Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lead Generation Marketing Misses the Mark

Low Hanging Fruit vs. As Much as You Can Eat

Every sales department is desperate for sales. So the pressure on marketing is to generate leads and get them as quickly to sales as possible. This has for decades created the chase for low hanging fruit. Direct marketing programs are launched and bring in 2% of the list as leads. We turn them over to sales and go on to the next campaign. A rolling turmoil of campaigns, each getting a small percentage of leads. Sales then takes over and based on one study of over 100,000 campaigns, it then takes the sales department 8 leads to get a closed sale. You can see then that we are dealing with a very small part of the universe.

If you want to argue the 2% number, as some of my readers have done with me in the past, just take the latest Direct Marketing Association Response Rate study. The average B2B response rate for lead generation direct mail was 2.14% and for B2C it was 1.58%.

We are effectively ignoring 98% of our targeted markets.

Contextual marketing takes the 2% and sends those leads to sales ... and then we begin working the 98% of non-responders. Everytime we send them something in the mail, they can either respond "yes" or they can respond "maybe" or they can not respond at all. So for every outbound initiative, we have a pre-planned set of actions for Yes-Maybe-No.

Continue communicating with them over time. Provide an offer to get them to tell you something about themselves. Then use that information to make your next mailing even more relevant. Eventually you will be getting leads from 10% to 50% of the target list. Persistence and relevance will pay off.

Send me an email (**dwolf**at**cincom.com**) and I will send you a diagram flow chart that illustrates how this process works.

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