Best Practices for Surviving the Cellpocalypse


By Mike Martinez

Calls to mobile phones are highly reg­u­lated and with the Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Commission’s recent rule changes pur­suant to the Tele­phone Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, deal­ers need to get seri­ous about obtain­ing prior express writ­ten con­sent before Octo­ber 16, 2013, to avoid the risk of los­ing the right to con­tact almost 45 per­cent of your customers!

Among the impacts of these new reg­u­la­tions is the effec­tive pro­hi­bi­tion of the use of tech­nol­ogy (like your CRM sys­tem or call­ing tech­nolo­gies also used by your BDC provider) to call those mobile num­bers with­out the express, writ­ten per­mis­sion of the con­sumer.  Most deal­ers don’t real­ize it, but with the rapid adop­tion by con­sumers of mobile phones as their pri­mary phone num­ber, 45% of the num­bers in the “home phone” field of the aver­age dealer’s DMS are actu­ally mobile phone numbers.

So what’s the best way to sur­vive this Cellpocalypse?

Be proac­tive and devote an entire call cam­paign to the col­lec­tion of express writ­ten con­sent. Accord­ing to a recent DMEau­to­mo­tive 500 record com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­sent study, “Keep Call­ing,” 65 per­cent of cus­tomers con­tacted gave their con­sent for ongo­ing calls to their cell phones when asked. This could be the dif­fer­ence between a full or empty sales and ser­vice drive come next Christmas!

You can also ded­i­cate email-marketing cam­paigns to edu­cate your cus­tomers and ask for their con­sent as well. Link the email cam­paigns to a web­page where cus­tomers can pro­vide prior express writ­ten con­sent. Make sure to clearly state the ben­e­fits they’ll receive in return for giv­ing you their con­sent. Just be sure that you are keep­ing and main­tain­ing records of your con­sents because the bur­den of proof is on YOU.

If you want to sur­vive the com­ing Cellpoca­lypse you must start obtain­ing writ­ten con­sent NOW, or pre­pare to lose this vital chan­nel of cus­tomer com­mu­ni­ca­tion forever.

Mike Mar­tinez is Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer of DMEau­to­mo­tive can be reached at

*The infor­ma­tion pro­vided herein is for edu­ca­tional and infor­ma­tional pur­poses only and should not be con­strued as legal advice. Read­ers should always obtain the advice of inde­pen­dent legal coun­sel related to their own spe­cific and unique circumstances.