SHOT Show’s Text Marketing Choice: Is 42Chat the Right Fit?

SHOT Show's Text Marketing Choice: Is 42Chat the Right Fit?

This is our deep dive into SHOT Show’s pick for text marketing: 42Chat.com. For those steering the ship in the firearms industry, knowing the ins and outs of your marketing tools isn’t just smart – it’s essential. 

Let’s see how 42Chat stacks up.

Examining 42Chat.com 

Since 2016, 42Chat.com has been making waves with its chatbot services across various industries. They’ve brought a fresh angle to customer engagement from healthcare to sports. But does this fit the unique demands of the firearms industry?

  • Not Quite Cut Out for Firearms: Here’s the deal – 42Chat’s track record and policies don’t scream ‘firearms-friendly.’ They’re innovative, sure, but maybe not in the ways we need in the firearms sector. A critical feature like age-gating, essential for firearms compliance, seems to be off their radar. 
  • Political Leanings: 42Chat’s role in promoting COVID-19 vaccination might raise eyebrows. It’s something to consider when considering your text marketing platform’s overall image and political alignment. After all, the brands you align with speak to YOUR message; the friends you keep speak to your brand culture.
  • SHAFT Compliance – A Miss: SHAFT compliance is our bread and butter in this industry. But 42Chat’s approach seems a bit too general, lacking the specifics we need for dealing with Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco regulations.
  • Terms of Service – Read the Fine Print: A dive into their terms of service shows some gray areas, especially regarding sensitive information and industry-specific regulations. It’s like navigating a maze – you need to know where you’re going.

SHOT Show’s Compliance Game

Regarding the SHOT Show, playing by the rules isn’t just good practice; it’s an absolute must. The firearms industry operates under a tight compliance framework, specifically under the S.H.A.F.T. guidelines. This acronym stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco, and navigating this compliance landscape is no small feat.

Treading Carefully with Words

SHOT Show seems to be walking on eggshells, strategically avoiding specific words that could trip compliance alarms. This cautious approach is crucial given the industry’s sensitivity to language, but it’s only one piece of a larger puzzle.

The Missing Pieces – Age-Gating and Privacy 

Our research shows that SHOT Show might be missing a couple of key compliance components. For instance, there’s little evidence of age-gating, a process that prevents underage individuals from accessing restricted content. This isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a requirement set by organizations like the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) for industries like ours. 

A proper age gate isn’t just about clicking ‘Yes’ to confirm age; it involves entering a birthdate to verify that the user is over the legal age limit, commonly 21 for our industry.

Another gap we’ve noticed is in the area of privacy policies. Given the sensitive nature of the firearms industry, a robust privacy policy isn’t just about ticking a compliance box; it’s about building trust with your audience. It ensures that the data collected through text marketing is handled with the utmost care and in line with legal requirements.

10DLC Registration: A Compliance Must-Have

Another critical aspect of compliance in text marketing for the firearms industry is the registration of 10DLC (10-digit long code). This process ensures that text messages are delivered effectively and comply with carrier guidelines and regulations. 

However, our analysis suggests that SHOT Show’s current text marketing setup might not fully align with 10DLC requirements. Not having a proper 10DLC registration could lead to issues like message blocking or filtering, which can significantly hamper the effectiveness of a text marketing campaign.

Reflection on 42Chat’s Suitability 

Given these gaps, it begs the question: is 42Chat the right tool for SHOT Show’s compliance needs? While 42Chat’s terms of service emphasize adherence to national and local laws, including the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act and CAN-SPAM Act, they don’t explicitly cater to the specific needs of the firearms industry, like SHAFT compliance. The service’s approach seems to leave a lot of the compliance heavy lifting to the client, which can be a risky game for an event as high-profile as the SHOT Show.

Where Does 42Chat Shine?

42Chat.com has earned its reputation as a versatile player in the conversational AI space, catering to diverse industries with its innovative chatbot solutions. 

Its success stories cover various sectors:

  1. Event Management: 42Chat is great for managing large-scale events and conferences, enhancing attendee engagement, and streamlining communications.
  2. Sports and Entertainment: 42Chat’s solutions connect fans with sports and live entertainment events, improving overall experience and engagement.
  3. Educational and Corporate Events: The platform has facilitated communication and organization for educational institutions and corporate entities, showcasing its utility in academic and professional settings.
  4. Trade Shows and Industry Conferences: 42Chat’s expertise enhances exhibitor and attendee experiences at trade shows and conferences, showing its ability to adapt to various professional environments.

Why Some Clients Choose 42Chat Despite Industry-Specific Concerns? 

When some clients in specialized industries, like firearms, choose a service like 42Chat, it often boils down to a few key reasons:

  1. Broad Market Presence: 42Chat’s wide application across industries can be enticing. It signals a versatile, tried-and-tested solution.
  2. Strong Sales Pitch: A compelling marketing approach from 42Chat might focus on its strengths, potentially overshadowing the need for industry-specific features.
  3. Lack of Tailored Alternatives: The scarcity of services designed for niche sectors like firearms may lead businesses to opt for more generic, well-known platforms.
  4. Compliance Oversight: Sometimes, the finer details of industry-specific compliance, crucial in the firearms sector, might be underestimated, leading to selecting a more generalist tool.
  5. Following Industry Trends: Often, businesses go with what’s popular or widely adopted in the market, banking on the safety of a widely recognized choice.

If you don’t want to fall into any of the above traps, checkout our brief, but comprehensive guide on how to Bulletproof Your Firearm Business From “Woke” SMS Providers.


As we close out this discussion, remember: in the firearms industry, aligning with the right text marketing service is vital, one that not only understands your needs but also strictly adheres to SHAFT compliance. 

That’s where OtterText, led by CEO Ben Nelson, comes in. Ben doesn’t just know SHAFT compliance – he lives and breathes it. He’s recognized as a go-to expert in the realm of firearms compliance and SMS marketing. 

Choosing OtterText means you’re opting for a service deeply rooted in the specifics of the firearms industry, guided by a leader who’s at the forefront of compliance and marketing expertise. Check out his comprehensive answers during a NSSF Webinar to common questions in the industry. Additionally, boost your event attendance and sales with our firearm event text guide

Closing Note 

As we gear up for the SHOT Show, we’re excited to invite you to the OtterText booth, where we’re showcasing a text marketing solution crafted for the firearms industry. Our focus? Pure transparency, unwavering compliance, and a vigilant, forward-looking approach. We understand the unique challenges you face, especially with SHAFT compliance. That’s why our CEO, Ben Nelson, an expert in firearms compliance and SMS marketing, will be there to share insights and strategies.

Come find us at Booth 80414 on January 23-26, 2024 at SHOT Show. Not just to see our solution in action but also to dive into discussions about enhancing your customer experience, boosting retention, and much more. We’re also teaming up with AXIS/Gearfire, AIM by Tritech, and Payrock, offering a holistic view of how integrated solutions can revolutionize your business.