Text message marketing is regulated on various levels: State, Federal, and Carrier. Also, Twilio, as our third party SMS messaging service provider, has strict guidelines that must be followed to avoid being suspended.
In this article, you will find instructions on the steps to follow before creating your text messages as well as the language to use in them, and some other tips to make sure your customers receive your SMS marketing campaigns.
Get explicit permission and consent from the customer.
IndicaOnline offers the SMS & Email Opt-in option, which gives the staff with the appropriate permission an opportunity to get the patient's consent to receive marketing text messages.
To configure the Opt-in option, go to Config -> Templates -> SMS & Email opt-in.
Note that the patient should be checked in and their profile should contain no phone number )otherwise, you will want to remove the phone number and re-add it).
The patient's signature is stored in their profile.
To find the patient's signature, go to Patients -> Patient List -> Click on the patient's name.
In the patient's profile, open the Documents & Images menu. Here you will find the patient's signatures.
To view the signature and consent, click the View PDF icon.
Give your customers an option to easily unsubscribe. Include opt-out instructions at the end of your every message, i.e.: "Reply STOP to unsubscribe".
SMS Message Language Limitations
Certain words are banned and filtered by phone carriers, and SMS messages containing those words will prevent your customers from receiving your messages.
NOTE. Avoid using cannabis-related terms in your messages, such as Weed, Kush, Cannabis, Preroll, 420, etc. Different ways of spelling, like "k-u-s-h", are also detected by phone carriers, so it is best to avoid cannabis-related words at all.
Keep the content of your messages conversational, and refrain from using marketing texts that look like a direct ad. This is needed to prevent your messages from being tagged as spam.
SMS Blast Schedules
If you send your SMS blasts in large groups, it is important to schedule blasts in hour intervals and avoid sending messages to the same customers too frequently.In this way, your messages are unlikely to be seen as spam by carriers, either.
Please note that currently, IndicaOnline processes your marketing text messages via Twilio from 8 AM till 9 PM Pacific Time.
IndicaOnline shall not indemnify for any flagged or blocked message due to failure to follow the guidelines set forth above.
We recommend sending a "test" message to a few phone numbers, before sending a complete blast.
To send a test message, do the following:
- In your Twilio account, get a new test number.
- On your IndicaOnline backend office, go to Config -> Email & SMS Settings -> SMS Settings.
Copy the Account SID, Auth Token, and Messaging Service ID from your Twilio account and paste it into the corresponding field in your IndicaOnline backend office.
Click the Save button.
Copy the test number from your Twilio account and paste it into the Test Phone Number field.
Click the Send Test SMS button.
To learn how to send messages with Twilio, see the How to Send Messages with Twilio article.
If you have more questions regarding this article, you can submit your request to tech support.