How Much Does Outbound Telemarketing Cost in 2023?

Outbound telemarketing usually costs $40 per hour of service but is sometimes billed on a performance basis as well. Calculate your price, start here:

What is Outbound Telemarketing and How Much Does It Cost?

Here’s What You Need To Know:

Outbound telemarketing can be one of the most effective ways for a business to boost sales. Essentially, it covers all categories of telemarketing where you contract a call center to make phone calls to potential customers with the primary goal being to increase sales. The forms this can take are many, with some outbound telemarketing services trying to sell directly over the phone, while others might try to set appointments for the more senior salespeople within an organization.

Buyers GuideWhatever form you want your outbound calls to take, the bottom line is that an effective outbound telemarketing service can give a serious boost to sales in most organizations.  The costs depend entirely on the scale of the project, but they are usually billed per man-hour worked. You will typically have to sign a contract where you agree to pay for a minimum number of hours. Again, the hourly rate for a call center usually falls at around $31 per hour but can be higher for specialized services with a track record of success. It may also be much lower for discount, high-volume offshore firms.

What to Look for In Outbound Telemarketing Companies

When you’re shopping for an outbound telemarketing firm, you want one that offers contracts or packages that suit your needs. Larger companies might require you to book a minimum number of hours that far exceed your needs or your budget. Some companies also have the flexibility and can offer lower rates by including a commission for sales agents, which is a good way to boost sales without having huge out-of-pocket expenditures.


A wide range of services is also something valuable to look for in an outbound telemarketing firm where you hope to build a long-lasting business relationship. Some companies offer lead generation and appointment-setting services on top of direct sales. A great additional feature is a company that can do market research interviewing. If you need to do some research in advance of product development or product launches, there is some value in having those research calls made by the same team that will ultimately be selling the product.

Finally, you want an outbound telemarketing service that is going to be effective at helping you to sell your products. This is a good reason to avoid the cheapest solutions on the market. These are often offshore firms that staff their agencies with poorly trained agents with sub-par English skills. If you’re selling to a given population, you want your outbound callers to be fully fluent in that population’s language and to have a clear speaking voice. Otherwise, you end up with frustrated callers and very low success rates. A firm with modern technology to speed up call times, strong training programs, and a rigorous quality control process that only uses callers with excellent English skills will give you the best results.

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Outbound Telemarketing Services Example Pricing

Estimated prices paid for outbound telemarketing services by businesses nationwide are listed below:

  • $40 per hour by a North Carolina shipping container company needed appointments set
  • $39 per hour by a California company needing direct sales
  • $69 per lead set by a Texas mortgage lender
  • $55 per hour by a New York firm needing cold calling
  • $5,800 per month by a credit card company seeking new cardholders
  • $45/hour for an insurance agency needing cold calls in Illinois

Find Outbound Telemarketing Companies Near You and Compare Up To Five Money Saving Quotes


Outbound Telemarketing Basics

Outbound telemarketing is active marketing that is done over the phone. We say “active” because outbound means you are actively reaching out to your prospects.

The opposite would be inbound. Which is when you send out some sort of marketing campaign and wait for your phone to ring.

One of the reasons that outbound telemarketing can be so effective is that few small businesses are doing it.

People have an inherent fear of rejection. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just human nature. But, this fear causes business owners to shy away from telemarketing because there is a high rate of rejection. You should keep this in mind when starting an outbound telemarketing campaign.

You will get a lot of “No’s,” but the important thing is to remember that every “No” brings you that much closer to a “Yes.”

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Now, you know about outbound telemarketing. You may even have some other colleagues in your industry using it, and you’re excited about what it can do for your business. But, how do you get started?

Well, one obvious piece of the puzzle is going to be a phone. Depending on your type of office setup, you may have a traditional, hard-wired telephone setup. If you don’t, that’s no big deal. There are other options.

One popular option is Voiceover IP phone service (VoIP). VoIP service allows you to complete phone calls over wi-fi. There are several companies that can offer this service, and it’s a great way for a small business to have a professional phone setup for very little money.

It’s a great way to help keep your outbound telemarketing cost low.

If you elect to use internet VoIP phone service you’ll want to make sure you have a fast and stable internet connection. This is going to be your “front line” of communication with your customers. The last thing you want is calls dropping in the middle of a conversation with someone ready to buy from your business.

Once you have your phone set up in order, the next step is to start smilin’ and dialin’!


Who To Call

We need to decide who is getting a phone call from us, and where we are going to get their information from.

There’s a pretty good chance that you receive phone calls from telemarketers yourself. Everybody does. There are even memes about receiving calls for your car’s extended warranty. Here are a couple of suggestions of top telemarketing firms you might want to call:

  • Peak Support – Cambridge, MA
  • Xact – Orlando, FL
  • Unity Communications – Gilbert, AZ
  • CrewBloom – New York, NY
  • DialAmerica – Mahwah, NJ
  • VSynergize – San Francisco – CA
  • EXL Service – New York, NY
  • Upcall – San Francisco, CA

You may have wondered where these people get your phone number. Personal data, in itself, is an entire industry. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of companies that have access to people’s addresses, phone numbers, etc. and all of this information is available for purchase.

That’s where you will find your customers. You can purchase a data list of almost any size you want. You can buy hundreds of names and phone numbers or thousands.

It depends on the size of the campaign you want to launch. It’s entirely up to you. Our suggestion would be to decide what type of person you want to target, and start with a small list first.

This gets into general marketing principles like knowing your target demographic, constructing a customer avatar, etc. That’s too much for us to go into here, but if you’re in business already you’ve no doubt dealt with that type of marketing planning and strategy.

The cost of pulling these lists can vary depending on how many filters you use. We’ve seen costs ranging anywhere from $.05 to $.25 per name.

Using Data Lists Outbound Telemarketing

The beauty of these data companies is you can filter your list by any number of criteria. You can target a specific age group, people with specific interests, or even people living in a certain area of the country.

Be careful when selecting a data company, though. Make sure the company you are purchasing your list from can provide you with phone numbers. Here are some recommendations for purchasing outbound telemarketing lists:

  • Dataman Group
  • Dunn and Bradstreet
  • Info USA
  • List Giant
  • Exact Data
  • US Data Corporation

Some don’t have access to phone number data. The last thing you want is to spend your marketing budget on a list of hundreds of names and not be able to use it.

If for some reason, you do wind up with a list of names without phone numbers, you can still salvage your campaign. There are other companies that specialize in something known as “skip tracing.”

If your list doesn’t have any phone numbers, you at least have some names and addresses. Skip tracing companies can use these names and addresses to search their data bank, and match possible phone numbers to the names you already have.

It’s an additional step, and an additional cost, but it may be worth it to bring a list you’ve already purchased back to life.

The cost to skip tracing a list can be different depending on the company. but, to give you an idea, it typically costs somewhere between $.16 and $.20 per name.

Managing Your Telemarketing List

Once you have your list of phone numbers, you are almost ready to go. Like most marketing campaigns, however, you’ll want to be able to track your contacts.

Your list will come back to you in some sort of spreadsheet format. It can either be an MS Excel or .csv file.

It may make sense for you to use some sort of CRM to organize your data. This way you can see how often you contact someone, when was the last time you contacted them, and when they should receive their next call from you.

Taking the time to do this in a neat, organized format from the beginning will save you a lot of time, energy, and stress in the long run.

You’ll also want to clean up your list when you get it back from your data company. After they run it through their search software, it can come back to you with some funky columns or columns that you don’t necessarily need.

You’ll want to keep the following information:

  • Customer Name
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number

When you deal with a skip tracing company, you may get multiple phone numbers back. In our experience, data accuracy drops off severely after the first 3 phone numbers.

If you haven’t been able to get in contact with someone after trying three different phone numbers, it may be best to reach them through some other form of marketing.

Outbound Telemarketing Cost

The national average cost for telemarketing is $43 per caller hour.

When it comes to your outbound telemarketing cost, there are a few components of the campaign to consider. You’ll have to cover the cost of your list, the cost of your phone service, and the cost of any phone equipment.

If you are doing the calling yourself, chances are you won’t need any additional equipment. But, if you have staff calling leads for you, it may require the purchase of headsets and additional handheld devices.

Even if you are using VoIP phone service, you can purchase accessories that give your callers a handheld receiver to use as they dial.

If you have a staff of people doing calls for you, you may also want to consider dialer software. This drastically increases call volume and can help to maximize your callers’ productivity.

The dialer software works by uploading your list into the dialer. There are some general settings you can tweak before starting to call, but once you’re ready you hit a button and the dialer starts dialing.

It will keep dialing numbers automatically for you until you decide to stop. You can leave voicemails, do callbacks, and contact customers all with the touch of a button.

Your callers don’t have to look at your list, punch in all the digits of the phone number manually, and leave voicemails manually. It saves tons of time and money.

If you plan on calling leads in high volume, it’s worth the investment.


Types of Outbound Telemarketing

The industry you’re in will dictate what type of telemarketing you’re doing. There are generally two types: B2B and B2C.

B2B telemarketing stands for business to business. This is when your business is calling other businesses to sell your product or service.

This could be the case if you’re selling something like IT networking, cloud services, sales software, marketing software, etc.

B2C telemarketing stands for business to consumer. This is when you are dialing directly to individuals who may want to buy your product or service.

This is the case for a wide variety of industries and, we would say, is the more common of the two types of outbound telemarketing.

Getting Started

If you weren’t aware of outbound telemarketing, we hope that it’s on your radar after reading this. When you compare it to some of the other marketing strategies, outbound telemarketing cost is on the low end.

It’s a great place for people to start when first getting into the business. You either spend time or money when it comes to marketing.

If you’re willing to make the minimal money investment to purchase a list and phone service, and willing to put in the elbow grease to dial, you are on your way to a pretty amazing marketing strategy!

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