Telemarketing is usually the last ditch attempt to requalify your file; although, testing the exact position of a phone call in your requalification series might tell you something different.
For some clients, we actually find that doing the telemarketing earlier in the series works better than waiting until the end. But, you won’t know for sure unless you test. We also found through testing that sending every requal effort to the directory source names on the file in an attempt to get them to request the publication wasn’t actually the way to go.
Because the directory source had a very low response rate to all requalification efforts we decided to remove them from email, direct mail and cover tips and requalify them only during the telemarketing effort. We keyed the names separately so we could track the response and we were astounded at the response rate we got. For some reason this was the only way directory source names would request the publication. Testing is something everyone should do. You can always learn something new and in the process possibly save a little money.
When you turn your names over to the telemarketing company for requalification, please make sure you prepopulate the data you have for each subscriber. The account number, current address, phone & fax numbers, e-mail addresses and any demographics you have for each subscriber should be included on the telemarketing file. This will make calling much more efficient for the telemarketing company and it will be less time consuming for subscribers to renew. If you key your 2 and 3-year names separately, then you can watch how each age group is responding and have the ability to stop calling the 3-year names if they are not responding well. This way you can use your budgeted dollars where they will do the most good – on more recent subscriber names.
Once you’ve completed the requalifications for your publication, you will probably need to start a new subscriber campaign to replace those subscribers that failed to renew. Don’t forget to get all your pricing in advance from your telemarketing company as well as your list broker so you don’t overspend your budget. Include the cost for a merge/purge and make sure you suppress your active subscribers so they do not receive the new sub offer.
It is always a good idea to view a new subscription campaign as an opportunity to test some new lists. Finding new, productive lists is a blessing for publications that do not have a large subscriber universe.