ROI by channel: telephone wins

Which channel is best? Should we invest more heavily in telemarketing or direct mail, or something else? Marketers must wrestle with questions like this every day, as they try to come up with a mix that’s best for their situation. These are important questions as the stakes and the money are big.

This is a very helpful chart as it stack ranks the channels by an ROI index. The good folks over at the Direct Marketing Association have made his kind of comparison possible by factoring both revenue and cost.

The telephone channel scored the highest ROI index rating (18.2). E-mail came in second at 16.0. See the chart to review the ten other channels rated.

Even though I’m biased toward the telephone because I’m mostly a phone guy, I’m still somewhat surprised by the results. It should be noted that this information does not apply directly to technology sales and marketing, my beat. It’s broader in scope and I’d assume focuses on lower price points. Still it is a data point, and as such, it’s helpful.
This data point deals with revenue generation, not lead generation.

On the lead generation side, I ran across this interesting post at Brian Carroll’s blog:

B2B marketers voted B2B telemarketing as the #1 safest tactic they would be most likely to invest in if their CEO gave them an extra $50,000 for lead generation. (MarketingSherpa survey of 729 marketers)

It would seem that the telephone channel is alive and well on the lead generation side also.

Of course, it’s best to use a multi-channel sequenced touch point approach, but that’s another story.

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