Direct Response Marketing Blog


Call Screening vs. Call Blocking

Posted by Jessica Metz

Oct 3, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Many DR campaigns are state or area code sensitive. Perhaps laws prohibit your product being shipped to California, or the company offering a service is not licensed in Florida. If your media campaign is national, keeping callers from those excluded states is a must. Otherwise, your client receives calls they can’t handle and it poses a logistical nightmare. On the opposite side, a local campaign in New York is unlikely to get viable calls from New Mexico. A caller from that far away could be a transplant, or could be a spam or misdial.

There is more than one way to eliminate these callers efficiently and in the fairest way to the caller, because after all, they did hear your spot and are responding as they were intended to (this means your creative worked!). No matter which way you choose to restrict them, playing a message explaining they are out of the service area is a must. Without it, they might call back or think the number was published incorrectly and this reflects poorly on you.

  1. Call Screening:  You can select the states (or area codes) that you trust are likely to generate true leads, and “screen out” all other states with a message requiring the caller to press a single key. Those callers from the likely states will pass directly to the endpoint because they are essentially being qualified based on their location. In addition, this tool can be used to play an “out of service area” message to callers within certain states or area codes before disconnecting the call, so that they do not have the option to proceed to the call center. The reporting distinction with call screening is that screened calls not passing to the endpoint do not show up in reporting. This is especially clean when using for billing purposes.
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Topics: Call Tracking, Direct Response, Campaign Optimization, Reducing Misdials, Lead Management, Phone Leads

Misdials: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 26, 2013 10:30:00 AM

We can all agree that misdials are a waste of time and money. They burden your sales team, dilute your reports, and in high volume can stand in the way of quality calls. While they are frustrating, and often misdials-caused-by-robodialers-affect-campaign-results-and-reportingconfusing, there are ways to manage your toll free numbers to better avoid them.

Misdials occur for many reasons, most notably incorrect key touches, number transposition, misprints by another organization, and leftover calls from previous campaigns. If your number is one digit off from another published number, there is a good chance you will see “fat fingered” misdials trickle in. This becomes a serious issue when that number is widespread and intended for high call volume. Another form of misdial is robodial, or auto-generated calls. 

When you order a toll free number, do you put it to use immediately? We suggest securing a pool of numbers prior to your campaign and watching them for activity. Your call tracking provider can report on all recent calls. This ensures the numbers are clean and free from misdials. If there is excessive traffic on the line, you can prevent these negative effects on your campaign by choosing an alternate number. Its best to be proactive; once TV spots are versioned and printed materials are in circulation, it is costly to change.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Phone Number Features, Reducing Misdials

Zenith Media Tracking is for advertising professionals. We track phone calls and help agencies determine the best media buying and lead selling strategies for maximum profit.

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