There are more publishers than ever before that are using telemarketing, but that hasn't made it any easier to decide which telemarketing service bureaus can meet your titles' needs best. Here is some good recommendations from circulation and telemarketing pros on how to make the right choice.
The use of telemarketing by publishers and all direct marketers has been increasing progressively for over a decade. Thanks to a multitude of factors, that force is at its strongest today, including decreasing direct mail cost effectiveness; diminishing volumes from other customary sources; growing competition from other media; and reduction of B-to-B universes. Publishers' more and more complex use of source analysis and of database marketing--which permits assesment of a customer's complete lifetime value, instead of effortless comparisons of short-term renewal against new-subscription costs-has additionally cleared up telemarketing's true costs. Telemarketing's economics, which have always been valued for its talent to reach hard to pin down prospects and customers and its high response rates, have turned out to be more and more appealing in the environment of the rising costs of other media, on top of automation and technology that's done a lot to control costs in the telemarketing industry.
Some estimates show that more than half of all B-to-B publishers, and as high as 80 percent of all consumer publishers, are now using telemarketing for at least one application including renewals/requalifications, newbusiness, gathering information, and collections, if not more.
Finding the correct match, however, even for an experienced business, with a telemarketing service bureau (TSB) can be a challenging, prolonged procedure. Like all successful businesses, new telemarketing sellers are always entering the field, even as mergings include other, longer-term players into larger organizations. Thinking about that, CM asked skilled circulation executives, consultants and telemarketers with publishing knowledge to reveal their tips on streamlining the TSB search procedure and guaranteeing a successful, ongoing partnership.
Reputation And Fit. While seller's reputation and the right fit with a given title's desires should always be contemplated as seriously as GPO in any supplier selection choice, ciruclation executives emphasize that these aspects are extremely essential in the telemarketing arena, where one phone call handled wrong can literally put the whole relationship with a prospect or customer on the line.
"Reputation is very important, and if everybody else likes [a TSB], then there's probably a very good reason," summarizes Bridget Wells, director of partnership marketing, agency and ABC reporting for Hearst Magazines, who uses telemarketing mainly for renewals.