A cool Scotsman from Fourways sent me a link to an article this week. It posed an interesting question so I thought I would share. If you put a cold call up against a cold email which one comes up trumps? To cold call or not to cold call, this the question? Do people even cold call anymore? That was my first reaction, but I know they do, because just like you, I still get loads of unsolicited calls from all types of companies, trying to sell me stuff, on a fairly regular basis. In my opinion cold calling is a complete waste of time and I think a cold email, if executed correctly, beats a cold call any day of the week and here are my reasons for that:
I’ve done my fair share of cold calling in the past (for my sins) and anyone who has spent hours dialing a cold list of “potential prospects” will testify to the fact that it is soul destroying graft, that isn’t recommend for peeps who are overly sensitive or have low self esteem issues 🙂 But the fact remains that many businesses, looking for new customers, still adopt this strategy for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as far as I am aware, POPI will continue allowing cold calling as a direct marketing channel (so companies are safe from a compliance stand point), and secondly it’s a measurable form of cheap direct marketing that obviously still pays some dividends. Your call centre seat costs are fixed and if you dial enough people some will buy what you’re selling (only a handful, but still some).
But here are reasons why a cold email beats a cold call any day of the week and why I would lead with an email before I phoned anyone nowadays.
- A cold email will reach more targets more often – FACT
In order to sell someone over the phone, you need to get hold of them first, right? The problem with trying to get hold of people over the phone is that fewer and fewer people pick up calls from private numbers that they don’t recognise. And you can’t blame them for that, can you? So even if your data is squeaky clean and your cellphone numbers actually match your personal records, more than 50% of the people you dial just ain’t going to pick up the phone to begin with.
Seems like a s@#% return on time and energy to me.
An email on the other hand always reaches its target, and with a simple push of a “send button” I can reach 50,000 people in less than an hour. How long would it take you to phone 50,000 people?
- A cold email is far less intrusive than a cold call – FACT
People can’t stand getting cold calls for one simple reason – it’s intrusive! It’s “disruption marketing” at its best and people who are busy don’t like to be disrupted with a sales pitch (and that’s most of us today). Does this sound familiar? You see the “Private Number” flashing on your cell, you pick it up, hoping it isn’t a call centre and invariably it is.
Now you feel angry, resentful and irritated.
- You don’t have the time to deal with this right now
- You didn’t ask to be called in the first place
- You aren’t interested in another damn funeral plan
Why call people when you are going to piss the majority of them off? That’s my question. Surely there has to be a better way of establishing some level of interest before making a sales call?
The whole idea of cold calling is to determine interest, then if there is interest, close the deal. But what if you could determine interest before you called?
Perhaps you should have sent an email rather than making a cold call?
You see a promotional email is a very different animal. It’s far less in your face than a cold call, isn’t it?
Let’s answer these 3 easy questions to determine how intrusive a promotional email really is?
- Are you disrupting someone with your email? The answer is ‘No’.
- Are your pressurizing someone to make a decision right now? The answer is ‘No’.
- Are you giving them an opportunity to respond in their own time, if they are interested? The answer is ‘Yes’.
So let me leave you with this: Wouldn’t this be a much smarter way of going about your direct marketing campaign:
- Send your marketing message via email first
- People who are interested in your product or service will indicate that they are interested
- You take the interested parties and then you dial them
Fewer phone calls, less pissed off people and happier call centre agents, who actually feel like coming to work.
Drop me a line if you want to kick off an email marketing campaign that generates clicks and then lead to sales. Or you can continue making thousands of cold calls.
Until next time.