How to Create a Predictive Dialer Campaign (+ Best Practices for Boosting Sales & Efficiency)

March 13, 2024 11 min read

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby

how to create a predictive dialer campaign

Inefficient dialing wastes time and money in your call center. The era of the basic auto dialer with wasted agent time and call recipients hanging up on dead air is over.

Predictive dialing is an advanced solution that forecasts agent availability and connects them to live prospects in real time for seamless conversations.

This is handy when managing an outbound call center or a telemarketing campaign. With predictive dialing, agents can progress directly between productive live calls, contacting more leads and increasing sales.

However, like any powerful contact center software, predictive dialers must be carefully implemented to maximize benefits and avoid misuse.

This article covers best practices for creating effective predictive dialer campaigns, optimizing efficiency, and avoiding common mistakes that can backfire. You’ll learn how to use predictive dialing strategically to increase contacts while maintaining compliance and quality.

What Is Predictive Dialer Software?

Predictive dialer software automatically dials phone numbers from lists and connects answered calls to available agents. It uses algorithms to dial multiple numbers at once and optimize call distribution based on real-time call metrics like agent availability and call connect rates.

Key benefits of predictive dialers include:

Predictive dialing technologies maximize agent productivity through automated dialing, predictive analytics, and integrations with CRM platforms.

They even allow you to route calls to cell phones so call center agents can work from anywhere and on any device. This allows call centers to contact more leads in less time.

How Predictive Dialers Work 

Predictive dialers load calling lists and data just like basic auto-dialers, but are enhanced by a predictive algorithm and dialing modes that model the operation of the call center in real-time.


The software automatically dials multiple phone numbers from lists and connects answered calls to available agents. It uses algorithms to maximize agent talk time by minimizing busy signals and wait times.

Tracking the average handle time (AHT) per call, as well as the time between inbound calls, the algorithm estimates when an agent will become free. It then dials the next call ahead of time so someone answers when the live agent arrives.


By overlapping outbound calls with agent availability, the dialer achieves much higher contact rates than agents could ever deliver on their own.

The system can dial dozens of numbers for every agent, only connecting calls that are actually answered live. This maximizes the productive use of available resources.

5 Types of Predictive Dialer Campaigns 

Predictive dialers can be helpful for a number of outbound calling campaigns.

1. Customer service calls

Predictive dialer software can help your team proactively reach out to customers. This may be useful if you need to remind them of a service outage, set up a service appointment, or promote an upcoming sale. 

2. Fundraising campaigns

By leveraging predictive dialer software, your team can reach more potential donors, enabling you to reach your fundraising goals faster and more efficiently.

Predictive dialers can be configured to work with any size of call center, so if you only have a few agents dedicated to raising money, the software can work to make the most of their available time. 

3. Phone surveys

Whether you’re performing market research, working for a political party, or simply trying to assess how happy your customers are, surveys are a common use case for predictive dialer software.

In all these situations, you’re trying to reach the largest number of people possible. It just makes sense to maximize your agents’ productivity with a predictive dialer campaign.

4. Lead generation

Does your company do telesales or telemarketing? Use predictive dialing to boost sales and move those leads through the funnel.

You can connect the predictive dialer software to your CRM to automatically dial leads and connect them with your available agents.

5. Debt collection

Call centers are often used to collect outstanding payments from customers. The larger your customer list, the infinitely more useful predictive dialer software becomes.

Upgrade from manual dialing to predictive dialing, and you can reach a lot more people and get those invoices paid.

5 reasons to use a predictive dialer campaign - customer service calls, phone surveys, fundraising, payment collection, lead generation

How to Create a Predictive Dialer Campaign in 9 Quick Steps

Ready to boost agent productivity and your contact rate? Follow this nine-step guide to setting up your predictive dialer campaign.

1. Define your objectives for the campaign

As with any campaign, success always starts with a clear goal.

Before anything else, ask yourself what you want from your predictive dialing campaign. Is your goal to schedule service appointments? Perform market research with your target audience. Turn leads into customers?

Hone in on your goal. And remember, good goals are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. 

2. Choose the right predictive dialer software

Select a predictive dialer or cloud contact center software that suits your call center’s needs. Consider factors like scalability, ease of integration with existing systems, predictive dialer features, and compliance capabilities.

There are plenty of options, such as Five9 or Talkdesk, but Nextiva consistently ranks among the very best call center phone systems. Don’t take our word for it – see how others rate Nextiva!

3. Scrub your call list

Want to really supercharge the efficiency you can enjoy from a predictive dialer campaign? Scrub your list first. Get rid of old, outdated, or incomplete contact information.

You might also consider segmenting your list by customer sentiment scores, location, or other demographic markers.

Once everything’s all cleaned up, you can import it into the predictive dialer software.

4. Use local outbound numbers

When was the last time you answered a call from an area code you didn’t recognize? Yeah, we thought so.

Your customers feel the same way. Increase your chances that people actually pick up by using outbound numbers that match their area code. 

💡Pro Tip: Avoid getting your outbound numbers flagged as spam. This can happen when you make a number of calls from the same number. Instead, purchase multiple local numbers for area codes where you have a high call volume.

5. Write your script

Work with the relevant teams to develop a compelling script for your agents to follow that’s engineered to achieve your goals. It should be engaging, concise, and adaptable based on the direction of the conversation.

Ideally, your script should be on brand. In other words, your agents should naturally sound like representatives of your company.

You’ll also want to write out comprehensive answers to common FAQs and walk through how to respond to objections or any hesitation.

6. Develop the voicemail

Once you’ve got the script, it’s time to write your voicemail. After all, you need a plan for the calls that go unanswered. A voicemail script is the best way to maximize your calls in the campaign. 

You want to cover the key points, but keep it short and sweet. That way, there’s no confusion about your call to action. It’s all about striking the right balance. Make it easy for people to call you back with a toll-free number.

7. Train your agents

Beyond just script training, your agents should actually understand the campaign’s objectives. It’s a lot easier to handle common objections or questions when your knowledge goes beyond just the words on the page. It’s a good idea (and can be fun, too!) to practice these scripts with the team, with agents taking turns “playing” the customer.

In addition, you should also provide dialer training, such as call pacing or dialer settings, as well as compliance training, so that your agents fully understand the laws on consent, privacy, and data protection.

8. Leverage other channels

Pairing your outbound calling campaign with other marketing channels can increase your success rate.

Functions of an outbound call center

The more familiar people are with your brand and your value proposition, the more likely they are to answer your call — or to call you back if they missed you. 

If you have email addresses on file, follow up with an email campaign.

For awareness-building campaigns, you can also post relevant information on your social channels to engage the people who are already following you.

9. Use analytics to iterate and improve

Predictive dialers use artificial intelligence to optimize agent productivity and connected call times. These software are designed to be efficient and maximize performance, but it’s still smart to keep a watchful eye. 

Determine the metrics you want to track for your campaign and then track KPIs in your call center analytics, such as:

If things start heading in the wrong direction, you can adjust the settings.

Predictive Dialer Challenges

Predictive dialing does have some inherent challenges, which is why proper implementation and vigilance are so important.

Risk of high abandon rates  

If the predictive algorithm dials too aggressively, there may be calls that are answered but need to be dropped or abandoned before an agent becomes free.

While regulations dictate that abandoned calls must represent no more than 3-5% of answered calls, excessive rates still deliver a poor experience.

Negative customer experiences  

Related to abandon rates, the underlying mechanics behind predictive can occasionally be exposed to customers as hang-ups and odd call behavior if not managed well. This may sour them on future contact attempts. 

5 elements of great customer service - put customer needs first, show genuine interest and empathy, create omnichannel support options, learn from customers, set CX goals and objectives.

Hard to control the pacing or tempo   

Unlike auto-dialers with fixed pace, the variable predictive formula can sometimes struggle with sudden changes in handle time and availability. Spikes in wait times or variability make it hard to find the right equilibrium.

Best Practices for Predictive Dialer Campaigns

🎛 Fine-tune algorithm aggressiveness  

Set the predictive algorithm to balance maximizing calls placed without going over abandon rate limits or customer experience. Start conservatively and optimize based on real performance data.

📈 Monitor performance metrics

Keep a close eye on critical metrics in real time to catch any issues quickly before having major impacts. Watch abandon rates, wait times, and connection pacing to make sure productivity gains don’t sacrifice other KPIs.

📩 Create effective answering machine messages

Because so many more calls are being placed, a good percentage connect to answering machines. Have customized voicemail messages, auto attendants, and answering machine detection to improve connection probability for callbacks.

📋 Ensure proper agent training  

Make sure agents know how to handle the variety of quick-paced scenarios prompted by predictive. This includes connecting calls quickly, proper responses to machines, dealing with hang-ups, conveying correct messaging, and following compliance.

✅ Follow regulations 

Stay up-to-date on the latest rules from the FCC and follow the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines regarding calling requirements, especially abandoned calls. Also, monitor trade association best practices so your campaigns operate safely.  

📝 Carefully build contact lists

One challenge with the speed of predictive is mistaken calls get amplified quickly across large call lists. Invest in quality lead sources, watch for errors in data entry, and comply with calling permissions to keep problem calls to a minimum.

Above all, Choose the Right Predictive Dialing Software

With a predictive dialer system, your call center team can reach more people, close more sales, and keep customer satisfaction high.

What should you look for in a predictive dialer provider? Beyond the predictive dialing basics, here are a few dialing system features we recommend:

Start Predictive Dialing With Nextiva

A properly optimized predictive dialer software like Nextiva drives productivity for outbound call centers while respecting customers and compliance.

Because predictive dialing pushes operational pace to the maximum tolerable threshold, call centers need to focus on the right technology and human oversight to succeed.

Nextiva offers a cloud-based call center software with predictive dialing capabilities tailored to avoid overfilling and compliance issues while enabling agents to have more positive conversations that build customer relationships over time.

With the right balance of automation and human insight, call centers can thrive responsibly.

A complete call center solution.

Nextiva’s call center software with predictive dialing gives your agents reliable, virtual access and your customers unmatched service.

Predictive Dialer FAQs

What is a predictive dialer?

A predictive dialer is an advanced tool used by call centers to automate the process of making outbound calls. It’s a key component of cloud contact center software, leveraging algorithms to predict the best time to dial numbers based on agent availability.

This ensures maximum efficiency, as the system, often a hosted predictive dialer, dials multiple numbers simultaneously and connects answered calls to available agents. Predictive dialer features include call monitoring, call recording, and real-time analytics, which are invaluable for sales teams aiming to improve productivity and performance.

Are predictive dialers legal?

Yes, predictive dialers are legal, but their use is regulated to protect consumers from unwanted calls. Regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States set forth guidelines for call centers using predictive dialers, including obtaining prior consent and honoring do-not-call lists.

It’s crucial for organizations using hosted predictive dialer systems to stay informed about and comply with these regulations to avoid penalties and ensure ethical practices.

What is the difference between power and predictive dialer?

The main difference between a power dialer and a predictive dialer lies in the dialing approach:

Power dialers, often used by sales teams, dial one number after another for each available agent, without making simultaneous calls. This method ensures a high level of control over the calling process but doesn’t optimize idle time between calls.
Predictive dialers, a feature-rich component of cloud contact center software, use algorithms to dial multiple numbers at once, anticipating agent availability to minimize downtime and increase the call connect rate.

What is the difference between predictive dialer and progressive dialer?

Both predictive dialer and progressive dialer systems are used by call centers to automate calling processes, but they operate differently:

A predictive dialer, leveraging predictive dialer features, dials several numbers simultaneously to match expected agent availability, optimizing call center efficiency.
A progressive dialer, in contrast, dials numbers sequentially and only when an agent is immediately available, ensuring that no calls are made without an agent ready to respond. This results in fewer abandoned calls but may lead to slightly more agent idle time compared to predictive dialers.

Are predictive dialers and auto dialers the same thing?

An auto dialer is a broad term for software that automatically dials telephone numbers from a list. Predictive dialers are a specialized type of auto dialer with advanced features tailored for optimizing call center operations. 

Jeremiah Zerby


Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

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