Compliance in MobileCompliance. That’s not a subject that you (or I) as a marketer ever really want to focus on. Tell us about the newest, latest, and greatest technology that we can use to reach out and engage our customers. Tell us how we can use the latest location, mobile web, and messaging technology to create customized and engaging experiences that really harness the social powers of our community. But compliance? I’d rather not.

But the truth of the matter is that before you can get to the cool, the cutting edge, and the engaging, you need to understand the foundation upon which your mobile marketing programs are built. When dealing with a marketing channel, like text, where there is financial risk in breaking the rules, the importance of understanding that foundation only increases.

Below I have broken down three major aspects of your mobile marketing campaigns that you should be focusing on from a compliance perspective:

1) Opt-In: You would think that in 2013 the matter of obtaining express written consent from your customers would be something that was well understood by every company. Unfortunately, as this $250 Million lawsuit against Papa John’s shows, that’s not always the case. If you send a customer an email without the appropriate consent, you risk the email being deleted and negatively affecting their customer experience. But if you send just one customer a text message without express written consent, not only will you risk their relationship with your brand, but also very real financial liabilities.

2) Messaging Compliance: Just obtaining opt-in from your customers is not enough. Whether you are aware of it or not, in the mobile world every single customer interaction has a set of rules and regulations that it must follow. I won’t bore you with the whole list here, but you should become very familiar with this document. If the mobile marketing platform you use does not explicitly enforce these rules, or if the vendor you work with seems unaware of these rules and can’t help advise you, it’s time to find another partner.

3) Active Database Management: Once you have obtained express written consent from your customers to communicate with them, you may think you’re in the clear. But did you know that over 500,000 mobile numbers are deactivated, transferred, or recycled every single day in the U.S. alone? That means that the mobile number that was opted into your campaign last month may now belong to a different individual, and if you deliver a message to it, you may be messaging someone who never gave you permission to message them at all. Without actively managing your database against this daily list of deactivated numbers, the potential risk of being out of compliance significantly increases.

Want to learn more? Along with a few others from the SoundBite team, I will be hosting a webinar with the MMA on the 4th of April titled Maximizing Reach and Minimizing Risk: Compliance in Mobile Marketing. Register here.