• 2 May 2018

The lessening effect in blanket emailing along with sophisticated blocking systems to incoming mail is giving rise to direct contact by telephone being again, the fastest method of fostering a key business relationship.

Telemarketing did in recent years managed to acquire a bit of a bad name for itself; due, in a large part, to abuses by a minority of businesses not wanting ‘cold calls’. Conversely, when you consider what it is you are trying to achieve, general calls to your business are often your life blood and where external enquiries DO come from, saving you spending on generating your leads. While only some calls are from potential customers, telemarketing calls should be contacting you with extreme politeness and simply asking if their services are of interest to you. Often they are.

With the developments of technology, specifically spam filters, and the general bad press email marketing sometimes gets, many marketers are reported to be taking a step back now from using this medium, which suggest that while telemarketing is a more expensive option, it does directly ‘hit the spot’. It:

  • Cuts to the chase and makes direct contact to your target.
  • Allows important data to be collected, enabling accurate email or other communication with filtered and selected decision makers who could be genuinely interested in your products, along with how they wished to be contacted.
  • Allows key data to be developed into action databases, or deleted as not ever/unlikely to be a target.
  • Gives faster results to your questions that emails will leave hanging in the air, only for repetitive mails to continue to plague your prospect.

What is required though, is to do the following:

1. Use finely targeted and accurate telemarketing data lists
Avoid the “thanks but no thanks” brush-off from would be customers. Everyone hates irrelevant calls and offers – only buy telemarketing data that is relevant to your products and services.

Ensure data is fresh before purchase. Old data is more likely to lead to incomplete or failed calls – a total waste of time and money in the long run.

2. Buy small lists, frequently
Buying huge telemarketing data lists may seem like good value initially, but in the long run they:

Require extra effort from your sales team to maintain
Are less likely to contain the granular segmentation you need for finely targeted campaigns
Are more likely to become outdated, as many records are overlooked.

It is far more cost effective to purchase smaller telemarketing data lists frequently, and to adjust the lists you buy based on what’s working for you, to constantly improve the way you target customers.

3. Use TPS/CTPS compliant telemarketing data lists
Calling numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) is a sure fire way to bring your business into disrepute. And to expose your telemarketing team to abuse.

Only purchase TPS/CTPS compliant telemarketing data and regularly check your lists against TPS/CTPS registrations to ensure your telemarketing data is up-to-date.

And don’t forget that a breach of the TPS/CTPS carries a potential fine of up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner – as Scottish firm DM Design has just found out.

4. Participation in planning
Your telemarketing team needs to provide feedback on each campaign and its results. You can then find out:

  • What worked well and why
  • How to apply similar telemarketing techniques in the future
  • How to help team members share knowledge to increase effectiveness and keep skill levels up-to-date
  • How to adjust future telemarketing data purchases to better match your company needs and working methods.

5. Telemarketing requires perseverance
The received wisdom within telemarketing circles suggests that after three abortive calls, you should drop a contact. As far as sales staff are concerned, a dropped contact is a failure. But research from MarketingSherpa suggests that:

  • On average, it takes 3.68 calls to complete a conversation.
  • It takes around 7 calls to connect with a C-level executive.

We at Meridian, provide both telemarketing to national and international companies as well as email marketing. We will work with you on whatever you may wish to use, but do bear in mind that it is very often a case of a combination of both activities is the best result.

Step 1. Call the new database procured or your own retained list, and develop your target contacts which will add email addresses of decision makers you cannot get through purchasing lists. This will update all you need to know. Make sure you impart you’re follow up, which may be by email. Where companies do not wish to divulge even an email address, then they are not likely to be a prospect.

Step 2. Email all the relevant data with your messages and information – the audience will be receptive if they are expecting your mail.

Step 3. By tracking your emails you can see who has opened the email, if they have gone to your website to read about you, through the links you provide on your email, and even what pages and how long they have been on the site. Most importantly, you can see the email of the person who is visiting you.

Step 4. Your option – call them, or email them! Whichever you choose, you have got yourself up close to them and engaging with you.