** This article is not intended to be legal advice **
Businesses have to interact with many parties to accomplish their goals. For instance, marketers are responsible for creating brand awareness to attract potential customers. However, how you communicate or use the data you collect is subject to various state, federal, and international regulations.
This post focuses on five vital regulations that may affect your marketing efforts. Why do these rules exist? How can you stay compliant, and what can happen if you are in violation? Read on to get the answers.
Most businesses use email for official communication and marketing. According to research, almost 90 percent of marketers use email to broadcast content organically. Over 80 percent of small businesses take email marketing as the primary customer acquisition method.
However, many digital marketers are not conversant with the CAN-SPAM Act, which defines how you should approach email recipients. It protects individuals from unsolicited emails from businesses and brands.
The CAN-SPAM Act has seven main requirements. To keep your business compliant, follow the following guidelines:
Your marketing email should vividly identify your business in the 'From' and 'Reply to' fields as well as routing information. The sender's email address and the originating domain name must be accurate to identify the individual or business that sent the email.
Don't lure people into opening your messages by using deceptive or misleading subject lines. The subject line must reflect the content of the email.
The CAN-SPAM ACT requires you to disclose your marketing or promotional emails as advertisements conspicuously. There's leeway in how to do it, not necessarily on the subject line.
Business emails should also bear your current physical postal address. It can be the post office box you have registered with the USPS or your street address. It can also be a private mailbox registered with a recognized commercial mail receiving agency.
Some of your contacts will want to unsubscribe from your marketing emails at some point. The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to provide email recipients with clear instructions on how to opt-out of receiving your emails. You can create a menu that allows users to choose the types of emails they don't want, but there should be an option to stop all your commercial messages.
Your opt-out mechanism should process requests to stop receiving emails within ten business days. You can't charge the users or require them to take any other step besides confirming their intention to exit. Further, you can't sell their email addresses, but you can transfer them to a company you have outsourced to help with CAN-SPAM Act compliance.
Even if you hire a third-party to handle your email marketing, you retain the legal responsibility to comply with the law. Insist that the agency sends you a copy of marketing emails for approval before releasing them.
The CAN-SPAM Act covers all commercial advertisements and promotions sent via email. These include messages that promote content on business websites. The Federal Trade Commission spells out harsh penalties for noncompliance. Each separate violation gets a fine of about $43,792.
Another popular digital marketing method is telemarketing. It involves a salesperson soliciting potential customers to buy products or services over the phone or web-based channels.
The government created TCPA to address consumer concerns about telemarketing. The act sets the guidelines for telemarketing based on consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It places some restrictions on the use of various telemarketing devices and practices.
If you are a telemarketer or solicitor, adhere to the following rules:
The FCC revised TCPA rules in 2012 to require telemarketers to obtain written consent before robocalling consumers. Callers cannot take advantage of established business relationships to avoid seeking permission. Telemarketers must also provide an automated and interactive 'opt-out' mechanism for every robocall.
The FCC prescribes penalties of up to $500 for one TCPA violation. The fine for a willful infringement can be as high as $1500. Since there is no cap on statutory damages, penalties for multiple violations can quickly proliferate.
Almost every service or transaction involves data collection and analysis. On many occasions, unauthorized persons have accessed, stolen, or misused data.
GDPR requires organizations to gather personal data under strict conditions and protect it from misuse and exploitation. They must also honor the rights of data owners.
Personal data includes names, bank details, addresses, race, religion, and mental and physical characteristics. It also incorporates anything that can identify an individual, like mobile device IDs, contacts, IP addresses, web cookies, etc.
Organizations must observe several rights of data owners to remain compliant with GDPR. They include the right to:
While GDPR originated in the EU, it affects many businesses outside the region. It applies to all EU-based organizations and any company outside of the EU but serves EU customers or entities. That means that virtually all corporations with an international outreach need to comply with GDPR.
GDPR fines come in two tiers. Less severe violations attract a fine of whichever is higher between up to €10 million and two percent of a firm's income in the preceding year. Serious infringements mean a penalty of up four percent of a company's global revenue in the previous year or up to €20 million, whichever is more.
CCPA is a California regulation that seeks to increase transparency in how organizations collect and use consumer data. Consumers can sue businesses that contravene the CCPA guidelines even when there is no breach.
All businesses serving California whose annual revenue is at least $25 million must comply with CCPA. The law also includes companies with personal data on 50,000 people and those collecting at least half their revenue from selling personal data.
According to CCPA, data subjects can require businesses to disclose the personal data they have gathered, used, shared, or sold. They can demand to know the reasons for the above actions. Additionally, they have the right to delete or stop the sale of information about them.
Follow the procedure below to keep your organization CCPA-compliant:
Tip: The same routine can work for GDPR compliance.
If the regulatory body notifies you that you have infringed CCPA, you must resolve the underlying issues within 30 days. Staying uncompliant after the period can have you fined $7,500 per record. The total amount can be enormous considering the number of files an average business holds.
Congress passed the Traced Act in 2019 to regulate unsolicited telemarketing and robocalls. It protects consumers against unwanted and potentially deceiving solicitation by telemarketers and spammers via phone calls and text messages.
TRACED Act requires voice providers to implement SHAKEN/STIR at no extra cost to consumers. The number-authentication system validates calls passing through complex networks to allow telecommunications companies to verify caller IDs. The move decreases spoofed phone calls, which many spammers use to scam the public.
The new law provides more avenues to go after robocalls and increases penalties for offenders. It extends the statute of limitations to four years to give law enforcers ample time to crack down on bad actors.
The FCC can levy penalties of up to $10,000 for every unsolicited telemarketing call. Additionally, the body can charge entities or individuals without FCC licenses up to $20,489 per violation.
Do you use emails, SMS, and voice calls in marketing? Sendlio can help you automate your marketing campaigns for quicker results with a lower regulatory risk. The tool uses intelligent blacklisting to minimize bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes.
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