Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Lead Generation Best Practices
I've spent a LOT of time this week discussing the mechanics and best-practices of lead generation and lead nurturing programs. Some great conversations with some very bright marketers got me thinking that it was time to highlight this topic in my direct marketing blog.
Take a look at this presentation from Marketing Sherpa, titled "B2B Marketing Fast Fixes: How to Generate and Nurture More Qualified Leads." The presentation provides ten excellent tips and best practices. I've highlighted a few here that I found especially helpful, but I urge you to take a look at the entire presentation, if you're involved with--or interested in--lead generation.
This tip blew me away: "Time Telemarketing Follow-up Calls Better." Essentially, the quicker you can follow-up a web-generated lead, the better. Marketing Sherpa presented results that showed that if a follow-up call is made within five minutes of your prospect completing your online form, you are 85% likely to actually connect with that prospect. Contrast this with what happens if you wait even 30 minutes to make that call. At 30 minutes, the likelihood of connecting with the prospect drops dramatically--to about 10%. Lesson learned: initiate a process where a follow-up call is initiated immediately after the person has registered on your site.
As a direct mail advocate, I was pleased to see this tip: "Add Postal Mail to the Lead Nurturing Process." It's easy to discount direct mail as a channel. Who wants to kill more trees? And let's face it, direct mail is costly, especially when compared to email. But, direct mail can be an effective channel. For example, you can get very creative with format. When done right, direct mail will not only get opened, but it will get noticed and make an impact.
Finally, this tip (a bonus tip, no less!) just makes good business sense: "Identify and Schmooze Evangelists." We all know how hard it is to gain a loyal customer. A loyal customer who not only stays with you, but one who shouts your praises is a rare and wonderful thing. I like the idea of taking the time to figure out which of your customers are evangelists and then treat them like royalty.
In addition to the above, Marketing Sherpa presents ideas about using blogs to generate leads, landing speaking gigs as a way to collect highest quality leads and more extremely useful information.