Over the past few years, call deliverability has become a real issue for performance marketers, as phone carriers have begun labeling outbound calls as “spam”, “fraud”, or “spam likely” in an effort to appease consumers who are tired of bad actors and robocalls.

Currently, there are no regulations dictating how carriers are allowed to flag certain companies as “spam.” So, even if you have compliantly collected consent to contact, it’s more likely than not that your calls are going to be flagged as spam by carriers if you’re making high volume calls. And to businesses that rely on telesales, the impact can be catastrophic.

In this article, we’ll discuss how carrier deliverability has become an issue and explore potential solutions for performance marketers to overcome this hefty new challenge. 

What is STIR/SHAKEN and how does it impact me?

To understand how call labeling works, we must first take a look at the federal STIR/SHAKEN regulations and what they aim to do. The STIR/SHAKEN acronyms stand for the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) standards. According to the FCC, this means that “calls traveling through interconnected phone networks have their caller ID ‘signed’ as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers.” 

The goal of STIR/SHAKEN is to digitally validate the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is in fact from the number displayed on Caller ID. 

What challenges is call labeling bringing to performance marketers?

After STIR/SHAKEN was put into place, call identification and labeling analytics companies were created to help carriers, service providers, and consumers predict whether an incoming call is likely to be spam or fraud. But no technology is perfect, and these companies can generate false positives, which cause businesses making legal business calls to be wrongly labeled as potential spam. For example, if you have collected consent to call consumers but are calling them at a high volume, it’s more likely that your calls will get wrongly flagged despite having gone through the proper compliance channels to make those calls. 

Naturally, this is negatively affecting business for many performance marketing companies. So, what steps can you take to avoid being blacklisted by phone carriers? Read on to find out.

What steps can you take to ensure your calls aren’t being flagged as spam?

There is not one single solution to this massive challenge; however, there are a few different steps you can take to avoid getting marked as potential spam by a phone carrier. 

First, you’ll want to register your numbers with all analytics companies that carriers are working with so they can easily identify your business and purpose for calling consumers. Additionally, you can use Google Verified Calls to label your business name and reason for the calling – all of which will show up on the user’s screen when your incoming call appears. According to Google, “users receive enhanced experiences with the caller’s business name and logo, verification badge, and the reason for the calling, setting the ground for a successful engagement.”

You can also take a proactive approach when buying new leads by choosing not to buy certain leads if they are using a phone carrier that you know is likely to label your call as spam. For example, ActiveProspect’s LeadConduit tool features a plug-and-play Telesign integration, which can help users identify the consumer’s carrier in real time and choose not to buy the lead on the post based on the carrier.

Finally, try to be more strategic on how you contact your leads! Creating an omnichannel marketing approach consisting of calls, texts, and emails will make you less reliant on phone calls and thus less likely to fall prey to these increasing federal regulations and phone carrier behaviors that can hurt your business. 

And remember – these regulations are new to everyone and have a strong chance of evolving as we learn more. If you have any questions, contact one of our experts today!