Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Dial M for Maybe

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Dial M for Maybe

Article excerpt

List owners move cautiously in releasing names to telemarketers

NEW YORK CITY-Like it or not, many list owners today are recognizing that telemarketing may be the way to go if postal rates keep pushing up the price of direct mail.

"For years, we had a policy in place that we didn't accept any [offers] from telemarketers," says Alan Zamchick, director of list management for Diamandis Communications Inc. (DCI). "But because it's such a growing segment, we decided to open up our files. We're keeping up with the times."

Zamchick adds, however, that DCI is very selective in terms of whom it chooses to deal with. "We've probably done this with about four or five companies. "

Those numbers are likely to grow as the cost of direct mail continues to rise. "I have a number of clients who simply won't do it [release lists for telemarketing]," says John Pahmer, vice president of list management for Ed Burnett Consultants Inc. "But I think you'll find a year from now there VAII be more acceptance because the postal increases will drive people to alternate sources of marketing." Beyond control

Still, a key concern among list owners lies in the area of control: how often and in what manner a list is used.

"Traditional direct mail solicitation is very controllable," says Pahmer. "That control is absent in a telemarketing campaign." Although most list owners require that a script be submitted beforehand, Pahmer notes that a flustered telemarketer can either intentionally or inadvertently digress from the written material. …

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