November 12, 2015 blog

Spam calls are one of the biggest problems that marketers face, and they may not even realize it. Any campaign or ad that has a phone number runs the risk of misattributing visitor data and then optimizing their spend based on offline conversions that didn’t happen – all due to spam calls. That is why DialogTech is excited to introduce SpamSentry™, a proprietary technology created to combat this nuisance and ensure that the only calls you receive are the ones you want.

What Are Spam Calls?

Spam calls are hundreds of millions of unwanted, malicious calls initiated by a third party that target both local and toll-free numbers. There are many types of  spam calls, and they are constantly changing, which makes blocking these calls that much harder. DialogTech has identified the three main spam culprits you should be worried about:

  • Dead air spam – calls that utilize a blank audio file similar to the experience of a dropped call
  • Political spam – calls from or resembling politicians running for office
  • Fax machine spam – calls with noises similar to those heard when sending a fax

Why Is This Happening?

In cases like political call spam, third parties are willing to pay the costs associated with their calls to ensure their message reaches as many people as possible with no real monetary gain. With other types of spam, there is a significant monetary benefit to the third party making these spam calls. It is referred to as “toll-free pumping,” and here is how it works:

  • When a toll-free call is initiated, the call passes through multiple carriers before it reaches its destination
  • When each carrier processes the call, they receive a payment for the processing.
  • These third parties have made agreements with dishonest carriers to initiate the spam calls and subsequently share the earned profits from processing them.
  • Although the profit per call is extremely slim, processing millions of spam calls can generate a hefty profit.

More information about how this works can be found in a blog post written by Irv Shapiro, Founder and CEO of DialogTech.

The Need for Call Spam Blocking

Spam calls can cause a variety of headaches within an organization. For marketers, spam calls cause inaccurate data to appear in call reporting and other marketing platforms that use call data to track and optimize call conversions (e.g., bid management). This leads to incorrect data driving business decisions on how to allocate campaign spend, which results in a loss of leads and sales.

Within a sales organization, spam calls result in frustrated employees. No one wants to get a spam call, let alone dozens of them. Further, if a sales representative receives an unwanted call, they can be forcibly placed at the end of a call queue and miss an important opportunity. On the customer experience side, spam calls that reach the call queue can result in real customers having to wait longer for assistance than they typically should.

For these reasons and others, implementing spam-blocking technology is extremely  important to any organizations that values proper attribution, qualified sales calls, and a great overall customer experience.

DialogTech’s SpamSentry Technology

Spam calls can be blocked using a new feature in the DialogTech platform called SpamSentry. Part of DialogTech’s industry-leading number cleansing platform, SpamSentry utilizes artificial neural networks to detect and block spam calls. Once DialogTech has identified, classified, and validated new types of spam, SpamSentry recognizes spam calls as they come in and prevents them from reaching your business and affecting your reporting. Any call detected as possible spam will be prompted to validate itself with a simple key press. Due to our machine learning technology, we can identify spam that would normally bypass this prompt and prevent these calls from being able to continue to your business.

We have seen the following results from our beta customers:

  • 2 Million calls have been identified and blocked for early adopters of the SpamSentry application
  • SpamSentry has successfully prevented over 99% of spam calls related to those we have currently identified (political spam, dead air, etc)
  • 26% of calls were flagged as unwanted spam and were prevented from reaching our customers and their marketing analytics tools

SpamSentry Benefits DialogTech Customers in Many Ways

  • It blocks unwanted calls from appearing within DialogTech reporting, invoices, and third-party integrated platforms.
  • For performance marketers, it prevents end destinations from reaching their concurrent or daily call caps and ensures that the advertiser does not pay for unwanted calls.
  • It prevents spam from reaching sales and customer services departments to ensure reps are only receiving calls from customers and prospects.

The Industry-Leading Number Cleansing Platform

Spam calls may not always be automated. Live representatives may attempt to reach you and your customers by making random calls using a list of provided numbers. These live representatives can easily pass any spam detection software, which is why DialogTech has other applications like blacklisting and pattern matching to help prevent these callers from reaching your business and clients. These applications are part of our industry-leading number cleansing platform and are included in every account.
For more information, visit our SpamSentry page or call us at (877) 295-5100.

About the author:

Jonathon Byrd

Customer Success Director, DialogTech

As a Customer Success Director at DialogTech, Jonathon enjoys partnering with enterprise organizations to optimize their customer life cycles. He acts as a strategic partner in identifying and planning solutions for offline conversion attribution and enhanced call analytics. Outside of DialogTech, he is an avid traveler and music enthusiast.

See more posts by Jonathon Byrd

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