Teleservices Firm Opens DR Radio Division

The AfterMarket Co., a teleservices agency, yesterday opened a new call-center division geared toward providing inbound customer contact service for direct-response radio campaigns.

The new division, dubbed AM Radio, launched with two campaigns for health-related products. The first is for Fairfield, IA-based Sentient Global Marketing, which markets the See Clearly audio/video program that offers exercises for eyesight correction.

The second is for the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety in Oak Harbor, OH, which is marketing a stress-relief audio program titled "Attacking Anxiety." AfterMarket agents will handle telephone sales on both campaigns.

Sentient Global Marketing is running 60-second radio spots to generate leads for the program. The radio ad offers a free "See Clearly" promotional video to consumers.

The radio spot doesn't provide some important details about the product, so telephone sales agents must be thoroughly trained to answer a wide range of questions concerning vision correction, said Steve Pittendrigh, AfterMarket CEO. An added challenge for sales agents is to actually sell the $219.85 program to consumers who respond to the radio spot, even though the spot only offers a free video.

In the Attacking Anxiety campaign, AfterMarket's AM Radio division serves as initial contact for consumers responding to a 60-second radio spot promoting the stress-relief program, which sells for $220. Consumers are then routed directly to the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety for more specific information.

Direct-response radio spots are less costly than direct-response television ads, but depend on consumers to buy items sight-unseen. Telephone sales agents can make up for that lack of demonstration power by providing detailed information to consumers and boosting conversion rates, Pittendrigh said.

Phoenix-based AfterMarket operates two contact centers and handles both inbound and outbound telesales. The company recently picked up contracts for television direct-response television campaigns for Hippo Golf and Dremel.

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