How many attempts should you make in telemarketing campaigns?


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Guest post by Stewart White.

I recently read an article called “7 Prospecting Rules that produce Leads” by Brian Carroll who is the founder and CEO of In Touch, a B2B marketing firm in the US.

In this article he discusses a number of best practice tips for Marketers to get the maximum results from their telemarketing campaigns.

One of the tips under the heading of “Sustain the Calling” is :-

“Marketers who want to make the most of their tele-prospecting efforts will commit to being in it for the long-haul. This tactic is most effective if it is tied in with the long-term goals of the organisation and is carried out consistently. Many callers – whether sales or marketing – give up on the third attempt to reach a prospect when really it can take between 8 – 12 calls to reach them”

This statement really got me thinking and wondering if this was the best general advice for all organisations.

While I understand Brian’s philosophy,  I also believe that Marketers would be wise to consider many of the other operational and data integrity factors that aid or impede the success of their campaigns.

Right Party Contact (RPC) rates in any campaign depend on many factors, not just call attempts, for example:-

  • Integrity of the contact data
  • Making sure you are calling your leads at the most appropriate time of day
  • Ensuring that recalls to previously dialled numbers are actioned within relevant time frames
  • Identifying the best numbers to call your customers on

To suggest that you should make between 8 – 12 attempts could be a false economy for campaign outcomes.

Best practice organisations record and utilise dialler thresholds and preferred contact data information on an intermit basis per lead/customer record.  This ensures that the organisation is trying to contact the prospect or customer at the most appropriate time on the most appropriate number to maximise Right Party Connect results.

These organisations also also capture the “best times to call” and “best number to call on” information from every customer so their Return on Investment (ROI) for each attempt is maximised.

On the flip side,  those operations that predominately use rented lists (that generally) have a lower level of data integrity,  record ROI values per attempt as they move through their lists. This ensures that the campaign is generating a good margin contribution.

In summary

While I understand that Brian is focussed on the Business to Business market, his suggestion of “sustaining the call” via increasing the number of attempted contacts to eight or twelve should be carefully considered.

After all will you be achieving false economies when you could be gaining better results through the successful execution of a campaign by ensuring  the harmonious marriage of :-

  • ensuring that your dialler is being utilised in the  most effective and efficient way
  • having the correct data to contact the customer on
  • the tenacity to record, report, and review the outcomes of the campaign on a real-time basis?

I would be very interested to hear your opinions and the protocols that you are currently using to gain maximum results from your campaigns; how many attempts per record do you use?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. As a telemarketing agency, we have often got a budget for the project, and so our dial limits are for the project as a whole. We will try to make the calls evenly, generally allowing up to 8 on each contact record.

    After the end of the project, we often review the position, and if we were still getting results when calling the remainder (often something like %% of the original records) some clients will give us a small additional budget to keep calling.

    Jonathan, Synergy Connections – UK Telemarketing Services

  2. This is a pertinent post. A fabulous article with an amazing level of detail! Telemarketing is a comprehensive concept which addresses call centre activities and every phone call between employees and customers. In other words, telemarketing is a marketing concept that encompasses customer service and customer relationships in order to build a market responsive company. Telemarketing concepts applied properly can lead to increased sales, increased customer retention, a steady influx of new customers, and more profits.

    – Jaime

  3. One of the most important things to point out about the topic is the preparation of the leads and ideal customer profiles. This ensures better turn-out of sales aside from better classification of leads. In order to generate the most out of telemarketing sales, preparation before the call process is vital. This should boost efficiency; completing more calls in a certain amount of time.

  4. This article brings up several good points, it seems to be a quality versus quantity issue. Sure, increasing the number of calls to prospective customers, in theory, should help to increase the number of sales. But this does not ensure that you are creating a more effective campaign. In a telemarketing campaign, I think it is more appropriate to spend some additional making sure that you have credible contact information. Additionally, I think it is more important to make sure that your telemarketer is conducting himself in an effective matter as opposed to simply trying to increase the number of calls.


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