Understanding Consent

Understanding Consent

Overview:

At Text Groove, we have rules surrounding consent for sending messages. Consent doesn’t just apply to new contacts. It applies to all of your contacts - even the ones you import. Before you import a list, make sure you’ve got the right form of consent from every contact.

If it’s “reasonable to believe” that you have permission to text a contact then you have implied consent. Think of implied consent as getting more casual or inferred permission, whereas express consent is getting formal permission.

If a contact reaches out to your business and texts you first, then it’s reasonable to assume you have permission to text the contact back, but only specifically regarding their message.

The same holds true for email. If a contact emails your business, and their signature includes their phone number, then you can reasonably assume they’ve given you permission to call them. Meeting someone in person and getting their business card also gives you permission to contact them by the means listed on their card.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t grant you permission to send them promotional messages regarding your product, good or service.

However, if the contact asked specifically for that information, then you have express consent.

As Text Groove is primarily an engagement and 1:1 platform, Implied Consent is how most of the Text Groove platform operates.

The TCPA doesn’t specifically define express consent. It simply states that express consent is a written or oral agreement that clearly indicates consent to receive texts or calls at a particular phone number. Informational text messages fall into this category.

If a contact knowingly provides your business with a phone number as part of the normal course of business, then you have implied express consent to message them.

But this only holds if the content of the message you send the contact relates to the original reason they gave your business their number.

If a contact gave you their number and they expect to receive a confirmation of their appointment or receive pertinent information regarding their account, then your business has the right to contact them via implied express consent.

If you have a prior established business relationship with a contact, then in most cases you also have prior express consent.

This is written, recorded permission that a contact gives your business either on paper or electronically. Your business will need express written consent from a contact if you plan on contacting them regarding anything that’s promotional.

If the intent of your message is to sell or market your goods, product, or service, you need express written consent.

The thing to remember is that express written consent isn’t implied or assumed. You risk violating the TCPA until you’ve got written proof that they agree to receive texts for promotional purposes.

In this case, “written consent” doesn’t have to mean written by hand. You just need a record of it.

Digital agreements work great for express written consent since the FCC expanded the definition to include web forms, written verbal agreements, or opt-in via text message keyword.

Finally, don’t bury written consent in a long web form full written in legalese. The recipient should clearly understand the terms of opting-in.

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