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How to Use SMS for Your Alcohol Brand

How to Use SMS for Your Alcohol Brand

Just because alcohol is considered a part of S.H.A.F.T. doesn’t mean your SMS can’t be top shelf. Whether you’re a craft brewer specializing in IPAs, a distiller aging fine bourbon, or a winery bottling the crispest pinot grigio, we’ve got all the compliance and marketing strategies for alcohol brands in one place.

August 26, 2022

S.H.A.F.T. SMS Compliance and Marketing Strategies for Liquor Brands

SMS is the most potent and personalized tool to inspire an audience. For alcohol brands on a mission to provide the best possible customer experience, incorporating SMS is a must when available. However, Sex-Hate-Alcohol-Firearms-Tobacco (S.H.A.F.T.) regulations heavily regulate these waters.  

Whether you’re a craft brewer specializing in IPAs, a distiller aging fine bourbon, or a winery bottling the crispest pinot grigio, FCC and CTIA guidelines explicitly regulate what you can send and to whom via text. SMS compliance laws are worth learning and getting right because alcohol vendors that do can create first-class experiences that bring customers back over and over again.


Understanding FCC and CTIA Guidelines and SMS Compliance Laws

Before you start operating SMS for your spirits brand, ensure you have the basic SMS compliance laws covered. FCC, TCPA, DNC, CTIA guidelines, S.H.A.F.T. SMS -- these are all acronyms you'll need some familiarity with to maintain SMS texting compliance and keep your operation flying high.

As your partner with SMS marketing success, Voyage is happy to navigate every acronym and term you need to know for your SMS campaign to generate conversions rather than unwanted attention from the law. Most notably, you’ll need to pay attention to Age-Gating. 

What is Age-Gating? 

All S.H.A.F.T. brands must ensure that their SMS audience is of-age to receive your products. Voyage helps many alcohol brands properly age-gate their SMS channels.

 Additionally, it’s wise to understand how enforcement of SMS compliance laws and FCC guidelines works. Enforcement has recently shifted – not because of new legislation, but because carriers now focus on enforcement. 

Carriers are paying more attention to S.H.A.F.T. brands to ensure they follow the FCC’s rules. As more alcohol and other S.H.A.F.T. brands use texting to reach consumers, carriers want to know who is and who is not complying with regulations.

💡 Related Resource: Blueprint for SMS and text message compliance.


Voyage Helps Alcohol Brands Ensure SMS Compliance and Customer Delight

Build deeper customer relationships and lifetime value while maintaining strict S.H.A.F.T. compliance. Voyage helps alcohol brands harness SMS for higher conversion rates by empowering brands to grow their SMS subscriber list quickly and engage the right subscribers with the right messages at the right time. Start with delighting customers with personalized SMS experience with the following exclusive Voyage features.

Custom Modals with Double Opt-ins for Double the Compliance

When it comes to opt-ins, make it a double. Voyage custom Modals allow for compliant, brand-centric list building. By helping you leverage best practices for subscriber opt-ins and creating double opt-ins with proper age gates in place, we help you grow your subscriber list compliantly. 

Stir Up New Subscribers with Keywords

Whether you’re preparing for an exclusive promotion or releasing a new label or collaboration, Keywords allow you to build broad and hyper-specific acquisition campaigns online and offline. Whether you’re looking to grow your general opt-in list at an in-person event or create a list from a specific promotion in specific locations and channels, Keywords help craft unique opt-in avenues for your brand’s particular needs wherever you want to build them. 

From your high-rollers interested in a limited release liquor, to your newly acquired subscribers from a wine-of-the-month promotion campaign, Keywords help you capture subscribers and build bespoke brand experiences.

Powerful Segmentation for Compliance AND Delight

Voyage has powerful segmentation tools, including segmentation based on geolocations. Match text messaging to compliance restrictions and standards for different states. For example, you can’t ship alcohol to customers in Utah or Mississippi, so it’s probably better to focus on subscribers in other states.  

Understanding selling restrictions helps your brand delight customers by sending your campaigns when and how they can take action.

👀 Related Resource: Full list of states where you cannot ship alcohol.

Deeper Connections with Voyage Deep Links

Build deeper connections with your existing followers and turn your social channels into an SMS acquisition goldmine with Voyage Deep Links. On mobile devices, Voyage Deep Links automatically open a text message to allow customers to opt-in to your SMS list when they click them. 

With the average person spending 145 minutes daily on social media, Voyage helps build your SMS list across all web platforms — including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter. 

SMS Alerts and Reminders for Higher Conversion Rates

Increase conversions and drop your online abandonment rates with Voyage SMS abandoned browse, cart, and checkout reminders. Help your customers complete their transactions with perfectly timed personalized text reminders. 

Build customer loyalty by giving your customers the option to receive Back-in-Stock notifications for when their favorites are restocked. Have an exciting new drink coming out? You can also use this feature to help you capture eager customers and notify them automatically when a product is dropped. 

Voyage knows that customer experience is everything, and sending a mass message when stock is limited can create poor customer experiences. Voyage intelligently batch sends Back-in-Stock alerts based on your available inventory. Give customers the power to request alerts and notify the right amount of customers when supplies are available.

Simplify Checkout with Click-to-Buy Links

Great engagement isn’t just about sending the right message to the right customer at the right time. It’s also about making it easy for that customer to take action. Make checkout easy for your customers with Click-to-Buy links

Insert dynamic Click-to-Buy message links within one-time Campaigns or multi-message Drip automations. Create a frictionless buying experience by taking SMS subscribers directly to checkout.

SMS + Subscription Reminders for a Perfect Pairing

Whether you have an existing subscription offering or are looking to branch out, Voyage integrates with leading subscription services like ReCharge so your customers can get reminders and easily modify orders via their subscription texts. From wine of the month clubs to Bourbon boxes and beyond, send upcoming shipping reminders and confirmations, so customers know when to expect their recurring coveted favorites in the mail.

Personalized 1:1 Texting with Live Agents

Like a sommelier for your SMS, LiveRecover by Voyage delivers real-time personalized 1:1 conversational texting with live agents. Convert your customers at scale by using real brand ambassadors (aka actual live agents) to power abandoned checkout recovery. These authentic conversations with real people typically result in a 20x ROI and recover up to 30 percent of abandoned checkouts.

Navigating S.H.A.F.T. compliance is not easy.  Voyage enforces compliance from opt-in to opt-out. We consistently canvas the SMS regulatory landscape and always embed relevant updates into our service and product accordingly. 

Set course and engage the SMS seas with Voyage. Grow your SMS list compliantly and convert them with best-in-class service. Book a Voyage demo today.
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