Nexstar members are buzzing about voice broadcast messaging tools that can be inexpensively used to contact customers. These automated services dial customers’ phones to deliver a pre-recorded message and then allows them to push “1” to be connected to the company. Easy, cheap and fast – you may be thinking “what could be better?”
Here’s some marketing advice: voice broadcast messaging is all that and can supply great results, but before using these services you should be aware of the Federal regulations (and high fines for breaking them) set up to protect consumers from being annoyed by excessive “robocalls.” Only messages that are purely informational are permitted, such as reminding partner plan customers of their maintenance appointments or keeping your company top of mind through an update message to change their clocks and smoke alarm battery at Daylight Savings Time. Promoting the sale of any goods or services (or a mixed information/sales message) is not allowed – even to your most current customer list, unless the consumer has given explicit permission to receive pre-recorded messages from you.
Read the FTC’s document written to explain this to consumers: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt162.shtm. And here is the more detailed description of the FTC 2009 rulings from the Bureau of Consumer Protection with detailed information on “informational” and “mixed” messages: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus27-complying-telemarketing-sales-rule#prerecordedmessages.