Why email sales promotions don’t work as well as cold calling

As a marketer, I try all different ways of having promotions. I have tried cold calling, email newsletter marketing, auto-calling, having assistants call for me, and more. Each method of contacting people has its benefits. However, certain types of contacts are best made on particular mediums.

In August 2015, I called a few thousand people about upgrade specials on our directory. We were basically selling advertising. Roughly 5% of the people I talked to upgraded. I felt so happy that I was able to make more than seven dozen sales. Then, I decided to take advantage of the automated technology that I am paying for. After I sent out my newsletter blast which reached about 4500 people, I got a few dozen inquiries for quotes. I spent an hour giving quotes, but only three bought something. My automated system actually cost me a lot of time doing quotes, but without a result.

Cold calling got me 4x the new sales per lead compared to emailing quotes…

I also recall that a month ago, my assistant called a bunch of people for me. They wanted quotes too. I gave ten quotes by email to people who claimed they were interested and only one of them bought something. The lesson I am learning is that when a client actually talks to a salesperson who knows the product well, they are more likely to buy. When I talked to clients personally by phone I was able to sell to about 40% of them. However, the purchase rate of clients who got an email quote from us was only 10%.

So, what is the moral to this story? The best system I had for sales was to have my assistant sit in the same room with me and filter through the list of prospects. Every time she got one who was interested, she would have me call them immediately. I closed a lot of sales very efficiently this way and made a lot of money. The personal touch is critical in marketing. These days it is so hard to actually get to talk to someone knowledgeable by phone. People often appreciate being able to talk to a critical higher level person at a company. So, leverage that time that you spend with people and use it the right way.

Many higher level business people want a lower level assistant to do all of their busy-work for them. This is a mistake. The lower level people are good for filtering and busy-work, not for handling the critical aspects of a business conversation. Even if they know the right answers, they don’t have the special energy or mojo to give the client the satisfaction that they crave — the satisfaction of talking to a high energy higher level manager or executive for about ten minutes. Make each minute count and use it the most efficient way!

To wrap up the various contact methods, email marketing is good for general reminders and links to new articles in your blog, but not for sales (at least not in my business). Auto-calling is also good for more critical reminders as many people have emails that filter out critical messages. Cold Calling (or warm calling if your clients know you) is much better if you need to actually change a business relationship. In advertising it is common to renew your existing level of advertising. Contacting people for a renewal can be done through auto-call or email marketing. However, contacting them to change or upgrade their plan should ideally be done using a very specialized and targetted list and done by hand.

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