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Simply put, automatic dialing software dials telephone numbers robotically. Use your company's computers to automate outbound calling through VoIP or regular phone lines. It can be a great asset if your company needs to reach out to many people to deliver a message.
Autodialers can be used to conduct surveys, to broadcast a mass message or emergency alert, or to send marketing messages, product updates or delivery notices, just to name a few. Once the call has been answered, the autodialer plays a recorded message or connects the call to a live person.
Auto dialers range in price from a few hundred dollars for downloadable software that can only make one call at a time to many thousands of dollars for sophisticated software/hardware that allows for hundreds of automated calls at once.
Types of autodialers
You have two options with autodialers: buying equipment to run the system in-house or subscribing to web-based hosting plan. Many software providers offer both, and the best option depends on the number and frequency of calls you need to make. The more often you use the system, the more likely you are to recoup the larger upfront expense of purchasing an in-house system.
The term autodialer can be confusing because it is used to mean several different things. The kind of autodialing where a prerecorded message is played when someone answers the phone is known as voice broadcasting or "robo calls." If the call is connected to a real agent, it's called a predictive dialer. If the caller is asked to take a survey, it's referred to as outbound interactive voice response or "robo surveys."
Autodialers are fully customizable to meet the needs of tiny companies or major corporations. You can buy a system that accommodates as few or as many calls as you need to make. Calls can be made over the Internet, a traditional hard phone or just a phone line.
Autodialer Average Costs
There are several ways autodialer software providers charge for their services: per call, monthly, annually or upfront. However, most hosted services and in-house services have an upfront cost.
Hosted autodialer software begins at about $300 upfront for a standard version that makes one call at a time. Professional versions start at around $500 for a single channel and range up to $40,000 plus for 75-100 channels.
- Voicent, a hosted service, charges $300 to $400 for the standard version that makes one call at a time. The professional version that makes four calls at once runs $900 to $1,000, while the enterprise version with 30 channels costs $4,299. For 100 lines, plan on paying $9,000 to $10,000.
- Database Systems Corp. has a hosted service that charges a one-time setup fee of $250 to $350, according to HowStuffWorks.com. It costs $25 to $45 per month to keep the account active five days a week, 16 hours a day. To keep it active 24/7, the cost is $50 to $75 per month. When you need to use the service, DSC charges 15 cents for each phone number. If you use the account infrequently, the total cost could be just a few thousand each year.
In-house autodialers begin at around $10,000 and can run upwards of $100,000, depending on the number of lines you need and the features you select.
- Database Systems Corp. estimates that an autodialer with the ability to contact 1,000 people with a 30-second recorded message in 25 minutes or less would cost around $48,000, according to HowStuffWorks.com.