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Challenges in Direct Marketing and Lead Generation … and How to Solve Them.

With the reliance on direct marketing by businesses – particularly e-mail marketing – managers are being held to account as never before for showing success “by the numbers”.  And if an initiative isn’t working, it needs to be fixed immediately.

The challenges typically fall into one of three categories:

Issue #1:  Falling short on response, cost-per-lead or cost-per-acquisition targets.  To discover why, focus on the marketing messages.  Are they too feature-focused instead of benefits-focused?  Are we trying to tell too much?  Even more important:  Is the offer so compelling that viewers are going to drop everything to respond to it now?

In the B-to-B world, successful marketers add value through building an online resource center that’s chockfull of information resources:  guides, case examples, ROI calculators and other informational tools.  Once that’s in place, the next step is figuring out compelling ways to drive people there.

Issue #2:  Strong alignment between your best customers’ characteristics and those of target prospects.  If alignment isn’t there, your sales personnel are likely complaining about the quality of your sales leads.  Enhance lead quality by improving targeting on the front end.  The qualification process should be tightened before leads are distributed by determining the degree of each prospect’s interest.  Try to screen out titles like consultant, administrator or others who may respond to advertising but aren’t buying decision-makers and hence aren’t really worth the time to cultivate.

Issue #3:  “Feast-or-famine” lead generation.  Some direct marketing campaigns are less effective because they’re carried out at a single moment in time.  If an onslaught of leads results, sales can’t handle them all; the best prospects get all the attention while the rest are ignored. The solution is to determine the maximum number of responses the sales team can handle at one time – then reduce that figure by 20% or 25% to account for less-than-optimum performance.  Armed with these figures, schedule a rolling campaign deployment on a weekly or monthly basis.

By focusing on these factors and making sure to align your efforts with sales personnel, your direct marketing initiatives are far more likely to achieve the kind of results you and senior leadership desire.


Contact Mullin/Ashley

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