Email Marketing and Responding to Internet Inquiries

For AnswerStat magazine, I have posted on directories of medical call centers (call centers that provide services to the medical community).  This information has been compiled from information provided by the companies listed.

As such, they made a choice to be listed; they want to be there — ostensibly to gain new clients and grow their call center business.  Therefore, when someone contacted them, you’d think they’d jump right on it and respond immediately.  Right?  Apparently not.

I recently sent each of the 87 call centers listed an email to confirm their information, which was to be printed in the next issue.  The listing was free; all they needed to do was click “reply” and type “yes.”  Each email was personalized to the person listed, contained a direct and concise message, and conformed to email best-practices and all regulations.

Although some people responded within minutes or at least the same day, after one week, only 30 companies (34%) responded.

A follow-up email was sent to the remaining group, emphasizing the urgency of acting immediately.  Another 16 companies (18%) responded by the deadline.  These 46 companies were listed in the magazine; the other 41 companies missed some free promotion because they didn’t response to two email requests.

Later, a third email was sent to these 41 non-responsive call centers.  It was too late for the magazine, but at least we could verify their online listing.  Eight (9%) responded; this left 33 (38%) that didn’t respond to any of the three emails.  Their free listing was removed from our website today.  To summarize:

Starting number listed:                     87
Responded to the first email:           30 (34%)
Responded to the second email:     16 (18%)
Responded to the third email:            8   (9%)
Never responded:                             33 (38%)

Remember, these are people who wanted to be listed and would gain new business from it.  Given their dismal response to a simple request, I wonder how they’re doing on overall sales.  It would really surprise me if they are experiencing any growth — but I bet their blaming their poor performance on the economy.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!