The Greek Retreat is an annual gathering that gives young professionals in fraternal foundations a chance to network, learn, and grow. There is a growing need for strong fundraising strategies for these organizations. Catherine Winge, one of our Principals & Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales, was asked to speak at the event about the importance of telemarketing in today’s multichannel fundraising world. She spoke about the perceptions of telemarketing and how these organizations can better their fundraising efforts through the telemarketing channel.
The Perception of Telemarketing
Catherine began her presentation by conducting a vote. She asked attendees if they liked, disliked, or were neutral towards telemarketing. Since most people have been on the receiving end of telemarketing, many had a negative perception of it. Depending on what end of the call you’re on and what your experience has been, your perception of telemarketing can be very different from someone else. No matter your perception of telemarketing, everybody dislikes a bad call. It’s up to the telemarketer to provide a good experience for the person getting called.
Advantages of a Call
The goal of telemarketing is to connect with people that care about your organization. Talking with someone who cares about your brand can be advantageous:
- The telephone integrates well with other methods of communication. During a call, you can ask about their interests, reference previous communications, give them updates on your organization, and you can ask for involvement more organically than you could through other channels.
- You can ensure that you are actually connecting with the recipients. Direct mail may not get opened, events may pass without acknowledgement, and you are wondering why you aren’t getting a gift from a loyal donor. Phoning may be your best chance to engage with them.
- Calling someone gives you the best chance to receive candid feedback. If you really want to find out why they haven’t been giving lately, the best way to do it is to have a conversation with them. Maybe it’s a simple fix, such as updating their contact information!
Challenges of a Call
The recent challenges that come with making telemarketing calls:
- Connecting with donors at a convenient time can be tricky and time consuming. The likelihood of actual list penetration and having a conversation with them is around 40-50%.
- There are a significant amount of regulations around telemarketers — registration, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), etc.
- You may have only a short time in a conversation with people’s busy schedules.
Ways that Telemarketing Can Work
It has been proven that when done correctly, telemarketing does work. This means that the question isn’t IF you should call, but rather HOW you should call. There are a few ways that telemarketing can be your best strategy:
- Monthly donor programs: There is no better way to build, renew, and upgrade a sustained program than through telemarketing. Build your audience of steady monthly donors.
- Surveys: In a telemarketing call, the person calling oftentimes does most of the talking. Try flipping the script. People love to talk and express their opinions, so by taking the time to ask people their thoughts, you are opening up a better dialogue and letting them know that their opinion is important to your organization.
- Thank you calls: Live thank you calls can make your donors feel appreciated in a way that a thank you letter cannot. In fact, live thank you calls can increase the likelihood of giving in the following year by 25-50%.
- Gifts: When a donor does not respond to any other channel, telemarketing can renew 20-50% of those contacted.
All organizations can benefit from effective telemarketing if done correctly. It’s still a good strategy to connect with your donors when other channels have not been effective. Aria Calls and Cards provides the best telemarketing solutions that guarantees results by building real connections with your customers. Contact us to get started today!
Tiffany is our Director of Client Services. She’s highly driven and motivated to deliver top results for all of her clients. She has an M.S. in Strategic Communications and a B.S. in Business Marketing. A lifelong learner, she enjoys getting lost in a good book, copious amounts of coffee, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.