SMS Broadcasts are a great way of getting information to your patients quickly and efficiently. However, when creating a Broadcast, you will want to make sure that you comply with Anti-Spam legislation.
In this article
How can I avoid sending spam to our patients?
|The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have guidelines that can be found online. We highly recommend that you read their guide on how to avoid sending spam before sending a HotDoc Broadcast.|
When sending out a Broadcast, some main points to consider are:
- Make opting out clear and easy in the body of the SMS.
- Have your practice name within the SMS, and phone number the receiver can reach you on.
- Don't send messages to those not opted in, if you think it may be 'advertising' services.
If you do attempt to send a Broadcast SMS without a clinic name and opt out message included, we'll show an 'Are you sure?' message before proceeding to the next step.
While the rules from the ACMA page focuses on sales and marketing type communications, there may be cases where the guidelines may not apply.
For example, letting your patients know about an unexpected practice closure due to weather may be considered information rather than advertising services.
Other tips for Broadcast messages
- Don't send to patients that haven't seen you in a while (more than 18 months) unless you definitely believe it is ok to contact that person.
- Decide your target audience with considered thought, using demographic filters in your clinical software as much as possible.
- Send SMS during standard business hours (not 8pm on a Sunday).
- If you have a large number to send, break up the amount and send in smaller batches. If you've made any mistakes it's better to identify and re-send with a small group rather than everyone.
- Incorrect punctuation and grammar creates scepticism in the receiver. It can be seen as a reflection of quality in other areas of your practice so we recommend that you be tidy and exact.
- Avoid using exclamation marks, and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - in text terms it's considered shouting, and can appear like sales talk.
- Have someone else review the message before sending. We all have blind spots to our own typos!
- Always send a test sms to yourself first and check any links work if you decide to use them.