Direct marketing is an essential way for many businesses to trade. They have a product or service they need to sell to the public and they need a route to market.
Selling directly can have great results and boost profits. BUT, you must do it properly and avoid falling foul of the rules. You do not want to see your profits grow only to find that you are facing huge fines from the regulators.
Here are my five top tips on how to make sure your direct marketing is compliant and, of course, commercial:
#1 IDENTIFY IF YOU ARE DOING DIRECT MARKETING
It may sound silly, but not all marketing is ‘direct’ and is therefore not covered by the same rules. Direct marketing is the communication of advertising or marketing material which is directed to particular individuals, so it does not mean general advertising.
#2 KNOW THE RULES
If you are doing direct marketing, then you must make sure that you understand the rules that apply to it. The main rules are within the data protection laws, in particular, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
These regulations govern what you can and can’t do when it comes to marketing by phone, email, text, direct messages via social media and automated calling. If you don’t know the rules, you are more likely to get things wrong.
#3 PLAN YOUR DIRECT MARKETING
Plan your direct marketing before you start so you can make sure it complies with the rules. You need to think about what type of data you will be using and how you want to use it. Make sure the data is accurate and think about your lawful basis for using it; that is, are you relying on consent or perhaps a legitimate interest? If you want to know more about these terms, you can access my training here.
#4 COLLECT INFORMATION THE RIGHT WAY
If you are collecting data and looking to generate leads, you must tell the people involved that you are doing so. You must be clear about what you are doing and make sure that your privacy information is easy for people to understand.
#5 MARKET WITH RESPECT
You must respect people’s preferences. People can object to you using their data for direct marketing, and if they do, you must not send any further messages to them. You should also add them to a suppression or ‘do not contact’ list, rather than deleting their details, so that you do not inadvertently contact them again for marketing purposes.
If you follow these steps, there is no reason why your direct marketing shouldn’t convert leads into customers, keeping you compliant and boosting your commercials.
As a specialist PECR solicitor, I run training courses to help you become compliant with direct marketing laws. The course is delivered online for just £75+VAT per head.