Business Text Messaging Etiquette

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Since its inception in 1990’s, text messaging usage has become an integral part of many people’s day-to-day life. In the business landscape, text messaging is being utilized to communicate with employees and customers quickly and all but ensure an instantaneous response.

However, while organizations can benefit from such efficiency, text messaging used in a negligent or careless manner can put a firm at risk of being noncompliant and exposed to data security breaches as well. The most prominent example of text messaging among employees using unacceptable consumer-grade messaging apps is WhatsApp.

Compared to enterprise-grade text messaging apps, WhatsApp and the like are much more vulnerable to hacking and other threats, exposing sensitive business conversations to potentially malicious third parties. Such event can cost the business thousands to millions of dollars due to reduced customer trust, loss of reputation and litigation.

When employees can use unofficial text messaging apps to communicate with their colleagues or clients, the business has no control of information being sent through those services nor the language used by them.  Those business conversations cannot be archived and searched in case of litigation– likely invalidating the company’s regulatory compliance.

To maximize the full potential of text messaging, we have compiled in this post a few key pointers that companies should follow when using text messaging in their business.

1. Only Send Messages to People Who Opt-In to Your Service

When using text messaging as marketing communication, it is imperative to send messages only to people who have explicitly opted to receive them. According to TCPA, a business must obtain the customer’s consent first before sending them messages. The only exception to this rule is that the business can send messages if the customer initiates the text conversation, and if the message is non-marketing in nature – such as a notification from debt collectors, schools, and healthcare facilities.

2. Always Provide an Easy Opt-Out

The TCPA guidelines also require businesses to have an opt-out for the first and succeeding message they intend to send. If the recipient does not want to interact any longer, they must be provided with the option to revoke their consent quickly by sending a certain keyword. If the opt-out process is too cumbersome for customers, then the TCPA might see that as an attempt to avoid the requirement.

3. Remember the Do’s and Don’ts of Business Texting

Whether a colleague or a customer, there are fundamental rules that businesses should keep in mind when using text messaging as a primary communication medium:


  • Completeyour words, your sentences, and your thought in one message.
  • Reread the message to ensure it is error-free.
  • Send a text if the information is urgent.
  • Be wary of the information you send.
  • Get permission ahead of time.
  • Have a definite ending to the conversation.


  • Don’t use text messaging for all topics.
  • Don’t spam people.
  • Avoid text slang and abbreviations.
  • Text and communicate only during (recipient) business hours.

4. Have Intuitive Understanding of Applicable Regulation

A plethora of industry rules and regulations surround the use of text messaging in business. As such, it is critical for companies to identify which one applies to their jurisdiction and interpret such rules in a manner which will eliminate the risk of non-compliance. Below are the compliance guides that we have published for the financial, healthcare, and government sectors:


Governmental Agencies

Healthcare Sector

5. Implement a Compliant Text Messaging Platform

Ultimately, businesses and organizations must implement messaging platforms that can provide compliance and security while allowing users to rely on texting as a means of reaching out to clients and colleagues. Companies that allow the use personal device in the workplace need to also consider the need for a secure/compliant mobile messaging platform that allows for real-time auditability – i.e., message retention, archiving – and encryption; both of the communication channel itself and data.

TeleMessage is a company that offers SMS archiving, mobile voice recording, and secure messaging services delivered as a cloud-based or on-premise service. Although these solutions require significant time and investment to implement, they are significantly less than the fines that would be incurred for non-compliance, as well as any added cost associated with eDiscovery during a lawsuit requiring text messages.

Contact us today to learn more about our mobile enterprise messaging platforms.

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