13 Aug Four Best Practices for Effective & Compliant Outbound Telemarketing Programs
By Holly Paulus
Telemarketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach a market quickly and cost effectively if done correctly, otherwise it can be costly. Even with the available callable universe of consumer numbers ranging from 8-10% nationwide after DNC & Wireless processing. Telemarketing programs still show promise for an effective channel. So, let’s break it down.
Most of us are not new to the world of Do Not Call (‘DNC’) Compliance or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (‘TCPA’), but the legislative rules are constantly changing, and new cases are setting precedent. Let’s take a high level look:
- The Federal Trade Commissions(‘FTC’) Federal Do Not Call Registry has been in place since 2003 with over 235 1 million phone numbers on the registry at the end of 2018.
- There are twelve (12) independent State DNC registries
- Various compliance Requirements under the TCPA for wireless and wireless ported numbers, with 96% 2 of consumers owning a cell phone.
- Add to that the explosion of TCPA claims, which are being led by Serial Plaintiffs and active litigators which are now surpassing 205,000 active litigants.
In addition to the high-level overview of compliance, it is critical to ensure you have current and correct data for the effectiveness of call contact rates and for the best results of your outbound telemarketing programs.
Understanding an implementing best practices, equips Energy marketers with the tools they need to run effective and compliant telemarketing programs.
1. Does Fresh Data Matter? YES! Always use Current lead data.
Absolutely! Fresh and recent data does matter to your contact rates and program effectiveness. Look for data sources that update their databases at least every thirty days. Data is dynamic and changes constantly especially when you are dealing with contact names, phone numbers and compliance. Walk away from the misinformation that a phone number is just a phone number. Reaching the right contact, helps reduce consumer complaints, improving brand reputation and brand impression. Utilizing fresh data for your telemarketing programs whether verifying current data, appending updates or selecting current leads these will all improve program effectiveness and costs by reducing the number of bad leads or non-compliant leads.
2. Centralized Processing & Documentation
Why centralized? When it comes to compliance documentation, tracking and having key insights into exactly what, who and how telemarketing leads are being processed for compliance provides you with the ability to respond quickly and concisely. This reduces overhead and eliminates the unnecessary expense of searching across many suppliers and call centers.
3. Get the Litigators out of your Marketing Programs!
There are a few direct sources of this service data that are available to remove known active litigants and serial plaintiffs from your customer and prospect marketing programs. Don’t take any chances with your brand reputation and possible litigation or class action, this is a cost-effective way to minimize your risk.
4. Customer Consent, Right Part Contact & TCPA compliance
Customer programs are not immune to the rules under the TCPA as a matter of fact, just because they are your customers does not mean you can call them unless you have obtained consent. You also must verify you have the correct contact name for the phone number where consent was given, before you dial. There are various levels of required consent under the TCPA legislation. This is a key area, where Energy Marketers are failing to obtain consent, verify right party contact, document and track the appropriate consent of their customers at enrollment, re-enrollment or renewal. Understanding the consent required and ensuring right party contact information is essential to mitigating risk.
1 “Federal Trade Commission; Do Not Call Registry Data Book,” 2018
2 Pewinternet.org: “Mobile Fact Sheet” 2019
Holly Paulus is Founder and President at Nexxa Group