It’s not a secret that the cost of SMS marketing is low when compared to other forms of marketing such as online ads, email marketing and social media. Nevertheless, it is crucial to know your legal boundaries in order to avoid getting caught up in the legal system. The following are five ways you can stay clear of the SMS marketing laws in Canada.
What are the SMS marketing laws in Canada?
The Canada Consumer Protection Act, as well as the Competition Act, regulates how businesses can market their products and services to consumers. Although there are several SMS marketing laws that regulate how these marketing campaigns are conducted they all fall under the two acts listed above.
Both of these acts have different sections which pertain to different aspects of marketing. The following is a summary of each of the laws and what they cover:
The Competition Act:
- Prohibits false or misleading representations in advertising;
- Prohibits unsubstantiated claims;
- Requires the provision of key information about a product or service to be clear and not misleadingly vague, given in an intelligible form;
- Limits the number of times a company can communicate with consumers within a certain time period;
- Makes it an offence for persons engaged in trade to exchange information about price fixing or other anti-competitive practices.
5 ways to stay clear of the SMS marketing laws in Canada
There are a few ways to stay clear of SMS marketing laws in Canada.
1) Turn off your messages:
The first way to avoid getting caught up in the legal system is to not send any messages at all. By turning off your messages, you will avoid any legal consequences that may occur as a result of sending texts.
2) Send text messages from your personal device:
The second way to avoid getting caught up in the legal system is by using an individual’s personal device for the marketing campaign. If you are using someone else’s phone for texting, then you are not breaking any laws or regulations as long as it is for personal use only.
3) Use messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger:
If you want to avoid getting caught up in the law, then use messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger instead of SMS text messages. Message apps have less restrictions and regulations than traditional telephone services such as SMS text messaging so this would be a better option for avoiding legal troubles related to SMS marketing campaigns.
4) Be careful about the content of your messages:
If you text someone, you have to be aware of the content that you are sending. Any message that is considered as unlawful or offensive can get you in a lot of trouble with the law. Always make sure that the messages that you send out are appropriate and legal so that you do not end up getting caught up in legal problems.
5) Send messages to existing clients or customers only:
The final way to avoid getting caught up in the legal system is to send text messages out only to existing customers or clients. If someone has signed up for your service or subscribed to your newsletter, then it’s okay for you to contact them via SMS text messaging. Sending texts out randomly is not
While it is becoming more popular to use SMS marketing, it is still a gray area in Canada. However, there are some ways to stay clear of the law that can help you avoid getting in trouble for using SMS marketing.
Also read: Tips that update your marketing strategy