800 Number Management For Direct Response Marketing (AKA Toll Free Number Management)

800 Number Management has numerous related titles such as TFN Management, Dialed Name Identification Service Management (D.N.I.S.) and even Toll Free Number Management. For the sake of simplicity, and sanity, this article will use the term 800 Number Management, despite the numerous different references to the actual meaning behind the term.

When it comes to 800 Numbers the primary reason for having one is to sell a product or service or to make it convenient for an existing customer to receive service of a product or service. Hopefully, their purchase originated from you and your company. If you provide exceptional service to your existing customers, one method is to use an 800 Number to provide support services, with a bit of luck more additional products and/or services will be purchased.

The bottom line purpose for having 800 Numbers is to sell more products or services and to maximize the marketing results. However there is always an issue with having a bank of 800 Numbers or running multiple call centers and that problem is the management.

A company accumulates 800 Numbers because the C.M.O. wants to link the company’s marketing campaigns for every product, for every creative, for every offer, etc., to a unique 800 Number. So every variation requires a different and unique 800 Number. Then the C.M.O. wants to see which combination of product, creative, offer, and campaign is driving the most sales. This is called multi-channel marketing. So tracking marketing results via these linkages from marketing across multiple call centers and 800 Numbers to a sale quickly becomes a mind-numbing challenge.

No matter how you look at the problem, it requires smart executives to think more, spend more time and invest more money to get it right! Not to mention productive collaboration between the C.I.O., C.F.O., and C.M.O. Unfortunately, even the largest multi-national and national direct response companies don’t have this process down right.

A few marketing work-flow issues that must first be thought through are:

– Have standards been established for data collection and is there a mechanism to find, isolate and correct data issues as they arise?

– Are the people working in marketing, the call centers and the web group in possession of the commensurate technical knowledge? Do they have the insightful diligence to ask for the right information; in the right format; from their vendors?

– Is there a central repository, unique to marketing, for all historical information and data; from all vendors; across all marketing initiatives?

– Have we established a reporting infrastructure that can link calls (response), orders (sales) and other outcomes (disposition codes) to the specific marketing campaign that drove them?

I have talked to a lot of companies who use individual vanity 800 Numbers for each of their campaigns. The top two problems every company and ad agency have are:

1) They have a manual process of assigning, segregating and linking their 800 Number to an individual campaigns, offers and creative. Why, you maybe wondering? All but a handful of companies have a manual process for aggregating and linking. These manual processes open the door to huge probabilities for data errors.

2) A C.M.O. is forced or inadvertently funnels all their campaigns to one 800 Number, following a branding strategy, thus making it impossible to identify which campaign, offer or creative is the one real driving force behind the response and the sales revenue generation. This is called campaign overlapping and it is not pretty. One company is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in attribution modeling to statisticians in India, when the problem can easily be solved for as little as $500/month.

Summary of the Solution:

The ultimate goal of an 800 Number Management system is to be able to effectively use the 800 Numbers and their associated Dialed Name Identification Service as a mechanism to quickly, easily and cogently link or tie marketing activity directly to sales. Creating such a relationship is critical to measuring return on marketing investment. Having a direct, systematic, and automated link between everything marketing produces and touches with all response channels, such as: retail outlets, telesales and the web-group eliminates every hard-metric a marketing department has. Having an automated marketing work-flow process in place also provides an opportunity to achieve maximum marketing efficiency! Notice I said “opportunity,” the overwhelming majority of companies can’t even fantasize about such a system, let alone imagine implementing one.

The first step, and it is a solid one, would be to implement an 800 Number Management system, most companies don’t have a mechanism that seamlessly manages 800 Numbers, and associated Dialed Name Identification Service. The system must also be able to communicate and track every change, modification (and who initiated such edits,) and this information must be captured accurately and consistently. It must also be able to prompt action such as disseminating request, allocation and usage information. All of the aforementioned functionality is critically important to the success of any direct response marketing organization.

Additional bolt-on modules or having the flexibility to expand functionality in order to accommodate growth is also critical, such growth oriented functionality would be: forecasting, bucketing tracking tags by product, campaign, marketing group, agency, etc.; assignment of appropriate skill sets to specific call center personnel, and staff level balancing. The more sophisticated organizations will want to measure call center productivity over time periods (e.g. week over week) as well as marketing campaign performance at a granular level.

The Benefits of an 800 Number Management system for Telesales:

1) A centralized location to easily manage and track Dialed Name Identification Service across vendors, programs, skill sets and campaigns.

2) An apples to apples comparison of vendors that field calls for the same 800 Numbers and the associated marketing campaign.

3) Ability to bucket 800 Numbers to be used by the marketing organization to ensure seamless assignment and use of 800 Numbers across campaigns.

4) More accurate and timely forecasts based on marketing activities.

5) The ability to split out call volume by day when an unexpected Dialed Name Identification Service receives calls from multiple campaigns.

6) A simple to use interface that allows modifications to historic data, including splits of existing data across Dialed Name Identification Service, the ability to add new information, and deletion of data that may result from overflow that occurs, for example: when a trunk fails at a call center the overflow calls need to be reallocated to in order to provide accurate reporting.

The Benefits of an 800 Number Management system for Marketers:

1) 800 Number / Dialed Name Identification Service Management is one viable option for addressing direct response marketing professionals needs, however only a hand full of companies understand the real needs of marketing.

2) A centralized location to track and assign 800 Numbers to Dialed Name Identification Servic across programs and campaigns.

3) Elimination of unwanted re-use of 800 Numbers across multiple campaigns simultaneously.

4) Historical tracking of 800 Numbers as well as a mechanism to plan future use and assignment of 800 Numbers.

5) Link Campaign results to the campaigns that drove them (Direct Mail, Direct Response – Promo TV, Radio, Circulars.)

6) Systematically manage the assignment of 800 Numbers to campaigns based on business rules of your choosing.

Direct Marketing – Telemarketing

In Direct Marketing Telemarketing is a very important role in the use of new information technologies applied to business development. This article hopes to make a brief statement of its most important features.

Telemarketing is a direct marketing strategy that seeks through the use of communication (especially telephone), personal way to reach different users by offering products or services to address the challenges of increasingly competitive markets, trying to time-saving marketing costs and improve the effectiveness of the introduction of products for sale.

The use of communication technologies to have a direct, efficient and fast user creates competitive advantages in the world of business “, replacing or complementing the use of traditional forms of communication with the client and the advertising staff, use direct sales or the need to have branches or special outlets. Generating added value to our customers will feel satisfied with the increased speed in the delivery of services with the convenience of travel to avoid being served in branches, outlets or department stores.

Advantages in the use of telemarketing:

A team of telemarketing is cheaper and more controllable than a group of sellers to avoid transport costs and food promotion. Another important factor is the current trend of declining costs of communication especially through the telephone costs and improves competition in the information systems.

When you have a database of large users (including preferences), it has the opportunity to customize services for people with the opportunity to respond timely and reliable by increasing the productivity and efficiency of the organization.

It is understood that to be a successful telemarketing department will be required characteristics:

Technology: Adequate communications, reliability, and speed. Database accurate and functional, along with specialized software logically and functionally.

Team Work: Need a good team “telemarketers”, with broad product knowledge, marketing skills and in the promotion.

Order: To personalize the service is properly needed to order requests, complaints or claims related to care and to be properly satisfied.

Speed key factor, often to consult by phone, we find boring songs, transfers to units that do not correspond to the needs or lack of staff, these inefficiencies away to customers and make them reluctant to use the phone to buy, view or find out the companies.

Promotion: Get to know the telemarketing service to users, seeking to demonstrate the ease, efficiency and user comfort.

What Have You Tried in Network Marketing?

It’s a known fact, people change and times change. Although I’m dating myself by saying this, who can forget the old Alka Seltzer ads with “plop plop fizz fizz” or the old Burger King ads with the woman yelling, “Where’s the beef?”

I had the television on last week and saw a commercial for McDonalds. I was surprised to see them using a jingle from when I was a kid.

Marketing trends come and go. Two years ago I invested time in plug boards and getting my plug up as often as I could. Then, all of a sudden no one was using plug boards anymore and so I stopped investing time with them.

Today, I invest some of my marketing time in social networks. A few years back only teens were on the social networks.

When I first began marketing online, I wrote articles. Then I took those articles and began blogging. Today, I use my articles in directories, on my blogs and on message boards.

I’ve also run ads in newspapers. The general rule of thumb is that someone must see your ad several times before deciding to act on it. I found that having the ad run two or three times then withdrawing the ad and then resubmitting a few months later produced more results than just leaving the ad in the paper week after week.

If you put out a newsletter, try sending it out on different days and at different times of the day to see where you get the best results.

Any time you see that your marketing is not producing the desired results, change what you’re doing.

There are times that marketing from yesterday just will not work today. Other times you can take yesterday’s marketing, add a bit of today to it and reuse it, as in the example I gave from McDonalds using a jingle from when I was a child.

Marketing can be a trial and error process. Even in my article writing, I find that some topics and some titles get much better readership than other articles.

Keep trying new things. Come back to things that didn’t work before and add a little something to them to see if they can work today. Times change and so should your marketing.