Posts tagged lead generation

Agency Uses Interactive Sitelet to Land New Business

When a Dallas-based advertising agency, VLG, needed to engage prospects, it opted to show off its interactive technology through a sitelet or mini-site. The sitelet used a mock company called Crescent Bluffs to demonstrate the amount of time VLG could engage the prospect in the demo.

I was engaged for 1 minute 41 seconds. I took VLG’s bait of virtually opening a hotel door to a room with a virtual key on the screen. I was then asked to meet them in the lobby and then in the restaurant to have a virtual lunch; and at the end of the lunch a virtual note appeared on the screen announcing how long our business courtship lasted. VLG then asked me on the screen if I would be interested in learning how to conduct my own sitelet campaign to create new business for my company.

check Agency Uses Interactive Sitelet to Land New Business

VLG’s campaign, Accept the Invitation, began by mailing a hotel napkin and faux hotel key with a note that read, “Let’s Meet.” The note sent prospects to a mini or microsite for a faux hotel named Crescent Bluffs. You can walk through the prospect experience here.

Because of sitelet successes such as VLG’s, other agencies and companies are using sitelets to launch a product, provide support functions and for targeted advertising campaigns. By using a separate domain name, you can choose a unique descriptive URL that pertains specifically to the campaign.

Flash, online databases and advanced programming can be combined to create powerful customer support tools. It is possible to preload your existing offline data or structure an entirely new database.

Another key benefit of using a targeted sitelet approach is that you do not have to significantly modify your existing company website for a specific campaign. You will want to integrate links and content for maximum exposure, but this is significantly easier than modifying website navigation and page structure.

How can you use mini-sites to bring in business?


Personalize Your Marketing The Google Way

It’s safe to say that Google, the worldwide leader in search, knows a thing or two about beating out competition and increasing loyalty.

Over the last 12 years, Google has built their empire on a seemingly simple function: providing relevant information to their “customers” (searchers). Even with a 70% market share, Google continues to develop their search tool to increase the relevance and personalization of their searches to individual users.

Good news! You don’t need an 11-digit annual revenue to communicate with your prospects and customers with Google-like relevancy and personalization. Let’s look at three techniques Google is using to increase the satisfaction and loyalty of their users, and how direct marketers can do the same.

Three Personalization Tactics You Should Steal From Google

1) Target Geographically

Google local search result

Above: Google local search results.

Just like you know the physical addresses of your contacts, Google knows where you’re searching from (based on your IP address or account info), and loves serving you localized versions of search results. Sometimes, they even include a handy map to show you how to get to your favorite taco stand or variable data printing company.

Whether you’re locally-based, or a franchise with thousands of locations, geographically personalizing your communications can be helpful for recipients, and increase your response and sales.

Ways to implement geographic targeting and personalization in your marketing:

  • Use imagery that matches the region or environment of your recipients. It never snows in Phoenix, so don’t send your customers there a holiday card featuring a snowman (they prefer the Christmas Cactus).
  • Values and even language choices can vary by region, and even city-dwellers as compared to suburbanites. Depending on your product (is it “pop,” “soda” or “coke?”) or service, you may need to version your benefits messaging to match what’s important and familiar to your audiences.
  • Need to increase foot traffic for a new location? Try mailing local homes or businesses an offer, and include a variable map with driving directions from their location. We’ve seen this done with great results.

2) Track Behaviors To Increase Relevancy

Google customized search

Above: Google search personalization screen.

Near the end of last year, Google rolled out “personalized search results,” which customizes the results searchers are served based on the search results they’ve clicked in the past and the sites they’ve visited. “Big Brother” fears aside, this optional feature does improve the relevancy of search results, ultimately improving the users’ experience and satisfaction.

Like Google, most organizations store large amounts of data on their customers, including purchase and usage history. By integrating with their customer database or CRM system, marketers can respond to customer behaviors with highly-relevant and perfectly-timed communications designed to up-sell, cross-sell, retain, or win-back customers.

Behavior tracking can also be used in lead generation and nurturing by responding to a lead’s actions, such as a website visit or resource download, with automated, multi-channel campaigns.

Examples of Behavior-Based Marketing Personalization:

  • If you’ve shopped, you’ve most like received follow-up emails with similar or complementary products to those you’ve purchased or browsed. Now, with variable data printing, there’s no reason you can’t do this with direct mail and catalog marketing as well.
  • If you deliver statements or notifications to your customers, it’s time to turn them into “transpromo” communications that highlight complimentary services.
  • Set up automatic alerts to inform your sales or customer service team when a customer has missed a regular order, or automatically trigger a “We’ve missed you” email or mail piece, with an incentive to bring them back.

3) Serve Information In The Medium They Prefer

Google search medium options

Above: Optional Google search channels.

For a while now, Google and their competitors have been improving their tools for searches for images, videos, blogs and other channels, knowing that different users prefer different mediums. With Google’s recent redesign, they’ve made these options even more prominent, helping users access the information they’re searching for, in whatever format they need.

Because there are a finite number of leads and customers out there, it’s important to make sure you’re getting through to as large a percentage of your target audience as possible. You can increase your chances of reaching contacts by serving your message in various mediums (email, mail, online, phone call, text, video, social, etc.). In a study by Epsilon, companies using multi-channel marketing achieved an average 11% sales lift.

Ideas for Implementing Multi-Channel Marketing:

  • Create multi-channel drip campaigns that automatically nurture a lead or customer over time, using various mediums. The technology is already out there to do this.
  • Use triggers to automatically detect multiple unopened email messages, and auto-deploy a mail piece to that lead or customer.
  • Back up your traditional marketing pushes with complementary efforts on your social networks.
  • 67% of online actions are driven by offline messages (iProspect Study); send a mail piece driving recipients to a customized landing page.

Ready to Beat Google to Their Next Big Thing?

There are rumors that Google is beginning to factor in which entries searchers click on to determine which entries they should serve more prominently, placing the items that proved most relevant to other users higher in search results.

This tactic has been in used by direct marketers for decades, since long before Google was even a twinkle in the eyes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin: it’s called testing.

Whether you’re ready to try geographic or behavior-based personalization, or are considering trying a new marketing channel, it’s important (and easier than you would think) to test audience, creative and offer variations. You’ll increase the ROI of your marketing, and provide your leads and prospects the relevance they’ve been searching for.

B2B Lead Generation: Six “Ah-Ha’s” to Get to the Most “Cha Ching”

Lead Generation "Aha" Moments

Mulling over your B2B lead generation process? Here are six "Ah-ha" moments to consider as you continue to improve your lead gen techniques.

Off. On. Off. On. If only lead generation were a faucet under my control. I am certainly seeing more need in our business and in our clients’ businesses for more leads, but only at specific times. Like most Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers today, my budget is still tight, but loosening up a bit, and I am always focused on the “Cha Ching,” or the ability of lead sources to produce profitable business.

This has made me rethink Mail Print’s lead generation process and I thought I would share my “Ah-ha” moments from the past several weeks:

1) Fake Leads Love Online Forms

Landing page forms only work if people give you real information. It’s really hard to communicate with someone named “No Name” at And, there’s no quicker way to turn off your sales team than to funnel them bogus leads. Make sure you have an automated or human filter in place to weed out invalid leads before they make it into your pipeline.

2) Always. Be. Testing.

Lead generation tactics can become ineffective quickly. Always think in terms of what worked before, what is working now, and how many tests need to be in progress to be able to generate leads in the future.

3) Generating A Lead Is Just The First Step

It’s about so much more than just generating leads. Lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing and the all important “close” are really one big progression. One break in the process and good leads fall through the cracks and your ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) declines.

4) Install A Lead Flow Lever

Having the right amount of lead flow is very important to adequately utilize inside sales teams. Unfortunately the amount of leads needed is constantly changing. There must be many levers to push and pull to keep everyone productive.

5) Email Lead Generation Is So 2004

Email marketing is a fantastic lead nurturing tool, but it is worthless today as a lead generation tool. Need proof? Just try to remember the last time you used your spam folder as a shopping cart.

6) Get Access To Decision Makers With Lumpy Mail Pieces

Packages or lumpy direct mail get past the gatekeeper. Sounds expensive, right? Yes, and that’s why it works. The administrative assistant can’t throw it away, so it ends up on the boss’ desk. For example, a new “heavy” prospecting tool that we created for Mail Print has already returned $10 for every $1 invested and we’ve only sent out 10% of what we have already paid for. Cha ching!

If you would like to see a sample of our “sneak it past the gatekeeper” direct mail piece, email me at rhondab[at]mailprint[dot]com. I’d be happy to share our latest innovation in variable data printing that seems to be confusing the heck out of gatekeepers and connecting us to senior and executive level management.

B2B lead generation is a work in process, literally. Working on both the tactics and the overall process is vital to finding the Cha Ching.