Telemarketing/Canadian Copywriter
  • General Telemarketing Rules 
  • Fax Regulations
  • Telephone Regulations
  • Automatic Dialers

  • Did Your Direct Mail Program Fail?
  • Ten Myths of Telefund Raising
  • The 5 Cardinal Sins of Cold Calling
  • The Canadian Do No Call List
  • Introduction:

    Of all the different ways to access a customer in the marketing mix, telemarketing is probably the most accurate way to get your message across. Although telemarketing is considered pesky by some, it's still a highly cost-efficient tool for achieving results!

    There are two types of telemarketing: inbound and outbound. Outbound is generally meant to make a sale -- whether the call is for the latest new gizmo to hit the market or to generate funds for charitable organizations. Inbound is usually for customers who require information -- such as computer "hot lines". Inbound telemarketing is also used by major retailers for customers who wish to order their product (large retail stores or seed houses are a major example of this).

    As we all know, the reason why telemarketing might be considered pesky is because the telemarketer seems to call only around "supper time" or while you're in the shower. Although the chances are good that telemarketers aren't doing this deliberately, you'd swear they were. You may also receive a telephone call when it seems like no one is on the other end, which can be annoying. These calls are often the result of something called "predictive dialing". Some telemarketing organizations use automatic dialers to place telephone calls or send faxes. A "dead air" or "hang up" call will occur if a telemarketing representative isn't available when the call is answered. Generally, companies allow sufficient time between calls for a representative to be available, however, if the telemarketing representative takes longer than expected on another line, the result is "dead air". The Bottom Line:

    On the whole, telemarketing can be as effective as direct mail in achieving results. A good direct mail campaign will normally achieve a 2% to 5% return while a good telemarketing campaign will also achieve at least that! The plus side to telemarketing is that "a good caller" will significantly increase the rate. To do this, a caller must be highly experienced and competent to explain a product and/or service without being "overbearing".

    General Telemarketing Rules:

    Do Any Rules Or Restrictions Apply To Telemarketers?

    Yes. Restrictions apply to all telemarketers, although they may differ depending on whether they use a fax or a telephone. As a minimum, telemarketers must maintain "Do Not Call/Fax Lists" and provide customers with a fax or telephone number where a responsible person can be reached if there is a complaint.

    I Don't Want Telemarketers to call or fax my home or business. What can I do?

    As a first step, call the telemarketers directly and tell them to remove your name from their fax lists or, alternatively, place your name on their "do not call" lists. Your problem should be resolved at this point.
    If you are unable to contact the telemarketing company or if you continue to receive telephone calls/faxes, contact your telephone company for assistance.
    If you aren't able to reach the telemarketer or have yourself removed from a fax/calling list and if the telephone company has been unable to assist you, contact the CRTC to pursue the matter with the telephone company on your behalf.
    In addition, you can register to have your telephone numbers) removed from a fax/calling list by mailing your request to the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), P.O. Box 706, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T6, or www Not all telemarketers are members of the CMA so indicate your first and last names as well as your complete address and all telephone numbers, including any Ident-A-Call numbers. This free service is valid for three years and applies to telemarketing calls received by mail, telephone and fax.
    You might also wish to consult the front pages of your local telephone directory under Privacy features to see what you can do to have your name removed from any directories made available by your local telephone company to publishers of independent paper and electronic directories, including the Canada 411 Internet directory. You might also want to contact your local telephone company directly to be removed from the telemarketing lists.

    Telephone Companies or the CRTC will be able to assist you most effectively if you remember to do the following:
    . Keep the faxes you receive.
    . Note the date and time of the phone call and, if it is available, any number that appears via call display, and
    . Write down the date, time, full name of the person you speak to at the telemarketing company or the telephone company, along with a summary of your conversation.

    What Are The Consequences If Telemarketers Don't Follow The Rules?

    Telephone companies can notify these telemarketers that telephone service to the lines used in connection with placing calls (telephone or fax) may be suspended or disconnected within two business days).

    Current Telemarketing Rules

    Telemarketing refers to the use of telecommunications facilities to make unsolicited calls for the purpose of solicitation where solicitation is defined as the selling or promoting of a product or service, or the soliciting of money or money's worth, whether directly or indirectly and whether on behalf of another party. This includes solicitation of donations by or on behalf of charitable organizations.

    These rules apply to all unsolicited calls for the purposes of solicitation. They apply to business-to-business telephone solicitation and calls from businesses to existing customers.

    These rules do not extend to calls where there is no attempt to advertise a product, offer a service; for example, calls for emergency purposes, calls to collect overdue accounts, calls for market or survey dressier and calls to schedule appointments.

    The Rules for Faxes

  • Calling hours are restricted to weekdays between 9am and 9:30 PM and weekends between 10 am and 6 on. Restrictions refer to the time zone of the called party.

  • Must identify the person or organization on behalf of whom the fax/call is made, including the telephone number, fax number and name and address o a responsible person to whom the called party can write. This rule also applies to organizations sending unsolicited fax calls on behalf of another organization.

  • Must identify the person or organization on behalf of whom the fax/call is made, including the telephone number, fax number and name and address of a responsible person to whom the called party can write. This rule also applies to organizations sending unsolicited fax calls on behalf of another organization.

  • Must display the originating calling number or an alternate number where the call originator can be reached (except where number display is unavailable for technical reasons.

  • Sequential dialing is not permitted

  • Fax calls are not permitted to emergency line or healthcare facilities

  • Names and numbers must be removed within 7 days of the called party's request

  • DO NOT CALL lists are to maintained by the calling party and remain active for three years.

    The Rules For Telephone Calls

  • Callers must identify the person or organization they represent.

  • Upon request, callers must provide the telephone number, name and address of a responsible person the called party can write to.

  • Callers must display the originating calling number or an alternate number where the caller can be reached (except where the number display is unavailable for technical reasons).

    Names and numbers of called parties must be removed within 30 days of the calling party's request

  • DO NOT CALL lists are to be maintained by the calling party and remain active for three years.

  • There are no calling hour restrictions on live voice calls

  • Sequential dialing is not permitted

  • Calls are not permitted to emergency line or healthcare facilities

  • Random dialing and calls to non-published numbers are allowed

    Automatic Dialing and Announcing Devices (ADADs)

    ADADSs are equipment that store and dial telephone numbers automatically. They may be used alone or with other equipment to deliver a prerecord or synthesized voice message to the telephone number called.
    ADADSs are permitted when there is no attempt to sell, such as calls made to public service reasons, including emergency and administrative purposes by police and fire departments, schools, hospitals, or similar organizations.
    Calls to collect overdue accounts, market or survey research calls or calls to schedule appointments.
    ADADs used for the purpose of solicitation are prohibited, including calls made on behalf of a charity, radio station promotions, or calls referring the called party to a 900/976 number

  • Permitted calls are from 9:30 A.M. to 8 PM; Saturdays from 10:30 AM to 5:00PM and Sundays from noon to 5:00 PM. These hours do not apply to emergency situation announcements.

  • Calls should begin by identifying the person or business on behalf whom the call is made, including a mailing address and a toll-free telephone number

  • ADAD calls must display the originating calling number or an alternate number where they can be reached (except where number display is unavailable for technical reasons).

  • Permitted unsolicited ADAD calls must not be placed to emergency lines or healthcare facilities.

    Did Your Direct Mail Fund Raising Program Fail?

    Fundraising is never easy, is it? For as maddening and disappointing as fund raising can be, it can also be extremely confusing when you're trying to pick the right media to use. Most fund raisers pin their hopes on direct mail, knowing full well that direct mail goes straight to the "hottest" prospects which, of course, reduces waste and redundancy. The "down" side is that direct mail is "static". When a donor receives a direct mail piece, they may read through the material, but what are the chances that they'll be moved enough to take action immediately? Usually, the chances aint that great. Often a direct mail piece will be set aside for "further reference" -- although the donor may well have every good intention of making a donation. This is when the "maddening and disappointing" phase of a fund raising campaign begins. The truth is that no matter how "creative" a mailing piece is, the redemption rate will still be about 3 to 5%. The trick is to remind the donor that the need for donations still exists and that their cooperation would be greatly appreciated. This is where tele-fundraising comes in. Tele-fundraising is pro-active and if done well can be a great complement to a direct-mail campaign by pushing up that 3% to 5% redemption rate. A good tele-fundraising campaign can also "convert" one-time donors to monthly donors (people who agree to donate on a monthly basis through monthly deductions to their chequing account or (EFT) credit card). Of course, the real "wrinkle" here is to find professional fund-raisers who can adequately reach your donor base, make the message convincing and "ask" for funds without irritating your donor base. That's where a good, professional tele-fundraising agency comes in.

    Ten Myths of Telefund raising.

    My Donors will hate being called.

    As few as 1% of donors objected to being called. The people who do can be easily removed from your calling pool. In fact, many donors appreciate the inter-activeness of the phone call, the chance to ask questions, the personal quality of a phone call, and the ease of giving it provides. Several studies have shown that even those who say "No" to a telephone call are more likely to say "Yes" to a subsequent direct mail appeal.

    Telefundraising is more expensive than direct mail,
    so I should just use mail instead.

    Telefundraising is more expensive than direct mail...but the extra costs are justified by the extra results and benefits telefundraising programs can bring. Using a telephone to contact donors is particularly effective for conversion to a monthly donor plan (PAC), monthly donor plan upgrades ,emergency campaigns and lapsed donor reactivation, to name only a few examples.

    The Telefund Raising Company will
    keep most of the proceeds.

    Reputable telefundraising companies operate on a fee-based system that guarantees the rates you pay.

    We can't phone because we
    don't have our supporters' phone numbers.

    It's a simple and inexpensive process to have donor names computer-matched for phone numbers.

    Everybody has answering machines now.
    We'll never get through.

    There is growing use of answering machines and call screening devices. It is also true that in most organizations, donors are middle-aged or older and are least likely to use answering machines

    There is a large element of financial risk in telefundraising.

    Telefundraising programs are highly measurable and controllable, and can be discontinued...if results drop below an acceptable level of response.

    We've tried phoning with volunteers.
    It didn't work,
    telefundraising is not for us.

    Telefundraising is not for volunteers. First of all, fundraising phoning is a skill that has to be learned.

    Our donors will not accept being called by a company
    on behalf of our organization.

    While (some) will be concerned with this, the vast majority will not. Fewer still will even ask you about it.

    An outside company will have little sense of what we do,
    how we work and to communicate properly with our donors

    Keep in mind that few telefundraising calls ever vary significantly from the script you've approved and most calls are very straightforward. No caller can be an expert on all issues, but your donors won't expect them to be. Donors with (difficult) questions or concerns...can be referred to someone at your organization for a response.

    So many groups are calling now, it can't possibly work.

    Most donors are still very responsive to a good call about an important cause they support. In fact, telephone solicitation is still relatively uncommon in Canada, and those groups who use it are using it in its earliest stages

    The Five Cardinal Sins Of Cold Calling

    Don't launch into a monologue. It takes a few seconds for the prospects hearing and thinking to catch up with your speech. Therefore, even though the first moments of a call are the most valuable, this is the point where the prospect forms an opinion of you and what you have to offer. Be sure to start your conversation with broad statements. Focus on making a favorable impression and gaining the prospects interest in hearing. Give the prospect time to catch up with you, and then start a two-way conversation.

    Don't Make Outrageous Claims.

    Making excessively bold claims can give the prospect points to argue and put you on the defensive. Being confident is one thing, but arrogant statements will probably alienate the prospect. Instead of saying "I know I can for i.e. "try saying something like "I am very confident we can".

    Don't Sound Canned

    In a cold call, you want to appear genuine, helpful and direct. Consequently, you shouldn't use canned conversation; it sounds insincere and doesn't carry much meaning. One method of avoiding such conversation is to vary your sales pitch frequently. It is also valuable to rehearse the opening of your prospecting call to the point where it sounds as natural as possible. Some salespeople use a tape recorder to review their tone of voice. They practice this until they can hear themselves sounding natural, yet controlled and focused.

    Don't Burn Bridges

    Sometimes sales people are overly abrupt or curt with personnel who answer the phone on behalf of the targeted prospect. Ultimately, these frontline individuals can be critical allies in your efforts to win business; it is wise to treat them accordingly.

    Don't Use Jargon

    Prospective customers are turned off by representatives who use excessive jargon and/or excessively technical language. Often a salesperson's organization or industry has its own terminology,. one that might be universally applicable. Be sure to speak to a customer's level of understanding. On the other hand, jargon may be acceptable only if the customer is familiar and comfortable with it.

    The Canadian Do Not Call List.  On September 30, 2008, the Canadian government (the Canadian Radio and Television Commission) began a new program which was considered to be a "godsend" for those people who are constantly bombarded by tele-marketing calls. If someone registers their phone number with the CRTC, The Canadian "Do Not Call" List will disallow marketers from calling their phone number. Throughout September/08, Canadians registered their phone numbers on the "Do Not Call List" web site and the program took effect on October 31st/08. If a marketer does call, they face stiff penalties. While the idea was great, there are still several companies who are exempt from calling you. These companies include: those who have already done businesses with you, charity telemarketers, callers for political parties and callers looking for newspaper subscriptions. Also, callers who have acquired your assent -- either written or verbally -- to call you are still able to pick up the phone and drag you away from your supper or TV. While the Do Not Call List will provide some relief for the public, there a few critics who claim the program doesn't go far enough. Professor Michael Geist, an Internet and E-Commerce Law expert at the University of Ottawa, has criticized the Act. He's particularly concerned about the extent and duration of the existing business relationship exception. On March 28, 2008 Professor Geist introduced, a free service which notifies callers selected by the user that the individual exercises his or her right not to receive communications from the notified business. It is intended to cover those organizations excluded from the Do Not Call List.

    Did you register for the national Do Not Call List? Thousands of people who did are now questioning whether they did the right thing. Canadians have registered more than 5.8 million phone and fax numbers -- for their home, business and cell phone -- all in an effort to cut down on those annoying telemarketing calls. The service promised both a reduction in calls (with some exceptions, of course) and a way to report and punish companies who broke the rules. However, if you've been watching the news lately, you already know that not everyone is happy about the "Do Not Call List". Thousands of people have complained that they've seen an increase in calls since they registered. Even before major news services such as Global TV and CTV ran stories on the problems, many publications who announced the arrival of the DNCL received comments from their audience criticizing the service. The gist of the reports and feedback: The DNCL is working for some, but failing miserably for others. Okay. So what's going on? THE GOOD Has the DNCL list made things better for Canadians? Yes, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) who's in charge of the service and enforcing it. In recent media reports, representatives from the CRTC called the service a "success" and note that the organization has received plenty of positive feedback from Canadians saying they've seen a decrease in calls. But what about those increases in calls? The CRTC points out that they may not have anything to do with the DNCL. Phone numbers can be accessed from other sources -- like or when legitimate companies share or sell their marketing lists. For now, it's business as usual and the CRTC is investigating over 500 complaints. A representative told Global TV that it's working with telemarketers to ensure they're complying with the rules. The CRTC doesn't have any plans to make changes, and instead recommends that people continue to report callers who are breaking the rules. THE BAD Right from the beginning critics of the service were sceptical. The many exemptions -- like researchers, political parties and charities -- meant that people won't get the break they're hoping for. The list wasn't going to stop scammers (who have no qualms about breaking the law to begin with), or people using automatic diallers or "robocalling". Furthermore, U.S. and offshore companies don't have to comply with the rules because the CRTC can't do anything about non-Canadian companies. Still the promise of a reduction of calls was enough to convince millions of Canadians to register their numbers. Unfortunately, many of those registrants now find themselves worse off than before. There are a couple of loopholes companies are taking advantage of: Some are posing as exempt companies from the DNCL by pretending to be a market researcher or "your" credit card company. Others use a legal technique call "phone number spoofing" -- where a generic phone number like 000-000-0000 or 123-456-7890 is programmed to show up in your call display -- to hide their number. They'll hide details like their company information, or simply hang up when asked for specifics. As a result, people on the receiving end of the calls can't always report them to the CRTC. In addition, many people who registered their cell phones as a precautionary measure are now finding they've started getting calls. And there's a more serious problem: Virtually anyone can access the list. Global TV's Jackson Proskow proved all it takes in a little time, some false information and a nominal fee to get access to people's phone numbers. Unscrupulous companies can easily obtain a list of Canadian numbers that are guaranteed to be in service. In the U.S., companies are required to provide an Employer Identification Number or the owner's Social Insurance Number to get access, but similar information is not required by the CRTC. If the truth be known, the "Do Not Call List" has become the "Do Not Hesitate to Call List", according University to Ottawa law professor Dr. Michael Geist. He's been a critic of the DNCL from the beginning, and even set up his own service,, to address some of the gaps. His service was formally recognized by the CRTC who announced that companies will have to honour requests coming from iOptOut. Geist, as well as many consumer protection and advocacy groups, are calling for changes to the list -- like tighter controls on who can access it, better monitoring of how the list is being used (or misused), cooperation with the U.S. to overcome cross border issues, and more power for the CRTC to enforce penalties. Some countries such as Australia are able to prosecute not just the companies who make the calls but anyone who helps them obtain the numbers. The CRTC'scomplaints processappears to cover the telemarketers only, not the people who aid and abet them. And the ugly... Unfortunately, the issues don't end there. Dale Goldhawk, a well-known Canadian broadcaster who focuses on consumer issues -- did a little more digging after a deluge of complaints to his call-in radio show Goldhawk Fights Back. His research turned up more concerns for Canadians. For instance, according to his source the list has been shared or sold to at least two companies in the U.S. and one in India, and the recipients are free to call you because Canadian law doesn't apply. And it's more than just phone numbers that are at risk. One company in Quebec has paired the DNCL numbers with data from other places to create a master list -- including a map function with satellite images. Telemarketers can check a certain area and see names, numbers and addresses, and zoom in on specific houses to look for indicators of economic status -- like how big your house is and if you have a pool. While this database does indicate which phone numbers are "do not call", it won't stop companies from contacting you through legitimate tactics like sending junk mail or salesperson to your door. For the full details, see Goldhawk's article. Do not call service full of problems. What's next? Overall, the take home message for consumers seems to be the DNCL may decrease calls (from law-abiding telemarketers at least), but don't be in a hurry to sign up. Wait for the problems to get fixed so you won't potentially get an influx of calls from people who are willing to bend or break the rules. If you're already on the list, consumer groups warn that your information is already out there. That may be the reason why no one is explicitly advising consumers to take their numbers off the list (yet). While the DNCL is updated regularly, it might not be a good idea to indicate to companies who already have your number that it is now okay to call you. What to do if you get an unwanted call If you want to do more than simply hang up on disruptive callers, you should: - Get as much information as you can so you can report the company. You'll need the company's name and phone number (if you can get it), and you'll have to give your own phone number and the date and time of the call.