IMS Helps Direct Marketers Maintain Do Not Contact Files
Interactive Marketing Solutions (lMS) a subsidiary of the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA), offers a variety of services to help organizations comply with federal laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that regulate unsolicited email and telemarketing activities. These services can help ensure that marketers are in compliance with applicable state and federal laws while adopting industry best practices.
Under the CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law regulating unsolicited email, marketers must have a process of managing opt-outs and their emails must contain an opt-out link. Companies are forbidden to send commercial email to those who have opted out and face significant penalties for failure to comply with the Act. However, compliance can be labor-intensive and complicated.
In response, IMS has developed the Cooperative Email Opt-out Service (CEO). It is designed to help companies build and maintain their own Do-Not-Email database and ensure opt-outs are applied across all email communications -- easily, quickly, and cost-effectively. CEO makes everything about managing opt-outs under the new law more manageable - especially if multiple firms and/or individuals send out email on behalf of a company. CEO capabilities include:
- Allowing organizations to utilize the IMS Web Server to build and maintain a file of individuals who have indicated they do not want to receive email.
- Providing an opt-out link that organizations can include in commercial email -- individuals clicking on this link will be directed to the IMS Web server and automatically included in the organization's opt-out database
- Allowing employees - as well as agents, brokers, and other third parties - to clean their files against the centrally maintained Do-Not-Email database.
- With approval, allowing users to log on to the IMS site using a password, submit their email files for cleaning against a client's file, and get cleaned files back -- within hours. It's fast and secure.
"Interactive communications is an increasingly important part of most organizations' overall marketing mix, and it is absolutely crucial that they do it the right way," said Frank A. Rigano, CEO, IMS. "IMS helps companies adopt best practices while also helping ensure they are compliant with applicable federal and state regulations."
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts marketers when making unsolicited marketing calls to wireless telephone numbers. In response, the IMS has developed a series of services to help telemarketers comply with the TCPA.
To assist the smaller businesses that do not make frequent marketing calls or do not have the technical capacity to handle wireless Do Not Contact files, IMS had developed the Wireless Lookup Service. This service permits marketers to enter telephone numbers into the IMS Web-based service where they will be matched to the IMS wireless database to determine if it has been assigned to a wireless device. There is no limit to the number of searches a marketer may make.
To help identify wireless numbers, telemarketers can use the Wireless Block Identifier file supplemented by the Wireless Ported Number file, new products from the IMS. The Wireless Block Identifier file identifies those area codes and exchanges or blocks of numbers assigned to wireless carriers. The file is currently available monthly for download and covers nearly 400,000 blocks representing some 400 million phone numbers that are currently assigned or will be assigned to cellular phones.
Wireless Ported Number files provide telemarketers with the information they need to identify those numbers that appear to belong to wired land lines but are now assigned to wireless telephones. (Telemarketers must avoid making unsolicited sales calls to these numbers.) It also helps identify those numbers that appear to belong to wireless telephones but are now assigned to wired land lines. (If these numbers are not on ONC files, telemarketers may call them.)
"With the Wireless Block Identifier, Ported Number file, and now the on-line Wireless Lookup Service, The OMA is doing its part to help large and small telemarketers operate within the TCPA," said Rigano. "Through its IMS subsidiary, The OMA has taken a leadership role in this area because we believe it is crucial that all marketers adopt best practices when soliciting for new business." To learn more about IMS and these service offerings, please visit: http://preference.the-dma.org/