Have you ever found yourself with a less than exemplary sales lead list, spending your day “dialing for dollars” and nothing to show for your efforts? Your lead list needs help, and here are four ways to beef it up:
1. Direct Mail. Direct mail generates response rates of 2 to 8 percent (depending on how well targeted it is). With the popularity of email and Web-based marketing, fewer companies are using direct mail for lead generation. A well-written, well-researched and personalized letter has a better chance of being opened and read by the intended recipient.
Here are four keys to a successful direct mail campaign:
- Limit the number of letters. Send as many letters as you can follow-up on.
- Provide prospects with three ways to respond. Be sure you are easy to reach by including a phone number, email address and a mailing address.
- Follow-up. A letter should include the promise of a follow-up call, and a range of dates that you will be in touch.
- Proper writing techniques. The length of a letter, its salutation and closing are important aspects of a successful letter.
2. Email. Email can be an effective form of generating leads and penetrating accounts. While a good database provides you with a fast and efficient way to contact multiple people, consider the following:
- Limit the number you send. Don’t send more emails than you can respond to.
- Research addresses. This will take time, but once you learn what a a company’s email format is you can send multiple messages to multiple contacts.
- Use effective subject lines. Use subject lines that relate to the body of your email and attract interest.
- Avoid spam blocking. Limit the number of emails you send to a single company, change the subject lines, and alternate the times you send emails.
- Use links. When you send an email, include a hot link to your web site.
3. Events. Events are sometimes considered too costly to pursue as a lead generation activity. However, there are several ways to use events effectively, while keeping costs down:
- Leverage marketing departments. If you’re planning to launch events, get involved as much as possible.
- Plan pre-calls. To ensure event attendance, pre-call the list of people you’re inviting to maximize attendance.
- Make offers to increase attendance. Include offers such as free training sessions to drive interest.
- Vary your events. Not every event needs to be held in a conference center; webcasts, breakfasts and conference calls are other excellent forums.
4. PR activities. Many publications seek articles that share information from an expert resource. With the right angle, you can bring attention to your product or service.
- Know the publication. Before contacting an editor, know the publication’s target audience, what information the publication is sharing with its readers and article requirements and deadlines.
- Define a story angle. Write on a trend or topic that is of interest in your industry and useful to a broad audience.
- Find speaking opportunities. Become an expert speaker and presenter.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of a successful career. While a company may provide lists and marketing support, it’s up to you to create your own presence. You can never engage in too many lead generation activities, as long as they’re well planned and organized.