Understanding the FCC's New Consent & Lead Generation Rules: A Guide for Home Service Marketers
- FCC's New Regulations: Introduces strict measures against unwanted communications, particularly in robocalling and robotexting, and mandates each business must have affirmative consent before communicating with the consumer (one-to-one consent)
- 3PL Impact: Larger brands might benefit from their brand recognition in gaining consent in 3rd party lead generation, while medium & small businesses will likely focus more on direct, first-party lead generation strategies
- Demand IQ’s Compliance & Strategy: Demand IQ’s products are already compliant with new rules for one-to-one affirmative consent
In a landscape constantly reshaped by regulations, staying ahead as a CEO or Director of Marketing means adapting swiftly and smartly. The recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted a sweeping rule that will pivotally shift strategies in the lead generation space. Let's decode what this new rule entails, its implications, and how Demand IQ’s approach positions its clients for success for this new era of lead gen.
Note: This article is for educational purposes only. Consult with your own legal counsel to ensure your business is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Decoding the New FCC Rule
On January 26, 2024, the FCC published its new rules targeting "scam communications," particularly focusing on closing loopholes in robotext and robocall defenses. This triggers a 12-month countdown before the regulations take effect. The core of these regulations is to close the ‘lead generator’ robocall and robotexts loophole, safeguarding consumers from unwanted, unsolicited communications.
Key provisions include enabling the blocking of “red-flagged” robotexting numbers, codifying Do-Not-Call rules for texting, and promoting an opt-in approach for email-to-text messages. Currently in comment period before a 180-day waiting period to adoption, the new ruling emphasizes one-to-one consumer consent, impacting the dynamics of lead generation and digital marketing strategies.
Impact on Lead Generation
The new rules signify a major pivot from multiparty consent to a more stringent one-to-one consent model. This shift particularly impacts comparison websites and platforms relying on shared leads or aged data, which must now obtain individual consumer consent for each seller to engage leads using any robodialer or robotexter. The rules emphasize consumer autonomy, underscoring the principle that "consumers have a right to decide who communicates to them," with hefty fines for TCPA violations.
Third-party lead sources will likely see higher costs and lower quality due to the additional requirements placed upon the lead generator. The shift from multiparty to one-to-one consent presents challenges and opportunities for lead generators. Larger companies will likely benefit from existing brand recognition and use brand awareness campaigns to increase the likelihood the company is selected for consent by the consumer on multiparty platforms.
Medium and smaller-sized businesses are likely going to struggle with multiparty consent leads as a result. This change calls for a strategic rethink of traditional marketing approaches, with an increased focus on building trust through genuine customer relationships.
Navigating the Gray Areas of “Robodialers” & “EBRs”
Robodialiers and robotexters are considered by many to mean the use of technology that saves a consumer’s phone number to facilitate communication. In other words, unless a business manually enters a phone number for each communication with each blanket-consented lead, it could be considered a TCPA violation.
The concept of an "established business relationship" remains a gray area under these new regulations. Recent court rulings suggest that an EBR can form even during initial solicitations, highlighting the importance of the context in which communications are made. This evolving interpretation requires a careful, agile approach to ensure compliance and effective customer engagement.
Demand IQ's Approach
Since Day 1 at Demand IQ, we’ve believed in first-party lead generation as the path to a healthy, sustainable business. Our software already aligns with these new regulations. Affirmative consent is gathered in every interaction, without any sharing of leads or multiparty scenarios. We’ve seen countless times how this customer-centric approach drives long-term, consistent results for lead generators.
In light of these changes, exploring alternative marketing channels beyond multiparty or aged leads becomes increasingly valuable. As prices rise for third party leads, less-saturated channels offer new opportunities for customer engagement, enabling businesses consistency through diversification.
In a landscape defined by rapid regulatory changes, understanding and adapting is key. Demand IQ’s commitment to compliant, high-quality marketing practices is core to our DNA as a company. Our approach is designed to guide any sized business in navigating these changes, fostering trust and leadership among consumers.