In the evolving world of personal injury law, effective communication is essential for firms to deliver exceptional service and engage with clients. A powerful tool at your disposal is SMS or automated text messaging. However, to reap the benefits of this communication channel, firms must understand and comply with legal regulations. Let’s explore what you need to know about SMS messaging compliance, along with practical tips and examples.
Unlock the Benefits of SMS Marketing
SMS messaging offers several advantages for PI firms, including:
- Real-time Updates: Instantly inform clients about case updates, court dates, and settlement negotiations.
- Client Update Videos: Share prerecorded videos with your clients sharing the status of their case and answering common questions.
- Appointment Reminders: Reduce no-shows and missed appointments by sending SMS reminders and keeping clients on track with their obligations.
- Document Sharing: Share important legal documents, such as agreements and court filings, directly through SMS, providing clients convenient access to crucial information.
Maintain Compliance and Build Strong Client Connections
There are generally two types of SMS messages – transactional and promotional – each requiring a different type of user consent.
To ensure compliance, firms must clearly explain how they will use phone numbers and the type of messages and frequency contacts can expect to receive. Firms should keep records of the consent obtained to demonstrate compliance.
- Transactional SMS messages provide important information or updates about a specific transaction or existing relationship. Texting your client’s update videos is an excellent example of a transactional message.
- Transactional messages do not legally require written consent. Consent can be implied based on the existing business relationship. Verbal consent can also be given during a phone call.
- Always include an easy opt-out option for recipients.
- Promotional SMS messages aim to promote a product, service, or event for marketing purposes. An SMS message requesting a client submit a Google review would typically be considered a promotional message.
- Explicit and written consent is generally required before sending promotional SMS messages. Firms can obtain consent through a web form checkbox, signed agreement, or electronic opt-in.
- A consent statement on a web form can also collect implied consent.
Website Forms Can Collect Consent for SMS Messaging
Firms can obtain both implied and written consent by including a checkbox or a consent statement explicitly asking users to opt-in to receive SMS messages. This consent statement should inform users about the type of messages they can expect to receive, the frequency of messages, and how to opt out.
Example of a Statement of Consent for Transactional SMS Messages
Example of a Statement of Consent for Promotional SMS Messages
[ ] I agree to receive promotional text messages from [Law Firm Name].
Keeping Track of User Consent
Maintaining accurate records and documentation is vital for SMS messaging compliance. Firms should keep records of consent, opt-out requests, and any other relevant information related to the SMS messages sent. These records serve as evidence of compliance and protect against potential legal inquiries.
SMS messaging offers personal injury law firms a powerful tool to enhance client communication and engagement. However, ensuring compliance with SMS messaging regulations is essential to avoid legal risks. By obtaining explicit consent, providing clear disclosure statements, and keeping thorough records, law firms can build strong client connections while staying compliant. If you have questions regarding SMS messaging compliance, contact your Brand Strategist.