What Is Opt-in and Opt-Out in Text Messaging, and Why Are These Important?

Learn what opt-in and opt-out means, how to remain compliant and avoid fees, and how being equipped with this knowledge leads to a better customer experience.

opt meaning in text

Using SMS messages to promote your brand and offerings is one of the best ways to succeed in the business arena. When planned and implemented properly, text message marketing can increase customer engagement and business revenue. Text messages are one of the most convenient and accessible channels for communicating with your customers, making it easier for you to determine their needs and wants and to create healthy relationships with them.

To ensure that the future text messages your business sends to customers drive long-term results, it's crucial to understand several terms first, like what dissecting the "opt" means when texting. Starting a text message marketing campaign without knowing the meaning of "opt-in" or "opt-out" and how each of them work can adversely affect your marketing efforts. In the worst cases, it can also result in fines and penalties.

We've written this article to give you in-depth information on what opt-in and opt-out mean in text messaging. Being equipped with this knowledge may become the key to implementing the most effective text message marketing campaign for your business.

What Does “Opt” Mean in Text Messaging?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to opt-in is "to choose to be involved or do something."

When it comes to business and text message marketing, opting-in occurs when customers give businesses permission to send them promotional text messages. As stipulated by the Telephone Protection Consumer Act, it is illegal for a company in the United States to market products and services through SMS messages without getting the customer's confirmation or consent first. This also restricts telemarketing certain text messages and phone calls, and the use of prerecorded voice messages and automatic dialing systems.

Getting a customer's opt-in enables you to build a database of phone numbers from individuals who are interested in knowing more about your brand and eventually buying from your business. Once you have an opt-in list, you can deliver promotional messages to the phones of your prospects.

What Does Opt-in Mean?

An opt-in text message is where subscribers express their written consent to receive special offers and other marketing-related messages from a specific company. When someone "opts in", it means that they're okay with receiving promos and other advertisements from a business through their phones.

In general, for someone to subscribe, they should:

  • Have the option of subscribing or not;
  • Clearly state that they're opting into a company's SMS marketing list; and
  • Be informed about how often they're going to receive text messages from the company (is it once or twice a week, or twice a month, etc.)

One common example of an opt-in text message is "Reply with YES to receive updates from (company name)."

What Does Opt-Out Mean?

The meaning of an opt-out text message is the opposite of an opt-in text message. A subscriber opting out of your SMS list means that they don't want to receive any updates or marketing-related messages from your business.

Typically, businesses will require subscribers to respond with a specific word to opt-out of the SMS list. These words can include QUIT, STOP, CANCEL, or UNSUBSCRIBE.

Why Are Opt-in and Opt-Out Options Important?

Offering opt-in and opt-out options are important because it saves your business from paying fines and penalties. Businesses who fail to comply with the TCPA can be fined up to $250,000. Yikes!

The same act also protects consumers worldwide from scammers who send fake text messages that trick them into giving their personal information. Reports show that more than 240,000 individuals were victims of SMS phishing in 2020.

Additionally, the opt-in and opt-out policies also protect consumers from receiving unwanted spam messages and help businesses comply with mobile marketing compliance laws. Opt-in and opt-out policies are supported by the TCPA to prevent businesses from buying a subscriber list from mobile carriers and blasting them with countless SMS messages every day.

Is Offering Opt-in and Opt-Out Options to Customers Worth It?

Offering opt-in and opt-out options to customers might delay your marketing efforts as you'll have to wait for the recipient's approval, but doing so is worth it in the long run. Giving your target audience the ability to decide whether or not to subscribe to your SMS list brings the following benefits:

Create a Positive Customer Experience

The first contact with your prospects is already part of their experience with your business. Sending messages all the time without giving them an option to unsubscribe can put your brand in a bad light. This can even become the reason why prospects will choose to patronize competitors over you.

Offering opt-in and opt-out options to your prospects provides a better customer experience by giving them the opportunity to choose how to engage with your brand. This level of personalization makes your brand more appealing in the eyes of your prospects, creating an easier decision for them to buy from you.

Improve Branding

Offering a unique and seamless experience through opt-in and opt-out options will significantly help how your prospects perceive your brand. Providing these options will make them feel that you understand their unique needs, and that they may be uncomfortable receiving text messages all the time.

Offering this kind of experience will help your brand stand out, and could be something that influences a customer's buying decision.

Save Resources on Marketing Campaigns

Formulating and sending text messages to individuals who aren't interested in your brand or what you have to offer will waste your resources. These funds could have been spent in other endeavors that could more productively benefit the business in terms of market share, revenue, or branding.

When you allow your prospects to opt-out, you'll have the opportunity to streamline your spending and identify who should receive text messages. Over time, this can help you save money without compromising the efficacy or reach of your marketing efforts.

Takeaway Points

Offering opt-in and opt-out options is a must, as it benefits your prospects and business. Plus, having these options will also protect your company from paying fines and penalties.

To ensure that you implement the best practices when offering opt-in and opt-out options, be sure to work with the best in the industry, like Salesmsg. Working with professionals is always a better option; they have the skills and experience to guarantee maximum results!

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