Telemarketing is a popular way to generate leads for your business and conduct market research. When you speak to people on the phone you also build a personal connection with them, which creates a great foundation for trusting business relationships.
There are however some negative associations made with telemarketing, with many people who receive these calls finding them irritating and an invasion of privacy. But is telemarketing illegal in the UK?
In the UK there are a few restrictions surrounding telemarketing and cold calling which you need to bear in mind before starting a telemarketing campaign. These help to protect customers and possible clients’ privacy. To help you through all the legal jargon and technical terms, we’ve put together some easy steps you can follow to ensure you don’t end up breaking any of the UK’s telemarketing rules.
Steps to take to avoid breaking telemarketing rules
These easy steps will make sure you adhere to all the legal requirements if you’re wondering whether or not telemarketing is illegal in the UK. You can also use these steps for cold-calling campaigns.
Make Sure Your Screen Calls
Many marketing teams will run telemarketing campaigns but very few are aware of the legal implications surrounding privacy. If your marketing department is all set to start hitting the phones, you need to make sure all numbers that are called to go through screening tests before your teams make the call.
Some members of the public and also some businesses have opted out of receiving marketing and sales-related calls altogether. They may have registered their contact numbers in a specific register which prohibits telemarketers from contacting them for any promotional reason. If a prospect has registered their number to block calls, they would have registered on a Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or a Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).
To make sure you stay in line with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), your team needs to be trained to screen all prospective numbers against these registers.
It’s also important to internally flag a prospect’s number if they have requested not to receive further calls from your organisation.
Keep Your Database Up To Date
A database is a great way to filter marketing prospects, however, it means you need to keep this database up to date too. Your database should have the TPS and CTPS status, as well as any internal notes you can make surrounding the privacy preferences of your prospect.
If the owner of the number has requested not to be contacted again, you need to make sure you do not remove them from the database entirely. Removing a contact creates the risk of them being contacted as a prospective lead again. Instead, move the contact over to a “no-call” list for future reference.
Don’t Pester Your Sales Prospects
Even if an initial phone call has gone well and the prospect has expressed interest in hearing from your organisation again, you should not make yourself a nuisance.
If you do need to follow up with a prospect after a call, consider contacting them in another way such as through email. Sending them a message that they can respond to in their own time removes the pressure from them and will not make the prospect feel like they are being ‘bullied’ into a sale.
Also, leave some time in between follow-ups to make sure you do not bombard them with phone calls and messages. Your database should also keep track of the last time the prospect was contacted and how they were contacted.
Hire The Right Telemarketing Team
Because phone calls are an exceptionally personal interaction, you have to make sure your team demonstrates all the qualities of a good telemarketer. Having the right team will enhance your telemarketing campaign, especially if they have the knowledge and capacity to form good business relationships with prospects.
Skilled telemarketers are highly personable and have the ability to express empathy, therefore building trust and sustainable relationships. What’s more, a good team will understand the privacy restrictions in place and make sure they adhere to telemarketing and privacy policies, maintaining your organisation’s important reputation.
Outsource Your Telemarketing Now
If you’re considering running a marketing campaign but feel as though the legal side of things may be too much to take on, why not outsource your telemarketing team? Novus specialises in running telemarketing campaigns on behalf of your organisation and can assist in database building, prospecting, and client relationship management. Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about our service packages and how our organisation can help you.