As a result of the telemarketing backlash, these laws restricting unsolicited faxes keeps marketers and their potential customer happy. Further, unsolicited faxes are akin to email spam: unwanted, unnecessary and invasive.
But, understanding the laws surrounding fax marketing practices, 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, clearly include an opt-out feature. For fax marketing, on your cover sheet, always include an opt-out box. Include all contact information 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. Keep your list clean and update 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, ask your existing customers and clients if they’d like to receive your promotions via fax.Faxing the entire phonebook is illegal and a big marketing no-no.
Opt-Ins: Give potential and existing customers a chance to sign up for 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.Don’t forget your surveys: always include options to not only to receive your faxes, but 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: contact the business directly before you start faxing to ensure their policy still applies.