Voice broadcasting is a highly effective and low cost method of generating leads allowing your agents to work effectively as they only talk to qualified leads, and speak to far more people than they would by dialing outbound manually.
There are a large number of companies offering outbound calling, but only a few pricing structures such as “Pay As You Go” and “Outright Purchase” this article aims to cover the most common scenarios for voice broadcasting, and the pitfalls to watch out for.
Pay as you go:
The company provides the software and the voice termination as a service, you you pay by the minute for the calls you make. On the face of it, this is good value for money, and is popular with customers who only make a few hundred calls per month, but there are pitfalls watch out for:
- Minimum duration of the call may be 60 seconds, and may even be billed to the nearest 60 seconds, so a call for 5 seconds (a common duration for voice broadcasting) will cost you 60 seconds, 61 seconds will cost you 2 minutes! You should expect 6/6 billing, that is a minimum charge of 6 seconds, and rounded up to the nearest 6 seconds.
- Pay per transfer, we seen companies charging $5 per transferred call with no other call costs. Unfortunately many of your contacts don’t welcome your call, and will press one to speak to an agent, and complain about being called. Once you have 5 of those, and one warm lead to talk to, $30 per lead is not such an attractive proposition.
- Use it or lose it: Credit is decremented from your balance even if you don’t use the service, or credits expire if you don’t use them in a timely fashion.
Pay as you go services are fine for occasional use, and there are some voice broadcasting companies with good reputations, but our advice is to read the small print and check for the pitfalls mentioned above.
Outright purchase of a voice broadcasting system is possible, and many larger companies do this but:
- The initial purchase price can be high
- There can be an annual maintenance and support contract.
- If your requirements change, there is little resale value.
- To increase capacity is expensive.
- It may not be possible to take advantage of the latest features and functions with older equipment.
On the positive side you can choose your own termination provider and negotiate rates with them for your traffic. Furthermore, the costs of making more calls, within the limits of the product, are not as expensive as they might be with a pay as you go system.
Build your own
We have a number of customers who have come to us after they have built their own voice broadcast systems in the mistaken belief that you just download some stuff from the internet, assemble it in the right order, and away you go.
You will run into the same difficulties as we ran into years ago, and have since solved. These are mainly issues of scalability and reliability, sometimes coupled with difficulty in adding new features, internal staff costs to build, maintain and develop the system, and no immediate recourse to professional help and support without internal expertise.
Again on the positive side, you will choose your own carrier, keeping costs for calling down to a minimum.
Newfies-Dialer is quite unusual in that we provide the hardware, the software, training and ongoing support, but you provide your own VoIP carrier allowing you to negotiate the best airtime deal for you.
If VoIP carriers are not an area of business you are familiar with, we can often make introductions to carriers we have worked with in the past who have reasonable rates, a good help-desk, and will help you get set up, and furthermore, understand your requirements.
We maintain the software, look after the systems, and assist you with any problems you might encounter, and with prices starting from €99 Euro, scalable systems to grow (and shrink) with your business, no upfront capital costs, and no minimum term contracts the pitfalls of the systems listed above are avoided.
Choosing your Carrier
There are carriers who specialise in Voice Broadcasting short duration traffic. Voice Broadcasting traffic is not very profitable for the carrier, as the call durations are typically short, but a huge amount of capacity has to be provided at great expense.
For this reason, it’s important to tell the carrier that you are doing short duration traffic, and the costs will be higher than for normal user traffic for your PBX, and it’s unlikely that you will find any deals for unlimited calls. If you don’t tell your carrier that you are doing Voice Broadcasting traffic, then you may find there are penalties in the terms and conditions, ranging from being charged a higher price retrospectively or disconnected.
In the USA, expect to pay no more than 1.1c per minute for a blended rate billed 6/6 (6 second minimum and rounded up to the nearest 6 seconds to anywhere in the USA except Alaska and Hawaii, this is the simplest to understand, but if you have a lot of traffic, then you can ask for a “Rate Deck”
A rate deck gives different rates to every destination all over the USA, and there can be thousands of rates, some will be very very cheap, some more expensive, and the rates can change on a daily basis, and as such is far more complicated to maintain.
If you want to discuss your voice broadcasting needs and requirements, contact us by email or phone and we can assist.