As a marketer, you have plenty of resources at your disposal to reach out to new prospects. Although part of your marketing strategy is to engage your customers through content and other relationship management strategies, you likely also do your fair share of outreach through phone, email, SMS messaging, and other channels.
But sending out too many unsolicited messages puts you at risk of not complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Do Not Call (DNC) regulation. It also jeopardizes customer privacy rights and betrays the trust people have put into your brand.
If you’re not sure how to continue your marketing efforts while adhering to state regulations, we’ve got you covered. We explain compliance regulations for marketers in detail and provide advice on how you can safely reach new leads.
Why are Compliance Regulations for Marketers Important?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) have various laws and regulations to protect consumers against misleading ads and unwanted marketing messages. With the technology boost in recent years, it comes as no surprise that government agencies took action to protect people and their privacy.
Compliance regulations for marketers protect customers from being misled. They force brands to respect privacy rights and use collected customer data with care, reducing the SPAM sent out through email, phone calls, and other communication forms. The TCPA, GDPR, and DNC give consumers control of how many messages they receive and how their data gets used.
While these regulations undeniably protect customers, how do they help marketers? Staying compliant as a marketer is essential because you can easily cross the line from informative to intrusive, tarnishing your reputation and alienating potential customers. When you respect and protect customers’ rights and wishes, you get to build trusting relationships, nourish a positive brand image, and increase revenue.
Things You Need to Know About Main Data Privacy Laws
There are more than a few laws around the world that protect people from unsolicited calls, malicious data use, and other harmful marketing strategies. We review the three main ones today to help you stay compliant and safely operate your business.
What is TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991 to protect the public from too many telemarketing calls. The law was later updated to include other channels as people increasingly began to use email and text messages. In general, the TCPA states that your business can’t call, email, or text message anyone without their consent.
If your business contacts someone without permission, you run the risk of them reporting you to the FCC. The TCPA fines go up to $500 per violation but can reach $1,500 if the FCC determines that your company knowingly violated the law.
Since the FCC doesn’t put a statute of limitations on violations, it can fine you for an unsolicited message from years ago. The best way to avoid penalties is to stay compliant with the TCPA from the get-go.
TCPA Compliance Best Practices
Whether you’re marketing to new leads using email, phone calls, SMS messages, chatbots, or other methods of communication, make sure you’re always in compliance by following the next steps.
- Get consent for marketing communications or any other form of contact that includes reaching the customers. Your leads should willingly be on your mailing or phone list.
- Record consent by adding an opt-in form or sign-up sheet to your website.
- Each contact should know how to opt out.
- Don’t contact people after they’ve opted out.
- Only call people within the recommended time frame. That is between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the customer’s time zone.
- Respect when customers don’t want you to contact them.
What is DNC?
The Do Not Call (DNC) registry is a database established by the FTC in which consumers can sign up and opt-out of telemarketing calls. Telemarketing companies must check the DNC registry before contacting customers. If they reach any name on the list, they face severe penalties.
Since the advent of robocalls, many companies have managed to stay ahead of the DNC. According to the FTC’s website, the agency receives millions of reports each year. That said, the penalties for telemarketing to people on the DNC list are steep. The fines for contacting people on the registry can exceed $43,000 per call.
DNC Best Practices
You should subscribe to the National DNC Registry to stay compliant and avoid penalties. The subscription comes at a price but is much less costly than the potential penalties. Once you get access to the registry, you can run your list against the database and scrub numbers on the registry.
You can contact consumers on the registry if you have written consent from them. Like TCPA compliance best practices, it’s best to have a contact form or a sign-up database so you can record consent for every person on your phone list. That way, if someone tries to report you for calling, you can counter the claim with the consent form you got.
What is the GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the best privacy laws in the world. It covers consumers in any country that is part of the European Union. If you do business internationally, it’s best to become familiar with this law as it governs how your business can collect and use customer information.
Your company must be transparent about why you’re collecting data and how you will use it. When processing customer data, you are obligated to keep it secure under the GDPR, and you can only use it for disclosed purposes.
Fines vary based on the infraction, but they can reach 20 million euros ($20,372,000). You could put your company at risk by misusing cookie data, violating your privacy policies, or not getting contact consent from customers.
Some of the world’s largest companies have faced steep fines because they didn’t clarify the use of customers’ cookies. To protect people’s privacy, Chrome and other browsers plan on phasing out this tool. Another data tracking method will likely pop up to take the place of cookies, so you may want to develop other data-gathering strategies in response.
GDPR Best Practices
Stay Compliant With Expert Help
If reading about TCPA and GDPR best practices has your head spinning, don’t worry. Compliance regulations for marketers can sound more intimidating than they are in reality. With expert help, you can easily stay compliant by keeping a detailed record of your customer consent, privacy rights, and more.
Aktify takes all the guesswork out of the following compliance regulations for marketers. We can help you create consent forms, opt-in messages, and more tools that will allow you to contact new leads while complying with TCPA, DNC, and GDPR.
Because we use robust data science and machine learning to improve conversations between brands and people, your marketing efforts will pay out quickly and without much effort. Once you incorporate consent language into your client communications, Aktify will help you create campaigns that engage potential clients and pique their interests.
Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you grow your company.