As a result of the telemarketing backlash, fax marketing laws restricting unsolicited faxes keeps marketers and their potential customers happy. Unsolicited faxes are akin to email spam: unwanted, unnecessary and invasive.
However, if you understand the laws surrounding fax marketing practices, this means you'll not only gain new customers but also avoid ticking everyone off.
The Junk Fax Prevention Act passed by the United States Congress in 2005, stipulates that unsolicited fax marketing is illegal.
So, how do you work with these restrictions?
Opt-Outs: Just like every other marketing endeavor, such as email or SMS, you should explicitly include an opt-out feature. For fax marketing, always include an opt-out box on your cover sheet. Include all contact information required to opt-out: fax number, email address, toll-free telephone number, and physical address.
Further, you have 30 days to honor each and every opt-out request. Keep your contact lists clean and update them with any changes as soon as they come in. Don't wait 30 days; stay on top of it!
Established Business Relationships: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires an "established business relationship"(EBR) between businesses selling products or services and the customer. Essentially, you must ask your existing customers and clients if they'd like to receive your promotions via fax. Faxing the entire phone book is illegal and is a big marketing no-no.
Opt-Ins: Give potential and existing customers a chance to sign up to receive your faxes. On your website, include a contact form for customers to opt-in for any and all forms of marketing. Your email marketing campaigns also include a fax opt-in form. And don't forget your surveys: always include options to not only to receive your faxes but also emails and SMS.
Public Fax Numbers: Some businesses clearly state that they accept unsolicited faxes. This is very rare in the business community. So, if you happen to stumble across one of these marketing chimeras, take precaution: be sure to contact the business directly before you start faxing them to ensure this policy still applies.
Watch for more tips on email marketing, Twitter, autoresponders and other online strategies in future blogs.
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