Use Toll Free Numbers to Build a ‘Red Hot’ List of Prospects at Low Cost

A survey by the Direct Marketing Association found that 83% of people prefer to listen to a 24 hour free recorded message than speak to a live sales person.

Click costs are outta control.

On Facebook they’ve rocketed from a reasonable $0.27 at the end of 2016 to a budget busting $1.72 today. And with 2 million advertisers (and rising) all fighting over that sweet Facebook traffic, the costs are only going one way amigo. And that is UP.

Google stopped being profitable (in most markets) years ago.

Traffic from Outbrain, RevContent and their brethren may be cheaper. But it has the precision targeting of a garden sprinkler.

So what can you do?

You can focus on customer lifetime value and backend sales. And treat the initial sale as a ‘break even’ on your ad spend.


You can switch to channels few dare to mess with.

I’m talking about offline my friend. And using a tactic that gets grizzled veterans nodding approvingly and young bucks shrugging their shoulders, mistakenly thinking it went out of fashion with the fax machine.

Hire a ‘robot’ to talk to your customers (in a good way)

Through services like Telecenter you can setup your own Toll Free (Free Phone if you’re one of my UK countrymen) number.

You can then can record a message to convince prospects to leave their name and address for further info (i.e. your sales letter).

It costs a measly $40/month for this number to then generate leads around the clock. And if done right, it can be higher converting and cheaper than running an online paid ad campaign.

Here’s the strategy…

Say, you’re selling a supplement for joint pain. You’d run a small ad in newspapers (using low cost ‘remnant advertising’) saying something like:

Free Report – Repairs and Lubricates Your Joints to Take the Pain Away. Toll Free: (123) 456789.

People with joint pain are typically over 50 and still get most of their information from newspapers. They also trust printed coms a lot more than all the ‘fake news’ awash online.

And unless they’re sat at their computer, you’ll have their complete attention as they can’t be Liking or Tweeting when their phone is glued to their ear.

What to say in your recorded message

There’s no perfect length to a recorded message. As with a sales letter, you need to say whatever is necessary to get them to take the action you want – which in this case is to leave their name and address.

In the message simply:

  1. Introduce yourself, your credentials and the reason why you created this message (never say you’re a doctor, unless you actually are one. Faking that you’re a qualified professional can get you in seriously hot water).
  2. Discuss their pain, such as unscrewing a jar, getting dressed in the morning or feeling like a prisoner in their own home.
  3. How wear and tear is the likely cause of their joint pain and how widespread joint pain is.
  4. Give 3 lifestyle habits that may be making their pain worse (build the tension and raise the stakes for why they need help).
  5. Tell them how your report shares the latest breakthrough research into joint pain and how best to relieve it.
  6. Provide some proof with a stat from a study in your report, such as how X herb helped reduce joint pain for 8 out of 10 people.
  7. Ask them to share their name and address and their biggest challenge of overcoming their joint pain (you’re getting pure old market research and lead generation rolled into one).

What results can you expect?

With a toll free number, you should be aiming for at least 50% leaving their name and address. Trevor Toecracker Crook typically gets an 80% response to his recorded messages

Then when they get your sales letter with a handwritten post it note (in BLUE ink) on the front saying “Barry, thanks for requesting my free report. Call me if you need advice, Matt” do you think they’re going to read it?

You can bet the farm on it.

And their trust in you is going to be at ‘best friends’ level compared to all the snake oil salesmen they find online, with their unrealistic claims, suspiciously positive testimonials and ‘grinning couple’ stock photos.

If you can get a good rate on your ad costs (remember to use remnant advertising), getting leads this way could also work out WAY more profitable than buying a list from a list broker.

Because you see, bought lists can be of questionable value.

And when you’re sending letters to people who don’t know who you are or ‘when the heck’ did they give you permission to write to them, what do you think they’ll do with your letter?

It’s going straight into the ‘B’ pile compadre. Into the trash.

Hear from the masters on ‘Free Recorded Messages’

You can listen to marketing wizards Dean Jackson and Joe Polish discussing the Free Recorded Messages strategy in their “I Love Marketing Podcast”, and how they use it to generate qualified, red hot leads around the clock.

If you decide to try out this old school yet time proven tactic, let me know how you get on.

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