Tips to Prepare for Fall Subscription Selling Season

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As summer winds down, this might be the best time to give some telemarketing tips before the main calling season begins. Some tips are well known and many are just common sense, however, seeing them in writing can serve as a reminder to keep your eye on the items that will make your telemarketing program successful.

Make sure your area codes are current.

In business-to-business programs, ask your call center to find out why those called decline subscription offers.

Test your copy through telemarketing.

Make sure you get that person on the Do Not Call list if they request to be placed on it.

Track and analyze your telemarketing efforts just as you do your direct-mail efforts.

Inform your call center if you want them to leave a voice-mail message and formulate what you wish to say. Leave a number for them to return your call.

Guide your telephone sales reps through your publication so they learn the departments and feature articles that would be of interest to those called.

Instruct your call center to penetrate your list to a certain percentage to keep the campaign productive.

Be judicious by remotely monitoring your program every so often to get a good sense of how your subscribers feel about your publication.

Provide your TSR team with as much knowledge as possible about your publication. Sales will increase as a result.

Test lists through telemarketing; it's less costly in the long run if you find a bad one.

For trade publications, make sure that the script is a dialogue, not a monologue.

Make sure the call center has a customer service phone number to which you can refer subscribers or prospects.

Test offers through telemarketing. It allows you to easily stop unsuccessful offers and concentrate on good ones.

Test pricing through the telemarketing campaign. As with testing of offers, the flexibility of telemarketing allows you to easily adjust pricing based on response.

Make sure the call center you use has quality control procedures in place.

Make sure your TSR team is well trained in how to deal with objections, so they can respond strongly to that ever-present "no."

The use of telemarketing automatically updates your subscription file.

Target your list to the right audience.

Under no circumstances do you want to test more than one component of a campaign at a time.

Make certain every sale is verified on tape or by a supervisor.

Test your telemarketing renewal effort backwards to see where in the sequence it is more cost-efficient for you to acquire a new subscriber rather than renew the old one.

Experienced TSRs can work with less experienced TSRs to help them along in their team effort.

By monitoring your program, you must make sure the TSR team is listening to the prospects/subscribers. Have agents ask if they can call back at a better time if the person sounds busy.

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