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iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging Improves Marketing Efforts

April 06, 2017

We’ve all heard of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which has been providing the rules of engagement for company/customer interactions since 1991. For consumers, it’s a saving grace that protects them from unwanted messages and spam. For companies, it defines a clear set of rules on how they can and cannot contact customers. On the surface, this seems like a fairly straightforward, easy to follow set of rules. However, recycled numbers and various other complications make it difficult for many companies to completely stay within those guidelines, even though they want to.

Try as they might to only send messages to consumers who want them, several marketing companies fall victim to TCPA. This is largely because of recycled and reassigned numbers. There are approximately 45 million U.S. mobile numbers reassigned every year. So say, for example, Harry signs up for text alerts from Target. However, he then gets a new phone, his number is reassigned, and he doesn’t unsubscribe from or update his Target notification preferences. That means that Sally, who now has Harry’s old phone number, is going to be receiving several unwanted texts from Target. This is bad for everyone involved—Harry is missing out on some great deals, Sally is getting spammed by texts she doesn’t want, and Target is unknowingly out of compliance with the TCPA.

Those who go against TCPA regulations can face hefty fines. Fines are set at a minimum of $500 per unsolicited contact, and can increase to $1,500 per contact if the offenses are determined to be deliberate. With the number of recycled numbers out there, that can turn into some major revenue loss for companies. Papa John’s found that out the hard way a few years ago when it had to pay $16.5 million to resolve a nationwide class action alleging that it advertised pizzas through unwanted text messages.

Therefore, although text messaging is an effective outreach method for marketers, it’s only useful if the messages are going to people who want them. Consumers don’t want to be harassed, and marketers don’t want to be the ones doing the harassing. Yet, mobile numbers are one of the more popular ways for companies to authenticate a user’s identity. So it’s an honest mistake if a company uses its contact list to send advertising messages to users and, until now, there was really no way for marketers to tell if a number still belonged to the original user.

That’s why iconectiv launched its new iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging solution on Monday. The service is directed at mobile marketers, messaging aggregators and contact centers to help them communicate with the correct consumers. Under the TCPA, companies need to have permission to send messages to a mobile number and to an individual, and the solution helps by keeping track of that information.

Scott Puopolo, Executive Vice President, Information Solutions, iconectiv, explained how the solution helps by saying, “Our Right Party Verification for Messaging service keeps the contact base up to date, keeps the marketing flowing, the customers engaged, and the regulators and associated fines at bay.”

With an updated contact base, ad agencies and the brands they represent can send out texts without having to worry about TCPA backlash. That means they can actually focus on the advertising messages they’re sending out, ensuring quality content that consumers want to see and are interested in. Because, at the end of the day, consumers still want certain notifications—they just want to have signed up for said notifications. As long as companies are sending those messages to the right people, both brands and consumers can benefit in the long-run.

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