So you want to cold call your potential customers? Brave and classy of you! Cold calling is the third oldest form of in-the-face marketing technique (street canvasing is probably the oldest, followed by snail-mail marketing). Before the internet, before the age of email marketing, SMS marketing and search engine advertising, cold calling was the king of technology powered marketing media.

Beware of cold calling

Let’s be honest. Very few people like to be cold called. Phone communication requires active participation from both parties. It drains some social energy, unlike other media like email or SMS. In this age of rampant scamming and spamming, cold calling your potential customers can be very disastrous, if not done right.

Cold calling can be very effective, if you know how

OK! I am done warning you. Now the juicy part. If you play your cards right, cold calling can bring you it’s rewards. Are you a start-up looking for your first few customers? Cold calling can give you your lucky shot. Are you into the service industry for older people? Cold calling is probably the best way to reach your potential clients.

The etiquette of effective cold calling

Effective cold calling requires some fine etiquette, not unlike dinner table manners of British aristocracy. The core of it is - be respectful of the person you are calling. Seriously, that’s the gist of it! You can extrapolate all the following tips from this simple core principle.

Check your lead source

Did you ask where you got your contact numbers from? Did you get them on a sale for cheap? I have bad news for you. You are dealing with fire here and you are probably going to burn your money in that fire pit.

Cheap leads are mostly generated by web-scrapping publicly available information. Very rarely, they are focused by interest. You call some uninterested people and bam! People blocks your caller-ID number as spammer.

Some marketing agencies sell-off their quality leads for cheap, not before using them to their pulp, repeatedly calling the same numbers again and again, extracting the maximum value (is there a value in torturing people?) possible. Don’t purchase those leads. Don’t take part in making a bad reputation for the tele-marketing industry.

The best leads are generated through focused, opt-in channels. Believe it or not, people do sign-up to news-letters and website forms; willingly. As people consented to be communicated, these are called opt-in leads. Usually, opt-in leads are of very high quality, optimally giving you an answer rate above 50 percent, with conversion rates going above 15 percent. But quality comes with a price and opt-in leads are relatively expensive.

Respect your regulator’s Do-Not-Call list

You don’t want to call people who don’t want to be called. Some jurisdictions have government operated Do-Not-Call (DNC for short) lists. Those are usually available for a fee and requires registration. In an ideal world, every tele-marketing company would have some dignity and would stop calling people the first time they said no. But we live in an imperfect world, with government mandated DNC lists and fines for calling people in them. So, respect the law, respect the people and apply a DNC to your call list. In DandyDialer, you can automatically cross reference your call list with a loaded DNC.

Some people go as far as obtaining a DNC-list and using it as the call list! Please don’t be that desperate, anti-social scumbag. You are dragging the whole industry down with you.

Have a live human on your end

If possible, have a real person on your end. Recorded broadcasts are cheap and easy, but don’t give the real vibe of talking to a live human. As such, auto-dialing and press-1 campaigns are much more effective, compared to voice broadcasts.

Drawing from the same principle, if you must, try to use real human voice for all your recorded messages. Despite neural network based text-to-speech systems coming a long way (By the way, DandyDialer supports a whole lot of them!), they are still no match for a professional voice actor. Spend some money on it.

Don’t keep people waiting

Depending on your call volume, invest in your call center capacity. If you are ringing hundred people simultaneously, don’t just have two people handling your answered calls. Have at least ten. Calls-on-hold should be treated as indicator for inefficiency in your operation. People are willing to talk and you kept them waiting! What could be worse than that?

Some regulators, like FTC of USA have low tolerance for agent connect delay. So, be prompt and take steps to minimize agent connect delay. Your conversion rate will improve, as people’s enthusiasm dies down the longer they have to be on hold. Your agents will be more relaxed, as they will not be barraged by stampede of connected calls. Relaxed humans perform better, making the sales talk going smoothly.

Make your caller ID reachable

Some people will miss your calls and a percent of them will call you back. Please use a reachable phone number as caller ID and have someone ready behind that number to take those callbacks. Callbacks going to voicemails is a very bad practice. It’s as infantile as prank-ringing a door bell and then running away.

If you are doing voice-broadcasts, make sure the callback number spoken by your voice prompt is the same as the caller ID. If they are different, it breaks the general social expectation of phone calls.

Give people an option to break up

Just like in real life, despite your best efforts, some people won’t like you and your voice campaigns. Give them an option to break up with your company. For press-1 and voice broadcasts, set-up a DNC enlistment key. Never call those numbers. Not even from another campaign. There are a lot of fish in the sea and you don’t want the fish who added themselves to your DNC.

You know what happens if you don’t respect their decision? They will take it to their carrier, earning you a spammer tag. If you are unlucky, they will drag you to consumer protection groups and legal courts.

Do no harm

Deceptive calling is the most baleful thing you can do as a voice marketer. Please don’t deceive people into giving you money. Rather, you should give them such a sweet offer or solve their problem in such a way that they should beg you to take their money.

Being honest and having some clear conscience helps in the long run. Is your business model built on selling fake security products? If you are effective, you can also use that marketing skill to sell real products. Give it a thought. You will thank me later.

On a side note, making scam calls from DandyDialer is strictly prohibited. If it comes to attention of our admins, your account will be suspended without any notice.

Tutul Barua


Tutul Barua


Tutul is a sysadmin with more than a decade of experience in VoIP and call-center technologies. The idea of DandyDialer was born out of his frustration related to configuration and operational difficulties of the existing software.