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Unsubscribing from the SMS channel
Unsubscribing from the SMS channel

Learn how your customers can easily unsubscribe from your SMS campaigns or automations

Ira avatar
Written by Ira
Updated over a week ago

SMS, like email campaigns or automated emails, is a promotional channel that requires the recipient's consent. While there are many ways to join SMS promotions, unsubscribing can be difficult for the recipient, i.e., your customer.

To send SMS promotions, you must comply with local regulations, such as GDPR in the EU and TCPA in the US/CA. Omnisend allows you to set specific opt-out instructions for US/CA numbers and the rest of the world.

Before you start

Unsubscribed status

As you may see from the table, transactional SMS is delivered to the EU and other countries (except the USA) despite the customers' statuses. Please be aware that according to CTIA regulations, transitional messages like Order, Shipping, and Cancellation Confirmations are not and will not be delivered to the US market. Therefore, these types of messages can only be sent to subscribed contacts in your Audience.

If you want to change the settings for some of the flows, you may add a cancellation trigger based on the customer status.

Setup process

Adding the link to the SMS message

We offer two options to unsubscribe from SMS marketing: Reply Stop to unsubscribe for US/CA and Unsubscribe link for all other non-US-CA customers. While the Unsubscribe link is optional for non-US customers, it is required for all US/CA customers. Only messages with the Order data can be delivered to US/CA customers without opt-out instructions.

An auto-response is sent based on the TCPA requirements, and your opt-in list is updated when a customer replies with the STOP keyword. To avoid confusion, we propose adding a STOP to the opt-out text for US/CA customers and an Unsubscribe link for the rest of the receivers.

The setup is simple: a simple checkbox at the bottom of your campaign or an automated SMS message. For campaigns, you must tick it each time you utilize it. To automate, you must tick it for each new message.

By default, the checkbox for 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.

You may preview the message for the US and non-US consumers in the Preview section.

Reply STOP to opt-out

To comply with the TCPA requirements and CTIA guidelines, your US/CA number must respond to the STOP keyword. When a customer texts STOP, auto-response is sent, and your opt-in list is updated.

To provide your customers with opt-out instructions, we add the "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 some additional credits in your Omnisend account.

Check this article to find out how SMS credits can be added to your Omnisend account.

Note! Auto-response for keyword STOP in the US isn't counted toward your SMS credits.

Unsubscribe link

The link will be generated automatically and is unique per recipient and message (campaign or automation).

It is shortened, so there is no need to do anything additional:

  • in campaigns, it is

  • in automation, it is

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.

Recipient's side

Keyword reply

When your recipient replies with the STOP keyword, an automatic message informing your customers about a successful opt-out is sent.

The default keyword response can be changed in your account settings by going to Store Settings -> Language & translations.

Note! Our network provider sends Auto-response for keyword STOP in the US; therefore, it's impossible to edit the text. It will look like this.

Contacts are re-subscribed to the SMS channel when replying to UNSTOP. The auto-response for US customers looks like this.

There is no auto-response for CA customers, but this keyword is supported as well, so you may include it in your auto-response for keyword STOP by going to Store Settings -> Language & translations.

Please note that the cost for customers to opt out of SMS campaigns is dependent on their phone plan and location. Most phone plans offer free SMS, but if a customer doesn't have free SMS included, they may be charged standard rates, which vary based on their location and mobile service provider. This applies similarly to the process of sending standard text messages.

Unsubscribe link

When your recipient receives an SMS with an unsubscribe link, they can click it, and the subscription preferences page will open up in their browser.

After the customer clicks on the Confirm button, their subscription status will change to Unsubscribed, and the message 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 about their order status if they are in the EU or other countries (except the USA).

Unsubscribe rate in the Reports

Since including an opt-out instruction in an SMS message is mandatory for US customers and optional for everyone else, the unsubscribe rate for an SMS campaign includes additional metrics that show how many unsubscribed contacts had that option. If all your messages were sent to US/CA customers, 100% of your Campaign recipients would have this option.

The unsubscribe rate for the SMS channel includes Stop replies and Unsubscribe link clicks. We do not differentiate them and process them the same way, although after replying Stop, the auto-response is sent.

We also do not count STOP to opt-out replies in the Automations reports. To display this data, we add it to the last-sent SMS Campaign's Unsubscribe rate. If you didn't send any Campaigns to those customers, they'd still unsubscribe, but it wouldn't be associated with any of your messages.

If you still have any questions, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

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