I read an article this morning about the importance of integrating email into lead-generation programs. As a long-time marketer, 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 marketing campaign. Whether you are measuring your program’s effectiveness based on cost-per-lead, cost-per-customer, or total program return on investment (which are great metrics for tracking your success), here are suggestions for launching an integrated campaign cost-effectively:
- Launch your landing or registration site where prospects or customers can respond to your offer. This is your initial marketing investment, and some prospects may find you simply through search engine optimization tactics.
- Promote that link/site on your company website, social media group page, or any other communication avenues that may already be in place at no added cost. Consider mentioning your offer and URL in your hold music at the office, voice mail recording, and even employee email signatures.
- Launch your first email campaign to your list of opt-in contacts with a Forward-to-Friend feature enabled – referrals from current customers and friends will make the best leads.
- Don’t forget to segment any responders from steps 1-3. Since you already got them to respond, don’t spend another penny re-marketing them the same offer. It’s time for your sales process to take over the next steps with this group.
- Now it’s time to make an investment. Launch your direct mail program to your current house list of prospects, or purchase a mailing list from an association, online site, or a list you’ve built using mymanta.com. Save dollars by only mailing to people who haven’t already responded online and invest your dollars in the next communication in your campaign. Direct Mail reinforces your email message if they received it via email before or came across the offer on your website but didn’t initially respond. If a mailing recipient is no longer with the company, your DM piece still has a chance of ending up in a new contact’s hands.
Now go outside your current list and launch paid SEM (search engine marketing)/online promotions and advertising/telemarketing to expand the audience even further. Test new subject lines and re-market at least once to non-responders to increase your response.
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.