The UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that 32% of British households are signed up for the “Telephone Preference Service”, similar to the US “Do Not Call” or Canadian “Do Not Contact” initiatives. They also report over 20,000 UK companies are contained in this directory. With fines up to almost $12,000 (£5,000) for calling these telemarketing opt-out numbers it is wise to not make a mistake.
How do you get around prospecting and the cold call when you can’t telemarket?
Personally I take offence to most telemarketing attempts targeted at my home and business. Most of these are not targeted and therefore irrelevant. As a marketing consultant I am the sole “employee” of my business. Yet, Pitney Bowes has called me three times in two months (I track this so I know) to sell me an automated mailing system. When I advise them I mail a maximum of 5-10 things per month (!) they quickly let me know that I can get their equipment and service for a free 3-month trial. Didn’t they hear me? Even a cost of $5.00 per month for their system would double my mailing costs.
Furthermore, anyone calling during “dinner time” (for my household that is 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM) will get a rude, “No thanks and please ensure you remove me from your database so you don’t call me again.” I will even “boycott” companies and brands that use this tactic. In fact, any brand that does something to irritate me will often be on my personal boycott list. I have confirmed this is what many others do, as well.
So doesn’t it make sense to work on your permission marketing? Why piss off people who aren’t interested or who feel “interrupted”, especially if they might boycott or “dis” your brand?
Permission marketing starts with getting permission from your customers and prospects. However, make sure you get the right permission. Acquiring “marketing permission” is something I have preached for many years. Even before the US and other jurisdictions made it law to capture permission for email marketing I suggested marketers get permission to communicate to individuals in exchange for offering relevant information and offers. This can extend to include direct mail (some jurisdictions have, or are planning, “Do Not Mail” registries) and telemarketing, but is currently focused mainly on email.
In Canada the privacy laws require marketers to get permission to collect and use “personally identifiable” information. This can be included in the capture of “global” marketing permission, thus helping you comply with laws and guidelines across most jurisdictions.
How do you use this permission? Start by asking about preferences and then delivering against these. Consider using “advergaming” to truly engage people with your brand. Just make sure you don’t misuse or abuse your permission or it will be revoked.