One year ago, the lead generation industry experienced a shift when requirement changes in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) became effective. The TCPA update, ruled by the FCC, focused on new standards for contacting inquiries, which included standardizing acceptable call abandonment rates, implementing opt-out mechanisms and requiring prior express written consent for autodialed telemarketing calls. In retrospect, these revisions were a catalyst for an increased focus on compliance as the new regulations shed light on inquiry generation practices.
Companies who successfully navigated the TCPA waters saw it as a chance to increase transparency in the industry. Those who did not prepare and adapt to the ruling, however, have since faced the consequences from the government and/or clients. Within the past month alone, dozens of large corporations have been in the news for TCPA-related lawsuits, including Bank of America, AT&T, GEICO and Twitter. While these companies are usually able to sustain the effects of a lawsuit, smaller companies may not be so lucky and find themselves unable to recover from the burden on their finances and reputation. Small businesses, especially in lead generation, also faced a greater risk in losing clients if they were not TCPA compliant.
When companies realized that they could face legal action for contacting non-TCPA consenting inquiries (even unknowingly), the need for transparency between clients and lead providers increased. Organizations began to gain a sharper understanding of compliance and implement procedures for ensuring adherence to regulations. Inquiry providers saw an unprecedented demand from clients for a behind-the-scenes look at their lead generation process from start to finish, and deceptive and non-compliant lead providers folded under the scrutiny. This left room for quality inquiry companies to grow and improve the industry with a new perspective on lead generation best practices.
While many viewed the TCPA revisions as restrictive, some saw the ruling as a chance to reach out to leads in new ways. Companies began including language in TCPA disclosures to not only permit auto-dialed calls to consenting inquiries, but also to allow for emails and text message communications. As a result, marketers have been able to expand their marketing efforts with relevant, compliant email and SMS campaigns and reap the benefits of increased prospects. As the lead generation industry continues to face new legislations, it is important to remember that each ruling is an opportunity to improve upon current marketing practices to fit high-intent inquiries with high-quality companies.
Higher Ed Growth is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. Higher Ed Growth has a long history of understanding and evolving to provide compliant solutions. Visit www.higheredgrowth.com to learn more about our services and how quality prospects lead to successful students.