Is telemarketing dead? That appears to be the consensus as of late especially now that digital marketing has long been the new norm. It would probably be more accurate to say that telemarketing is not dead but is on life support. Telemarketing is yet another approach that can be useful for businesses that want to make the most of offline marketing approaches. However, with so much other methods available, companies need to think long and hard whether they want to expend their resources on a method that is way past its glory days.
Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing
One of the reasons telemarketing is dying a slow death is not because it is an offline approach but because it is mostly an outbound method. This is in no way to suggest that businesses should stick solely to inbound marketing, but statistics tend to shed more favorable light towards methods that enable consumers to find the information, products and services they are actively searching for.
Outbound marketing simply doesn’t have the numbers and percentages on its side, especially if you consider that:
- 44% of direct mail is discarded without ever being opened.
- 84% of web surfers have admitted to clicking out of a site because of an ad that was deemed irrelevant or intrusive.
- Outbound marketing has a higher cost per lead than inbound approaches.
Telemarketing is as outbound of an approach as it can get, and it is also one that people have long described as bothersome and an annoyance that they would rather not have to put up with.
Alternatives to Consider in Lieu of Telemarketing
Consider inbound approaches that allow your company to be found. After all, people that are searching for something your business offers are far more interested in what you have to say. When you let your consumers come to you instead of the other way around, half the battle is already won because you know they are all eyes and ears; all that remains is to reel them in with your pitch.
The following inbound approaches for generating leads are tried-and-true methods that work like a charm if implemented the right way.
Search Engine Optimization
This one is almost not worth mentioning because it’s such a no-brainer and any business not living under a rock is already using it. As of 2013, Google averages nearly 12.5 billion searches every month, so it’s no wonder why every company with an online presence is always in a mad dash to get their site pushed to the first page of the search results.
When it comes to SEO, mind your Ps and Qs; this means only organic stuff like informative content and avoiding keyword stuffing, article spinners and duplicate content.
By social media, we mean exploring beyond Facebook and diversifying by getting acclimated with sites like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Social networks are the perfect backdrop for creating an environment where meaningful dialogue can flow between business and consumer. This will foster trust and solidify your company as a dependable authority in your niche. This in turn will prompt followers to like, comment and share your content; this is essentially free marketing right here.
With PPC, you don’t have to create content after content and backlink after backlink to get your ad to show. Also, PPC ads are not seen as intrusive because they match the intent of the user’s search query. Since these are targeted ads, they have a better shot of converting. Just be mindful that the clicks are not free; this is a method where you really have to know when it is appropriate to proceed forward and when to scale back.
Telemarketing is Close to Drawing its Last Breath
B2C and B2B telemarketing will likely be around for a few more years though it is far from the lucrative approach it once was. Marketers have long established that an optimal method is one that encourages communication, growth and trust between business and consumer.