May
25
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Protecting Your Company from a TCPA Lawsuit

Author Bob Bentz    Category mobile     Tags

Continuous Updating of your Opt-In Database is a Requirement

Even if you have the very best intentions, complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), can be a daunting task.  Although TCPA has been in effect since 1991, its one law that the government is taking far more seriously today than ever before.

TCPA protection

An uptick in TCPA class actions have made it increasingly important for your business to update its opt-in list.

The number of TCPA lawsuits filed has increased rapidly in the past few years.  In fact, in 2014, 2,366 TCPA class action lawsuits were filed–a 25% increase over 2013 and more than double the number since 2012.  This category of class action lawsuits has been especially lucrative to attorneys and class action administrators working in this area.  That’s because fines can be as much as $1500 per violation.

Behind much of the increase in TCPA lawsuit violations is the ever-increasing use of mobile and Americans propensity to cut their land line phone.  With mobile, the likelihood of a TCPA violation invariably increases with SMS marketing entering the mix.  Although you may have received legitimate permission at one time to contact the owner of the phone number, it is certainly possible that the number has since been recycled to a new user.  And, since there is not a national database of mobile phone ownership, as there is with many landlines, it creates a difficult task to maintain an updated opt-in list.  Brands must do all they can to keep its databases up to date.

Under the October 2013 revised rules, TCPA requires that you have a consumer’s prior written consent for auto-dialed or text messages sent to wireless devices.  Therefore, using a list of customers that you did business with prior to this date should not be used at all or should be used very cautiously with a renewed opt-in process.

With costly class action potentially looming, constant updating of your opt-in list is a necessity in the modern marketplace.

This article was written by Bob Bentz, president of ATS Mobile. It is not intended to provide any legal advice in relation to TCPA or SMS marketing.

May
14
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Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Web Development — Syracuse

Syracuse web development

Attention Syracuse businesses: If your website looks like this to Google, it may be time to update.

On April 21, 2015, Mobilegeddon was released and now Google has new rules in place to make sure that your sites are mobile friendly.  While the impact of the new algorithm may not have changed much for most sites, the message was clear: Google cares that your website is mobile friendly.  And, the importance of that will only continue to increase.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly?  There’s no better place to check than to ask the experts themselves: Google.  Use this convenient link to see if Google thinks your website is optimized for mobile.

ATS Mobile has developed several sites for businesses recently in the Syracuse, New York market.  All are, of course, mobile friendly.

One site, developed for Brogan Brands, shows the outstanding outdoor advertising that the agency does.  Another site is for the Notch 8 Cafe, a new restaurant in suburban Syracuse.

If you haven’t mobile-optimized your site, there’s no time like the present to make sure that you do.  So, whether your business is in Syracuse, or anywhere else for that matter, optimizing your site for mobile just may be the most important thing that you can do for your business right now.

Apr
27
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Time Spent with Mobile Digital Continues to Increase as Traditional Media Flops

Media use by year

Time spent with digital continues to increase among American adults through 2015 while traditional mediums such as TV, radio, and especially print are on the decline.  Mobile has been the big winner with American adults spending 2 hours and 3 minutes more with non-voice mobile services from 2011 through 2015.

If your marketing plan for 2015 doesn’t include mobile and digital, your marketing plan simply isn’t done.

Want to learn more about the mobile revolution that is occurring today?  Check out this article about mobile.

Apr
9
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Facebook Advertising for SMB’s

The End of the Facebook Free Ride

A lot has been said about Facebook’s revenue growth over the past few years.  And it is certainly impressive.  That growth has been fueled by the phenomenal success of Facebook’s advertising strategy. 
Infographic: Mobile Ads Account for 98% of Facebook's Revenue Growth | Statista

(Statista)

There was a time when agencies and advertisers worked diligently to gain more followers.  That’s because followers were incredibly valuable to a business.  When a business created an organic post, it went directly onto the personal Facebook page of many of its followers.

That’s no longer the case, however.  As of February, 2014, your organic posts are reaching just 6.2% of your Facebook LIKES.  If you are a large business, it’s just over 2%. (Ogilvy)

And declining. 

Facebook says it’s not a money grab to force you into advertising on the popular social media network.  Rather, it’s just a matter of the popularity of the site.  There’s simply too many posts and they can’t deliver them to all followers.

Hey, it’s a business and the goal of a business is to make money.  As a Facebook stock holder, I’m good with that.  That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re not doing Facebook advertising, I’m not sure whether it’s even worth it to spend the time doing organic posts any more.

You Have to Pay to Play on Facebook

But, the beauty of Facebook advertising for small businesses is that it simply works.  In fact, it works better than any advertising that I’ve been part of in my career.  That’s because we tell Facebook a lot about ourselves.  (Want to know what Facebook knows about you?  Here’s how you check.)

With geo-targeting, there’s almost no waste that you get with traditional media.  You can only serve your advertising to consumers in specific area codes or within a certain amount of miles of your store.  Interest targeting enables you to serve advertisements to those that have a certain common interest.  Look-alike audiences enable you to expand your audience with consumers that are most likely to buy.

And, you can’t miss it, especially on mobile.  Take a look at a Facebook advertisement that we did for Harrisburg Wall & Flooring — a local SMB that has learned the value of social media marketing.  (Editor’s Note — It’s my family’s business.)

Social media advertising Harrisburg

Facebook advertising for local businesses.

 

Facebook remains the gorilla in the room when it comes to social, mobile, local advertising.

Even if you have to pay for the gorilla now.

Apr
4
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Back End Mobile Marketing for Traditional Advertising Agencies

ATS has been in business for nearly 26 years.

Imagine how much technology has changed during that time.  When we started our business in 1989, only about 3.5 million Americans had a mobile phone.  And, most of them were those big bulky bag phones!

But, while technology has changed tremendously over those years, our clients have not changed much.  In 1989, we were supplying toll free 800 numbers to our advertisers and advertising agencies.  In fact, 26 years later, we continue to provide IVR solutions for advertisers, agencies and other services such as class action lawsuits.

But, what we do quite often today is act as back-end consultants for traditional advertising agencies.  ATS works with agencies in many ways.  In some cases, we are merely the hired hands to provide the back-end technology.  In other cases, we act as partners of the traditional advertising agency to bring them the mobile expertise that they need.

Do you work at an advertising agency and need help understanding mobile?  We live, sleep, and dream of mobile every day.

So your agency doesn’t have to.

Mar
5
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Talent Acquisition via Mobile Marketing

Your HR Homerun

ATS’s Barb Breeser recently did a presentation at a talent acquisition conference for human resources professionals.  Barb spoke with the audience about how HR departments can employ a mobile first marketing strategy to engage and acquire professional talent.

Here’s more of Barb’s presentation.

 

Mar
4
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IVR Service Bureau for Class Action Lawsuit Administrators

While mobile marketing may be the wave of the future, Advanced Telecom Services continues to be a major player in the North American market for IVR toll free number services.  And, one category where ATS excels is in providing IVR solutions for class action lawsuit administrators.

Recently, ATS was asked to make a presentation to a group of class action lawsuit administration companies so we thought we’d share that presentation with you here on the ATS Blog.

 

Feb
26
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ATS Upgrades Ringless Voicemail Service

ringless voicemail

Ringless Voicemail: Voicecasting directly to the voicemail.

Buoyed by the recent success of its ringless voicemail product, Advanced Telecom Services is pleased to announce the following enhancements to its existing platform.

  • Time Zone Adjuster — If you have a list of phone numbers from all over the United States and Canada, we can now organize that list by area code.  Hence, you can start doing the ringless voicemail drops in the Eastern Time Zone and then move across the countries to the Western (and Alaskan and Hawaiian Time Zones).
  • Call Throttling — If your program might generate immediate calls to your live operators, we can now limit the amount of simultaneous calls to help eliminate long hold times or busy signals for your consumers.
  • Landline Phone Access — If the initial call attempt using the traditional ringless voicemail technology is not successful, we will attempt to reach that consumer’s voicemail box through other more traditional methods.
  • Reporting — If needed, reporting can now be provided to customers while an outbound voice-casting program is active.

To learn more about ringless voicemail, call the ATS sales office at 610-688-6000 in the United States and 416-800-2490 in Canada.

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