SMS Terms of Service Best Practices and Example

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Overview

Before you begin collecting SMS consent from your customers, it’s important to update your terms of service so that subscribers know what to expect. This article provides an example of terms of service for a mobile program. The highlighted portions show where you would insert your organization’s information.

This information is not legal advice. Klaviyo recommends that you consult with your legal counsel to make sure that you comply with applicable laws in connection with your marketing activities. 

Best Practices

Terms of service for an SMS program should contain: 

  • Program name
  • Product description(s)
  • Opt-out instructions
  • Help instructions
  • Customer support contact information (e.g., phone number or email address)
  • Privacy policy or link to privacy policy
  • Key statements and disclosures, such as:
    • “Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages” 
    • “Message and data rates may apply” 
    • “Message frequency varies,” or statement to set expectations for message frequency 
      • Note: Whenever frequency is approximate, carriers prefer the use of “varies” language
    • “SMS consent is not a condition of purchase”
    • “Texts may be sent using an automatic telephone dialing system” 
  • No language that holds the customer liable if they change their number without opting out 
  • If you use a short code for multiple types of messages (promotional, transactional, etc.), you will need a clear outline of each use case, along with the kinds of messages you send, and a mention of how they are optional programs (i.e., describe the optional process by which users sign up for them)
  • If applicable: language that indicates you plan to send abandoned cart reminders through your short code SMS program
    • Example: “If you have opted in, the Service provides updates, alerts, information, promotions, specials, and other marketing offers (i.e., cart reminders) from <Company Name>”

Your terms of service link should be secure and not be blocked by search engines or security software.

Example: Mobile Program Terms of Service

[Insert Brand Name]
Mobile Message Service Terms and Conditions

Last updated: [insert date]

The [insert Brand Name] mobile message service (the "Service") is operated by [insert full Company Name] (“ [insert Company Name] ”, “we”, or “us”). Your use of the Service constitutes your agreement to these terms and conditions (“Mobile Terms”). We may modify or cancel the Service or any of its features without notice. To the extent permitted by applicable law, we may also modify these Mobile Terms at any time and your continued use of the Service following the effective date of any such changes shall constitute your acceptance of such changes.

We do not charge for the Service, but you are responsible for all charges and fees associated with text messaging imposed by your wireless provider. Message and data rates may apply.

Text messages may be sent using an automatic telephone dialing system or other technology. Your consent to receive autodialed marketing text messages is not required as a condition of purchasing any goods or services. If you have opted in, the Service provides [ If you send transactional messages: updates, alerts, and information (e.g., order updates, account alerts, etc.)][ If you send promotional messages: promotions, specials, and other marketing offers (e.g., cart reminders)] from [insert Company Name] via text messages through your wireless provider to the mobile number you provided. Message frequency varies. Text the single keyword command STOP to [insert your sending number] to cancel at any time. You'll receive a one-time opt-out confirmation text message. If you have subscribed to other [Company Name] mobile message programs and wish to cancel, except where applicable law requires otherwise, you will need to opt out separately from those programs by following the instructions provided in their respective mobile terms. For Service support or assistance, text HELP to [insert your sending number] or email [insert support email address] .

We may change any short code or telephone number we use to operate the Service at any time and will notify you of these changes. You acknowledge that any messages, including any STOP or HELP requests, you send to a short code or telephone number we have changed may not be received and we will not be responsible for honoring requests made in such messages.

The wireless carriers supported by the Service are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. You agree to provide us with a valid mobile number. You agree to maintain accurate, complete, and up-to-date information with us related to your receipt of messages. 

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold us harmless from any third-party claims, liability, damages or costs arising from your use of the Service or from you providing us with a phone number that is not your own.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree that we will not be liable for failed, delayed, or misdirected delivery of any information sent through the Service, any errors in such information, and/or any action you may or may not take in reliance on the information or Service.

Important Note about This Example

If you are using this example as a base, take note of the following: 

  • If you are NOT using SMS for abandoned cart messages, please remove “(e.g., cart reminders)” from your terms of service
  • Remove the placeholders highlighted in yellow and only include transactional messages if you plan to leverage SMS for transactional sending
  • If you send transactional messages: updates, alerts, and information (e.g., order updates, account alerts, etc.)
  • If you send promotional messages: promotions, specials, and other marketing offers (e.g., cart reminders) from [insert Company Name] via text messages through your wireless provider to the mobile number you provided.

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