People have a lot of ideas and preconceptions about telemarketing – so we’ve rounded up the most commonly asked questions to take a look at some answers for you.

Is telemarketing illegal?

Not quite – as much as people might say it’s illegal when they get annoyed at a call, that’s not strictly true. However, there are restrictions to making cold calls. The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 imposes these restrictions on marketing via cold calls, as well as texts, emails and faxes.

Different types of communication have different regulations, and so do different audiences – there are more restrictions on marketing to individuals than companies, for example.

Is telemarketing effective?

We think so, yes. Otherwise we wouldn’t have started a telemarketing company! But don’t just take our word for it: almost 60% of marketing managers in Fortune 500 companies say telemarketing is “very effective” for leads and customer outreach. And that’s the “very effective” answer – the ratio goes up to 90% if we look at those who said it was “effective”.

There are, however, a few things to take into account with this:

  • Telemarketing has to be done right to be effective
  • You need excellent messaging that connects with your audience
  • You need a defined target audience
  • You can’t just phone a few people and consider that telemarketing

So yes, effective telemarketing is indeed effective. You just have to do it right.

Is telemarketing a good job?

A god question for anyone considering a role in telemarketing – whether agency or in-house.

Like any job, the answer will depend on the person and the company. Some telemarketing companies invest time and training and want to keep and develop their staff (we’re happy to be one of these). Others may churn through staff rapidly.

If you’re someone who hates the phone, then obviously this would be a bad job for you. If you’re outgoing, like chatting to people, consider yourself good at sales, or want a challenge, then telemarketing would be a great fit.

The other area that can affect whether or not telemarketing is a good job for you is payment – do you have a basic salary or are you commission only? That works well for some but is too risky for others. Do you get a bonus related to your performance? Is that something that motivates you more than a higher basic?

Ultimately, the right fit will depend on you and the best way for you to work combined with the right company.

Is telemarketing sleazy?

There can definitely be a perception of sleaze in this industry – we’ve covered this before. The thing is, most of the negative stuff comes from telesales rather than telemarketing. And, done properly, the point of telemarketing is not to give people the hard sell, it’s to find out if there’s an opportunity for you to help them.

So, as a rule, no, telemarketing is not sleazy. It’s a legitimate lead generation method and can be hugely helpful in finding the right clients at the right time. The challenge is that when people do it poorly, or add high pressure tactics, it gives everyone else a bad name, too.

Is telemarketing expensive?

Generally, telemarketing is a pretty cost-effective method of generating leads. Outsourced telemarketing is generally cheaper than bringing in in-house resource (with all the attendant costs).

But the real question should be whether or not it generates a return on investment (ROI). Because if it does, then it really doesn’t matter how much it costs, you’re getting more back than you put in. And when you get to that position, you tend to ramp up your spend over time (as new projects come through and generate cashflow).

Starting with one campaign, you can start to see statistics like cost per lead, customer acquisition cost, and return on investment. These are hugely important figures, and will highlight whether or not this is a method you should continue to pursue.

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