The continued role of telemarketing as a productive tool in the direct marketing mix is worth mention. Just as the experience of using the web has migrated from desktop to tablet and smartphone devices, the experience of speaking with another human being has gone mobile. Technology changes the platforms we use to communicate, facilitating the scope and possibilities. In the case of telemarketing the underlying effect does not change, which is the power and intimacy of voice contact between human beings.
Some say telemarketing is fading as an effective channel. “It’s so annoying.” “How’d they get my number?” Much of the time, the contact approach is to blame. Regulatory compliance is crucial. CAN-SPAM laws and the National Do Not Call Registry are clear regarding protections and rights of privacy. Good direct marketing citizenship benefits all.
Direct mail, email, and social media all play a role at many stages of the customer journey, from awareness to interest to action. Telemarketing is well suited to spanning that journey, starting by introducing prospects to an issue, a good, or service, then, via conversation, gaining confidence that a good choice is available. A personal telephone call – from a representative who is fully aware of a lead scored prospect’s prior responses – is often what it takes to close the deal. Deft use of the total mix builds relationships and fosters growth.
Statistics from a DMA survey of direct marketers support the case for telemarketing:
- Response rates for telephone campaigns are far higher than any other channel, whether for house or prospect lists.
- Telephone is second only to email in ROI, while the mobile channel places ahead of paid search and internet display according to a DMA survey of direct marketers.
- Mobile is again second only to email in cost per acquisition, ahead of social media, direct mail, paid search and internet displayed.
The approach to choosing telemarketing list data varies. Telemarketing appends can complete existing customer records. Depending on how segmented the target is, phone selects from a variety of mailing list databases may be chosen as appends fueling a multi-channel campaign, or for a dedicated telemarketing effort. Regardless, it is in the marketer’s interest to be precise in choosing telephone records so an audience will hopefully welcome their call.
Remember calling someone for a first date? You get once chance to make a favorable impression. Direct marketers who do it right, using well targeted, quality data, and are mindful of where the contacts actually are in the process (not just what the seller wants them to be) enjoy success.