The Regulatory Landscape of SMS Marketing: Compliance and Best Practices

It’s a misconception that large businesses are the only ones who should be concerned about an SMS compliance checklist. 

The truth, however, is very different. For companies of all sizes, compliance is an essential component. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are included in this. Neglecting compliance may have severe legal and financial ramifications. 

The use of compliance checklists to improve SMS gateway strategies is discussed in this guide. By the end, you’ll understand how to guarantee text message compliance while fostering client confidence.

Let’s get going!

Risks of Non-Compliance

Before moving on, it’s important to emphasise how serious the risks are related to SMS marketing compliance. If you break the rules, you could face severe fines and even legal repercussions. Additionally damaging your brand’s reputation and driving away customers is non-compliant messaging.

What rules apply to SMS marketing in Australia?

In Australia, there are several governing laws and pieces of legislation that guide best practices.

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the first one you need to be aware of. In essence, this law exists to guard consumers against being misled or tricked by companies. 

Businesses must make sure that their content marketing is accurate, truthful, and not deceptive to comply with the ACL. So always keep in mind that honesty is key to a successful SMS marketing campaign. No question, right? 

The second law relates to privacy laws in Australia and is essential for any company marketing a good or service, particularly in light of the current online environment. 

The Privacy Act of 1988 governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by businesses. You must obtain consent from people before collecting their personal information and/or sending them SMS marketing messages about your product or service to comply with these laws. 

The Spam Act of 2003 and the Spam Regulations are the primary SMS compliance laws that we will be mentioning in this article. In a nutshell, these laws emphasise the significance of receiving explicit consent before sending any SMS marketing messages.

Best Practises for SMS Marketing Compliance & Regulations

Offer Options to Decline:

Make sure to include clear instructions on how to unsubscribe in every message you send. Opting out for customers should be easy and accessible at all times. Simple fixes for this include including a term that users can respond to, such as “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE.”

Sender ID

The network operator issues a sender ID that must be registered and approved to send SMS messages. The ID must be visible in the message’s header and cannot mislead recipients or pass as another entity or person.

Declare your Identity:

To earn your clients’ trust when sending messages, always put your name as the sender in the subject line. Including a physical address in your messaging may also help to establish the legitimacy of your business. By using this strategy, you can build relationships with your clients and make sure that your messages are not viewed as spam.


Last but not least, maintain transparency with your customers by being upfront and truthful about the kinds of messages they can expect to receive and how frequently. Explain how the data will be used and protected if you are collecting it.


Customers whose numbers are listed on the National Do Not Disturb Registry (DND) cannot receive promotional SMS messages unless they have specifically agreed to receive them.

Obtain Consent/Opt-in

Businesses make sure to obtain customers’ informed consent before sending them messages. Use simple opt-in processes and be specific about what your customers can expect from your messaging.

Requesting consent can be done via a web form, an opt-in SMS message, a phone call, or a checkbox on a sign-up form. It needs to be recorded and saved for later use. Make sure the opt-in process is easy to understand.

This means that for customers to receive SMS messages from your business, they must voluntarily opt in. Additionally, just because a client has provided you with their phone number does not imply that they consent to receiving your texts.

What are the SMS marketing regulations in Australia?

Consent! It still plays a crucial role today and can be expressed or implied, as we’ll cover below. Let’s assume for the time being though that you have the client’s permission. Next, what? 

According to the Spam Act of 2003, after consent has been obtained and recorded, your message must contain the following three components:

Your name and business name should be obvious and easily accessible since you have identified yourself as the sender. 

Your contact information is included in the message, along with any other pertinent details about your company and you.

Customers can opt out at any time; it should be simple and easy to stop receiving your products or services. 

Notably, this also applies to messages sent by a third party on your behalf or behalf of your company. The correspondence must be authorised by you, use your legal name or the legal name of your company, and include your Australian Business Number (ABN).

What makes SMS compliance so crucial?

It is your duty as a business owner to keep your SMS marketing legal and by Australian laws governing SMS marketing. Even though it may seem like a hassle, SMS compliance is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Protect you from any wrongdoing and severe fines 
  • Make your company and brand successful. 
  • Create a trustworthy and dependable image for your company.

Getting it all right might seem like an impossible task, but with Vision6’s SMS marketing software and our compliance hub, you can relax. 

Wrap up

A strong method of connecting with your customers is through SMS communication. Additionally, it may promote conversions. 

However, it is subject to certain SMS laws and rules. If you adhere to them, you can be certain to keep your reputation and stay out of trouble with the law. 

The best course of action is to implement this SMS compliance checklist. You can use it to prepare the ground for legal and effective SMS marketing campaigns.


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