I’ve written previously about the power of “click-to-call” campaigns. Now, Forrester Research is adding fuel to the fire, indicating that customers who initiate a phone call spend more, convert faster and have a higher retention rate than those who don’t call. A separate report found that call conversions from digital marketing – thanks largely to the rise of smart phones -- have skyrocketed, exceeding 100 billion calls in the U.S. alone last year.
Here are more takeaways from the Forrester study, and some implications for B2B and B2C marketers as to why phone calls are emerging as a critical call to action for email campaigns:
- Email is a natural for generating calls: 85% of marketers surveyed say email is effective in driving prospects to contact them via phone. Meanwhile, 80% of marketers report the same about driving traffic to their websites. Interestingly, more than three-quarters (77%) of marketers believe email is effective in generating calls even when prospects are not prompted to make a call in the message.
- Phone customers convert faster: According to the Forrester study, the majority (60%) of marketers agree that prospects who place an inbound call convert to a customer 30% faster than those who do not. It seems, even in the digital age, B2B purchase considerations and decisions are still made during or after a phone conversation.
- Callers spend more: The majority (also 60%) of marketers also agree that phone customers spend an average of 28% more than non-phone customers. This can be especially true for unique or higher-priced items that customers might not feel comfortable or confident buying online. For these customers, the phone call may create the right experience for making their purchase.
- Callers churn less: Forrester found that over half of marketers (54%) confirm that customers that initiate a phone call have higher retention rates. Most marketers know it can cost five to 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one. As a result, retention is a top priority, and making it easy for customers to call is a way to combat churn.
- Callers should be prioritized: It’s intuitive that prospects who call your business are expressing interest and intent, often have an urgent or immediate need, and are more likely to purchase as compared to a prospect who clicks on your call to action (CTA) or fills out your web form. That’s why companies should meet the urgency of these prospects by engaging with them immediately, and certainly make them a priority over other prospects. These urgent prospects are important – the Forrester study reports that marketers say that customers who initiate inbound phone calls at some point in their buying journey contribute over a quarter (27%) of overall revenue.
- Include your number – and be ready for the response: Email marketers should highlight their phone numbers prominently in their campaigns, and be ready to handle the incoming calls. That means ensuring that the number used directs callers to the right department, and that your sales team is aware of the campaign and knows what to tell those prospects who call in.
It’s important for marketers to interact with customers and prospects at the time and medium of their audience’s choosing. And, these days, for many prospects who are roaming with their mobile device of choice, that engagement can often be a phone call. How do phone calls factor into your marketing formula for success?
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.