What’s the best way to reach new prospects? Any way that works is the short answer. Big business talks a lot about the customer experience, multi-channel integrated marketing, open rates, conversion rates, sales pipeline and Return-On-Investment (ROI). The traditional view is that you do direct marketing, and then build on that with telemarketing. For many small-medium businesses it can be worth talking to the experts and fine tuning to obtain the best possible results – But what do you do if you are a really small business or a start-up? – what have been termed micro business – You don’t have a marketing department, you don’t even have a marketing budget, you don’t have people who know how to design an email that won’t be seen as spam or take people to a design-rich landing page that tracks unique customer ID’s and works on mobile devices as well as computers. Your six year old daughter can probably design better marketing posters that you can, and your idea of high value prospects is the telephone list in front of you. Continue reading
Anyone who is in the call center industry in the U.S. knows that you can’t call consumers that have registered with the Do Not Call list and this is not a bad thing, because there is nothing worse than getting call after call from marketing companies that want to sell you something. At one time it was so bad that some people stopped answering their home phone or in some cases were even forced to change their phone numbers. The creation of the Do Not Call list aimed to change all of that, so that people who did not want to get unsolicited phone calls could opt out of all calls with the exception of companies that they actually do business with and this is a good thing.
The U.S. Government came up with a fairly decent system of making call centers and marketing companies have to download the DNC list and scrub it against their calling database to remove all numbers on that list. I think this is a good system. Before they can do this they have to register with the Federal Trade Commission, who maintains the Do Not Call list, and get a Subscription Account Number knows as a SAN. They need to either register for every area code they will be calling which costs $55 per area code per year or if you want to call nationally the cost is $16,000 per year. This is where the U.S. government and I stop agreeing. While I think the DNC is a great idea, and while I do not have a problem with charging companies to access the list, after all it costs money to maintain this list, I do have a problem with the exceedingly high cost to a business to be able to conduct national campaigns. Small businesses cannot afford this cost of doing business, it is too high, and while I do not disagree with having a fee involved I think $16,000 is a bit much, don’t you?
The U.S. economy over the last few years has declined substantially and small businesses are suffering greatly, many have gone out of business and those that are still in business are struggling to keep their head above the water. You would think that the government would be doing whatever they can to help small businesses stay in business and by lowering these fees to an affordable cost would help a lot of businesses. The government has bailed out banks and automakers, why don’t they help small businesses? During this period of this down trodden economy why doesn’t the government waive this fee as a way of encouraging and stimulating small business? Just a thought.