Voice Broadcast Laws and Voice Best Practices Webinar
Hello everyone – Happy Halloween – and welcome to another Digitize Your Firm webinar where we’ll going to talk about getting your voice out there. For those who don’t know me, my name is Stephen Andrews and I am a junior digital copywriter here at SimplyCast, and I love all things digital.
For anyone joining us who are voice experts or for those who are just starting out, I welcome all comments and questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it the chat icon to ensure your audio is connected.
As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, please visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.
Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.
We’ll first start with what makes a voice component of your campaign so important, before talking about the laws around voice broadcasting and of course go over best practices. As usual, we’ll do our review and talk about the topic for next week.
Ready? Let’s go!
Your Campaigns Should Have a Voice
Every successful marketing plan needs a “Voice” attached to it.
We talk to people every day whether it be on the phone or in person. Even in an online world, actually talking to someone still gets the job done time and time again. It is almost refreshing to hear a person’s voice on the other end of the phone.
Emails, text messages, faxes, tweets, etc. can all blur into one giant mess of white noise but if your phone rings, it will grab your attention.
This is where voice broadcasting fits into the marketing mix of your company.
Reach out and connect with your entire audience with a single phone call. With voice broadcasting, you can deliver your promotional or informational alerts to your entire audience automatically and with ease.
With voice broadcast, you can:
- Stay in touch with customers and increase loyalty by delivering information that they care about.
- Reach almost everyone. What if you need to reach those not using the Internet or mobile or if a power outage strikes? A great deal of the population still has a landline for their phone.
- Amazing scalability that allows a large number of calls to be made simultaneously. No other medium gives you this kind of one-on-one interaction on a massive scale.
- Automating phone broadcasts saves you valuable time. Let the software do the work for you so you are not sitting there manually dialing thousands of numbers yourself.
- Create and maintain a personal contact with every person you reach. Using a recognizable voice to your clients would know can add a lot of trust to the equation.
- Voice can be used for a wide variety of uses including surveys, after hours messages, urgent news, thank you messages, and for customers who prefer to get there information by voice on their phone.
Now before we go further, we should talk about the laws surrounding voice broadcasting.
Voice Broadcasting Laws
Voice broadcasting simply enables your company to automatically deliver interactive phone calls to customers, prospects, vendors, or constituents.
The only limits on using voice to grow business is your imagination, creative powers, and of course sticking to the rules.
The most common uses for voice broadcasting are automating phone calls for appointment reminders, delivery confirmations, press-1 campaigns, event promotion, accounts receivable collection, phone surveys, and relaying vital information to your customers over the phone.
Now before we go any further, I want to give you a firm understanding on the legal limits surrounding voice broadcasting.
First of all, it is a good idea to be up to speed on the different laws for sending automated voice messages as they can differ in various parts of the world.
The term “robocalling” has become associated with voice broadcasting and has given the medium a bad reputation.
These incidents have come about thanks to those not following best practices and letting their automated voice campaigns run wild. Don’t let the robocalling name deter you; it is just a catchy term that seems to draw more negative flack than feature the true power of doing it the right way.
International Laws Concerning Robocalls
Robocall/autocall laws vary widely from country to country. We advise you to understand your region.
Since we are based in Canada, let’s start there. The Canadian law on voice broadcasting is slightly less restrictive than US law. To learn more about the Canadian DNC (do not call) and regulation please visit http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t1032.htm.
As mentioned already, your business is responsible for making sure your calling lists are current and that you do not call the home phone, cellular, or fax numbers that are on the National DNCL. You must maintain your own Do Not Call list. If a consumer asks not to be contacted, you must add his/her name and number to your Do Not Call list within 31 days.
In addition to this, you must comply with other well-known telemarketing rules at all times. For example, you can only make calls and send faxes at certain times of the day, and you must identify yourself at the beginning of every call. You must also comply with the Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Rules, which are devices that dial telephone numbers automatically deliver a pre-recorded message.
Sound intimidating? Don’t worry, most of it is just common sense stuff and the rest is pretty easy to manage. Like I said, if you do your homework, you will be fine.
US Laws Concerning Voice Broadcasting
The US has very specific laws concerning voice broadcasting (robocalling).
As of September 1, 2009, a new regulation of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) went into effect, banning most robocalls without written opt-in from the receiver. Among the exempt industries are non-profit companies, political campaigns, surveys, and charities. Any for-profit company using robocalling without prior consent as a marketing tactic is operating outside the law.
If you or your company are dialing US consumers and you are a for-profit company dialing a list for which you do not have an EBR, you are engaging in illegal activity, and we strongly suggest you find a different form of advertising.
It is advised that you contact an attorney who specializes in telemarketing issues before engaging in any form of telemarketing. It is also advised that you to check with and comply with laws both in the jurisdiction you are in and the ones you are dialing to, as well as complying with “do not call.”
For voice broadcasting in other countries, it is advisable to consult an attorney from that country to familiarize yourself with that country’s specific laws. Some countries only allow robocalling for political campaigns and non-profits, while others still permit automated sales, marketing, and promotional robocalls.
Make sense? Now that we’ve got the tough talk out of the way, we’re going to talk best practices.
Voice Best Practices
You gotta walk the walk to talk the talk, or something like that.
Yes, of course voice broadcasting automation has rules you need to follow when it comes to your business and using a reputable voice broadcasting solution.
The good news is they basically follow the same concepts as every other form of online marketing and reaching out to contacts. You should only contact those who have agreed (opted-in) to receive your message.
If you go and blast out your voice message on your latest prize giveaway to thousands of people who did not ask for it, you can be guaranteed your business will be in trouble.
So, don’t buy, rent, or purchase lists unless you know 100% where every name on that list came from. If not, don’t do it, even if peer pressure says to.
What Not to Do
For the most part, best practices are not so much what to do well, but more about what to avoid when creating a campaign. So, here are some common pitfalls to look out for with voice broadcasting.
Holidays and major events can really mess up response rates. Major holidays mean people are in vacation mode and certainly not in business mode. Users on your list could be spending time with family or just taking a break from outside communication. By calling them, all you will be doing is angering them and losing what value there may have been.
But, if you change your message to use the holiday as a marketing ploy (July 4th special) then it can work to your benefit.
Time of Day
Dialing at the wrong time of day can really put your voice campaign behind the eight ball. Let your product or service drive your logic. Some products are best advertised in the evening while some do well in the morning. Experiment to see what works best for you. Also, remember to follow the rules and only contact people when they are expecting it.
More is Not Better
Using a message that is too long is a no no for voice broadcasting. Remember people have short attention spans and if you talk for too long, they will hang up or forget what you were even trying to convey. Practice your message on coworkers or friends first if you have to.
Make sure you answer any live calls with some kind of distinction of where you work. Simply saying “Hello” is not sufficient. Have a one-liner or opener ready for when someone is transferred over. An example would be: “Thanks for reserving a suite at our hotel, is there anything I can include for your stay?”
Calling the same phone list over and over within a short period of time will just anger your prospects and your response rates will plummet. Take it slow and consider it worth the wait. Also, finish what you started. You will never get a true feel of your campaign if you do calling for one day and stop because people are not responding. Day 2 could be much better.
Have Resources at the Ready
Sending out a campaign to thousands? Make sure you have enough employees to answer all the calls you generate. Certain voice broadcasting providers can control the speed of the campaign based on how many sales agents you have available and how many of them are already on the phone. Be realistic with your approach, you don’t want to over or under staff.
Need more help than you have? Consider hiring a call center to answer you calls if you cannot manage the sudden increase in volume. Some call centers can answer, qualify the callers and transfer them to you. Hey, if you reach that situation, it means business is booming, so it is not the worst thing in the world.
Do as You Say
If someone wants their number removed from your call list, be professional and take their number off even if they are irate. If you don’t it can only come back to hurt you later. When you get involved in voice broadcasting, a few angry customers is all part of the game. Don’t take it personally.
For Information Gathering, Keep it Quick
If you are using voice broadcasting to collect user information, it is best to gather basic contact info at the beginning of the call (name, phone number) in case the call is dropped. Then if need be, you can contact them again with what you have.
Following Up With Calls That Didn’t Get Through
Everyone is busy and there is always the chance that they liked your offer and were not free to act on it. Some of the people who pressed one and didn’t wait to talk to you could of been busy at that exact moment. Check your call logs for the people who pressed one and hung up before you answered. Then call them back to see if they were interested in moving forward.
This is a great way to find a few more potential deals.
1. Voice broadcasting is a fantastic tool to round out any existing marketing strategy. With one call, you can reach nearly anyone – a feat not even email and texting can do. You can send everything from thank you messages to urgent bulletins while having trackable statistics, so you know how your campaign went. They can also be used to gather survey data and obtain the answer to quick questions – it’s hard not to love a medium as strong as that.
2. When it comes to voice broadcasting, laws and what you can and cannot do vary from country to country and can even be tied to certain industries. Do your research but the best advice I can give is to send out voice campaigns only to those who have subscribed and keep a firm track of those who wish to opt-out, which they should be able to do by pressing a button. Don’t forget to keep an eye on any do not call lists that may exist.
3. Finally, sticking close to voice broadcast best practices is fairly easy as they match up with best practices you’ll find for any channel. Be professional, patient, clear, and keep the calls as short as possible with a clear call to action. New elements to look out for as to not send out voice campaigns on holidays, and to keep an eye on the time you send them out – no one wants to receive a call when they’re sitting down to eat. Don’t forget to have information ready and stick to your words as there is no better way to instantly lose trust than to verbally promise one outcome and deliver another.
We’ll be continuing our talk on voice by giving you strategies for collecting phone numbers (while staying compliant), crafting the perfect voice message, and how to track your campaign so you have hard numbers to deliver.