Embracing the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules

The word is out! The FTC has made changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rules and they are rolling out on September 1st. The major change that will affect companies in the automotive industry are the prerecorded telemarketing messages that attempt to make a sale of any kind to the consumer; this does not include informational messages, such as appointment reminders. In order to deliver prerecorded telemarketing messages, companies must obtain the consumer’s written and signed consent that includes the phone number that can be called. The existence of an “established business relationship” is no longer accepted through the FTC as acceptable grounds to call.

However, within this hurdle lays an opportunity for companies to broaden their communication and marketing efforts. As businesses adapt their communication strategies to be FTC-compliant, they will see that their messages can be just as efficient and effective as ever before.

This begs the question: How can a dealership embrace the changes this amendment brings? And what other communication channels should dealers consider?

This new amendment opens the door for dealers to find out the preferred method of communication from each of their consumers instead of relying on the trusted prerecorded message. Many dealerships will find that increasing their live-call, direct mail and email campaigns are a better way to communicate with current and prospective consumers. And if there are consumers who prefer the recorded messages, they can receive those as well. By allowing consumers to choose their preferred method of communication, dealerships will improve relationships with their consumers and ultimately increase loyalty and response rates!

For dealerships that are interested in continuing their delivery of prerecorded calls, or have consumers who prefer this method of communication, we recommend that dealers implement direct mail or email campaigns to drive consumers to a personalized URL (PURL), where the consumer will complete the required written consent electronically and instantly. This PURL will also give the consumer the ability to indicate their preferred method of communication (mail, email, telephone, text). Another recommendation is to place kiosks in dealership show rooms to obtain the written consent and communication preferences on the spot! All of these options will ensure your dealership remains compliant!

Please keep in mind, regardless of what method is used to obtain written consent, there must clear and apparent disclosure that the purpose of the agreement is to authorize prerecorded calls.

DMEautomotive will be there to help advise dealers on these new guidelines, as well as the best ways to collect opt-in information from their customers. We are staying current with all FTC law changes and can ensure customers they will remain FTC compliant.

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