Marketing can be as hard as running the business. There are many techniques and strategies that may work wonders for some businesses and do nothing for you. When that happens, don’t be discouraged, and don’t start looking for an easy way to get leads. There are a lot of services online where you can shell out money for leads and marketing gurus that will give you quick cash-money advice. They’ll appear attractive because they seem to be easy ways to get marketing results, but they rarely deliver. These are usually illegal marketing tactics that will get you in trouble and leave you without more customers or clients.
Several common and popular illegal marketing tactics will get you fined by the government, sued by potential clients/customers, and left with a dearth of money with barely a lead to capitalize on. Hard work on SEO and PPC is what produces long-term results just to start, but if you want to try something else, make sure you avoid these illegal marketing tactics.
Illegal Marketing Tactic #1: Sending Spam Without an Opt-In is Illegal
Have you ever gotten an email or a text message from someone you didn’t give your email or phone number to? That’s spam, and in many cases, it’s illegal.
Spam is sending unsolicited marketing messages to someone who has not opted in. It’s illegal, as stated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM). If you are caught, you will be fined.
Spamming is also not effective. On email alone, for every 12,500,000 emails a spammer sends, they get 1 reply on average. That’s money wasted for nothing. You may be getting your brand out there, but not in a way that will drive revenue.
Proper email and text message marketing, where you put your opt-in address and codes in different places, legally and naturally collecting personal information, works far better. It’s a question of quality over quantity. Sending spam to as many people as possible reaches the highest number of people, but sending marketing messages to people who are already interested in your brand brings in revenue.
Illegal Marketing Tactic #2: Collecting Email Addresses From Websites and Web Services Without Permission
To send spam messages, you have to get the emails and phone numbers for it. These emails and phone numbers come out of nowhere. Web services will steal emails and phone numbers stored on another site through software programs known as email extractors. These are incredibly illegal under the CAN-SPAM act as well. They will then try to sell these emails and phone numbers to you so you can send them spam messages. Buying and sending messages to these emails and phone numbers is illegal and will see you hit with heavy fines.
Some web services will sell you the email extractor so you can target websites to steal information from yourself. This is even more illegal than the previous situation because you are purchasing an illegal product and then using it illegally.
You may think you can get away with it, or pay the fine, but the odds of you making enough revenue that makes this tactic worth it is slim. Most businesses who use this illegal marketing tactic generate a small revenue that is swallowed up by the massive fines they incur until they’re caught. This shouldn’t be your marketing strategy.
Illegal Marketing Tactic #3: Misrepresenting Your Product or Service
Not all illegal marketing tactics have to do with spam though. Whether it’s on a billboard, a flyer, or your website, you have to tell the truth about your business’s product or service. Misrepresenting your product or service is illegal under the FCC as well.
To be specific, you can’t say something about your product or service’s features that isn’t true. If your law firm only handles criminal law, your billboard can’t say “Criminal Law and other practices.” You may not be saying that you practice personal injury, but you would be tricking potential clients into believing that you do more than criminal justice. Even the slight miscommunication is illegal, even if it wasn’t intentional. You can face lawsuits, fines, and worse.
You also can’t misrepresent your product or service’s availability. If your marketing says that something is available for a limited time only or is about to sell out, and it isn’t, that’s illegal. While you may see larger Fortune 500 companies do this, don’t assume they aren’t being hit with fines they can afford that you can’t.
It may seem unfair, but saying that you didn’t know something you put in your marketing isn’t true is not a strong defense. If your product has a malfunction or defect that goes against your marketing, people have the right to sue you. Make sure you can live up to what your marketing is offering.
Contact ENX2 Marketing to Avoid Illegal Marketing Tactics
ENX2 Marketing practices content marketing, social media marketing, PPC marketing, and video marketing among other services. We don’t use illegal marketing tactics and we guide our clients away from using any themselves. If you’re worried about doing something you shouldn’t and want a partner who can handle all this complicated marketing, contact ENX2 Marketing. We have you covered.