Some of the best research comes from a captive audience, and ours comes in the form of misdialed calls. Dial800 receives more than 150,000 misdials to our toll-free numbers each month, with people trying to reach credit card companies, retailers like JCPenney, the Home Shopping Network, cell phone companies, and hundreds of other random companies. [...]
All toll-free numbers are not created equal! In fact, studies show that a better-built toll free number can help lift in-bound response for advertisers by 20, 30, even 50% or more. But what makes a great toll free number? Here are three questions every advertiser should ask themselves about the numbers they are currently using: [...]
One of the fundamental mistakes that many marketers make when looking for call tracking is that they solely look at features versus the integrity of the company actually providing those features. It is vital that you understand what sort of redundancies your call tracking and call routing carrier maintains in terms of power grid and data centers in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. Does your call tracking service provider simply track calls or do they also help you attain more customers? One key in answering this question is to understand how long they’ve been in business. Are You In Good Company? Review the customer list of any prospective call tracking service provider to see if you recognize their clients.
Simply put, when responders here the terms “toll-free” they often automatically think the number is an eight-hundred prefix number. However, obtaining an eight-hundred prefix toll-free number isn’t the only important variable for marketers wishing to get the best results. The sequence of numbers in your toll-free number must also be memorable, and capable of being broken down ideally into three or four “chunks. Avoid these common mistakes and make the most out of your direct marketing efforts with eight-hundred prefix toll-free numbers that possess memorable characteristics.
Is a business better off using a local prefix or a toll-free number? Those who argue in favor of local prefix numbers defend the practice based on the argument that many people want to do business locally. With the advent of toll-free and now the Internet, local businesses – even those of the mom and pop variety – are operating beyond what were previous local borders. If a local business only conducts walk-in business – say a dry cleaner, for example – then a local prefix may make sense. Can’t Block Caller ID to a Toll-Free Number Furthermore, for marketers interested in data mining, there are other significant disadvantages to using a local number versus a toll-free one. In contrast, toll-free numbers reveal almost 100% of all callers numbers (even if they have caller ID blocked). With a toll-free number the marketer can see the data on every caller by appending their inbound home telephone number and cross-referencing it against available consumer data such as home ownership, age, gender and income data, etc. Add it up and it’s clear that, save for the local business relying on its location to generate walk-in business, the number to dial in to create the greatest volume of business isn’t a local one: it’s toll-free.
You’re a marketer who’s worked hard to develop your product innovation. While we all know the economy has left many a business stillborn, there is another unseen yet omnipresent enemy that threatens to dash the hope of many a marketer and it is this: the attention span of our consumers is as fragmented as the media landscape many of our careers are devoted to sorting out. Unfortunately this truism doesn’t just apply to business-to-consumer marketing; it is equally prevalent amid business-to-business pitches. Between the ever increasing complexities of a multichannel world, and the technological tools that were suppose to emancipate us but instead threaten to enslave us with their barrage of pings and tweets, we have become a society under siege. Here’s a case in point: recently a colleague suggested the CEO of a direct marketing company consider using Dial800’s RapidRecall numbers. RapidRecall is a bank of 50,000 800-prefix toll-free numbers that have memorable sequences;
See how call tracking, call routing, and memorable 800 numbers come together to create integrated optimized marketing.
Get a closer look at CallView360° 2.0, Dial800′s state-of-the-art call tracking software.
Dial800 launched in 1989 as a service bureau to provide businesses with toll-free numbers after industry observers saw how vital the 1-800-FLOWERS number was in building the leader in the flower-delivery field. Today, Dial800 has the largest commercially available bank of what it calls RapidRecall 800 numbers available—either “repeater” numbers like (800) 444-1313 or (800) 323-3233, or hybrid numbers such as (800) 585-CASH– that produce improved consumer response. Scott Richards became CEO of Dial800 in 1996, and James Diorio joined the company as chief operating officer in 2008. RICHARDS: We identified a clear need for direct marketers to increase inbound call volume and until Dial800 was created, there were really only three ways to do that: through better offers, creative, or media buying. DIORIO: Our legacy was in vanity toll-free numbers like 1-800-COLLECT, but direct marketers wanted dedicated numbers they could use to track the effectiveness of their media. RICHARDS: Simply by virtue of an easy-to-recall number, advertisers can increase their calls by 20, 30, 50 percent or more. We then created additional tools such as call routing and call tracking to help optimize campaigns. DIORIO: Getting involved with ERA has been critical in terms of our ability to gain traction with direct marketers. We do this in three ways: (1) We generate more calls with memorable 800 numbers, (2) We reduce abandoned calls by routing calls to multiple call centers, and (3) We increase sales by sending more calls to the centers closing more deals. DIORIO: Our approach to business is that everyone in the channel wins, from the marketer, to the agency, to the call center and fulfillment house—everybody. Let me give you a real example: Direct response TV ads can create huge spikes of calls, and a call center’s agent availability can vary at any given time. Now we know that every call center would like to take all of the calls, but the truth is they can perform at a higher quality level if the number of calls they receive aligns with their agent availability. With Dial800’s ability to generate more calls with better-built toll-free numbers and route them to call centers on the fly, it creates a situation where everyone can perform at their highest potential. RICHARDS: The first thing every direct marketer should know is that they should only be using 800-prefix toll-free numbers. We maintain more than 50,000 memorable toll-free numbers in our Rapid Recall bank, and believe me, we see tens of thousands of misdials every single month. 800 was the original toll-free prefix and had a 20-year head start on the others. RICHARDS: Toll-free 800 numbers remain a vital part of a marketer’s arsenal.
Using multiple call centers creates competition for a marketer’s business and affords an opportunity to see which vendor can deliver the highest sales per minute (SPM). And, allocating more calls the call center(s) with higher SPM will make the marketer more money. With intelligent call routing, marketers can actually change call allocation percentages in real time so that more calls are directed to the center that is performing the best and, in addition, those calls can also be scaled to align with the capacity of a given center. Using an intuitive online dashboard, a campaign manager could easily then change the distribution of calls so that on Sunday more calls go to the leading call center without overburdening their capacity.