11 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Telemarketing Lists
By Caree J. Eason
Mistake #1 — Accepting your list broker’s word about customer happiness and satisfaction.
Always ask for proof. Ask for a testimonial letter from at least one satisfied customer.
Mistake #2 — Using samples to start your marketing campaign.
Don’t be discouraged if your list broker can’t provide you with a sample mailing/telemarketing list. Accept any information it can provide. List samples are costly, and if your list broker can provide you with list samples, question the origin of where and how your list broker is generating lists. Some brokers will give potential customers previously sold data as a sample, which is not beneficial to you or your marketing campaign.
Mistake #3 — Proceeding with ordering without getting a SAN.
Make sure your company has a current subscription account number (SAN). If not, register with the Federal Trade Commission prior to purchasing any list that contains consumer or business telephone numbers. You can register at: https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov
Mistake #4 — Feeling pressure to buy, even if they can’t help you.
Go to a broker that can help you. Good list brokers will provide you with mailing lists that better suit your needs.
Mistake #5 — Settling for limited lists varieties.
Choose a list broker that can offer a wide variety of mailing lists. An effective list broker has access to almost all available mailing lists.
Mistake #6 — Feeling pressured by your list broker to buy now.
Timing is critical. Don’t order your list weeks or months in advance. Order your list a few days before telemarketing or mailing. If you have dated material to mail, make sure you allow enough time for your mail piece to be delivered.
Mistake #7 — Ordering just to order.
Think about what kind of prospects you’re telemarketing to first. Prepare a telemarketing script. Determine who you are targeting and why. Prepare and print mail pieces before ordering a list. This will save you time and money.
Mistake #8 — Just mailing with no follow-up.
Always follow up with a phone call. You can enhance your mailing efforts with a telemarketing program. Most mailing lists have phone numbers as well. This is a good tool to follow up to a direct marketing campaign to remind the consumer of your product or service. Pay the extra cents for mailable prospects with telephone numbers, and get the best results from your mailing campaign.
Mistake #9 — Being cheap.
There’s an old adage: You get what you pay for. Don’t just call one time or mail one time. Definitely repeat mailings and calls. When a consumer sees a product more than once or twice, that consumer is more likely to remember. Humans learn by repetition, and the more something is put in front of them, the more likely they would be to respond to the offer. Follow up mailings are best done fairly close together so that the consumer can recall the product.
Mistake #10 — Assuming all customers can use your product or service.
Know what type of consumer or business you want to target, including but not limited to age, income, family size, mortgage information (if applicable) and credit stand level (if necessary) for your marketing campaign. A good list broker will be able to help you determine the correct search criteria for your campaign. Always have some idea of what and who you are targeting before ordering a telemarketing list.
Mistake #11 — Assuming gas is cheap or getting cheaper.
Take the time to determine what geographic areas you’d like to target. There is nothing worse than contacting a customer too far from your office location. Your list brokers should give you multiple location options such as city, state, area code, ZIP code, county and mile radius.
Caree J. Eason is vice president of sales at Elite Business Services Inc. She can be reached at (586) 463-5626, or you can visit the company’s Web site: www.elitesales.biz.