Does Telemarketing Work Anymore?

March 18, 2008 at 6:23 pm 7 comments

j0409028.jpgQ:  I’ve been using direct mail for years. I want to try other channels and have considered telemarketing.  I think that if I followed up DM campaigns with a phone call, I may increase my response rates.  I’ve heard from others that telemarketing is not nearly as responsive as it used to be because of the D0-not-Call list.  Does telemarketing still work?  Do you recommend using it?

A:  The simple answer is YES!  While you should always take a look at what your offer is to determine which channels work best for any multi-channel marketing approach, the reality is that telemarketing remains one of the most responsive channels to utilize in your direct marketing mix.

Those who have registered their phone numbers on the DNC list don’t want to be contacted via the phone.  However, there are still many who haven’t registered despite their ability to do so.  Some of our clients utilize telemarketing only — specifically because those who they now contact are more likely to want to be contacted via the phone, therefore, they are more responsive to a telemarketing call.

If the product or service that you sell lends itself nicely to a telemarketing script, we recommend testing telemarketing as a follow-up to your next direct mail campaign.  By testing, you will get a feel for the reaction of prospects to using the channel. In addition, you will most likely get some good intelligence on how to tweak your script for the most success.


Entry filed under: Telemarketing.

Credit Prescreen Services Direct Marketing and the Economy

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tony Attwood  |  March 19, 2008 at 9:36 am

    There has been considerable reserach in the UK about the effect of follow up phone calls. The problem is that most people who do not respond to direct mail actually only look at it for 4 seconds – and this is not enough time to register what it is. The information then does not go into the long term memory of the recipient. As a result, when you phone and say “I sent you x” the recipient says they do not remember.

    So you make thousands of calls, to little effect.

    By far the most powerful approach is known in the UK as Phone-Mail-Phone: you phone up and check the recipient’s details – name, address etc, and say, OK I don’t want to bother you now, I will send you details. You post out that day, and phone again 2 days later.

    That ensures the person reads and remembers – because they have had the phone call which mentions their name (that makes it personal and puts it into the long term memory).

    Response rates go up 700%.

    But there are two big drawbacks. One is that you can only move at the speed of the phone calls – which means maybe only 50 mailshots a day (remembering you have to call everyone twice).

    The other is the cost – if you add in your time, the cost of a phone call is 10 times the cost of a letter – so in the end you might be getting many more sales, but they are costing you far more than the cost of sending out 10 times as many mailshots.

    Studies like this are recorded on – the site that builds the theory of direct marketing.

  • 2. Nancy Arter  |  March 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Tony, Thanks for your insight on this! You make some great points on how to integrate direct mail with telemarketing. I’ll definitely take a look at your website and your studies. Fascinating stuff!

  • 3. Sam  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Good site!!!
    Cool article:)

  • 4. Nancy Arter  |  March 24, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks Sam! : )

  • 5. Roger A. Simpson  |  August 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Phone marketing still works. Business to business calls, the secret is to get people to know you, like you ,and trust you. It takes seven to eight contacts to make a sale. Each contact lowers their buying resistance. Roger phone coach 602-569-7755.

  • 6. Education Marketing  |  April 25, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Great article Nancy thanks for sharing!

  • 7. Velma  |  April 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Right now it appears like WordPress is the preferred blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?


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