Judging by the number of automated message calls I have received recently, it seems that increasing numbers of marketers are using automated telephone message delivery systems to contact prospects. These have an auto dialling facility, making it possible to deliver a message to huge numbers of people in little time.
Originally, these systems were mainly used by network marketers, and network marketing leads suppliers. Now they have been adopted by a range of businesses from ocean cruises to credit card payment avoidance services (sounds a bit shady to me) and even political parties.
The three big attractions of the system are:
- Low cost compared to a “live”, hired, tele sales person.
- Time saving.
- Avoidance of cold calling.
My personal opinion is that as a medium for an initial contact with a prospect, they are unethical and create a negative impression of the marketer.
A further irritant is that with many of these automated calls, there is no way to stop the message, even briefly disconnecting the call does not work. The message keeps rolling until it is finished. Most of them do not have any option to “unsubscribe” from future calls. To be fair, a few do have this option.
As a marketer, I have looked at some of these systems and decided not to use them
Wearing my consumer hat again, I have no objection to “live” tele sales calls, except when I am in the middle of dinner or if the person does not listen after I have said “NO” three times. In a free enterprise system, all our incomes are dependent in some way, on products or services being sold. That tele sales person might be a customer for your or my products now or in the future.
Where there could be a good – and acceptable – place for these systems is as reminders to existing customers for routine notifications.
- Auto dealers – service reminders.
- Health professionals – check up or appointment reminders.
- Personal care providers – reminders.
- Retail – advising customers of promotions or sales.
- Service providers – contract renewal reminders.