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Lead Acquisition: Who to Call - Or Not
Lead acquisition is one of the most critical activities within a telemarketing campaign. But identifying or attracting prospective candidates is an expensive and complex task, especially if you do not have mechanisms to capture that information.
Today, many businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) systems, websites, e-mail, social media marketing and surveys to acquire customer details, store data and market new products to existing customers. Since this is a time-consuming proposition, more and more telemarketers are outsourcing this task to customer acquisition experts. These professionals do all the legwork for varying fees.
A number of marketing firms compile and sell telemarketing lists not a bad investment for business owners new to telemarketing. These lists include only individuals with the appropriate customer characteristics for any particular business. This targeted approach saves time and money because it eliminates starting with the telephone book or other alternative methods.
While some entrepreneurs prefer to generate their own leads, experts caution that constructing a call list requires in-depth research on customer buying habits, age demographics, the economic climate and a wide range of other factors.
Telemarketing: Not Always Easy
Telemarketing campaigns, while effective, do have a downside. A recent survey of nearly 2 million respondents revealed that a whopping 98 percent of them get angry at telemarketers for calling. Unfortunately, reputable telemarketing efforts continue to catch the fallout from fraudulent telemarketers preying on vulnerable consumers.
Back in 2003, during the heyday of telemarketing scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implemented the National Do Not Call Registry, created to offer consumers a choice to limit incoming telemarketing calls. Guidelines suggest that most telemarketers should never call a number after it has been on the registry for 31 days. Those that do are subject to stiff fines. To access the registry, go to https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/qa-telemarketers-sellers-about-dnc-provisions-tsr#accessingtheregistry.
Business owners should understand that telephone numbers placed on the registry will remain on it permanently. See www.donotcall.gov for general information.