Telemarketing Software Featured Article

A Little Analysis Can Help Outbound 'Phonathons' Become More Lucrative

June 21, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

If you run an outbound contact center – which has its own special set of challenges when it comes to call center work – you’ll know that the work is often cyclical. Marketing and sales campaigns as well as more negative events such as product recalls or shipping delays, turn into outbound calling marathons. Unlike the predictable day-to-day, week-to-week inbound call volume, outbound can have a lot of unknowns. How well you plan for these campaigns will determine their success or failure, and good planning will help you make the process more cost-effective and revenue-generating.

Before you begin your next outbound calling campaign, it’s worth it to look at your past experiences and current processes and see how you can improve on your next effort, particularly in “phonathons” for non-profits or fund-raising efforts, according to an infographic prepared by telemarketing software solutions provider VanillaSoft. Things to ask before planning include:

  • What campaigns or courses have been most effective in the past?
  • Have “phonathons,” coupled with direct mail, email marketing or drip campaigns been more effective than single-reach options?
  • Analyze campaigns for average donor gift values. Campaigns with higher average gifts may signal which campaigns/courses are most important to your constituents.
  • Ensure you remove outliers – one exceptionally large gift will skew your averages.

One of the best ways to identify the best donors is using a figure called “donor lifetime value,” or LTV. This will help outbound campaigns make good decisions about reasonable expenditures to make to secure new donors, according to VanillaSoft. One of the most dramatic results can come from addressing donor attrition rates: if LTV is $1,000 and you decrease attrition from 10 percent to five percent, you’ve increased the LTV to $2,000.

Achieving these goals will require a better way to dial outbound calls. Progressive dialing, a feature offered by some telemarketing software solutions providers like VanillaSoft, can increase donor contact rates by as much as 35 percent over manual call dialing. Progressive dialing is an automated dialing technique that presents contact information to outbound agent prior to dialing the phone number. The agent can perform a quick review of the information prior to the dialer automatically placing the call, which can warm up an outbound effort considerably.

Other technologies that can improve outbound campaigns include “next best donor logic,” which uses your organization’s historical and donor data to prioritize calls in a way that’s most likely to raise money faster. Call scripting can help “phonathon” workers – who are sometimes volunteers, or inbound agents with little outbound skill – to stay on message and make the “ask” easier to accomplish. Integrated email feature can effectively tie phone and email efforts together to build a more rounded outbound campaign using multiple channels. Finally, performance dashboards can attach precise numbers to the effectiveness of a campaign, so its successes (or failures) can be seen at a glance, allowing the company to make on-the-fly adjustments.

Outbound work, particularly for fundraising, is one of the most challenging business processes in the world. (Asking people for money is never easy.) Using the right tools, however, the most onerous tasks can be automated, and the process can go a lot faster and more professionally.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi