Rich Hamilton, Director of Marketing & Product Development, Quality Contact Solutions, [email protected]
Any salesperson will tell you that it takes multiple touch points to book a sale. Depending on the industry and the type of product or service, it can take 7 to 20 touches before a prospect will buy from your company.
if each of those touch points were a phone call; the sales cycle would
take forever. Adding email as a touch point can drastically decrease
the sales cycle. Here are 6 best practices for adding email as an
additional touch point as part of your overall marketing and sales
Best Practice #1 – Your call center should strategically pair outbound calls with email follow-up
of the most important concepts when sending out email as part of an
inbound or outbound call center campaign is to think through the
prospect experience and make sure that the follow-up emails make logic
sense to your prospect or customers. There are many types of emails
that can be sent including Informational, confirmations and follow up
emails. Make sure that at the right point in the script, you are
sending out the right type of email to the prospect or customer.
example: On a first or second call, the conversation might lead the
call center agent to send out an email with some additional information
on the product or possibly a URL for further research. On a follow up
call where the call center agent is unable to reach the person, another
email reinforcing the first email could be sent, explaining they had
tried to call and wanted to make sure there were no additional
questions. After the sale is complete, an email could be sent by the
agent thanking the new customer for their time and hope they enjoy the
send out an email just to be sending out an email. The email should
reinforce the conversation that was just completed over the phone, or
to help move the lead through the sales cycle. You may find that based
on your work flow, an email would not be helpful.
forget to plan for how to handle replies to those emails. Do you want
the agents to handle those emails or should they go back to a central
inbox that can be answered by several people? Focusing on how the email
will fit into your current work flow will help answer these questions.
Best Practice #2 – Your call center should use automation for sending emails
emails can be very cumbersome and time consuming if the call center
agents do them one by one and lots of typing is required. In many
instances, a call center agent can make 2 or 3 more phone calls in the
time it takes to craft one email and send it out. Therefore, automating
the process of sending email as a follow-up to outbound calls is vital.
Reducing the amount of time an agent is spending on emails make the
decision to use email that much easier.
can be achieved in many ways. The dialer or CRM may have logic built in
that on certain actions or changes to a record, and email is sent out.
3rd party software can also be used to help automate the sending of
emails through integration with the dialer/CRM (APIs). Any way to
automate the process means more outbound calls can be made which means
more sales. It’s a numbers game.
Best Practice #3 – Your call center should ensure consistency when sending emails
as it is important for agents to use the same script during an inbound
or outbound telemarketing phone call, the emails that are sent out
should also be similar. By using some type of application that is
automatically sending the email, you will ensure that the emails will
be free of misspelled words, that the email is formatted and looks
professional, that there is no wrong information about the product and
that they are sent to the right person. Having mistakes in the email
could be a huge setback to making a sale.
automation is not possible, setting up guidelines will be vital. The
more guidelines that can be given to the agents means a better chance
of having an email go out that will look professional and will lead to
more sales or conversions.
Best Practice #4 – Your call center should use personalization in the email messages
was trying to explain to my 11-year-old daughter the movie You’ve Got
Mail and how many years ago everyone was so excited when they received
email after logging onto the internet. These days, everyone is
receiving too many emails. Most are seen as spam and deleted
way to help avoid that is through personalization. Make the email
unique so that it doesn’t look like a robot sent it. This can be done
through using the potential customer’s name in the subject line or the
salutation or make sure the agents use their name in the signature
block. An email can also be personalized by adding a note about the
phone call the call center agent was just on with the potential
more that an email speaks to a person individually, the better. Now
instead of being deleted, the email will be read and hopefully the
proper action will be taken, leading to more sales.
Best Practice #5 – Your call center should ensure deliverability of the emails being sent
is no point in adding email to your call center program arsenal if the
email never arrives. Although this one might seem obvious, you want to
make sure your email hits the person’s inbox, not the spam folder.
There are several ways to combat this.
if you are sending email on your own behalf (meaning you own the
domain), make sure that your email reputation is high. There are
several resources out there that can help you see how healthy your
domain is for sending email. If you are sending email on behalf of a
client, make sure you have the proper SPF record and possibly DKIM set
up so that email can be delivered properly.
make sure to follow best practices in terms of your subject line. Avoid
words such as Free and the use of symbols. Many spam filters will mark
these as spam.
avoid using images unless necessary. This is especially true for B2B
selling since many businesses will have company policies in place to
automatically block images or worse, the whole email. Some email
providers may also block images if they are too large.
there are companies that can analyze your emails and tell you what kind
of spam issues you might have. Depending on the role email will play in
your overall program, you may want to invest in one of these
Best Practice #6 – Don’t forget the small stuff
the process of setting up an email campaign as part of a call center
program, it is easy to forget some of the smaller details that are
still important. First, never overlook the pre-header text. This is the
text that appears below the subject line in many email clients such as
Outlook. This line of text can support the subject line and help entice
the recipient of the email to open the email instead if just deleting
it or worse, marking the email as spam. Including phrasing such as
“Here is the information you requested…” or “Per our phone
conversation…” can help remind the recipient why they are getting the
don’t forget the power of the Name and Email address used in the From
Email field. Stay away from email addresses such as [email protected] This will
feel very impersonal and more like spam. If you can use the name and
email of the agent that sent the email, great. Just don’t forget about
Best Practice #1 and make sure this works within your work flow. For
many telemarketing companies, this is not practical. Instead, use a
from name that will be easily recognizable by the email recipient. You
might even add what the from name and email address are in the script
so that the person knows what to expect. If there is a name for the
department sending out the email, use that as the from name, such as
[company name] Customer Service Desk.
make sure you have a process in place to check for quality. Maybe this
means having the agents send a test email to a supervisor or a quality
assurance person, or maybe it means having the supervisor or QA person
automatically Bcc’d on each email if it is an automated process. Either
way, time should be taken to make sure that the emails are sent out
properly, just like calls are monitored to make sure that scripts and
other procedures are being followed.
adding email to a call center program can feel like a daunting task, it
is well worth it. Having the ability to send out an email, especially
if someone being called is hesitant can be very powerful and effective.
It’s another tool for your call center agents!
at Quality Contact Solutions we build our own custom applications to
send out perfectly formatted emails at the click of a button. We send
emails on all kinds of outbound telemarketing campaigns, from
appointment confirmations, to additional product details with links or
follow ups when we are unable to reach the intended party. If you have
any questions about how to build an effective email campaign, email me
at [email protected]
Hamilton is the Director of Marketing & Product Development for
Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing
organization. Rich works tirelessly to bring new products to the
teleservices and call center market. Rich is also the creative
powerhouse behind executing on a wide spectrum of marketing initiatives
for the organization. In addition, Rich is a telemarketing compliance
guru with a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP)
certification to back it up. Rich can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5105.