Telemarketing continues to thrive as a business development source, despite a variety of challenges. The key to its survival has been that successful telemarketers have become increasingly specialized. Good telemarketing companies are both expert data analysts and talented niche marketers. With these skills, telemarketing companies can help their clients through any difficulties to deliver timely pitches to qualified audiences.
Risks of the Current Telemarketing Environment
While the regulatory challenge of complying with do-not-call lists is the most obvious hurdle to modern telemarketing, there are other challenges as well. For one thing, telemarketing has been a victim of its own success: the effectiveness of telemarketing has attracted more competition vying for the same audiences attention. Meanwhile, the information age has created a generation of consumers who are savvy to the point of cynicism. On top of that, this audience is armed with technology that makes it easier than ever to screen calls.
Some of the risks of this environment include the following:
- Running afoul of do-not-call regulations. These regulations continue to be a moving target, and the amount of data involved represents a huge monitoring chore.
- Getting shut out by an over-called audience. With all the telemarketing calls the average person receives, they need a good reason to engage with any one particular caller.
- Plowing the same ground over and over. As do-not-call lists reduce the number of eligible recipients, the inclination is to call the remaining audience more frequently. This reduces response rates while increasing churn rates among the people who do respond.
Better Targeting for Telemarketing Sales
What distinguishes good telemarketing companies is the ability to manage these specific risks for their clients, using tactics such as the following:
- New Movers. Focusing telemarketing sales efforts on lists of new arrivals to an area has dual benefits. It can often capture new telephone numbers before theyve been registered on do-not-call lists, and it focuses on an audience that is often in the market for new goods and services in connection with setting up new households.
- Upgrades and Cross-Selling. The more names that do-not-call lists eliminate, the more valuable existing business relationships that are eligible for telemarketing calls become. Companies should look for ways to broaden those existing relationship.
- Customized Telemarketing Calls. One way to make a telemarketing call stand out is to tailor the pitch to the audience. This means finer segregation of data (i.e., by age, profession, etc.) and customization of approaches for each audience segment to appeal to specific needs and concerns.
- Affinity Telemarketing. Building lists based on specific interests, using techniques such as running drawings and other contests at particular events, can be a way to both obtain opt-in for telemarketing calls and identify audience characteristics for better targeting.
- Broadening Information. Telemarketing sales calls should include efforts to broaden the information stored for each prospective customer to include things like e-mail addresses. This allows for multi-channel sales approaches and also preserves a means of contact should a given number be eliminated from a list of eligible call numbers.
Good marketing has always been a matter of reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. Todays telemarketing environment simply demands a more systematic approach.
Newspaper Association of America