Telemarketing–Cringe Worthy or Circulation Hack?

 In Call Center Services

For many years (I’m aging myself here, I know), direct mail, cover-wraps, and blow-in cards were all we needed to maintain our circulation requests for the controlled publications I worked on. But as mailings became more expensive, and people became inundated with junk mail, these tried-and-true methods began losing their luster. Conversion rates declined, and costs increased, and it didn’t take long to realize we needed a new way to reach our subscribers to get their renewal. After doing our own research and weighing our options, we decided to give telemarketing a try.

When I first hear the word, telemarketing, I cringe. Don’t you? Immediately the thought of someone calling me in the middle of my dinner to get me to buy something I don’t want or need comes to mind. Why in the world would I want to do this to my customers? This was my biggest hurdle.

Like a good circulation director, I went to educational events and listened to other circulation folks about how they had been using telemarketing for their circulation re-quals. They talked about the cost per renewal–which was increasing across the board with the more traditional efforts–and the time it takes to get a renewal and to get it entered and processed, and slowly my attitude toward telemarketing was beginning to change. I spoke with different vendors, considered onshore and offshore, and undertook a ton of research in my effort to try and pick the “best” vendor. I listened to sample calls. I read articles and testimonials. I called references. And then finally decided to try telemarketing, to gain renewals for our controlled magazines. After all, we’re not really selling anything–it’s a free magazine–so how bad could it be?

I was amazed. We got a very positive response from our customers! People are busy, and we are providing them a quick way to take care of something they were going to do anyhow. And, we suddenly had a great way to learn just how much our customers loved our magazines! How cool is that? I realized that by telemarketing we were actually helping our customers. The calls are brief, just a few quick questions to confirm our contact information is correct and that the person is still qualified, and it’s done! Plus, we got back an Excel file, and didn’t have to then key in all the information–just a file upload and we are done. We got thousands of renewals that first month and soon after, we realized it was the easiest and quickest way to keep our subscribers renewed! We’ve never looked back.

If you are considering a call center for the first time, or you are a veteran, you know there are always ways to improve what you are doing. Contact us today and give us a try. I’m betting that together, we can help you improve what you’re already doing, and maybe even take the cringe out of telemarketing for you, too.

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