SMS is a highly regulated channel and is subject to different rules, regulations, and carrier requirements. Certain message content is prohibited and wireless carriers will reject SMS and MMS messages containing prohibited content by default.

SMS has two main laws that have been implemented and enforced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission): the TCPA and the CAN-SPAM Act. SMS also has one main set of principles that is called CTIA Guidelines and has been implemented by the CTIA, which is a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the United States.

How Can You Remain TCPA Compliant?

Being compliant when it comes to SMS marketing is crucial in order to avoid lawsuits and expensive penalties for TCPA violations. In the below sections you will be explained how you can remain compliant.


Make sure you have your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy on separate links visible on the store. We strongly recommend you update your Terms of Service with SMS marketing-related sections. We created a template that you can use.

Opt-in compliance

You are only allowed to send marketing messages to those who subscribed to your text list. To have peace of mind that you’re growing your list in a compliant way, you need an SMS marketing platform that takes compliance seriously. Recart only provides SMS opt-in tools that are 100% compliant to TCPA, CAN-SPAM, and CTIA regulations.

Compliance features

  • Clear, readable offer

  • High-contrast CTA

  • TCPA and CTIA-compliant legal language

  • Links to Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Message compliance

  • Send a legal welcome 1st message

This is included in all Recart SMS Flow by default as it is mandatory in order to comply with regulations.

  • Include the business name as the first item in the message

This needs to be followed in every message that isn't tied together with other messages. E.g.: messages in flows after delays, campaigns.

  • Offer clear opt-out language "Reply STOP to opt-out" in most campaigns

Certain carriers recommend providing explicit opt-out instructions in every fifth message.

  • Stop messaging customers after they opted out.

This is done automatically by Recart, we block all messages moving forward, even manual ones. Learn more about how customers can opt-out of your list in this article.

  • Adhere to CTIA's SHAFT rule

    • The CTIA prohibits text messages that contain words related to sex, hate, alcohol, tobacco, and firearms (SHAFT). Even if your message isn’t related to SHAFT industries, using words that are similar can keep your texts from being delivered. That’s why it’s best to avoid keywords that increase the likelihood of triggering SMS spam filters.

    • Promoting alcohol is possible if the website is age-gated (no one under 21 can access it)

  • Avoid messaging customers too many times and inside quiet hours.

    • We recommend setting up Smart sending to 8 hours, and Quiet hours from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. Learn more about Smart sending and Quiet hours in this article.

  • Send a maximum of one abandoned cart SMS message, within 48 hour

    • You can only send one shopping cart reminder text message per month, which means that you can no longer send a series of reminders

    • You must send the abandoned cart text message within 48 hours of the shopping event

    • You cannot complete a purchase using credit card details sent via SMS or collect payment via SMS in any manner

SMS deliverability

Deliverability is the ability to land your SMS messages into subscribers’ phones.

Main reasons for declining deliverability

  • No welcome message with clear info and instructions (HELP, STOP)

  • No clear opt-out language in campaigns

  • Too many messages to a subscriber base in a short period of time

  • Prohibited content on link

  • Violation of SHAFT

Make sure you do not include prohibited content in your messages in order for successful delivery.

If you have remaining questions regarding SMS compliance and deliverability, do not hesitate to contact the Customer Support team.

Did this answer your question?