Never Load a Contact List to Through-Channel Marketing Automation Tools

Never Load a Contact List to Through-Channel Marketing Automation Tools

Complying with data privacy regulations is no longer an option. In fact, it’s the new way of life in the world of sales and marketing. Back in 2018 when a number of well-known brands like Facebook, Marriott and Panera fell victim to hackers, resulting in the sensitive data breach of millions of customers, consumers demanded to know how their personal information was being captured and used. As a result, protection laws were enacted where organizations can face hefty fines for non-compliance. Are you and your Channel Partners taking the necessary precautions to become compliant? While it will take some time to completely get there, there are simple and effective ways to ensure your Partners’ data is protected. But first, let’s understand the laws and what they mean for our businesses.

Data Protection in a Nutshell: 

If you’re not familiar with the following data protection laws, then you’re already behind. So let’s fix that right now:

CAN-SPAM: Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM act doesn’t just apply to bulk email; it covers ALL commercial electronic messages. In a nutshell, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them. Violating this act can result in heavy penalties and fines PER email address.

GDPR: The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation ensures that personal data gathered from organizations is obtained legally and under strict conditions. What’s more, those who collect and manage this data must protect it from misuse and exploitation, to respect the rights of data owners – or face major penalties. GDPR applies to any organization that offers goods or services to any consumer or business operating within or outside of the EU.  

CCPA: The California Consumer Privacy Act requires any company that does business in California, with an annual gross revenue of $25 million, to inform any consumers residing in California how their personal information will be used at the time their data is collected.  It also gives them the right to request their information be deleted, as well as the opportunity to opt-out of the sale of their personal information.      

How To Help Channel Partners

  1. No More List Sharing: The best thing you can immediately do is to stop the practice of having your Partners load their contact lists to your marketing automation tools. You know as well as we do that your Partners work with anywhere from 5 to 25 Vendors at once, which means they’re being tasked with loading their lists to various third party through-channel marketing automation platforms (TCMAs). This is not only time consuming, but often conflicts with their internal data sharing policies. Add to this CAN-SPAM, GDPR and CCPA, and now they’re in direct violation of regulations! The good news is, by eliminating list loading requirements, you’ll not only help your Partners remain compliant, but you offer them the flexibility they crave to promote content in the best way that makes sense for their business.
  2. Properly Maintain Data: Unless you want to face substantial penalties, it’s critical that you and your Partners make sure any data collected (and used) is vetted, stored, and maintained properly. Partners can be fined up to $30 per contact if lists are not acquired, stored and used in responsible ways. Here’s a great resource with more information on how to ensure their contact data is properly maintained.
  3. Track Unsubscribes: If a contact unsubscribes from your Partner’s list on your TCMA but fails to track the opt-out across other tools they use, you are putting them at risk for breaking CAN-SPAM laws. By encouraging Partners to use their own marketing automation tool you will help them avoid unsubscribe conflicts in the future.

All in all, it’s on you as a channel professional to keep your Partner’s contacts, leads, and customer information safe and teach them how to do demand generation the right (and legal!) way.  

Want to talk more? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us anytime.