Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 35

knowledge and can testify as to the efficacy of claims and their own positive experiences. While one can obtain a similar dynamic with a “click to speak to a live operator” option, the adoption of this practice is simply not widespread currently. • Avoid Letting the Competition Co-Opt Your Customers: When you drive your prospective customers online, you are running the risk of having your competition steal your sales. Since the overwhelming majority of online shoppers use search to find your product or service, with some clever search engine optimization tactics, your competitors can easily divert your consumer. To compound the problem, nearly 6 out of 10 shoppers use review sites to make a purchase decision according to a study from the e-tailing group PowerReviews, and many of these allegedly impartial sites are fakes planted by unscrupulous competitors. Inbound telemarketing allows you to hang up on this problem. • Send Leads to Your Best Closers: With intelligent call routing, marketers can use multiple call centers and route calls to their best closers. This not only lifts closure rates, but can affect overall average order value that pumps up the bottom line. One could argue that the corollary to this sort of dynamic in the online space would be per inquiry affiliate advertising feeding an e-commerce website, but if the Nutrisystem closure rate is any indication, for certain marketers, they are still better off in a live environment. • Leverage Trust to Increase Upsells: The right consultative sales process over the telephone can foster trust between the sales agent and the consumer, which can then be leveraged to sell other, complimentary products, suggesting there is no substitute for human warmth.

More Options Equals More Sales
If inbound telemarketing is such a powerful weapon in the marketer’s arsenal, then it is evident that a baseline best practice is that every website should have a toll-free number. Maria Eden, senior vice president of short-form at Mercury Media, describes the situation thusly: “Today’s consumer is in the catbird seat. They get to meet the marketer at a time and place of their choosing. Therefore, it’s critical as marketers that we give prospective buyers as many choices for touch points as we can.  That includes not only having a robust and informative website, but the ability to contact us directly via the telephone if that is their desire. We cannot assume we know what their preferences are because they’re going to vary depending upon what the product, offer and target demographic are.”

However, not just any toll-free number will do. As a telephony professional with oversight of a bank of 50,000 800 numbers, I have the chance to observe the tens of thousands of misdials that occur each month. It is imperative that marketers only use 800-prefix toll-free numbers because time and again we see the public misdial 855, 866, 877, and 888 prefix numbers. This may be explained by the fact that the 800 prefix had a 20-year head start on the other toll-free prefixes that came later, and so for many consumers, the very term “toll-free” is synonymous with 800 like internet URLs are associated with dot-com. Astonishingly, even when the number is advertised on a website or in print and is before the consumer’s very eyes, they still misdial a significant percentage of the time. A hybrid number such as 800-585-CASH has the dual advantage of being more memorable and giving the advertiser a bit of extra cache. Similarly, easy-to-recall numbers such as a one hundred series –800-741-3300 – will increase inbound lead traffic and decrease misdials. The reason is that most native English speakers, as Malcolm Gladwell elaborates in his bestseller Outliers, only have a two-second memory loop in which they store information, so you can appreciate what a decided advantage a number is that can be compartmentalized into a few chunks of information. If you happen to be using a non-800 prefix currently, I invite you to try this simple test: Call the 800 version of your number and ask for your product or service and see what happens! You are likely to get an exasperated person on the other end of the line conveying what a trial it is to pick up (and pay for) wrong numbers time and again. Just as television did not replace radio and the internet has not replaced television, online e-commerce is not going to replace the telephone. In fact, the use of toll-free numbers is at an all-time high and the demand for them is why the government has had to issue new prefixes. No wonder: The platform gives marketers the ability to connect on a personal level one-to-one with their consumer 24/7 at their convenience. That is why shrewd marketers always include the toll-free option in their mix. They understand that the sound of the telephone ringing is synonymous with ringing up more sales. Scott Richards is CEO of Dial800, specialists in marketing optimization. Dial800’s tool suite includes RapidRecall, the largest bank of memorable toll-free numbers in the industry, and AccuRoute, intelligent call routing that allows marketers to use multiple call centers, create competition for their business, and route calls to their best closers in real time, on the fly. He can be reached at 1-800-DIAL800 or at scott.richards@Dial800.com. 35

July 2012 | electronicRETAILER



Electronic Retailer - July 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - July 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney's Top Categories
From the Executive's Desk
Cover Story: Could You Sell Like Amazon?
Counterfeiting: Why We Should Care and What We Can Do
All Media Are Not Created Equal
Guest Viewpoint
Inventor's Corner
Retail
Fulfillment
Legal
Advertiser Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - cover1
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Your Association Your Bottom Line
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 10
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - FTC Forum
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Jordan Whitney's Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 19
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 20
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - From the Executive's Desk
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Cover Story: Could You Sell Like Amazon?
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 24
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Counterfeiting: Why We Should Care and What We Can Do
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 28
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - All Media Are Not Created Equal
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 34
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Inventor's Corner
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Retail
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Fulfillment
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Legal
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Advertiser Spotlight
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Advertiser Index
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - July 2012 - cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com