Why Freetext will keep you Data Protection-compliant

Freetext shortcodes are 5-digit numbers (in Ireland, these always begin with 50***) that allow you to advertise a “free to respond” SMS service to your customers. Freetext can be used for both inbound marketing; e.g. to enter a competition or opt-in to alerts “Freetext ENTER to 50100”, and also for opting out; e.g. to opt out “Freetext STOP to 50100”.

Why Freetext will keep you Data Protection-compliant

Data Protection and Freetext Opt-out

Freetext shortcodes are a great way of increasing your response rates as customers do not have any potential concerns about the cost of sending their SMS message to you.

However, in addition to this, Freetext shortcodes will help keep your SMS marketing compliant with Data Protection rules and guidelines.

There are some quite specific Data Protection requirements around mobile marketing, and penalties can be tough for any breaches – up to €5,000 per individual call or message to a maximum of €250,000 for an offending company. Add to this the legal costs and what was possibly an innocent oversight or error can really bite.

So how is Freetext relevant to Data Protection?

Data Protection law in Ireland specifies that opt-out of electronic marketing messages should be offered in the same medium as the promotional message; so if you send a promotional SMS message, you should enable customers to opt-out of future SMS marketing by sending you an SMS.

Additionally, the law states that opt-out should be free of charge. In the case of SMS, this implies that opt-out should be provided on a Freetext shortcode number.

While Freetext does incur an additional cost to the marketer, this small cost is infinitely preferable to a stiff fine and a possible court case.

In our experience of providing Freetext services to our clients we have seen that opt-out rates are generally low. It seems that customers are more receptive to hearing from a company when the power to control the communication is clearly in their own hands.

Please note that you should always seek your own legal advice if you have any concerns about Data Protection. We encourage all of our clients to visit www.dataprotection.ie to learn about their Data Protection responsibilities.

How do I activate Freetext?

Whether you are an existing or new customer of Púca and you would like to talk to us about Freetext please contact sales@puca.com or Freetext INFO to 50100.

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