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List Moderator: Supported by: John Audette Multimedia Marketing Group
May 13, 1998 Digest # 661
"Persistence Pays Off -- Or Was it the 800 Number?"
~ Rod Aries
From: "Rod Aries" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: Persistence Pay's Off; or was it the 800 number?
Julie, it is interesting that even in this new world of electrons that people still like to pick up the phone and call someone else on someone elses' dime (or less).
I have a long distance site and for the first couple of months I didn't (silly me) post my toll free number. After I posted my toll free number (along with the regular direct dial and fax) I noticed a surge in calls.
Now, I know that this is going to come as a shock to some, but people LIKE talk to people when they have a question, and they LOVE to talk to people when they have a question and they don't have to pay for it. Hey, I now post my 800 number on EVERY page.
I would say that on any given day, I get 10-30 calls that start out, "Hi, I am on your web site and I have a question regarding..."
Let me assure you that they are NOT calling on their long distance carrier, they ARE calling on my toll free number; and I am glad. This is why I have my web site. They have already self qualified that they are "buyers" by the fact they are on a site as mundane as discount long distance. Given that they called, they are especially interested in what I am offering, and I know have the chance to be of service to them and earn their business.
With 800 calls at roughly a dime a minute, and if a person calls you for 5 minute (50 cents), you have a personal one-to-one "meeting" with this person, how many sales do you have to capture to recover that 50 cents?
Not very many, unless you are selling toothpicks by the piece. Assume you are selling something like ink jet cartridges, say for $20. Ask yourself, "Would you pay 50 cents to have a $20 sale versus having a competitor get it?"
Every morning when I check voice mail, I have a 5-10 messages from the "owl" surfers, calling my toll free number, at 1 a.m., 2:30 a.m., etc., leaving their phone number, e-mail address and specific question/need. What a way to start the day, with a half-dozen++ FRESH leads; while I was sleeping my web site and toll free number were working.
Also, I have my toll free fax number on all my order forms that require a signature. Nobody snail mails any more.
So back to the original post, do 800 numbers help sales? They most certainly do. Toll-free 800 numbers are just one more tool to make it convenient to order.
At your service,
Rod Aries 888-565-1005 (hey, it is free)
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