FCC Has Made It Illegal

The FCC has ruled that SMS spam messages to cellphones are illegal, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the CAN-SPAM Act. Courts have been aggressive in prosecuting spammers. As a result, while 90% of email in 2010 was spam, a negligible percent of SMS messages were spam.

Carriers Forbid It

Wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint control who gets to send messages to mobile phones. If they see suspicious messages or large volumes, it’s easy to shut the sender down. While anybody can sign up for an email address, having a phone plan requires an airtight contract with the carriers.

The Benefits: Increased Attention

Because there is no text message spam, people still turn to their phones as a safe place. By engaging them on the device they use most – and a device they trust – you can build one-to-one relationships with your target audience.

Beware of Sending SMS Like Email

Some companies offer mobile platforms that don’t send text messages through the telecom carriers. Instead, they send their text messages through an email gateway – something like 6460001234@vtext.com. The goal is to get around the wireless carriers’ protections.

Beware of these operations. If messages are sent through an email gateway with significant volume, the carriers can still shut down the illegitimate traffic. Furthermore, those messages are often delivered late, if they are delivered at all.

To make sure you’re partnering with someone who can deliver your messages on time and not get marked as spam, a good first question to ask them is if they use a carrier-approved short code, or if they just use an email gateway.

Mobile Commons has invested in top-flight infrastructure so that your messages are always timely. We’ve found that it’s only slightly more expensive to do it this way, but makes for a better experience for both you and your message recipients. That means better results – that end up being cheaper on a per end-user basis.