Consumer telemarketing has achieved the unfortunate reputation achieved by used car salesman, carnival game operators, and Bernie Madoff.

However, to reach the communities you’ve built over time - your customers, prospects and other contacts - using voice to deliver your message can be both courteous and extremely effective.

The people on your lists expect that you will engage in ongoing communication with them by virtue of your relationship. So you’ve already received their permission to contact them. That makes you compliant with CAN-SPAM and perfectly OK to pick up the phone.

Boston College did just that.  Well, sort of.


The Boston College football team had a strong 2007 season, eventually going on to its first ever Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title game.  The game was set to take place on December 4, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Great news.  Except that the Eagles clinched their spot only two weeks before the ACC Championship game.  BC had just two weeks to sell as many tickets as possible and ensure solid support for a game taking place 1,160 miles away.

They needed to drum up support from alumni and get fans to travel down . And they needed to do it quickly and cost-effectively.

Nothing like the spoken word

Boston College used an automated voice-messaging solution to target more than 115,000 season ticket holders and alumni.

They had their star quarterback Matt Ryan record the message, explaining the historic event and the sense of urgency to participate - and then offered up a call to action.  Even if fans couldn’t come, they asked them to donate their tickets to a Jacksonville-area charity to help fill the stands.

The response was immediate, with ticket sales flying through the roof on the day of and the day following the message’s release. In all, close to 5,000 tickets were sold, with more than 400 purchased and given to charity.

In the end, Boston College was able to ensure it was well represented in Florida and managed to profit $200,000 from a campaign that cost $10,000 to launch.

The phone is alive and well my friends - it’s just living a different existence in your marketing mix.  It’s extremely cost effective.  And it can work very well when delivering a timely message.

Have a particularly important piece of news to deliver?  A once in a lifetime sale?  A special event you don’t want people to miss?

Use voice.  But don’t use it too often.  Like endless jabbering from the person seated next to you on the plane - it loses its charm quickly. Then it’s just annoying.

[case study was reported on]

Posted by: Steve Banis