Two New Rules You Need to Know Before Making that Telemarketing Call

On October 16, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a more stringent set of rules that govern marketing calls and text messages directed at consumers on their mobile phones. What does that mean for businesses that telemarket? If your organization fails to comply with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines, which places restrictions on calls, text messages and faxes, it could face actual or statutory damages from $500 to $1500 per unsolicited call.

The New Rules

1) According to the TCPA, companies using automated dialing systems or an artificial or prerecorded voice are required to obtain “prior express written consent” before making a telemarketing call to a wireless number, whether consumer or business. This requirement is also true for organizations calling residential lines using such technologies or messages. Under the TCPA guidelines, the FCC also considers text messages to be calls.

2) The FCC has also outlined that an established business relationship is no longer considered sufficient consent for telemarketing and texting purposes. Advertisers must still confirm prior express written consent from contacts before adding them to an autodial, robocall or SMS list, regardless of whether or not they’ve made a recent purchase.

What Can You Do?

While your organization is sorting out new processes, scrubbing lists and confirming consent, your marketing campaigns don’t need to come to a screeching halt. While email marketing might already be part of your overall lead nurturing strategy, you can lean more heavily on this element as your organization ensures that it’s taking the necessary actions to comply with these new call and text rules.

Consider email campaigns that include a direct call to action to help qualify contacts, such as an interactive contest, a gated educational asset, coupon codes or demo links, for example. You can use data services to accommodate new prospects, and may even offer recipients the opportunity to provide authorization for calls and texts. In addition, multi-faceted campaigns can target your audiences on mobile through email. Couple this strategy with added insight and analytics for more effective follow up, and your marketing strategies can keep moving forward, despite the changing regulatory landscape.