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direct mail &lead generation Martin Lee on 26 Dec 2006

Why Lead Generation?

Here’s a very good question:

“I have a cold list of 1000 people. Why should I do lead generation by mailing them an offer of a free report? Why can’t I just mail all 1000 of them the sales letter directly?”

If you are not familiar with how a successful direct mail campaign is run, let me explain further.

The first mailing to a cold list should always be the lead generation piece. This piece qualifies the prospects by offering them a free report related to the product or service that you are selling.

The job of the first letter is to “sell” this free report. To tell the prospect that he can benefit by asking for and reading the free report.

Those that respond to your offer are then identified as your “good prospects”. These prospects will then be put into your marketing funnel whereby they will be mailed the free report (which is essentilly a sales letter in disguise 🙂 ), followed up by a second piece a few weeks later, a third piece and so on.

Now back to the question.

Out of the 1000 people in your list, there might be many who will not be interested in what you are going to sell. If you are going to mail them multiple times, you will end up wasting a lot of money. This money could make the difference between a direct mail campaign that is successful and one that is not.

You want to identify your “good prospects” as early as possible and concentrate all your resouces on them. These are people who have “raised up their hand” and requested for information from you.

By having a smaller (but more targeted) group, you can afford to invest more in each mailing and send out more mailings to increase the conversion rate.

Another point is that people who have requested for your information are also more likely to open your letters and read them. The conversion rate will be much higher than trying to make a sale on the first mailing to a cold list.


Because you are now an “invited guest” providing wanted and useful information, rather than a uninvited salesman knocking on every door trying to pitch his product.

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lead generation Martin Lee on 06 Aug 2006

Lead Generation Business

A few days ago, I received a question from one of my readers Tolu:

“I was reading one of Jay’s books, and there was a section about a guy who made millions selling leads to companies. Does Jay have any material on this kind of business, or do you know where i could find information on this business or the man jay was talking about in his book?”

The company in question is AutoByTel, which provides a web portal for consumers looking for information on automobiles.

The company’s website enables consumers to gather valuable information about automobiles and light duty trucks (“vehicles”) and shop for vehicles and related consumer services from the convenience of their home or office. This convenience, coupled with low, haggle-free pricing and quick and courteous service, improves the consumers’ overall buying experiences.

By channeling a large number of ready-to-buy, well-informed consumers to Auto-By-Tel dealerships, it reduces their selling costs per vehicle and increases sales volumes. The services are free to consumers and most of its revenues are generated from fees paid by subscribing dealerships and advertising.

Starting from scratch, how should you go about implementing such a business model? Two important things to bear in mind:

1) Content is key. Make sure that you are providing useful information that people will actually visit (and revisit) your site. If it’s something that they would recommend to their friends, you are probably on the right track.

2) Target a niche. Unless you have a lot of resources, it’s probably not a good idea trying to compete with the likes of autobytel. Is there some kind of information that you have difficulty finding on the internet? Is there some topic that you are passionate about and would spend time on even if you are not getting paid for it? Think about it.