Sunday, September 5, 2010

Email Leads the Way for Effective Lead-Generation Campaigns

Email paves the way for the most effective lead-generation campaigns. A recent study was conducted of 87 lead-generation campaigns representing almost 481,000 total touches and found that response rates can double by sending an email before making a call. Looking at campaigns in which an email was sent before an outbound call, campaign “connect rates” (prospects reached by phone or email) averaged about 25%, while conversion rates were 2% to 5%, and sometimes much higher.

There are a few reasons why email benefits a lead-generation campaign:

1. Email is a conversation-opener. Appointments are not likely to be set as the result of an email alone in an outbound prospecting campaign. In fact, less than 0.5% of appointments will result from an email alone. However, a follow-up phone call won’t be effective without the content in the email, which facilitates the phone call by providing both an introduction and background information. In addition, sending an email in advance of a call also addresses the key objection of “send me the information.”

2. Email provides a reference after the call. Even if the prospect has not seen the email when the outbound call takes place, the email provides content for the prospect to refer back to after the call. This strengthens the prospect’s connection to the call.

3. Email provides a follow up to voice mail messages. For prospects who are difficult to reach by phone, email is a great way to provide another touch. Sending either a personalized text-based or HTML email that says “I left you a couple voice mail messages and thought email might be an easier channel for you” is a great way to break through the clutter and get the meeting set.

4. In my opinion the best way to stay in touch and maintain a relationship is by sending the unexpected 5 X 7 greeting card in the mail. This is something that will pull on the heart - strings of customers, clients and prospects and let them know that they are special and appreciated.

Finally, a relevant opt-in email campaign is a good way to keep targets interested in your company even if they’ve dropped off your prospect list. Needs change, and you want your company to be top-of-mind when the time is right to make a sale.

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