Just like your email campaigns or automated emails, SMS is a promotional channel, which should be used only with an opt-in from the recipient. While there a lot of ways to sign up for promotions via SMS, usually, the unsubscribe process is very tricky for the recipient, i.e., your customer.
Moreover, when sending your promotions via SMS channel, you need to make sure you comply with the local regulations, GDPR for EU, and TCPA for the US. To comply with all of these requirements, Omnisend offers the opportunity to add different opt-out instructions for US numbers, and the rest of the world.
Before you start
- Unsubscribe for SMS is available for all plans on Omnisend
- Unsubscribing through the SMS message will unsubscribe from the SMS channel only. To unsubscribe from the Emails, the customer should proceed with the opt-out instruction within the Email message.
- This feature is available on all ecommerce platforms and integration types
- Lear more about TCPA compliant marketing for the US customers
- Learn more about SMS in campaigns and SMS in automation
As you may see from the table, transactional emails are delivered despite the customers' statuses. If you want to change the settings for some of the flows, you may add a cancellation trigger based on the customer status. For example, to comply with the GDPR policy, you should cancel Abandoned Cart automation for the non-subscribed customers and also check if they provided a consent record.
Adding the link to the SMS message
We are adding two different options for the customers to unsubscribe from your SMS marketing, Reply Stop to unsubscribe for US and Unsubscribe link for all non-US customers. While adding the Unsubscribe link for non-US customers is optional, opt-out instruction is mandatory for all marketing messages sent to US customers. Only messages with the Order data can be delivered without opt-out instruction to the US customers.
Based on the TCPA requirements, when a customer replies with STOP keywords, Omnisend should respond and update your opt-in list. Since the keyword replies are relevant for the US customers only, we suggest adding a reply STOP to opt-out text for the US and Unsubscribe link for the rest of the recipients.
The setup is effortless: it is a check-box at the bottom of the SMS message you create on your campaign or automation. For campaigns, you will have to tick it every time you want to use it. For automation, you will have to tick it for every new message.
By default, the check-box for the non-US customers is not ticked, but we highly recommend using the opt-out instruction in your SMS campaigns, as it gives an easy way for your subscribers to opt-out of the un-preferred channel.
In the Preview section, you can check the design of the message for both US and non-US customers.
Reply STOP to opt-out
To comply with the TCPA requirements and CTIA guidelines, your US number must respond to the STOP keyword. When a customer texts STOP, Omnisend responds to that request and updates your opt-in list.
To provide your customers with opt-out instruction, we add "Reply STOP to opt-out" text at the end of the message. This text will count into your character limit (160 per SMS message) and may impact the price of the SMS Campaign.
Keyword replies are counted toward your SMS credits. Therefore you may always want to have some additional credits in your Omnisend account. Check this article to find out how SMS credits can be added to your Omnisend account.
The link will generate automatically and will be unique per recipient and message (campaign or automation).
It is shortened, so no need to do anything additionally:
- in campaigns it is osend1.com/lc/XXXXX
- in automation it is osend1.com/l/XXXXX
Using the unsubscribe link does count into your character limit (160 per SMS message) and might mean additional costs if the message becomes longer than 160 characters.
The recipient's side
When your recipient replies with the STOP keyword, Omnisend sends an automatic message informing your customers about successful opt-out. The default keyword response can be changed in your account settings by going to My Account -> Store Settings -> Settings -> Language & translations.
When your recipient receives an SMS with an unsubscribe link, they can click on it, and subscription preferences page will open up in their browser. After the customer clicks on the Confirm button, his subscription status will change to Unsubscribed, and the message informing about successful opt-out will be shown.
Unsubscribing from SMS campaigns or automation does unsubscribe from all SMS messages (campaigns AND automation). However, they might still receive transactional SMS messages related to their order status.
Unsubscribe rate in the Reports
Since adding an opt-out instruction to the SMS message is mandatory for the promotional Campaigns sent to the US customers and optional for the rest of the world, the Unsubscribe rate for the SMS Campaign includes additional metrics telling ones how many of the unsubscribed contacts had that option available. If all of your messages were sent to US customers, 100% of your Campaign recipients would have this option.
Unsubscribe rate for the SMS channel, includes both Stop replies and clicks on the Unsubscribe link. We do not differentiate them and process them in the same way, although, after replying Stop, the auto-respond is sent.
We also do not count STOP to opt-out replies in the Automations reports. To make this information visible, we add those unsubscribes to the Unsubscribe rate calculated for the last-sent SMS Campaign. If you didn't send any Campaigns to those customers, their status would still change to unsubscribe, but the opt-out wouldn't be attributed to any of the messages you've sent.
Have any questions? Reach out to Support team.