It can’t be overstated how important it is for you, as a business, to occupy significant real estate in the minds of your customers. Due to the advent of social media and other technological advancements in the world, it is considerably easier to start up a business and market to your potential consumers, leading to an oversaturated marketplace and fierce competition among businesses. To further add a layer of difficulty to this, the world’s attention spans are, quite literally, degrading by the second. In essence, you are striving to get your products and services noticed by a collective that has an overflow of alternate options and ensuring that your offerings captivate them enough to be top of mind in most situations.
That all sounds incredibly strenuous at best and nearly impossible at worst, yet it’s not as bad as you think. As stated earlier, new technologies make marketing easier for businesses, but to stand out from your competitors, you have to integrate unconventional marketing tactics into your campaigns.
Therefore, let me introduce telemarketing to you. According to Investopedia, telemarketing is the direct marketing of goods or services to potential customers over the telephone, internet, or fax. For this article, though, we’ll be looking at the telemarketing aspect that involves reaching your customers via phone calls and SMS only.
Here’s your table of contents to help you navigate this article better.
In this article:
SMS Marketing Statistics:
Utilizing channels such as SMS and phone calls in addition to your other marketing channels (e.g., email marketing) to promote your business and connect with your customers can significantly boost your ROI.
Statistics for Marketing Via Phone Calls:
2. When it comes to resolving a complex issue, 40% of consumers want to speak to a real person over the phone (American Express).
4. 65% of people prefer to contact a business by phone vs. just 24% who prefer to fill out an online form (Invoca).
How Valid Phone Numbers Boost Marketing and Sales Efforts
Now that we’ve looked at some phone and SMS stats, let me break down some of the benefits of phone numbers for your marketing and sales efforts. We’re not including just any type of phone number here; we’re looking at valid phone numbers. And if you’re feeling like you need to know why you’d be at a disadvantage when you use invalid or unverified phone numbers, just reverse everything listed here, and you’ll get the gist.
1. Accurate Customer Data:
Valid phone numbers ensure that you have access to accurate customer data. This accuracy ensures that you have the right contact information for potential customers. It means that your marketing and sales campaigns become more targeted and are more efficient since they reach your intended audience. You can save time by reducing the chances of sending marketing materials or making sales calls to the wrong individuals. Moreover, it minimizes the frustration that can arise from failed communication attempts, saving your team time and resources.
2. Improved Communication:
Valid phone numbers facilitate seamless communication between your sales and marketing teams and potential customers. Since you and/or your team now have access to accurate customer data, you can send messages or make phone calls that have messages that are personalized and targeted towards a specific customer. Doing this wholly improves your customer-business relationship. Your customers are more likely to feel that your business cares about them and their needs, and they are more encouraged to spend on your business. Additionally, because messages can be communicated relatively faster over the phone, it enables you to make timely follow-up calls, address customer queries promptly, and provide immediate support when needed. This direct and efficient communication builds trust, which is essential for improving your ROI and fostering long-term customer relationships.
3. Lead Generation:
A lead is someone who shows interest in your business’s offerings, while lead generation, according to HubSpot, is the process of attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, all with the end goal of converting them into customers.
How do valid phone numbers increase lead generation? Once you get hold of a potential customer’s phone number, you can create awareness of your business’s products and services by advertising them through text messages or phone calls. You can also develop relationships with your customers and guide them successfully through every stage of the sales funnel, –aka lead nurturing, by launching personalized and targeted SMS campaigns, sending or calling about relevant content, interacting with your customers using conversational chatbots, informing them about discount offers and promotions, etc. If you would like to launch your marketing and sales campaigns via other marketing channels, you can also send text messages that direct them to those chosen channels. For example, MailDrip users can send bulk SMSes to their customers, directing those customers to fill out a LeadGen form that will sign them up for some monthly product newsletters delivered via email. Then, they can continue the lead generation process and other marketing campaigns using MailDrip.
4. Maximizing Reach:
Phones are some of the most accessible communication devices available. Almost everyone has a phone, so if you choose to promote your business and reach customers via phone calls and text messages, you would be opening up the potential to market to about 7.1 billion people worldwide (Statista, 2021). I’m not trying to lure you into holding a false or exaggerated belief, so let me put this disclaimer here: it is not highly likely that you will have a million customers just by marketing via this channel. Remember, however, that phones are accessible. Some people have little to no access to an internet connection, while others find it difficult to navigate the web or anything that requires an internet connection. Choosing to focus your marketing efforts additionally via phone calls and text messages using valid phone numbers allows you to reach these customers, which can build a feeling of loyalty in them to your brand because it demonstrates thoughtfulness and care on your part.
Moreover, reaching out through this relatively unconventional channel not only solves an accessibility issue but also allows you to compete for your customer’s attention in a field with little to no competition. The unconventional nature allows your marketing campaign to be memorable, which is especially important today when being the first or most memorable business to reach out to a customer can make or break your popularity with that customer.
5. Cost Efficiency:
Valid phone numbers cut down on waste for you and your team. You won’t waste time, money, and other resources on launching outreach campaigns to uninterested people and non-existent or incorrect phone numbers. All of your marketing and sales efforts will be focused on the relevant leads, thereby bringing a higher return on your investment.
6. Improved Customer Engagement:
Sometimes, the meaning of messages gets lost in translation when we can’t gauge things like tone to fully understand. If a business situation is complicated or involves multiple parties, valid phone numbers allow you to reach the aggrieved customers quickly via phone calls to converse and provide solutions without a misunderstanding due to a loss in translation.
Reaching out to valid phone numbers also increases the chance of a customer responding to your message, improving customer engagement rates and potentially driving conversions.
How To Obtain Valid Phone Numbers
1. Ask Directly: The most straightforward way of obtaining valid phone numbers is by asking for them directly. You can ask your existing customer list or potential customers for their numbers as an additional means of contacting them.
2. Ask your customers to refer you to their friends, families, and colleagues.
3. Use your social media, website, and/or app.
4. Use surveys and forms (e.g sign-up forms)
5. Offer a promotion, reward, or resource in exchange for their number.
6. Use your business’s chatbot to ask for customers’ numbers.
How To Verify Phone Numbers
A customer can unintentionally submit an incorrect or invalid phone number to your system. You may also, unfortunately, buy and receive some invalid phone numbers from a company that sells numbers for marketing purposes.
To avoid having a database with invalid phone numbers, thereby sabotaging your marketing and sales efforts, do these things to verify your numbers.
1. Phone Number Validation Tool:
If you want to verify the validity of your database of customers’ phone numbers, you can use a number validation tool. This is, most times, a third-party tool that allows you to verify phone numbers in bulk. It can do this by sending text messages to check if those numbers are active, by making flash calls, or by connecting with a number without notifying the owner to check if it’s able to receive communication.
You can also use these tools in your forms by integrating their APIs with your forms to run validity checks so that a customer can avoid submitting invalid numbers to your system.
2. Verification Codes and Links:
Verification codes and/or one-time passwords (OTPs) are some of the popular ways to verify phone numbers. Just set up a process that sends SMSes containing these codes or links to the provided number, and if the customer can input the code sent or click on the link, then the number is verified and valid enough to add to your database.
Things to Note:
When you have access to customers’ phone numbers, it is important to follow the rules and etiquette guiding the use of customer data and contacting customers. Therefore:
1. Ensure you only send relevant messages to your customers.
2. Avoid spamming your customers.
3. Know the laws concerning the obtaining and use of customer data in their area.
4. Always provide an option to unsubscribe from your messages.
It is important to remember to not just rely on phone calls and SMS as your only marketing channels. Additionally, consider obtaining a toll-free phone number for your business. It gives your customers the option to quickly and directly reach you for feedback or to lodge a complaint (for free), boosting your customer engagement rates and your overall marketing and sales efforts.