Tele-Portal Gives DRTV Companies a Net Advantage

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Teleservices organization AfterMarket Co. has teamed with Internet information processing company Web-Ideals to create a software program called Tele-Reportal, which the companies claim will bring a new ease to tracking responses from a direct response television campaign.


"The system is easy, and it allows any direct response television marketer to instantly check what is happening with their responses," said Steven Pittendrigh, CEO of AfterMarket Co., Phoenix. "The system works so it can be accessed immediately from any PC, and marketers can literally watch as the phone calls come in and the orders build up."


The system will be unveiled next week at the Electronic Retailing Association's annual meeting and exposition in Las Vegas. Pittendrigh said that immediately after the show, AfterMarket would install the program and begin offering it to customers along with the standard teleservices operations.


"We developed this system together because we felt that there was a better way that companies could track their orders," said Justin Drellich, CEO of Web-Ideals, Newtown, PA. "We serve Fortune 500 companies, DRTV companies, anyone who is directly marketing products to consumers.


"The system is beneficial because it allows them to not only check the orders but then takes the next step to actually process and analyze them to give a marketer a distinct number in regards to how much they are shelling out to acquire customers in relation to how much they are earning in sales."


The system works as a normal spreadsheet would, allowing marketers to see dynamic results, including orders and upsells, as they happen. For example, if a company just hit the market with a new exercise machine and ran the infomercial on ESPN more frequently than on A&E, the system could be set to report how many people called in only on ESPN and how many orders there were.


The system allows for three basic functions: an activity report by stock-keeping units, call activity by hour and, most important, a profitability summary. All of these functions can be set by day and time, so if a marketer wanted to see on what day a product sold best, that information would be available at the click of a mouse. The profitibility report can be set for weekly, monthly, quarterly, for the length of the project to date, or as defined by the user.


"You have to think that when calls come in, a certain percentage are going to be wrong numbers, some just want more information and some want to order," Pittendrigh said. "With this system, you aren't getting reports that take time to analyze and root out the bad calls. Immediate decisions can be made that will affect when, where and to whom the spot or show is being played."


Pittendrigh added that Tele-Reportal is especially beneficial for testing, a stage in the game when spots are most susceptible to being tweaked to achieve maximum response.


"For testing, this will be vital," Pittendrigh said. "Companies will not have to wait for the next day or week to see the results; they are right there, so they can take the show or spot in, tweak it, put it back on and see what different results are formed."


AfterMarket and Web-Ideals have teamed to develop Tele-Reportal, but Drellich noted that the company is planning eventually to release the system to other telemarketing companies. Already, Drellich said, Tele-Reportal is able to mesh with any other reporting system and instantly give results from different companies.


"Many times a campaign is using more then one call center," Drellich said. "Tele-Reportal can be used to bring all these number together and give a report that is full, instead of having to manually combine reports from different call centers. Also, since it is an HTML format, it can be copied and formatted to fit any other spreadsheets like Excel."


As an upsell to clients using the Tele-Reportal system, Web-Ideals also is offering a more advanced program that can provide DRTV companies with even more detailed information and processing, including credit card orders and product availability.
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