The Types Of People Who May Answer The Phone

A couple weeks ago, we finally got a tiny look into the holy grail of call stats, the number of phone calls that are actually answered.

If you remember correctly, we hypothesized that you’d need to place 25-50 phone calls in order to get someone to answer these days.

Well, the NYTimes is keeping at it! Here’s an update of all the phone polling they’ve completed as of September 21st, 2018:

As you can see, we’re looking at response rates from 2.9% on the high-end and 1.1% on the low-end. (Classic Florida!)

Across the entire set of data, we’ve got a 1.8% response rate.

After my last piece, I got a fantastic text message from my friend Miles…

What a great question / hypothesis!

Well Miles, I took a little time out of this Friday to find some answers to your questions!

Here’s a look at the answer response data when you overlay demographic information on urban/rural and ages.

(Data courtesy of The Census Bureau here and here.)

It turns out that Miles is actually onto something. When you look at the data, it seems that Urban Population % is inversely correlated pretty strongly with response rate and % of Population Over 65 Years Old is directly correlated.

Here’s the correlation table itself:

Ultimately, these answer rates are still absolutely low, but it’s safe to say that older, more rural leads are going to answer the phone more frequently.

If these are the types of people you’re looking for, then you may find the phone to continue to be a viable method of communication. However, the more urban and younger you’re looking for, the more you’re really going to need alternative strategies.

Eli Robinson is the General Manager of FranFunnel. He’s under the age of 65 and currently lives in the most urban place in America. Don’t cold call him.

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