Email Marketing vs Telemarketing: Which is Best for Your Business?

Optimising and deciding which tactics to deploy can be daunting for businesses in the modern day. The sheer variety of lead generation tactics available can make your strategy difficult when deciding what will yield the highest ROI for your business. In this article, we discuss two of the most effective methods of lead generation, telemarketing and email marketing. Assessing the pros and cons of both, and answering the all-important question, which is best for your business?

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Email Marketing vs Telemarketing: Which is Best for Your Business?

Whether you're just starting out, or you have an established lead generation strategy, optimising and deciding which tactics to deploy can be daunting for businesses in the modern day. The sheer variety of lead generation tactics available can make your strategy difficult when deciding what will yield the highest return on investment for your business.

Do you go for inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or a mixture of both?

In this article, we are going to be discussing two of the most effective methods of lead generation; telemarketing (outbound) and email marketing (inbound). Assessing the pros and cons of both, and answering the all-important question, which is best for your business?

The Pros of Telemarketing

Telemarketing has certainly been on a journey and has evolved significantly, since the first call was made back in 1957. To date, it is still one of most-effective lead generation methods due to its unique advantages. A successful telemarketing campaign isn't as simple as opening a contact list, picking up the phone and having a chat. Modern telemarketing involves undergoing extensive market research, and taking the time to understand factors such as;

  • What makes your audience tick?
  • What problems do your customers face?
  • What are you offering that your competitors perhaps might not be?

Once you understand these insights, you are able to prepare some conversation prompts. A helpful tip here would be to ask open-ended questions. For example; "If there was one thing you could change about your existing provider/solution, what would it be?.

By asking these open-ended questions, you are allowing the prospect to openly communicate with you, encouraging the conversation to continue. Whereas, if you ask too many closed questions, (yes or no answers) you give the prospect an easy way out of the conversation. With this process in mind, let us get into the value that telemarketing services can add to your business.

Easy to Reach and Connect with Customers

One of the most prevailing benefits telemarketing can offer is the ability to directly outreach and connect with your target audience. Whilst we’re not knocking digital-driven methods of lead generation, such as social selling telemarketing allows you to cut out the middleman so-to-speak and connect directly with Senior Decision Makers. Being able to communicate directly with the people who drive business decisions, allows you to establish commonalities, build rapport and pitch to prospects, without the impracticality and cost implications involved with meeting them face-to-face.

Receive Instant Feedback

A huge advantage of picking up the phone and conversing with prospects directly is the ability to receive instant feedback. Being able to understand how your audience feels about your product in real-time gives your business a huge advantage over your competitors as you’re able to understand factors such as:

  • Common pain points your prospects are facing.
  • What solutions your competitors are offering to solve those pain points?
  • How long your prospects are tied to their current contract.
  • Find out when the prospect’s renewal date is.

Being equipped with this knowledge not only allows you to develop your sales and marketing collateral, but it also enables you to segment your audience and nurture these prospects via enrolment into an email marketing campaign.

Measurable Results

Telemarketing enables your business to track your campaign’s effectiveness against your company’s KPIs. Telemarketing provides insight into valuable call metrics such as:

  • Call to conversion ratio.
  • Average call duration.
  • Response rates.

Your interactions with prospects can be logged and recorded in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Over time, these insights contribute to a valuable database of prospect information. From here, this data can be leveraged for future telemarketing campaigns, customer service and relationship management. Allowing your business to remain personal with your customers.

Attainable Business Growth

Last but certainly not least, telemarketing can contribute to attainable business growth. Building a steady pipeline of qualified leads who want a commercial conversation and meeting with your business. Telemarketing offers the opportunity for a personal and interactive dialogue directly between your business and a prospect. For the time you are on the phone, you have their undivided attention and this is a fantastic way to build your brand awareness. You also have the opportunity to promote introductory offers over the phone, making the prospect feel unique and therefore more likely to commit to a meeting. As long as you’re thorough with your research before you begin your campaigning, you will see success in this field.

Challenges of Telemarketing

If we only focussed on the positives of telemarketing, we would be incredibly biased! Here are some challenges telemarketing can present:

Training Staff Can be Time-Consuming and Resource Intensive

Trying to find outstanding telemarketers who are passionate about what they do and genuinely deliver results can be an incredibly tricky task. As a business owner, you may consider using your sales or marketing team. Training them up and getting them on the phone. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this logic, lead generation and closing a sale are two very different games. Telemarketers are prospecting professionals who are well-versed in phraseology, objection handling and engaging with senior decision makers. Telemarketing is a direct marketing method and is focused more on researching prospects and generating leads rather than closing sales. Trying to get your sales team to become telemarketers is not impossible, although it is time-consuming and resource intensive. More importantly, it can easily become demoralising for your sales team, and who wants a demotivated sales team? Outsourced telemarketing services may be a viable option for your business.

The Pros of Email Marketing

You may be surprised to learn that email marketing has been around longer than you may have originally thought, with the first email marketing campaign being sent back in 1978. This digital method of lead generation has been on as much of an evolution journey as telemarketing. Before 1998, both businesses’ and consumers’ inboxes quickly became cluttered with unsolicited mailings, meaning that regulations needed to be imposed to prevent spam.

Introducing the Data Protection Act of 1998, which forced marketers to include an opt-out option on all emails. Fast forward to 2018, we saw the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which meant that customers had to explicitly opt-in to receive marketing mailings. Many marketers feared that this would put an end to email marketing as we know it, however, this wasn’t the case. As of the time of writing, there are 4 billion daily email users. Being equipped with this knowledge, let’s take a look at the value of email marketing.


Email marketing is an extremely cost-effective method of marketing, with 82% of marketers spending anywhere between 0-20% of their total marketing budget on this method. Ultimately, an email marketing campaign can be as elaborate or as inexpensive as your budget allows. You must consider the initial outlay required when starting out with email marketing. For example, in the modern day, investing in an email automation system is a lifesaver. You can segment and personalise your campaigns, A/B test them (more on this later!) and easily track key insights such as open rate, click-through rate and bounce rate.

Develop Your Messaging

Another advantage email marketing provides is that you have the time to consider and develop your messaging. If you’re planning to enrol your leads into an email marketing campaign to nurture them throughout the sales funnel, you have the capacity to develop strong lead magnets to offer your prospects. Through segmentation and personalisation, you can tailor your messaging to really appeal to your audience’s pain points, running multiple campaigns and delivering different messaging simultaneously.

A/B Testing

Got two versions of copy that are similar but you’re unsure which one will drive the best results? Try A/B testing! A/B testing is the process of testing different versions of the same email to see which one drives the most results. With A/B testing, you can alternate factors such as:

  • Subject Line
  • Content Layout
  • Imagery
  • CTAs

From here, you can optimise your campaigns, website and other collateral with data-backed decisions. Ensuring you get the maximum return on investment on your email marketing spend.

Direct Traffic to Your Website

Another huge advantage of email marketing is the ability to direct traffic directly to your website. If you segment your audience, you can point them to different areas that will apply to their pain points. By incorporating strategic calls to action, for example, a link to a blog or case study, you will drive a lot more traffic to your website organically and increase your brand awareness.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

As effective as email marketing can be, it certainly does have its drawbacks. For example:

Bounce Backs and Undelivered Emails

Emails which are undelivered or bounce back can be incredibly harmful to your brand’s reputation and affect your email’s delivery rate in the future. If your sender score becomes too low, you may risk your emails ending up in the spam or junk folders which will reduce your number of readers and consequently, your number of leads. Outsourcing your email marketing does reduce the possibility of this happening as email marketing agencies often have access to a large pool of highly-qualified, legitimate data.

Slow with Results

Email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It can be difficult to gauge your customer’s immediate interest in your product or service as you do not have that direct contact, unlike telemarketing. On average, it takes between three and four emails to hear back from a lead about whether they’re interested in your product. It then takes a further six emails and three phone calls to close a deal.

Telemarketing vs Email Marketing: Which is best for your business?

So, we’ve evaluated the pros of telemarketing and email marketing. Now it’s time to answer the all-important question, ‘Which is best for your business?’.

In our opinion, we would recommend that you take a multi-faceted approach when building your lead generation strategy. A mixture of both inbound and outbound methods will yield the maximum results for your business. Sales development reps that leverage multiple touchpoints have a 28% higher MQL to SQL rate as opposed to those who just make a phone call or send an email.

By utilising an outbound approach such as telemarketing, you have the ability to introduce your brand to prospects that you may not have reached through other methods of lead generation, such as social media advertising or PPC. Following up with prospects via email marketing enables you to educate your leads on your brand by offering lead magnets such as case studies, guides and blogs after making the initial phone call. By keeping in regular contact with your prospects, not only are you demonstrating that you take a genuine interest in their business, but you also keep your brand at the forefront of their mind when it’s time to review their solution.

If you would like to find out more about how telemarketing and email marketing can work together to accelerate your company’s lead generation, get in touch today by calling 03332 400 054 or emailing

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