I read an article this morning about the importance of integrating email into lead generation programs. As a long time lead gen specialist, it seems obvious to me to use email as an integral driver in direct marketing and not just for customer newsletters. In fact, since email marketing is among the least expensive media options, it should be one of the first tactics tested in any DM program.. Whether you are measuring your program’s effectiveness based on cost-per-lead, cost-per-customer or total program ROI (which are great metrics for tracking your success), here are suggestions for launching an integrated campaign cost effectively:
1) Launch your landing or registration site where prospects or customers can respond to your offer. This is your initial investment.
2) Promote that link/site on your website, social media sites or any other communication avenues that may already be in place at no added cost. Consider mentioning in your hold music, voicemail and employee email signatures too.
3) Launch your first email campaign to your list of opt-in contacts with a Forward to Friend feature enabled- referrals made the best leads. Create a customer version of your email too and provide some sort of referral incentive or new benefit from your offer.
4) Don’t forget to segment any responders from steps 1-3. Since you already got them to respond, don’t spend another penny remarketing them the same offer. It’s time for your sales process to take over next steps.
5) Now, launch your direct mail program to your current house list of prospects and customers. Save dollars by only mailing to people who haven’t already responded online and invest your money for the next communication in your campaign. DM reinforces your email message if they received it. If your contact is no longer a decision maker or not with the company, your DM piece may end up in a new contact’s hands.
6) Now go outside your current list and launch paid SEM (search engine marketing)/online promotions & advertising/telemarketing to expand the audience.
Start each campaign on your website and leverage all internal resources and free promotional opportunities. Then, spend wisely, only increasing the investment when you are having difficulty reaching the target audience through cheaper means. Finally, calculate your cost-per-lead for each tactic and list source so you know where to invest in the future.