The sensational impact of Speed-to-call on conversions…

Sometimes you hear things and they just stay with you.

A few years ago I was doing a Marketing Diagnostic with a client who had asked us to review their marketing and they said something that made a lasting impression.

That chance comment came back to me (and put it completely into context) when an email from Perry Marshall dropped into my inbox last week.

In it he referred to a study that he came across from about how conversion rates from Internet leads are dramatically affected by how quickly you respond.

The study (based on the analysis of several million Internet leads) found that response speed was the single largest driver of lead conversion and highlights how important speed-to-call can be in the sales process.

Lead conversion by fast phone response

Compared to NO phone follow up, here’s the impact on conversion rate:

Calling the prospect after…

1 minute +391% 
2 minutes +160% 
3 minutes +98% 
30 minutes +62% 
1 hour +36% 
5 hours +24% 
24 hours +17%

OK so this is just one study, but it fits in neatly with that conversation I had with my client several years ago.

They sold high value private insurance products and they were buying most of their leads from comparison websites, paying £20 to £50 per lead.

The thing they said that got my attention was that they doubled their conversion rate if they called the prospect in under 5 minutes, compared with calling 30 minutes after getting the lead.

I was amazed.

Calling in 30 minutes seemed reasonable, even ‘seemly’ and certainly more dignified than calling within a minute or two of getting the lead through.

Yet that small delay cost them half their sales!

Or, if you look at it another way it doubled the cost of acquisition (2 times as many leads required to get the same number of sales).

Either way, a super fast response makes a big difference.

I remember my client saying that when they called back in under 5 minutes that people were often still at their computer, possibly halfway through sending an enquiry to another company – and were often amazed at how quickly they had phoned.

It’s easy to speculate.

Maybe a fast response is impressive, perhaps it is getting to prospects while they still have it fresh in their minds, maybe you just get through to more people when you call or maybe you beat the competition to the punch.

One theory I have (and it is just a theory) is that in the Internet age people just expect a fast response to something done online.

It’s the normal pace of action/response.

Think of the different response pattern that we have to emails and texts when compared to letters – minutes vs. days.

But, who really knows why it makes such a dramatic difference?

It doesn’t really matter why, we just need to know that a fast response often works and with the ‘size of the prize’ being so large it’s one of the factors that we need to test.

After all, it could double your sales (or more)!

In fact, it made such a difference to my client’s business that they stopped buying leads during their staff lunch break when they couldn’t give an immediate call back, and only purchased leads when they had people available to phone back immediately.

Go on, give fast ‘speed-to-call’ a test.

And please, let me know how you get on!

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