You must always check if customers want to be contacted by telephone, post or email, and give them the opportunity to object to it.
When you collect customer details, you must get their permission if you want to send them information, offers, notification of events or promotions. This is calling ‘opt-in’.
Many marketeers operate an automatic opt-in, unless you ‘opt-out’. Be careful adopting this approach, just because somebody has not selected to opt-out, does not necessarily mean they have given you consent to bombard them with promotional emails and special offers.
Opt-in and Opt-out are usually a check box on a web site form, data capture card, or screen on a computer which you fill in on their behalf. The most important thing is to make the customer aware of what they will receive and give them the option to refuse it.
Similarly, you must not share their information with another business unless you have their permission to do so first.
Once your direct mail starts, customers still have the right to opt-out and stop their information being used for direct marketing.
It is your job to make this easy for the customer, for example:
Text ‘STOP’ to a mobile number
Click the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the email.
It is essential to announce who you are when making a telesales call. Should a customer request it, you should also give them your business address and phone number. Interestingly, the number to call must be a freephone number.
If you are making unsolicited calls (i.e. without prior permission) you must check that the recipient has not registered with the Telephone Preference Service. This service holds a list of residential and business numbers which do not permit unsolicited calls. Currently in excess of 16 million domestic numbers and nearly 2 million businesses.
Visit www.tpsmanage.com for more information.
You can be fined £5,000 for each unsolicited call that has registered with TPS.
If you receive a lot of sales calls to your store, consider registering your business with TPS.
As with the TPS, people can register their homes and businesses not to receive direct mail (post). Contact the Mail Preference Service for more information.
You can only send emails to people that have given you their permission.