Do-Not-Call List — Direct Mail Boom

As a result, direct marketers are taking a look at how direct mail can be used to contact new consumers in a less intrusive manner, while still remaining within the bounds of the law.

And not only are marketers looking to comply with the law, but the new regulations require telemarketers to purchase the national do-not-call list annually from the FCC. The annual cost for organizations to access phone numbers in the registry will be $25 per area code, with a maximum annual fee of $7,375 to access numbers for the entire country.

“All of the sudden, direct mail has a real shine and respect to it,” Wicka adds. “And, it may trigger a boom for printers and mailers.”

While some marketers will attempt to circumvent the new laws, most are retooling their strategies. Some marketers are shifting their efforts to traditional direct mail pieces. Others are developing sweepstakes campaigns that will enable them to contact the consumer by phone once a consumer participates in the sweepstakes. Participation in the sweepstakes acts as a written permission slip for the direct marketer to contact them again.

“Telemarketing is not going to go away. It is still an effective means to cross-sell,” reports Wicka.

No matter what strategy a marketer chooses to pursue, the news is still good for printers, contends Xplor International General Manager William McCalpin. “Using the post office is virtually the only way that U.S. companies have to contact new customers that is not becoming increasingly limited by legislation,” he says.

While it is still early to assess the long-term impact of the do-not-call list, it does appear that printers will benefit from the new list. “We’re hearing mixed reactions at this point,” reveals Ted Gaillard, senior vice president of sales for Vertis Inc. in Baltimore. “We’ve seen everything from take a wait-and-see attitude to acceptance of the list since it helps eliminate wasted telemarketing dollars, which can then be reallocated to more effective media, including print advertising.”

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