The Rise of Autodialers and Marketing Automation Platforms: Why LD Studios No Longer Publishes Our Phone Number

by Daniel Rice on October 13, 2016

Today, it seems like you can’t go more than 5 minutes without seeing an advertisement. Turn on the TV: ads. Watching Hulu? Ads. As a business owner, the ads are even more in-your-face. Check your email inbox? Marketing emails and solicitations. Outsourcing, lead generation, recuirters, blah blah. LinkedIn? Yep, all those messages are more Ads or recruiters trying to help you with your talent search. The same is true with your business' telephone number. Marketers armed with auto-dialers and calling lists will call your business phone number and begin to solicit their services as well. It seems that everywhere you turn, there is someone trying to market something to you. Its can be very distracting. This is the very reason LD Studios disconnected its toll free number and removed it from our website.

There are tons of blog posts and articles about the merits of having a toll free number. These reasons are all very valid for a lot of businesses. Customers need a way to get in touch with you. Prospective clients need a way to look you up. There is no way a large telephone company could not have a toll-free customer service number. But for a small agency, we base our entire business around customer support and service. Every one of my clients has my personal cell phone number. And yes, I do pick up the phone when they call me at night and on weekends. Its business - its what must be done. However, as a busy entrepreneur, father, husband, animal caretaker, developer, you-name-it, I do not have time for distractions and interruptions. This is why the business phone line had to go!

LD Studios began in 2014 and had very humble beginnings. My first desk was the dining room table! In setting up the business, we followed all the "how to bootstrap your business" playbooks and got a toll free number to make us look "professional." As time lept forward, we started receiving a large number of phone calls to our 800 number. When I would pick up, I'd be invariably routed to a call center. In general, these companies never did their homework up front, didn't know who I was, and just wanted to get me on the phone and to try to sell me something. And it started happening all the time. The worst abuse was a recruiting firm based out of Chicago, IL (who shall remain nameless) called asking for one of my developers. I replied that he wasn't in the office and that I'd like to know who was calling so I could leave a message. He then gave me his name but instead of telling the truth he told me he was calling about a potential project. The recruiter was caught red-handed trying to get in touch with one of my employees by calling the company mainline - but instead of just hanging up or owning up to it - he told me a bold-faced lie. That instance sticks out in my head as a "wow, this really happened" moment - but for the most part is people just trying to do their job who politely hang up when I tell them I'm not interested.

More to the point, I believe that automated marketing has officially saturated the marketplace. The days aren't gone where hard work and rote salesmanship can land you that coveted Saleman of the Month parking spot out front of your office. Hardly at all. But the days of global 24x7 information sharing, automated call scripts, dialers, and marketing lead generation are definitely here to stay. You can't get away from it compeltely, but you can minimize it. So yes, we killed off our toll free number - but we still need to provide a way for would-be customers to get in contact with us. That said....

If you have an app idea, need us to help grow your business through technology, or are struggling to keep an existing project running smoothly, feel free to contact us through our contact page, add me on LinkedIn, or come find me at Roam Buckhead. We all used to be human beings at one point, so lets please, please try to get back to that.

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