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S.H.A.F.T. SMS Compliance for Vape and Tobacco Brands

S.H.A.F.T. SMS Compliance for Vape and Tobacco Brands

SMS is the most potent tool for personalized customer experiences, and understanding the S.H.A.F.T. compliance laws and CTIA guidelines are non-negotiable. 

October 14, 2022

Don't Let Your Brand’s SMS Dreams Go Up in Smoke

As the most personal and direct marketing channel, SMS is a no-brainer for vape and tobacco brands to build deeper customer connections. But strict SMS compliance can be tricky for brands under S.H.A.F.T. regulations.

As a vape/tobacco brand, you’re already focused on maintaining strict compliance with FDA regulations. Let Voyage be the wheelman for your SMS S.H.A.F.T. compliance to market your vape/tobacco products and accessories to meet these rigorous standards.

SMS is the most potent tool for personalized customer experiences, and understanding the S.H.A.F.T. compliance laws and CTIA guidelines are non-negotiable

Vape and Tobacco SMS Compliance Laws and CTIA Guidelines

SMS compliance for vape and tobacco companies can feel hazy. Here are some must-know details to get you up to speed with who regulates text messaging and to what extent:

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable communications in the United States territories. 
  • The FCC is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the U.S. government’s laws and regulations on all forms of communication - including SMS messages. 
  • Along with the FCC, the Telephone Consumers Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from receiving automated messages and calls from telemarketers or other companies.  

These overarching compliance regulators enforce standards for messaging, but vape/tobacco, firearm accessories and ammunition and well as alcohol brands also have to comply with S.H.A.F.T. regulations and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) to use text messaging for marketing purposes.

What is S.H.A.F.T. compliance?

Sex-Hate-Alcohol-Firearms-Tobacco Regulations (S.H.A.F.T.) are monitored and enforced by both the CTIA and carriers. These CTIA Short Code Monitoring regulations focus on explicitly regulated brands, including vape and tobacco vendors. 

  • S.H.A.F.T. brands selling federally illegal items such as cannabis are NOT allowed to send SMS. 
  • Any content that has or promotes adult or sexual content, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco can use SMS - only with a strict requirement to create an age gate that includes a birthdate to ensure that the users who receive and view the message meet the age requirements. 

Voyage helps brands navigate the compliance seas with proper age-gating and content guidelines and ensures brands can benefit from the conversion power of SMS legally. 

Age-Gating Requirements for Vape and Tobacco Brand SMS Marketing

Per S.H.A.F.T. compliance laws, your brand cannot send any texts to underage people. To enforce this requirement, SMS subscribers must verify their age and birthday at opt-in, and brands are required to strictly maintain list compliance.
A highly important note on age-gating: Text-to-join campaigns DO NOT count as age-gating. Age-gating must prevent anyone not meeting age requirements from subscribing, which requires Modal (form) usage for online opt-ins.

These regulations are held by CTIA and mobile carriers, which both enforce and monitor text message compliance for S.H.A.F.T. brands, including vape and tobacco companies. So, even if the government isn’t shaking you down, your carrier keeps an eye out to ensure everything is above board.

Related Resource: Blueprint for SMS and text message compliance

Choose the High Road and Guarantee SMS Compliance for Your Vape/Tobacco Brand with Voyage

Voyage works with vape, tobacco, and accessory brands to build customer loyalty through compliant SMS. Start growing your SMS channel with Voyage-exclusive tools to help you grow, connect with, and delight your customers. 

💚 Grow Strong: Acquire New Subscribers with Custom Modals and Double Opt-ins

Don’t pass on double authorization. Voyage enables brands to craft custom Modals for easy double authorization. Grow subscribers with compliant opt-ins at critical points in your customer experience. Include age-gating and rest assured your opted-in subscribers will keep your SMS list compliant. Recover lost revenue and drive conversions with targeted Modals for abandonment events, customer service use cases, and specific campaign promotions. 


💖 Spark CLTV with Personalized Customer Journeys and 1:1 Conversational Texting

Crafting personalized customer experiences requires powerful segmentation to deliver the right messages to the right audience at the right time. Whether you’re looking to segment by past purchases, audience demographics, or send a special promotion to encourage dormant subscribers, Voyage helps your brand connect with the right audiences with robust segmentation features. 

Personalized customer journeys based on customer behavior elevate conversion rates and build CLTV. Voyage SMS abandoned browse, cart, and checkout workflows help shoppers complete transactions through perfectly timed text reminders. Voyage also helps vape/tobacco brands build excitement around out-of-stock inventory or the latest product release through waitlists and Back-in-Stock notifications. Capture eager customers and alert them when a product drops with intelligent batch sends that send to segments of your waitlists based on available inventory.

Complete your personalized customer journeys with a genuine human connection. LiveRecover by Voyage converts customers at scale using real brand ambassadors to power 1:1 text conversations. Proven to average 20x ROI and recover up to 30 percent of abandoned checkouts, LiveRecover agents can answer questions on promotions or product variations and clear up any haze on shipping details that might be stalling customers from completing their purchase.

❤️‍🔥 Ignite Customer Delight with SMS Conversion-Focused Tools: Voyage Click-to-Buy and Subscription Service Integrations

The key to customer delight is not only offering great promotions or sharing new product releases but making it easy for customers to take action. Click-to-Buy links make it easy for customers to order their new favorite product directly from your campaign. Build frictionless purchase journeys by including Click-to-Buy links in automated workflows and single-send campaigns. 

Whether you’re interested in expanding services or have existing subscription options, Voyage integrates with leading subscription solutions like ReCharge for text subscription reminders and notifications. Alert customers directly when their next order is due for sending and remind them when their items are en route. 

Keep your SMS compliance rolling with Voyage. Book a demo today.

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