It looks as though mobile numbers may be added to Indiana's Do Not Call registry soon. There's no word yet whether or not this will impact text messaging as well, but no doubt that this is around the corner.
The United Kingdom and Canada already include mobile numbers in their respectful Do Not Call registries. In the United States, both Utah and Michigan have Do Not Call registries that include mobile calling and SMS already. In my opinion, I believe that this is great news. I've always been an advocate of permission-based marketing. With the massive adoption of mobile devices with young folks, we should have enacted DNC registries years ago. Of course, then the tens of millions of dollars in charges to illegitimate mobile services couldn't have been collected.
This is important for both marketers and service providers. If you're utilizing a voice messaging or text messaging services, you'll want to ensure that your service is purging registry numbers from sending messages. Walter Meyer, President and COO of Vontoo – a leading voice and text messaging service said that their company filters outbound calls against the federal and state DNC lists.
Something to keep in mind is that if a company has written permission to contact someone, they may do so even if that person's number is on the DNC. Walter Meyer, Vontoo.
Walter adds that he's all for a Do Not Contact list for snail mail (postal) and email, too… it's a win for ethical marketers and for the general public. Walter discussed the challenges of voice marketing and said that while Vontoo has historically focused on marketing, their strongest growth is in reminders, notifications, and surveys.
It's important to note that Do Not Call registries don't behave the same way as email. With email, you can send an initial email as long as you have a means of opting out. Currently, this is how text messaging typically works… you have to opt-in to receive the text message and can opt-out at any time. Once the registries (and subsequent fines) are in place, you can never even send that first message – else you risk some monster fines!
Here's a list of where you can find the Do Not Call lists by state: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The federal Do Not Call registry for the United States doesn't currently protect mobile consumers… but I'm pretty sure addition of mobile and text messaging is imminent.