Many consumers aren’t aware that they are part of a class action lawsuit until they receive some sort of notification, usually in the mail. That’s because members of a class action suit do not have to actively file a suit; they simply must be part of a group of similarly affected folks.
Class Action Notification
Class action lawsuits require the notification to hundreds or thousands of individuals. Notification usually happens in a multi-phase process: notifying the consumer of his or her inclusion in the suit to allow the consumer the option of opting in to the suit or to opt out and preserve their right to bring their own suit against the organization or business. The subsequent phase or phases notify the members of the class of any potential settlement or other details of the suit.
Notifications, even the postcard variety, can be costly to send. Email has now become a frequently used method for distributing class action notifications.
In 2017, thousands of email notices were sent out to Facebook users, notifying them that they were part of a class action lawsuit. But with the pervasive nature of spam many emails ended up getting caught in filters. Of those that did end up in the primary in-box, many thought they were spam. So how do you avoid inadvertently scaring thousands of consumers and still meet the legal notification requirement without breaking the bank?
Unfortunately, there’s no completely foolproof way to avoid the spam fear dilemma. Unless the case is high profile, like the Facebook class action suit, there may not be enough information out on the Internet to waylay consumer concern. But by using some simple proactive steps, you can mitigate notification confusion:
- When composing notification emails, make sure to keep the language “plain English” so that just about any consumer will understand what is being said. It is also helpful to link out to a reputable source, like a law firm website with a notification about the suit.
- Don’t forget the press release. By issuing a simple press release about the class action suit, you will add credibility to your notification. As an added bonus, press releases are likely to be picked up by news outlets, but will definitely be searchable on the Web.
- Try a one-two punch. If you have cell phone numbers for the consumers you are trying to reach, why not send out a text notification for them to check? Giving them option to opt in or opt out to receiving more information will help you cull your email list and it will also make consumers feel more safe reading your email.