suffer from the fear of being without their phone, or “nomophobia”.
  3. Most cell phone owns open their text messages within 4 minutes of receiving them.

With SMS marketing, small businesses can use the following strategies to reach more customers via mobile.  Get started today with text message marketing through 84444.

Customer Service for Text Messaging

Mobile Messaging Madness

Twice as Many Small Business to Use Mobile Messaging in 2014

Small business are certainly jumping on board the mobile messaging train in 2014.  In fact, more than twice as many small businesses plan to employ mobile messaging in 2014 than in the year prior.

While the definition of mobile messaging takes into consideration more than just SMS text message marketing, text has to be a big part of the growth anticipated from this study.  This comes in an environment hampered by recent legislation and threats from messaging apps like the very popular What’s App.

mobile messaging growth 2014
MOBILE MADNESS: Mobile messaging growth by small businesses

Carrier Surcharges Hamper SMS Growth

Providers Fear Industry Leaders Verizon and AT&T Following Suit

sms carrier surcharges

Sometimes, I think the carriers simply don’t get it.

A growing problem with brands and advertising agencies endorsing text message marketing is a concern among providers like 84444 from carrier surcharges.  Several carriers are now assessing short code providers like 84444 with surcharges on SMS services.

Current surcharges include:

  • Cricket = .0025
  • Metro PCS = .005
  • Sprint = .005
  • T-Mobile = .0025
  • US Cellular = .035

In most cases, these charges are for both MO’s (mobile origination or texts from the consumer to the short code) and MT’s (mobile termination or texts from the short code provider to the consumer).

T-Mobile was the first carrier to begin adding surcharges to its short code messaging back in the Fall of 2010.

Charges like a half a penny per text may not seem like a lot, but given the low price per unit of short code marketing, it is significant.

To date, 84444 has simply absorbed the cost of the carrier surcharges, but ats Mobile president Bob Bentz has stated that it would be increasingly difficult to continue to absorb the surcharges should industry leaders Verizon and AT&T begin assessing surcharges also.

In addition to these per SMS surcharges, Metro PCS and Cricket are also charging an additional $500 each when a new short code is activated.

The SMS industry is still recovering from the discontinuance of premium SMS billing by the carriers in November, 2013.

How to Adhere to the TCPA Guidelines for Text Message Marketing

Not sure how to best adhere to the new TCPA laws that were put into effect on October 16 of this year?

We read the regulations several times and weren’t quite sure ourselves so we let an attorney explain the TCPA laws to you.

I saw this text message marketing program sponsored by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and figured they must know what they are doing!  We’ve put up text message opt-in samples from major vendors before, but this one is from the most viable source in the country.


TCPA compliant text marketing
Here’s how the MMA is interpreting the TCPA laws for opt-ins.

Texting Tuesday Webinar Includes Top Ten Text Tips

If you happened to miss the Texting Tuesday webinar done by Bob Bentz of atsMobile, no problem.  We have the video of the webinar presentation that was done just last week.

ATS Mobile does numerous webinars on mobile marketing.  Consider attending one of our upcoming events.

There are numerous new features added to this version of Texting Tuesday, including:

  • Updated Text Message Statistics
  • Top Ten Text Tips (just some of the 59 that you can find here)
  • Impact of the new TCPA Regulations on Text Message Marketing


84444 Gets 10 out of 10 for Text Site Service

Ranked 4th for Best Text Message Voting Service

live voting by text
84444 offers dedicated service during live voting contests.

Top Ten Reviews has named as one of the Top Ten sites for text message voting programs, according to this article.

84444 was ranked as the fourth best site for text message voting according the article.  We are quite proud that we received a 10 out of 10 for service!  The site was certainly impressed by the fact that there are real human beings behind the site.  Live Text Chat is provided on both the US and Canadian sites.  And, it’s not just one Live Chat, but two–you can speak with either technical support or sales!

The area where 84444 did not fare as well was with poll features, but we’re not sure that Top Ten Reviews totally understood our system.  Top Ten Reviews stated that you can’t see your results in real time.  That’s not really true.  You can refresh the page at any time to see real time results.  And, if you don’t want to refresh, the site does it automatically for you every 15 seconds.

Nevertheless, we are very pleased to have been named one of the Top Ten text message voting sites in the country.  Thanks Top Ten Reviews!