Evolution Of Telemarketing — And How It Aligns With Your Digital Strategy Today

Evolution Of Telemarketing — And How It Aligns With Your Digital Strategy Today

Evolution Of Telemarketing — And How It Aligns With Your Digital Strategy Today

Have you ever had a salesperson call you up to sell you something?

We have all received calls from marketers pitching products and services. Sometimes their pitch is enticing enough to interest us; sometimes it is not. However, if you have experienced such calls, then you know what telemarketing looks like.

Simply put, telemarketing is a form of direct marketing used to engage prospects and generate leads. While its purpose is to market your products and services — telemarketing can also be used to complement auxiliary functions as well, such as conducting surveys or collecting data on leads.

However, the rise of spam-filled tactics and the subsequent rise of digital marketing has seen telemarketing lose some of its marketing potential.

But does it mean that telemarketing is finished? The answer is a resounding no. Despite losing some of its functionality to digital marketing, the industry is still thriving. Why?

Because telemarketing hasn’t lost its efficacy, what has changed is how you integrate it with a changing economic landscape and shifting consumer perspectives.

It is still effective when rightly integrated into your digital marketing initiatives. But before we get into specifics, let’s delve into the history of telemarketing

A Brief History Of Telemarketing

Yes, it was women who needed to sell cookies that came up with what we know as telemarketing today!

She rang up friends and family to ask if they would buy baked goodies — and it worked!

Eventually, the practice picked up in the sixties with professional telemarketing classes for businesses.

However, the term “telemarketing” became mainstream in the seventies.

The industry grew along the same lines telephone technology evolved. Soon after, automation eliminated the need for operators to transfer calls manually. The growing success encouraged more companies to take up telemarketing.

Unfortunately, the same trends that popularised telemarketing also led to a rapid decline in the eighties. Frauds and scams garnered the marketing strategy a bad name. And businesses slowly began to shy away from telemarketing.

Where Telemarketing Is Today

In the age where transparency is key, there are various critics of telemarketing who are unfazed by the marketing success salespeople derive by calling people.

There is truth to the claim that marketers misused telemarketing – causing consumers more harm than good.

Such has been the impact of telemarketing nuisance that the Australian government has placed restrictions on when telemarketers can call people. People can now opt-out by registering their numbers on the ‘Do Not Call Register.’

Not only has this worked to set some boundaries, but telemarketers now have ethical obligations in place — And we thank the Australian government for that!

Highlighting Telemarketing’s Role In Today’s Socio-economic Landscape

Although telemarketing is a more traditional approach to marketing, that still doesn’t mean that you cannot incorporate it into your digital strategy. It is just as effective as any other part of digital marketing tactics and assists in creating brand awareness, generating leads and increasing sales.

In today’s digital age, the market is crowded with companies that prefer social media and search engine marketing over other tactics. Due to such practices, the human element of the entire marketing strategy is completely lost, which results in the prospect’s loss of interest in the brand’s products or services.

By complementing your digital marketing strategy with telemarketing, you can allow person to person contact with compassion that a digital platform does not offer.

Additionally, with the large size of the digital marketplace, you can connect with a global audience through online advertising, at a considerably lower cost than the traditional approach.

Telemarketing can complement this strategy by getting in touch with them, and giving these leads a final personal touch that urges them to commit to the brand.

Therefore, all successful marketers have realised the importance of telemarketing when it comes to their digital marketing strategy.

Although digital marketing is an effective way to push your brand out in the virtual world, only telecommunication can assist it in creating a nurturing relationship with the brand’s prospective leads and regular customers.

But how can digital marketers integrate the practice to achieve success? Let’s delve in and explore:

Ways To Integrate Telemarketing In Your Digital Strategy

Telemarketing can integrate effectively with all digital channels and introduce the human factor to these systematic processes. This human touch is found to be extremely important in generating sales opportunities and developing genuine relationships with the customers for the long term.

We talk about some ways you can use digital telemarketing to your benefit — and convert the most leads.

Social Media

Four out of ten sales reps make at least two sales with the help of social media, according to a recent survey.

Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram help you gather important information on your target audience’s wants and needs. You can use this information to further your telemarketing strategy to broaden the context of your calls and personalise them accordingly.

Ask yourself:

What subjects generate more CTA clicks?

What steps did you take that saw more qualified leads?  

Additionally, you can analyse your competitors’ marketing initiatives as well. Conduct social listening to see what the buzz around your brand is and what topics is your audience interested in?

Implement the knowledge to make calls to your prospects and convince them of what sets you apart from your competitors.

In the meantime, use social media platforms to introduce yourself to potential clients. The Aberdeen Group found that companies that adopt a multichannel approach experience 19% higher retention rates.              


Clients don’t always like being engaged formally. Use social media interactions to enrich their experience with your brand.

Interactive content like polls, quizzes, and online votes do well to engage customers.              

Email Marketing and Automation

An email campaign can do wonders when combined with telemarketing.

A telemarketer works to secure leads: Your sales representatives make an acquaintance with clients to build upon relationships and create brand awareness.

Once the hard part is done, you can simply send out emails to set up conference calls and confirm personal information. Research shows that brands are 4.2 times more likely to book an appointment with a buyer once a personal connection is made.

However, once your telemarketer has initiated a line of contact, emails can be used to remind them of the benefits of your brand and why they need them.

Once a marketing automation programme receives relevant, personalised data, it generates inbound enquiries. These are usually of higher quality than outbound leads.

Eventually, this may nurture them into a hot lead.

Automated emails should be used to schedule calls and ease the burden on your sales rep!


While we encourage that you offer value in your emails, make it clear you aren’t a spammer.

Chances are, your emails will go straight to the ‘Spam’ folder never to be seen again. So avoid using trigger words such as ‘free’ or ‘click here.’

Prospect Database

In February 2020, Google ranked first-party data as the third most important factor in a brand’s digital success.

Use telemarketing as a means to build upon a prospect database. Instead of simply purchasing data, use telemarketing to extract accurate personal information.

Collecting data through phone calls ensures you have the right contact information and helps reaffirm that consumers are giving out their information consensually.

Experienced telemarketers can use information from prospective clients to deduce what services they are loyal to, when they might want to change, and what problems they need solutions to.

More importantly, when they would like to be contacted in the future.

This is invaluable knowledge that cannot simply be gathered from digital marketing. Customer profiling is crucial to the planning of your digital campaigns: A high-quality list can then be segmented to support a personalised marketing initiative.


Profile your campaign list by client name, designation, phone number, or email.

This makes it easier to refer to data in the future when you need to customise emails and messages. Additional categories could be ‘social platform preferences’ or ‘best time to contact.’ Small details like these make all the difference.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective way to create content that is relevant to your business. It is a great way to build authority in your industry!

With telemarketing, you can’t spend multiple hours to explain the benefits of your service to prospective customers.

A simple blog post, on the other hand, does wonders to explain the nature of your business to those unfamiliar.

Nearly 50% of buyers view at least six posts before speaking to a sales rep. When you merge content marketing with telemarketing – it not only builds brand awareness – but also helps convert leads into customers.

When they call in to purchase or ask for help, customers know exactly what to expect. According to Gartner, 57% of the customer lifecycle is complete once they ask for help.


An on-site blog adds value to a client’s product or website! Not only do you provide them with industry knowledge, but you make a strong impression.

Classify Leads

Telemarketing techniques such as phone calls help confirm leads generated through email and social media campaigns. Campaigns generate a large number of leads; however, telemarketing helps improve the quality effectiveness of marketing efforts.

It identifies which leads need to be followed on and which ones need more nurturing. Studies show nurtured leads make 47% bigger purchases than those that aren’t.

Telemarketing helps best to streamline your marketing strategies. Customers that seem highly responsive should be engaged immediately, while others might still need convincing.

The Lead Response Management Study found that sales reps should make at least six follow up calls to qualify a lead, and those that did saw a 70% incline in contact.


Each call a telemarketer makes is a positive call. But you need to categorise calls into:

Follow Up

You’ve already initiated contact with the client. However, a follow-up call needs to be made in order to reengage the prospect and bring them back on the customer journey.

More Information

Potential clients always ask for more information before they agree to go any further. They would like to gain more knowledge about what your brand does and why it’s relevant to them.

Not Interested

Prospects that say they’re not interested should be put under a separate category. They neither want information and a follow up soon after can drive them off.

That doesn’t mean they won’t need your service in the future, though. Place a follow-up call or email them a brochure after a period of time. They might warm up.

PPC Campaigns

Google Adwords enables your ads to reach target audiences with the right PPC (Pay-per-Click) ad at the right time.  When they do click on your ad, you preferably want them to land on your website.

Here is where telemarketing shines. Once your prospect moves past the CTA, your sales team can contact them with more information on why your service is important to them.

Telemarketing magnifies your lead nurturing efforts and does so proactively.


You want your CTAs to convince prospects to sign up for your newsletter or fill in a form. This is ideal for when you have to follow up later. It can’t be done unless you have some contact information to begin with.

Strong Customer Relationships

For the most part, digital marketing is effectively a one-sided conversation where all you do is promote your brand. With the help of telemarketing, you can open up avenues to create a conversation around your brand.

One way to do this is to ask open questions. This is a great way to initiate conversations and build upon aspects that make your business unique. Listen to what potential customers want, and perhaps you can highlight areas where your service lacks.

The more trust prospects build in your brand, the more likely they are to submit personal contact information.

But the relationship is fragile: Once a business relationship is broken, 61% of consumers take their business to competitors.

That being said, not all prospects deserve the same level of nurturing. It is up to the sales rep to judge which offer the best potential for sales, and a highly experienced telemarketer will be able to do so.

Make your prospects feel exclusive; customers thrive on feeling important. Chances are, they will be loyal to your brand simply because of the relationship you have cemented with them.


As a telemarketer, you only have a few seconds to create a good impression. The customer instantly decides to hear your sales pitch or gets rid of you. Make the most of the limited time you get.

The Wrap Up

Traditional telemarketing was the past, and digital marketing is the future. However, sometimes we can combine the new and the old to create something unique.

Despite the horrible reputation it once garnered for itself, telemarketing has made a comeback!

Online marketing helps you reach masses and save time and money, while telemarketing can still strengthen consumer relationships!

How can telemarketing help me?

Telemarketing is a great outbound addition to any business. Telemarketing acts as a great means to directly target your prospects, with direct dialogue. Telemarketing offers a few benefits over traditional marketing (TVC, Digital, Radio). With a telemarketing campaign you get the ability to immediately gain market insights and feedback from your target audience. In addition to this, telemarketing generally has the ability quickly identify wether a prospect is interested or quickly share an important message to a large group of people.

Does telemarketing work?

Yes! Telemarketing is a great way to quickly spread the word around a range of topics, or gain direct access to the ‘decision maker’. Generally telemarketing campaigns can return a positive ROI, however this depends heavily on the industry and objective.

Can telemarketing compliment my digital strategy?

Yes! Often people think it’s one or the other. The reality is that any business has to focus on building a lead generation machine that drives profitable conversions. The best sales organisations have multiple channels to drive traffic, and leads. Telemarketing acts as one of these channels, and in conjunction with a digital campaign can be extremely powerful.

Whats best, telemarketing or digital advertising?

Simply put, it depends on your objectives. Telemarketing is a very direct means for communicating a message. Whereas digital advertising (specifically Facebook, or Instagram) have more competition and “noise” so generally tend to have a lower recall rate (the percentage rate of people that recall seeing your message).

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