What Is Outbound Telemarketing?

Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
Telemarketers working.
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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
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Outbound telemarketing is a proactive form of marketing or promoting a business, product or service. This type of telemarketing is associated with outbound sales calls when a business is trying to sell a customer their particular product. In other circumstances, outbound telemarketing may be associated with marketing research companies that are conducting polls or surveys to gather information on various types of information.

Companies that utilize outbound telemarketing typically use call centers to originate the calls. A group of operators or telemarketers make numerous outbound calls, or "cold calls," during their shift. Generally, representatives work off of a call lead list, which can come from various sources.

Some outbound telemarketing companies buy lead lists from companies. The lead lists that they buy include a list of the target customers that the company making the outbound calls has the best chance to convert into customers. For other companies, the lead list comes from its own marketing efforts, where the company has been able to collect its own contact information and then is following up on inquiries from interested parties.


For example, if a company sells a widget, the company may include a subscription box on its website for the visitor to request more information. The subscription box may ask for the visitor to include a name and contact phone number. When the operator involved in outbound telemarketing receives the list, the operator would then follow-up on the lead to answer any questions the visitor has. The ultimate goal, however, is to sell the visitor the product or service that the company offers.

Inbound telemarketing is a different form of telemarketing. It involves interested customers calling into a call center to find out more information on the products or services that the company is selling. Outbound telemarketing is often considered cold calling when the potential customers have not requested information from the company, but have been obtained from other means.

Outbound telemarketing callers do have to abide by laws that have been put in place by the particular jurisdiction they operate within. These laws and regulations are to protect the consumers from receiving unsolicited calls they do not want to receive. In some areas, consumers can request to be put on a do not call list for outbound telemarketing. Outbound telemarketers also have to abide by rules, such as the time frames they can make calls, how many times they can contact customers and that they have to check the do not call list prior to calling the consumer.


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