At just five years old, telemarketing lead conversion campaigns are relatively new to the fundraising sector. Anna Walsh shares her top tips for getting a successful one up and running.


Telemarketing lead conversionWith fundraising managers always on the hunt for new ways to grow their donor bases, telemarketing lead conversion campaigns are a well worth considering for a charity seeking to add an acquisition channel to its strategy mix. The advantage of a telemarketing lead conversion campaign is that it gives charities a new channel through which to acquire more donors as well as an opportunity to test their acquisition messaging. While, at five years young, lead conversion campaigns might be relatively new to the nonprofit sector, they don’t have to be tricky to add to your existing strategy.

Here are three key steps to establishing the ideal campaign for telemarketing lead conversion:

1 Remember your data broker is your partner, not just your supplier

With a strong team on board, getting a telemarketing lead conversion campaign up and running can be a smooth process. This is where your close relationship with your data broker matters as it’s their role to know the lay of the land in advance. They will supply an estimate of what sources are available to you, what type of volume they could potentially generate, what the costs will look like and what sources they recommend for you. This is integral to the scoping stage of the campaign.

While the detail of this phase is sometimes ignored, it’s a crucial part of the strategy and effectively establishes the solid foundations from which a successful campaign can grow.

The added benefit of having a trusted data broker on your side is in their ability to work with your telemarketing team to spot trouble ahead or, at least, in as close to real time as possible. Ideally, they will have an ongoing conversation with your telemarketing agency as the campaign progresses, allowing your team to report back to you on the data in
a quick and practical way.

2 Work with a telemarketing agency that has experience in the channel

There are many benefits to having an experienced telemarketing agency working on your project, but primarily an experienced team bring staff who understand how your cause and your data are likely to perform in this specific channel and can track against those expectations, looking for successes to be replicated or areas of failure to be dealt with.

Once an agency models a set of KPIs and costs for your campaign, they will help guide you through how to set up the campaign logistically, as well as make your proposition as single minded and appropriate to your audience as possible. Remember that, while the data pool you’ll be working with is comprised of people who have opted in and said they are interested in your charity, this doesn’t mean they know much about you or your work yet.

It’s not news that it can be difficult for charities to pare their campaigns back to a single proposition in any channel, including telemarketing. Charities are specialist by nature, from the core of their mission, so simplifying really doesn’t come naturally. That’s why it’s helpful to have storytelling specialists work with you to pare back the story that will be told.

It is vital that people easily understand why they should give to your cause. We need to avoid presenting people who are thinking about becoming donors with a wall of detail. Good storytelling goes a long way to making that happen.

3 Monitor calls and data behaviour

Once your campaign has been launched, your agency needs to set up a feedback loop on the data and call quality, and include your data broker somewhere along that loop. These two elements will inform the decisions you make to improve or maintain your campaign’s success.

Telemarketing training and coaching is built on this feedback. When it comes time to pick up the phone, if your agency’s training and coaching strategy isn’t thoughtful and structured, you won’t acquire as many new donors as you would like. After the induction training at the beginning of a campaign, quality assurance processes should be in place to feed  a constant stream of information to your campaign’s coaches.

The process for tracking for your data is similar, involving looking for patterns in performance, tracking anecdotal feedback to see if it comes to fruition in a quantitative way, analysing call duration and questioning the data that stands out in any of this analysis.

If you spot a lead source that isn’t performing or is having some problems, you want your agency and your data broker to be able to work together to come up with a solution – to work out why this is occurring and solve the problem as quickly as possible.
Ongoing campaign monitoring is crucial. Without a feedback loop where the callers, their storytelling and the data performance are tightly monitored, it’s easy to lose the focus and momentum of the project, and for small issues to snowball and derail your whole campaign.

Get moving

Telemarketing lead conversion campaigns are still young and everyone has to start somewhere. But with a good team, integrated stories and well-trained callers, you’ll be well on your way to making it a regular part of your next fundraising strategy.

Anna Walsh

Anna is a fundraiser and an obsessive nerd about how we communicate and how to do it better. She’s been professionally obsessing for about 15 years now and has been lucky enough to do so in the UK, the US, South Asia and Australia. She’s now based in Sydney with Ways Phone.

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