Phone Call VS. Email: Which is better?
When I started in affiliate marketing in 2005, I would pick up the phone if I needed to reach out to an affiliate. Fast forward to 2019, and it seems that the phone call has become an almost “last resort” form of contact.
But is that a good thing?
A quick Google search of “email vs. phone call in business” garnered a couple of results from articles in 2014 and 2016, but nothing more recent. However, an article on Grasshopper. com, “Talking to Customers: Phone vs. Email,” provided some interesting stats:
• Phone calls are 10 times more likely to lead to sales
• 57% of people think email is spam unless it is directly relevant to them
I hear relationships are key to success in the affiliate marketing industry, yet our communication style is typically “email first.” If your email’s tone is misinterpreted, it can lead to unnecessary heart attacks.
I have found that a quick call, especially to clients, can lead to clarity—and a return to a normal breathing pattern. You could save considerable time by picking up the phone instead of emailing back and forth to set up a call. It’s probably apparent I am pro “phone calls.”
But phone calls aren’t inherently more effective than email; there’s an art to using them to build better affiliate relationships.
Here are five best practices.
1.KNOW THEIR TIME ZONE
As the affiliate industry continues to grow globally, time zones matter. Make sure you know what time of day it is for the person you are calling.
2. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
Plan your call. A little casual talk is key to building rapport, but be respectful of the other person’s time. Make sure it is a good time to talk, then get to the point. Be sure your call is valuable to the affiliate, whether you’re sharing an exclusive partnership, optimization opportunity, etc. When people answer, you want to show them value so that they will answer your call the next time.
3. KNOW YOUR PROGRAM
Be sure you know the pertinent details of the program you are calling about (i.e. commission rate, return days, conversion rate and average order value), as well as where on their site your program would be a good fit.
4. FOLLOW UP AFTER THE CALL
If you have a conversation, send a follow-up email recapping the call to make sure you and the other person came away with the same understanding and next steps.
5. LEAVE A BETTER VOICEMAIL
Keep it brief. Include your contact information, and if you are sending a follow-up email, mention it in your message.
The next time you have the choice of picking up the phone or sending an email, use these five best practices to help you feel confident making the call. Once you get the hang of calls, you might even come to enjoy them (and the relationships built as a result of your time and effort). [FF]
Stephen Robinson is the Director of Affiliate Marketing at JEBCommerce in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.