There are many tactics available to you for generating leads. Some are “one-to-one” tactics like direct mail and email, and others are “one-to-many” tactics like traditional advertising, public speaking and article writing.
One-to-one tactics allow to you reach individuals on a personal level potentially with targeted precision. With the right list selection, you can be sure everyone on your list at least qualifies as a prospect.
However, these leads can come from anybody including competitors so your initial lead quality may suffer. As a rule, it makes sense to use as many tactics as you can – whatever you can afford in terms of time and money.
For one-to-one tactics like direct mail and email, consider the following:
Mailing List – Before you can start looking for a list, you need to establish a customer profile by taking a snapshot of your most desired prospect. In B2B, this means identifying your ideal customer by industry, company size, job title and geographic location. Once you have your profile, you are likely to find there are many list sources that can deliver your list. It’s a good idea to test several lists – if not right away, then over time.
Format – With direct mail, you have many choices for format – self-mailers, postcards, simple letter packages and complete mailing packages. For lead generation, we recommend simple and direct. For professional services firms, we specifically recommend a simple letter package featuring an outer envelope, a one or two-page letter and a reply card. Similarly with email, we recommend a short email – a one-page view is usually sufficient.
Message – This may seem odd and unintuitive, but in lead generation, your message should not focus on your service. It should focus on your offer. You’ll have plenty of time to showcase your service – and you’ll have their attention – if you wait until they respond. But to get them to respond at this stage, you need to sell the offer.
Quantity – Quantity is often determined by budget, but it should be determined by need. How many sales leads does your sales team need? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too many leads. Once you know your need, you can do the math to estimate how many pieces you need to mail or email to generate the right quantity of sales leads.
Timetable – Too often direct mail and email are seen as one-time campaigns instead of a continual system. As you plan your budget, spread it out so you have a new mailing or emailing going out every month, every two months or every quarter. That allows you to provide your sales team with a steady stream of leads throughout the year.
As a rule, lead generation direct mail and email needs to be simple, direct and measureable. If you don’t get overly invested in a single mailing, you will be able to measure results and adjust your subsequent mailings throughout the year.