Telemarketing vs email marketing

Lead generation has drastically changed over the years, and the process of contacting leads and best practices are constantly in flux. Method-wise our first point of call is contacting a prospect by e-mail initially, but many firms still operate by calling directly as the first point of contact, so what’s the difference and more importantly, what’s better?

Related: The art of cold calling for small businesses

Telemarketing advantages & disadvantages

Odds are you’ve received an unexpected call at some point in your life where someone is trying to sell you something. Many telemarketing lead generation firms still operate in this way but times have changed, and there are a few key reasons why calling instead of emailing as a first touch point is a bad idea:

  • You have no permission to call the said prospect, and it is an invasive form of communication as there is no prior relationship. You’re more than likely to hear not very kind words rather than get a conversation.
  • Many prospects will not be interested in your product, so you’re going to spend a lot of time being dismissed (this is part of any sales process to an extent, but there are better ways and means.)
  • Unless you’re adhering to the Cam Spam Act to the letter what you are doing is likely illegal and could result in issues.
  • Your prospects are busy and getting many phone calls a day; you have minimal if any time to get through the noise.
  • You end up in voicemail.

It used to be the case, as the phone was the primary method of business communication, which you could pick up the phone call John Smith and he’d listen to what you had to say. The game has changed, and it’s critical to use permission-based marketing to avoid the issues mentioned above. So is the e-mail approach any better?

Why email marketing is better than telemarketing

Getting a prospect’s email can be a tricky process but if you can get it, it’s a far better way of initially reaching out to prospects for several reasons:

  • As long as you make sure your targeting is on point and that the prospect has real potential to need your product or service, you’ll likely engage them in an initial conversation.
  • Statistically speaking you’re far more likely to get a positive response via e-mail than you are from telemarketing.
  • Making sure you’re Cam Spam compliant via e-mail is straightforward.
  • You can use your text, subject headers and content to make you stand out from other e-mails, conveying your message in a clear and customised way.
  • You can quickly follow-up if there is no initial response and you’re far more likely to get a response on a second outreach point.

These are just a few of the benefits, just ask yourself this question: would you rather receive a call out of the blue or a well-crafted e-mail offering a product or service that’s relevant to you and is personalised?

Combining email & telemarketing

Combining cold emails with warm telephone conversations has a much higher rate of conversion than either method alone, a hybrid is always generally a better mix and remember to keep it brief, to the point and make sure you’re reaching the right people.

Related: The 5 pillars of successful email marketing