Guide

Telemarketing

How to start telemarketing in your business

Telemarketing is a form of direct marketing. It involves talking to potential or existing customers on the telephone.

Telemarketing can help you to promote your products or services, build your customer database, generate leads and appointments, stay in touch with existing customers or generate new ones.

Read more about direct marketing.

Planning your telemarketing

When planning your telemarketing campaign, you should:

  • Decide if you want to outsource. You'll need to choose whether you will carry out the telemarketing in-house or use the services of a specialised marketing company. See outsourcing
  • Make sure you know who your target audience is. You need to know what your product or service is, who it is aimed at, and who is most likely to purchase it. See define your target market
  • Make sure your marketing lists are reliable and up to date. This will allow you to focus on your target audience, ensure your lists comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR). You must not include people or organisations that have opted out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing calls. Anyone you contact must have consented to receive that type of communication from you. Read more about privacy and data protection in direct marketing.
  • Identify key personnel at target businesses. Speaking to the right person will increase your chances of making a sale.
  • Consider how you will pay your telesales staff. You could, for example, provide sales incentives. See the right pay package for your salespeople.
  • Have a script in place. Having a simple, professional, and pre-prepared script allows you to sell and respond to queries more effectively. Make sure you explain who you are and what your business does.
  • Think about the relative costs. It may be more cost-effective to use an outside marketing business. The initial costs may be outweighed by increased sales.

Automated telemarketing

Automated telemarketing uses interactive voice response (IVR) to effectively process high numbers of telemarketing calls in an inexpensive way.

Outbound IVR telemarketing can be used to generate leads and sales and alert customers to new offers, product or service changes and product recalls. It can also be used to conduct meetings, conference calls or business surveys.  You can only make automated marketing calls to people who have specifically consented to it. 

Inbound IVR can be used to offer helpdesk services, handle incoming calls or to provide disaster backup in case of emergency.

Since IVR campaigns do not require actual telemarketers, they are often less expensive than traditional telemarketing campaigns. The results are also easy to measure, flexible and can show immediate results. On the other hand, consumers may perceive IVR as less personal and more intrusive. 

All automated calls must include your name and a contact address or freephone number. You must also allow your number (or an alternative contact number) to be displayed to the person receiving the call.

The privacy and data protections rules on automated calls are stricter than those for live calls. The person you contact must have specifically consented to receive this type of call from you.