legal mistakes

Four Legal Mistakes Businesses Make Online

As a small business owner or small business employee, you’re probably always looking for new ways to stand out online and avoid any legal mistakes along the way. In order to attract customers away from your competition, you need to find different ways to grab their attention — but you don’t want to do it by getting slammed with a lawsuit.

Online marketing can present a number of legal issues that you’ll want to be aware of. Before you create your next digital marketing campaign, let’s take a look at a few of the key areas you’ll want to consider.

Not Properly Sourcing and Attributing Images

Using strong images in a marketing campaign can be incredibly important to catching the eye of our target audience. Although the internet makes it easier than ever to find great images for our marketing campaigns, it also makes it a bit too easy to use photos that don’t really belong to you. If you use an image without the owner’s permission, this can get you into legal trouble.

If you find an image you’d like to use, track down the photographer or owner and ask for their permission. It may be already available for sale or they may be willing to draft a unique contract with you so you can use it. Be sure to get permission for the specific purpose you’d like to use the image for.

Not Sorting and Vetting Contact Lists

When you’re looking to create a new email marketing campaign or you’d like to send messages to new potential customers, it may be tempting to collect every email address or phone number you can find and reach out to them. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is likely to get you very few new clients. It can also get you a high number of fees.

If you’ve purchased a phone list from a vendor, be sure to go through and remove any “Do Not Call” numbers that may be on it. Because most brokers don’t scrub the lists for you, you’ll want to go through your cold call lead list before you make any kind of contact. Making unsolicited contact with someone on the Do Not Call list could cause you to rack up some hefty fines.

Not Keeping Customer Information Secure

Many companies hope to sell new customers products or services through their online marketing tactics. Whether you’ll be collecting customer contact information or credit card numbers, your customers will want to know your website is secure before they provide you with any details.

If you require your customers and clients to provide any information on your website, you want to ensure you’re SSL certified. SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard form of security with today’s websites. By adding an encrypted link between the customer and the company, SSL prevents unwanted outside parties from stealing sensitive information.

Not Planning Accordingly

Before you create your digital marketing campaign, you need to be aware of the legal problems you may run into when promoting online. While each legal situation is completely avoidable, you want to be aware of potential problems so you can stay far away from them. Doing the research ahead of time can save you a major headache down the road.

Regardless of the purpose of your online marketing strategy, be sure you’re giving proper credit to the owners of images, videos or other visuals you use throughout your campaign. Be sure you can legally contact each individual on your list and ensure the safety and security of your customer information if they need to purchase online. With these three steps, you’ll be closer to a safe, secure and successful marketing campaign.

About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews writes about marketing innovation and business solutions for Inc.com, Convince & Convert and WeWork. You can read more posts by Kayla on her blog, Productivity Theory.

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