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Cold Prospecting, Do-Not-Call (DNC) and TCPA Best Practices

How to scrub call lists for DNC and TCPA compliance

Cold Prospecting, Do-Not-Call (DNC) and TCPA Best Practices

This article is written for small business owners, sales professionals, and marketers. After reading this article you will;

  • Have a better understanding of the national Do-Not-Call list
  • Have a better understanding of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)
  • How to use DNC tools to ensure you and your business is in compliance with TCPA and DNC standards
  • Walk away with peace of mind knowing that your organization has minimized the regulatory risk

OUR STORY – WHY PROSPECTING, DNC AND TCPA

For nearly 8 years we have operated an agency focused on inbound lead generation, automated marketing, and digital sales support.

While all the above are certainly powerful tools to have in your toolbox, one big challenge is that you can easily lose touch with the human element, after “people do business with people.”

With all that said, after 8 years of focusing on inbound lead generation and automation, I decided to give the old school “cold prospecting” a try – AND – I am finding it to be quite effective!

So, part of our new business is now cold prospecting using targeted lists, WHICH, also creates regulatory risks in the form of TCPA and Do-No-Call! So we developed a process internally for ensuring that we are compliant. As part of our on-going commitment to helping other like-minded businesses, we are sharing our best practices for DNC compliance.

WHAT IS THE DO NOT CALL LIST?

The federal Do-Not-Call list is a federally managed list sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The list allows consumers to voluntarily subscribe to the list which provides protection for consumers against “nuisance” calls.

WHAT IS THE TCPA?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1991. The law is managed by the Federal Communications Commission.

The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. It also specifies several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems—principally with provisions requiring identification and contact information of the entity using the device to be contained in the message.

WHY BUSINESS OWNERS & SALES PROS SHOULD CARE?

Two very important reasons why business owners and sales pros need to be concerned;

  • In the event of a violation of the TCPA, a subscriber may (1) sue for up to $500 for each violation or recover actual monetary loss, whichever is greater, (2) seek an injunction, or (3) both.
  • In the event of a willful violation of the TCPA, a subscriber may sue for up to three times the damages, i.e. $1,500, for each violation.

There is a LARGE community of watchdogs and attorneys that are constantly on the lookout for businesses and people that violate the DNC and the TCPA.

Here is a list of some of the largest TCPA settlements.

DNC COMPLIANCE

NOTE: There are two videos within this article that contain step-by-step instructions;

  • Registering Your Business on the DNC Website & Subscribing to Area Codes
  • Using the EVS7 DNC Scrubber Software

STEP 1 – DOWNLOAD THE DNC SCRUBBER

You will need some type of software to “scrub” any list you are using for prospecting or telemarketing. A “scrubber” simply checks your list of prospecting phone numbers against the DNC list and remove entries from your list that are indeed on the DNC list.

NOTE: You are responsible for ensuring that your DNC list is current. You can download updated lists from the DNC anytime, we recommend you refresh your list at least once per month (every 30 days).

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE DNC SCRUBBER SOFTWARE FROM EVS7.

NOTE 1: Complete the form on the page and you will have to electronically agree (sign) the ToS for the software.

NOTE 2: The tool is provided FREE from EVS7, Electronic Voice Services. You can use the software as a DIY tool, an incredibly valuable tool if you have internal IT resources. EVS7 also provides scrubbing services and other valuable dialing solutions if you need help.

STEP 2 – REGISTER ON THE FTC WEBSITE

After downloading the tool (from #2 above), register your business with the Federal Trade Commission, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE FTC.

Two types of accounts/logins are created when you register your business.

  1. Representative Account – This account is used to administer your business.
  2. Downloader Account – This account is used to create/update subscriptions, download phone numbers and update your profile.

The Downloader Account is the most important. This is where you subscribe to receive phone numbers on the DNC list, for use in the scrubber from #2. You are allowed up to five (5) FREE area codes, after which there is a $65 charge per area code – OR – $17,765 for the entire USA.

Once you subscribe to your area codes, you will have to wait for 1 business day for the lists to be available for download.

STEP 3 – REQUEST AND DOWNLOAD YOUR DNC LIST(S)

Once you are registered on the DNC site and receive your confirmation email, login to the DNC site.

Watch VIDEO #1 (National Do Not Call Registry – Subscribe as a Business & Download Area Codes) for full instructions on how to subscribe and download your lists. Once again, you are allowed 5 area codes for free.

STEP 4 – UPLOAD YOUR DNC (LISTS) TO THE EVS7 SOFTWARE

Watch the video above for step-by-step instructions on how to;

  • Download *.txt lists from the DNC website
  • Prepare the *.txt files and convert the files to *.csv
  • Upload (add/append) the *.csv files into your master DNC list within the software.

STEP 5 – UPLOAD AND SCRUB YOUR CALL LIST

Step 5 is completely documented in the above video (after the preparation and upload of the master DNC files). Step 5 includes scrubbing a prepared “call list” or “prospecting list”.

Whether your file was generated by YOU or purchased through a third party, we highly recommend that you scrub any and all lists of people that you will be cold dialing.

STEP 6 – DIAL WITH CONFIDENCE THAT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS ARE 100% COMPLIANT WITH DNC REGULATIONS

CONGRATULATIONS – You are now out of reach from the long arms of the law! After you have finished the process, out the other end of the software is a 100% safe and compliant list of phone numbers that you can dial with peace of mind. You

DNC COMPLIANCE – SUMMARY AND TAKEAWAY

Whether you are generating your own lists or purchasing lists from third parties, YOU are responsible for ensuring that your lists are DNC compliant and that you are cold dialing within the rules, laws, and regulations.

Even if your third party has guaranteed to you that the list is compliant, you should still apply your own due diligence to ensuring the list is properly vetted and scrubbed, because after all YOU are responsible.

One other important point, DNC and TCPA defines an Existing Business Relationship (or EBR) in which there is a period of 3 months worth of exemption for any consumer THAT IS ON THE DNC LIST – BUT – voluntarily opted-in or has contacted your business within the past 3 months. It is VERY important to document your process and make sure that you have the appropriate disclaimers on all your forms (website, social media, etc.) that consumer acknowledge by optin-in they are agreeing to receive phone calls (and/or text messages, emails, etc.)

BONUS – CALL AND PROSPECT LISTS

If you are looking for call or prospect lists but are turned off by the complexity or the cost of your options, please do contact us, we can help you with affordable options to generate quality, reliable and fresh lists.

NOTE: If you are a partner or joint-venture of Michael’s asset protection, financial and life retirement business (Leave a Legacy, Not Debt), Michael offers these services at discounted rates to those partners and joint-ventures.

We sincerely hope you found this article and supplementary videos helpful for you and your business. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact Michael Lucy directly at 734-288-8323.

Michael Lucy
Michael Lucy
Michael Lucy is an avid digital marketer with a deep-rooted passion for anything and everything involving technology. Michael has owned and operated 3V for nearly 8 years - AND - has now taken the knowledge and experience acquired over that period and has started an insurance and financial services brokerage (https://leavealegacynotdebt.com).

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