Being flagged as “spam risk” or “scam likely” is a risk for all companies that use outbound calls as part of their marketing strategy. Once your calls start getting flagged in this way, connecting to leads becomes harder than ever. This can result in your company getting caught in a downward spiral. By avoiding the following telemarketing practices, you can reduce the risk of your numbers being flagged.
1. Too Many Calls Per Hour
Placing more cold calls per hour is a strategy many businesses use in an attempt to reach their target number of conversions. However, heavy dialing can lead to your phone numbers being marked as a “spam risk.” As with all aspects of business, it is important to get the balance right.
To work out how many outbound calls you should place per hour, consider the following factors:
- Lead list quality: A low quality list requires more calls, many of which are very short because your call operator cannot connect with a decision-maker.
- Average pitch time: The length of your pitch depends on its objective. If your aim is to schedule a meeting where you can give the contact more information, the pitch will be very short. For other types of calls, the pitch time might be longer.
- Type of dialer used for calls: Optimizing your dialer can help your agents make more calls per hour.
- Connection rates: Improving your lead list can help to reduce the number of calls you make that do not connect your agent to a decision maker.
- Abandonment rates: Improving your pitch might help to reduce the number of abandoned calls that feature in your calls per hour statistics.
2. Too Many Calls Per Outbound Phone Number
If making too many calls per hour is leading to your number being flagged as “spam risk,”. One solution is to increase the number of outbound phone numbers (DIDs) you are using. The more calls you make from each number, the greater the chance of your calls getting flagged as spam. As a rule of thumb, aim to make no more than 250 calls per day from each number.
High Volume Telemarketing Practices
Higher volume call centers should regularly swap out numbers to reduce their risk of being flagged as spam. Once a number is flagged, the chance of connecting to a decision-making contact reduces. Thus leading to a downward spiral of calls that don’t result in sales.
3. Using a Bad List
Pruning your list is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of being flagged as a spam risk. Cleaning up your list can also improve your conversion rates. Doing so reduces the time your agents spend talking to leads who will not convert.
If you bought your lead list, there is a high chance that it contains numerous low quality leads. Although buying a lead list can be a good way for your business to start marketing, you need to do some work to clean up your list before it can work for you.
Cleaning your lead list involves separating it into good leads and bad leads. This simple step not only improves your conversion ratio but also reduces the chance of angry consumers flagging your numbers or filing complaints.
Lead scoring is a system that scores leads based on the information you have about them. This might include demographic information and the previous interactions that each lead has had with your agents or your website. Lead scoring tools can help to automate this process to make it easier and more effective.
Some leads are not necessarily bad leads, but they are not yet ready to buy. Lead nurturing can help these leads to engage with your company. Once they learn more about the services you offer, ultimately you can transform them into good leads who are ready to make a purchase.
To nurture these leads, your agents must first be able to identify when they are dealing with someone who is on the fence. They then need to provide educational material to help the lead understand how your product or services can help them. Avoid diving straight into a sales pitch.
4. Using a Bad Script
Many consumers find cold calls irritating, which means you are always at risk of getting your numbers flagged if you use these telemarketing practices. Your script is what can save your agents from making people angry so that they flag your numbers.
All scripts should begin with a strong introduction, in which you tell (rather than ask) the person on the end of the phone to put you through to the lead. Don’t be timid. Once you’re speaking to the right person, it is important to engage them quickly. Ask a question to engage them with your pitch, such as “sound good?” or “any questions?”
Often, a set of talking points works better than a rigid script, as it allows agents to sound more natural. Flexibility in the script also encourages agents to listen to leads and answer their questions, rather than talking over them which quickly leads to irritation.
A/B testing can be a very good way to optimize your script. Have your agents use two versions of a script and collect data on which one is most effective at engaging the people they speak to. This kind of testing not only leads to a script that leads to fewer people flagging your calls as spam, but also can increase your conversion ratio.
Using ethical telemarketing practices when cold calling prospects is the best way to maintain the reputation of your business. Avoid bad practices to keep your numbers free from the “spam risk” flag and ensure success in outbound dialing.