How to Skillfully Follow Up Direct Marketing Communications with a Telephone Call

eMail messages sent to lots of recipients at the same time are synonymous with direct marketing communications. We think most of the guidelines for how to implement printed and mailed direct marketing communications hold true for bulk email message campaigns. The difference is that we think much higher numbers of targeted recipients must be reached in order to drive any level of useful response.

Ernan Roman in his book “Integrated Direct Marketing” published by NTC in 1995 contends that an Integrated Direct Marketing (IDM campaign) can deliver anywhere from a 5 to 18% total response rate through the inclusion of a “carefully timed follow up phone call” (p59 of the text). Of course, for direct marketers used to a typical 1/10th of a percent response rate from bulk email messaging, these types of numbers are earth shaking and quite encouraging. The question that invariably arises is how to skillfully coordinate an outbound unsolicited telephone call within a day or two of sending an unsolicited email message. Obviously it benefits neither your business, nor the recipient to intrude in an unwanted manner.

The solution, per Mr. Roman (to which we entirely concur) is to carefully frame the telephone call around a sincere interest to collect any questions that the recipient may have about the information sent. The method of framing the telephone call carefully is to thoroughly script the planned discussion so as to transform an unexpected telephone call into, at best, a helpful contact and, at worst, simply a friendly contact that a recipient can opt to ignore.

The intended outcome of the telephone call, of course, is to stimulate the recipient to engage further with your business in a dialogue specifically focused on the points made in your email message. Therefore, care ought to be taken to carefully construct the email message into the principal communications vehicle for this engagement with the prospect. Any topic targeted for your message and a follow up telephone call has to be implicitly included in the text of your email message. Having your telemarketing effort inject any additional content into the discussion can end up undermining the opportunity to engage with recipients; better to keep the telephone calls carefully scripted around the topics created by the email message.

A carefully orchestrated campaign, as we have sketched out here, will result in good opportunities to nurture conversations along. Some of these conversations will emerge as sales leads. Therefore, the best team to handle the telemarketing effort is your sales team.

If you are contemplating a campaign like the one that we have sketched out here, we’d like to hear about it.

Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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