I actually just wrote an email to a discussion group that I'm a member of, but then thought that I should post it here as well. The information is relevant to the topic that I try to stay on here, so … here goes!
Skype is a great tool for keeping up with your network and making sure that you can get a hold of your friends, family and professional associates around the world. I'm sure that almost everyone here agrees with that. With the new release of Skype's free calls within the US and Canada to both landlines and mobile phones until the end of the year, it makes sense to look at the technology from a marketing standpoint. The ability to make free calls anywhere within the US — a free pass out of your long distance phone bill for the next six months or so!
Even the smallest business can gain better market share by optimizing their use of this new capability. Anyone who can work remotely in the slightest can now contact strong leads across the United States for almost nothing; no more than the cost of the leads themselves if you don't have a list of your own (www.salesgenie.com, BTW, offers a great tool for this – $300 per month for unlimited leads [per person]).My company, New Direction Marketing, is partnered with telemarketing software company to help deliver technology that can help optimize the telemarketing. Its a great value and is currently priced at 60% to break into the US market. The product has been actively developed and used in the UK for a number of years now. One big advantage that it has is that it HELPS you manage your telemarketing needs AND has a direct capability to interact with SKYPE to maximize your call times. What else could you ask for?I know that this is, in part, a pitch as well as simply a 'think about using Skype for marketing' reminder. Too many people think about VOIP or other new technologies without looking at the outside capabilities that it may have. If you're interested in the software, drop me a line and we can discuss it further. Else, I hope your day goes well and discuss the concepts of Skype and how to use it best for marketing!
As you can tell, I'm a proponent for the above mentioned software as well as the use of new technologies where possible. The difference between this software and for example, SalesForce.com, is significant. Salesforce.com doesn't allow the management of different campaigns or different sections of your organization. This is HUGE. Its the perfect way for a single company selling the same product to identify which sales pitches work, which special offers increase success rates, and other capabilities. Plus, there's often different offers for different 'types' of people. In the mortgage industry, for example, there's refinancing interest only loans, refinancing from a different company, and refinancing from within your current customers, just to name a few. Perhaps you want to call new clients and give them a 10% off on their first invoice and would like to call existing customers and give them a 10% credit for their past order on new business … in a 'Sales' CRM, this wouldn't be possible generally. With this software, you can do both!There's a lot of other things and I'm getting off the topic of "Skype and Telemarketing". Skype is a product that's become proven over time. One of its biggest drawbacks has always been the cost to use "SkypeOut", or call out of Skype's network. With their current release of FREE, you can't really beat it for calling within the United States and Canada. Even calling overseas isn't bad ($0.02 per minute to the UK, for example).