Today I received a lead generating sales letter in the mail that both impressed and annoyed me. If you do any kind of marketing to attract new business this is a lesson you should print and read offline
Are you seeking new clients?
If so, this is a lesson you will probably get a lot out of. Yesterday I received a letter in my mailbox from a company seeking leads for their software services. No, they were not writing to hire me. They were simply sending a letter to all subscribers of a particular Value Added Reseller (VAR) magazine I subscribe to.
Take a look at this letter:
Here’s what I liked and disliked about this letter.
- Proactive in seeking leads themselves
- Identified exactly who they want to respond, i.e. VAR’s having trouble prospecting
- Specific offer (the free guide)
- Emotional ‘not your fault’ headline
- Specific call to action right above the closing
- Weasel word ‘probably’ used as a psychological persuasion tool (works great at defusing resistance)
- The cost: with a circulation of 105,000 subscribers, mailing costs of about $1 for each letter adds up pretty quickly. Even more so if you plan to mail to this group often. Besides the cost of postage and printing, there’s the inherent waste that comes from mailing “blind”. Not everyone who received this letter is actually qualified or even interested in the offer. Me included. I’m not a VAR. I’m a business strategist who prefers working with VARS and other technology companies.
The content: despite all the good that exists in this letter, the entire paragraph talking about Sage Software has got to go. When it comes to lead generating, no one gives a crap about who we are or what we do. The only thing that matters is what is in it for the reader i.e. the free information guide. Everything about this piece was near perfect as a lead generation device until that paragraph.
The name of the report: What Every VAR Should Expect From a Software Vendor screams, “sales pitch!” The title clearly indicates a specific vendor wrote the guide to hammer away at promoting their own products to me the reader. The title may hinder response significantly. I’d try a ‘consumer’ oriented approach along the lines of these:
- High Tech Prospecting For VAR’s: How To Attract Qualified Leads Without Cold Calling
- Prospecting: Innovative Techniques to Get Your Foot in the Door Without Cold Calling
Still, overall this is a good piece. If you plan to prospect to a few hundred or even a thousand or so ‘ideal clients’, a direct mail approach might make sense. But if you plan to reach tens of thousands or even 100,000 or more ‘blind’ prospects Don’t Copy This Approach. This approach has a tremendous amount of waste.
There is a better way.
Sage software should have used that money, or at least a portion of it to test a lead generation ad directly in the magazine. That way they only mail to interested people and eliminate as much waste as possible. Plus, they would have seen an immediate savings of $96,500. A 1/4 page ad in this publication only costs $8,500 to reach out to the same number of readers.
Lets do some math…
$105,000 divided by $8,500 is 12.352941. That’s is12.352941 times Sage Software could have run a lead generating ad in the magazine month-after-month-after-month, compared to the cost of mailing only once to the same group of readers. Not good.
Sending a single letter and then expecting a flood of new clients is stupid. That seldom works. Most people toss letters from strangers without a second glance. That’s why you need to communicate frequently to get attention. Running a lead generating ad frequently is far better than sending a sales letter just once.
Here’s something along the lines of what I would have suggested for them to run instead of mailing to 105,000 ‘blind’ addresses:
No More Cold Calling!
Break Sales Records Without Making A Single Cold Call — Guaranteed!
Don’t consider making another prospecting call until you read this FREE sales guide written especially for VARs, MSPs, and other technology service providers:
Prospecting: 27 Innovative Techniques To “Get Your Foot In The Door” Without Cold Calling
In this helpful guide you’ll discover:
- How to use smart marketing to replace old-fashioned cold calling
- How to measure software supplier’s efforts to assist you to attract more business for you at their expense
- How to generate hot high quality leads on autopilot
- The number one reason cold calls should never be made by technology services companies
- and more
Plus as part of a marketing test, you’ll get our exclusive Magnetic Client Attraction Assessment Systemtm to uncover the most powerful and effective lead-generating programs to match your business.
Don’t spend another minute staring at the phone and dreading that hateful cold call list. Trade it all in on a proven formula for success. This booklet tells how. And the best part is… it’s FREE. Request your copy now. There’s nothing to lose … but the butterflies in your stomach!
Get your FREE guide today! Visit www.sagesoftware.com/blahblahblah
Running a lead generating ad consistently makes more sense than sending out a single ‘cold’ letter to people who do not already have a relationship with you. A lead generating ad like this one gives you 12 months of opportunities to test headlines, calls to action, response devices, and content changes. But a single mailing only gives you a one shot opportunity.
Which do you think is better, 12 months of ongoing marketing that consistently brings in leads or a one-time shot that might generate a few leads, once?
I think you know the answer…
P.S. I hope this lesson has proved helpful to you. Maybe there’s a tip or two that you can use right away. Or maybe you have a few questions like where should you run your ad for maximum impact? What should you say in your ad? What’s the most effective way to track and follow up interest? How can you generate the highest possible profit conversions from those who do respond? What type of lead generation system is right for you and your company?
If yours is an established company I might be able to help answer those questions. So with your permission I will give you a free marketing audit to define and diagnose your marketing challenges to help achieve positive, measurable results for you.
After your audit you’ll receive a custom ‘game plan’ designed specifically for your business. This marketing game plan will include recommendations that match your goals, objectives, and circumstances. The results of your strategy session will be emailed to you. No sales pitches will take place.
If you would like to find if Andre is currently available for consulting please Contact Us here.