Customer databases are often not used to their fullest potential. Most companies are not aware of all of the ways that the information that they have collected from consumers can be used to increase or create revenue. Those that are aware of the ways that they can market to and monetize their databases are often hesitant to do so because they are unfamiliar with the various federal and state laws that govern database marketing. Such hesitation is justified considering the liability, including stiff fines, which can result from improperly marketing to consumer databases. Even if you are using, or planning to use, a third party to manage and market to your database, you should be familiar with the steps that must be taken at the time the information is collected to ensure that you are creating a database that can be marketed to lawfully.
This article provides a summary of two (2) of the most popular and effective marketing channels – email marketing and telemarketing – utilized in database marketing today. If you are interested in marketing to mobile phone numbers in your database, you should be aware that there are currently laws and other regulations in place that severely restrict your ability to market to mobile devices. As a result, you should obtain guidance from a licensed legal professional prior to engaging in any mobile marketing.
In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) and created the National Do Not Call Registry (“DNC Registry”). Consumers that do not want to be contacted by telemarketers or directly by sellers may register their residential telephone numbers, including wireless numbers, on the DNC Registry. Telemarketers are required to scrub against the DNC Registry at least once every 31 days.
Obviously, if consumers specifically request that you place their numbers on your internal do not call list, you may not call them, even if they have given you permission or if an established business relationship exists.
Please note that this is only a brief overview of some of the legal issues surrounding database marketing. Remember to obtain guidance from a licensed legal professional prior to marketing to your database or that of a third party.