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CEO Note: Compliance at Voyage SMS

CEO Note: Compliance at Voyage SMS

SMS compliance and deliverability protocols are constantly evolving. Voyage’s goal is to protect brands to the fullest extent possible when it comes to their SMS marketing and commerce program.

June 23, 2021

We recently learned that one of our competitors (another SMS marketing provider) is making false claims about our compliance program.

I want to assure you that we have always gone above and beyond to make certain our clients are in full compliance with the TCPA, CTIA and other regulatory bodies that may govern application-to-person communications, and marketing via text messaging. And we always will.

To ensure a lack of bias in our assessment, we are currently completing a full audit of the Voyage compliance program, conducted independently by third-party legal counsel. We’ll publish the results here when we have them.

SMS compliance and deliverability protocols are constantly evolving.

This year, we have already witnessed the impact of the deprecation of shared short codes and the introduction of 10DLC on an SMS marketing platform’s ability to adapt and evolve quickly. We have dedicated resources consistently canvassing the regulatory landscape, and we always embed relevant updates into our service and product accordingly.

Voyage’s goal is to protect brands to the fullest extent possible when it comes to their SMS marketing and commerce program.

As a reminder, Voyage clients have access to the following compliance-related features:

  • Robust reporting capabilities, to ensure they know when and by which method every subscriber has opted-in to an SMS program.
  • Manual unsubscribe of any customer, as requested in the Settings panel.
  • Double opt-in activation for certain list building methods that require it, including keyed-in entry and keyword list building campaigns

Additionally, we’ve received a few client requests to implement a “fuzzy opt-out” feature. This is not a hard requirement governed by the TCPA, CTIA, etc. However, as we always take product feedback seriously, we are working on shipping a best-in-class Voyage version of fuzzy opt-out before the end of the month – that will be more accurate than those of other SMS platforms.

The challenge with any sort of fuzzy logic is to not inadvertently unsubscribe someone who does not have that intention. We have direct evidence there are issues with this feature in other SMS platforms, including (ironically) the competitor making claims against us.

See below:

An example of an inadvertent opt-out due to imprecise fuzzy logic.

Voyage Fuzzy Opt-out will be smarter about ensuring that subscribers who are opted-in do not inadvertently unsubscribe.

For example, if a customer texts: “I would like to stop my order. Can you help me?,” this would not inaccurately unsubscribe the user.

Instead, it would generate a prompt to open a CS ticket and/or show up in our Live Conversions panel for response. In fact, carriers have explicitly stated that automatic opt-out within a use case such as this is “invalid.”

Voyage keyword and opt-out trigger logic tree.

Finally, we have also anecdotally heard that this same aforementioned competitor is claiming that multi-message drips are non-compliant.

This is also false.

The reality is that Voyage employs a more robust technology than our competitors, that enables multi-message drip automations that drive higher conversions and unlocks additional revenue from high-intent customers.

The only written guidance that exists in this regard references best practices, provided at present by T-Mobile only. The T-Mobile code of conduct suggests that one alert should be sent per abandoned cart within 48 hours.

To clarify, this is not a requirement by official governing bodies such as the TCPA and CTIA. We have confirmed this with two of the largest SMS message aggregators, who have decades of relationship experience with carriers.

In other words, at time of writing, sending a multi-message cart abandonment series will not result in a fine and is unlikely to result in any sort of broad message filtering.

Nonetheless, we are adding the ability to segment by a recipient’s carrier in our segmentation builder. If desired, brands can add a T-Mobile filter to their cart abandonment drip automation.

And, as always, brands can modify (and/or request that our service team modify) their cart abandonment automation series on the UI, to be single or multi-message.

We are confident that Voyage offers the most robust SMS marketing and message commerce solution in the market. Our platform will only continue to get more powerful over time, as we continue to partner with leading eCommerce brands.

As a reminder of what brands get with Voyage, that other platforms may not offer:

  • More robust segmentation, including event and attribute metadata drill-down
  • Custom events on the UI, for use in drip automations and segmentation
  • Multi-message drip automations
  • Flexible, advanced reporting with Voyage Report Builder
  • Dynamic Click to Buy, for browse abandon, cart abandon and checkout abandon drip automations
  • Personalized variables from event data and subscriber attributes in list building, drip automations and marketing campaigns
  • Fully custom, hand-crafted, on-brand modals that drive quicker list growth than templated and semi-custom modals
  • Personalized conversational commerce at scale through Live Conversions, including as a Voyage managed service (in beta, available for wide release in early Q3)
  • And more…with more to come.

These features offer brands the flexibility and precision to drive maximal revenue, hyper-personalize messages at scale, and grow + engage their communities.

As we continue to expand our team, including by growing our product and engineering functions, the Voyage platform will continue to evolve and advance.

We are committed to offering clients the most cutting edge solutions that SMS marketing and message commerce has to offer.

Rev Reddy
CEO of Voyage SMS

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