By Rich Hamilton, Vice President of Compliance and Administration Services
Chances are if you are reading this you are currently running an outbound telemarketing campaign as part of your selling strategy. Whether or not the telemarketing campaign is successful, you have decided you want to look into adding email as a form of communication. Is it worth the time it will take the agents to send out the emails? What will the Return on Investment (ROI) be? What types of emails should be sent? How will the agents send the emails?
In my experience, adding email communication to outbound telemarketing programs or campaigns can be very successful, if done properly. Email can legitimize the phone conversation, help provide the necessary information in order to move toward a sale or continue to solidify the relationship with the potential or existing customer. Here are a few items to think about when implementing an email strategy:
Manual vs. Automated
Having outbound telemarketing agents send emails manually can be very time consuming and increase the number of errors. As a manager, seeing after call work (ACW) being spent creating emails would drive me nuts. Every precious second and minute used to create and send emails means making fewer phone calls, making fewer contacts, and in turn leading to fewer sales. And don’t forget that since those emails are written manually, mistakes could be made which could damage any chance of a sale with that potential or existing customer.
Now when I say manually creating emails, I am not just referring to emails that an outbound telemarketing agent has to create on their own. Whether the agent has to type the email from scratch, or copy the content from documents such as WORD and then make adjustments so that the email appears personalized, these would be considered manual emails.
The best way for telemarketing agents to send out email is through an automated email application. Instead of typing out an email or even copy and pasting information, the agent should be able to quickly and easily push a button to generate and send out the email. With a button push, virtually no extra time is spent for the agent.
Any time you can automate a manual process you are going to save time and have fewer mistakes, which will lead to more sales!
Use of templates
By using some kind of email application, you can control not only the content of the email but also the look and feel of the email. For each outbound telemarketing campaign, identify 3-5 emails that could be sent out to potential customers and create very professional-looking emails. These templates should be able to pull fields from the dialer so that emails are personalized. Using specific templates for all outbound telemarketing agents across the same campaign will ensure consistency for all emails sent out including subject lines and signature blocks.
Not to replace but to enhance communication
Using email as part of your outbound telemarketing strategy should enhance the existing phone calls being made, not replace them. The “meat and potatoes” are the telemarketing phone calls. The emails should only support that effort. Here are a few types of emails that could be used, depending on the campaign type:
Conversation Follow-ups – After speaking with the call, you offer to provide additional information about specific products spoken about during the conversation. These emails could have links to a webpage with additional information or instructions for the person.
No Answer Follow-ups – In particular situations, if the person does not answer, an email could be sent out with specific action to take or reminder.
Thank you Follow-ups – In some situations, an email thanking the person for taking the call may be appropriate, along with additional upsell opportunities or more information.
Reminders – In some campaigns, meetings may be set up for demonstration purposes. An email could be sent out to remind the person of the upcoming appointment/meeting.
Invoice/Receipts – A professional-looking receipt or invoice that can go out automatically upon purchase.
With the increasing regulations to telemarketing phone calls such as the TSR and TCPA, the ability to enhance each phone call with an email can be very powerful. Recent email marketing statistics from SupplyGem show that 91% of 15-24-year-olds use email regularly. They found that of those 65 and older, a solid 86% are regular email users. Just adding an email to the mix will not work. Proper planning and implementation are needed to ensure that the emails that are sent are professional, personalized, effective, and don’t take the agent longer than clicking a button. With these tips, you will see sales increase as you more effectively engage your customers through email.
Rich Hamilton is the Vice President of Compliance and Administration Services for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. Rich is responsible for implementing new programs and managing the continuous improvement process of existing programs. With a background of nearly a decade in managing small and large call centers, Rich is passionate about improving efficiencies and decreasing the cost per call for every client. In addition, Rich is a telemarketing compliance guru with a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP) certification to back it up. Rich can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5105.