Mark your calendars for February 01, 2024.
Google will begin enforcing new protections for a “safer, less spammy inbox” on the 1st of February, with similar protections from Yahoo beginning in Q1.
Organizations sending more than 5,000 emails/day to the Gmail or Yahoo networks will face new rules, validation requirements, and compliance thresholds aimed at reducing unwelcome email.
The news reverberated across LinkedIn and outreach communities, discussing the dramatic impact the policies will have on high-volume outreach, email deliverability, and sales playbooks.
A sea change is coming.
But not just to email. It’s here for the telephone too.
What used to work will work no longer.
And if you’re prepared, there’s a lot to be excited about.
High volume is the problem
There’s an interesting thing about spam:
It’s not profitable at low volume.
Scammers aren’t individually typing emails or manually making scam calls. They’re blasting them.
This is precisely what Google/Yahoo are addressing with their new rules.
In the pursuit of efficiency, too many well-meaning tools have been built for speed and volume at the expense of quality.
It got too easy to send a lot of emails at once.
As a leading phone outreach platform for 15 years, we’ve witnessed the same for phone calls.
Too many well-meaning dialing platforms have been built for speed and volume at the expense of quality. And unfortunately…
Too many well-meaning businesses have pivoted to them, believing that more calls, faster, is the path to conversations.
In reality, they should be running in the other direction.
It’s time for a prospect-first approach
More and more companies piloting PhoneBurner are looking to replace a multi-line dialer.
Why? For one, because calling 5 to 10 numbers at once results in a lousy contact experience.
Contacts hear an awkward pause or beep after they answer
- Agents barely have time to read the contact’s name before replying back
- Both contribute to more hangups, and shorter, reduced quality calls
When you consider the cost of leads and importance of trust and authenticity in closing deals today, it’s easy to see why organizations are opting for a human-centric 1-to-1 approach.
Speed is wonderful.
But not when it comes at the expense of quality conversations.
Getting to conversations faster is futile if the prospect experience is poor.
Relief from spam flags
Another reason cited by companies moving away from multi-line dialers is low answer rates (multi-line dialers can negatively impact answer rates for a host of reasons).
This dovetails with the Gmail/Yahoo announcement.
The checks and balances that are coming to email in 2024, telephone carriers and government agencies are already bringing to phone calls.
Their impact on call deliverability has been undeniable.
And there’s more to come.
For calls to be delivered (without spam flags), businesses are asked to take proactive measures to show legitimacy, including:
- Identity verification via STIR/SHAKEN - authenticates that calls placed from a number/Caller ID are in fact originating from the business and not a spoofed number
- Registration via phone carriers - a one-time registration with the major wireless carriers to associate your phone number(s) with your business
Asking businesses to jump through hoops that scammers and spammers can’t jump through makes the system increasingly difficult for bad actors to abuse.
While this is undeniably a good thing, it begs the question, “then why are legitimate businesses still being flagged as spam?”
It comes down to number patterns and call behaviors.
Carriers use complex AI and algorithms to apply scam and spam flags. In the pursuit of speed, many well-meaning businesses employ behaviors and call patterns that mimic those of bad actors.
Regardless of intent, the nature of dialing multiple lines at once is that your calls are more likely (by both consumers and algorithms) to be perceived as a nuisance.
Again, speed is wonderful.
But not if it comes at the expense of quality conversations.
It’s all about balance
Calls and emails are headed for the same correction - balance.
The industry over-pivoted to speed and volume, and new checks and balances will force businesses to pivot back toward quality and relevance.
This is a beautiful thing.
Sales processes and playbooks that are more intentional, personalized, and human-centric extract greater value and deliver stronger conversions. They allow businesses to be leaner and do more with less.
This is the way it should be.
Since 2008, PhoneBurner has been perfecting this balance of speed and quality, and we’ve created the most efficient and scalable 1-to-1 sales tool on the market today.
You can go fast without sacrificing quality. We can show you how.
Predictions for 2024 and beyond
So what does it all mean?
Email and call outreach will continue to play a big role in sales engagement. But new regulations are making it clear that it’s time to “turn the volume down” in favor of more intentional and personalized sales motions.
Here are some of our predictions in line with this shift:
- Bulk list buys will go away: This was a dying trend anyway, but the days of purchasing low/no intent lists in bulk will become untenable and unfeasible.
- Buying and getting rid of phone numbers will become ineffective: To combat spam flags many businesses and call technologies engage in the practice of continually replacing flagged numbers with new ones. This practice will die in 2024. Scammers use this tactic, which is why brand new numbers are likely to come with flags, and why carrier algorithms favor registered numbers with a history of consistent and reasonable call patterns.
- MQLs will be front and center again: Leads from form fills, events, and webinars will be front and center again. People who interact with your brand have both higher intent and are less likely to flag your outreach as a nuisance, or spam.
- There will be a telephone call resurgence: Call sequences will have a starring role in sales playbooks. Email won’t be as fast as it has been, and cadences will need more variety to break through. As lead volume goes down in favor of quality, businesses will double-down on the phone; because nothing builds trust and authenticity like a live human-to-human connection.
- But… dialing will undergo similar changes to email: The signs are already here. Spam calls are as bad, or worse, than spam emails and the level of scrutiny will only grow. Your dialing partner needs to be ahead of the curve on all things related to call deliverability, spam, and connection rates or you’ll feel the pain as the industry continues to evolve.
- AI will have an impact on calling: But not in the way many believe. A lot of dialing platforms have jumped on the AI bandwagon in the pursuit of speed. The promise will not live up to the hype, because (again) the speed will come at the expense of quality connections. AI’s role in sales calls will be analytical, helping businesses hone in on quality leads and tactics that drive results.
How PhoneBurner can help
As a single-line dialer, PhoneBurner has spent the last 15 years balancing efficient and quality communications so that businesses have:
- More connected calls
- More meaningful call outcomes
- A superior user experience
Here are a few ways our company and software are uniquely positioned to help you adapt and capitalize on the major changes that are coming down the road.
- Speed without sacrificing quality: We deliver speed and scalability without any indication that you didn’t dial your contact by hand. Every interaction is intentional, agent-initiated, and seamless. No dropped calls. No awkward beep or pause.
- Tier 1 carrier: As a testament to the relationships we build and processes we employ, PhoneBurner is the first and only dialing software on the market with a Tier 1 carrier. This dramatically reduces risk of spam flags for our customers, and helps us deliver seriously impressive connection rates.
- Dedicated Trust & Safety team: When it comes to telesales, compliance cannot be an afterthought. Businesses have to know, understand and comply with regulations and industry standards and face significant fines and reputational hazards if they don’t. PhoneBurner supports customers with an industry-leading Trust & Safety team and initiative.
- Workflow automation: PhoneBurner is slightly slower (by design) from a calling perspective, but a model of efficiency everywhere else. Unmatched post-call workflow automation and integration capabilities ensure reps spend time engaged in quality conversations, not on tedious tasks and logging activity.
- Award-winning setup and support: PhoneBurner doesn’t just prioritize connections for our customers but with our customers. Our 100% US based onboarding and support team works hand-in-hand with you from day 1 to drive faster adoption, facilitate integrations, and deliver superior ROI.
A sea change is coming to phone and email in 2024.
The losers will be those who continue to engage in mass outreach that prioritizes speed over quality and relevance.
The winners will be those who take a more intentional and human-centric approach that maximizes revenue per lead.
It feels like the war on spam and nuisance marketing is finally being won.
And boy are we excited about it.