Spam Texts on the Rise: What Healthcare Organizations Should Know
Several recent reports show that spam texts are a growing challenge. This makes it even more imperative that healthcare organizations carefully choose their text messaging service provider, looking for certain qualities that will make a difference in compliance and texting success. Before we discuss those factors, let's take a quick look at some of the most recent data on spam texts.
An NPR report citing RoboKiller data notes that more than 47 billion spam texts have been sent so far in 2021, which is up 55% from 2020. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that it received approximately 14,000 consumer complaints about unwanted text messages in 2020, representing an almost 146% increase from the number of complaints in 2019. Finally, the 7th edition of the Truecaller Insights US Spam & Scam Report notes that the average number of spam texts per month is about 17, continuing significant year-on-year increases.
The FCC is hoping to reduce the number of spam texts through rulemaking that, if adopted, would require mobile wireless providers to block illegal text messaging. "In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important," stated Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a news release.
While the FCC works on its end to address the increase in spam texts, healthcare organizations that currently use or are considering using texting should take a few steps of their own to help ensure they are properly using texting and their messages do not get flagged as spam. Both concern who healthcare organizations partner with to launch a texting program.
What Healthcare Organizations Need to Do
First, organizations will want to choose a company that uses a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform and supporting operations that protect sensitive data.
Second, organizations will want to choose a text messaging company with engagement experts who work with their partners to facilitate successful delivery of messages that improve outcomes for you and your patients. Success can also be measured in a few other ways. Texts should be effective, with high levels of open rates and interaction. This is best achieved through various tactics, including ensuring that messages feel personal and non-intrusive.
The other essential factor for texting success is that messages must be compliant with the latest laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), and are expected to follow current guidelines, including those from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and CTIA. An organization that partners with a text messaging company which does not follow current laws and guidelines runs the risk of not only experiencing poor performance with texting campaigns but also facing potential penalties due to non-compliance.