Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for August 2013

When is it time to stop calling a potential prospect

I’ve been working in lead generation for the better part of 15 years. When I consult with clients about their telemarketing efforts I also get asked the same question “When is it just time to let go of that lead?” Should they stop after 3 attempts, 10, 20? Should I leave a voice mail on my first call and then still keep trying to call them? Won’t they call me back if they are interested?

These are all questions I get on a regular basis. The answers are not black and white, however, there are some insights I can share that might make your task of managing your telemarketing team a little easier.

First, there is no set number of times you should call. A lot will depend on the previous call. For example, if you call and get an out of office message that says the person is out for the week, then you should try them again when you know they will be back. Hint: I always wait several days to a week after I know someone is back from vacation to try them again. Another example might be that you reach a secretary who says they are out for the day but will be back tomorrow. You will definitely want to try them again tomorrow. Most sales people give up after an average of 3 attempts. Yet statistics will show that it takes 8-10 attempts to first reach the person and to second get them potentially interested in what you are selling. So don’t give up to quick.

Now what about leaving a voice message? I always leave a voice message on the first attempt. I NEVER expect that they will call me back. Some people will feel they are rude and too pushy if they leave a voice message and then call them back again the next day or two if they don’t hear back. Secret: 99.9% of the time you will not get a call back. 90-100% of the time when I reach the person they are apologetic for not getting back to me. Overall, people are good, and they DO want to be courteous and helpful. If you are leaving a voice message and then taking the attitude that they will call back if they are interested, you will likely starve as a sales person.

My preferred method for cold calling or trying to get back in touch with a warm lead is to leave a voice message on my first attempt. Then, if I am trying them again the next day, I won’t leave a message, but the following day (my 3rd attempt) I will leave another voice message. Somewhere in there I will also send an email letting them know that I have left a voice message. It is also best left to the discretion of the caller to decide when the lead is really “dead” and to give up. I have been known to chase leads for 2 plus years. I believe in hitting every angle I can to try to reach a prospect until they give me a yes or a no. However, knowing when to give up will also save you valuable time. Obviously if they tell you to go away, you will want to. Otherwise, if it is a fresh lead, I will spend time trying to reach them up to 10 times right away, and then put them on my list to nurture with a period outreach combining a voice message and an email.

In short, learning when to “give up” and when to hang in will come with mere experience. Don’t be afraid to be a pest. You will lose a lot of opportunities by giving up too soon and too easily.

Is Email Marketing Effective for Branding?

By Lisa Bailey

While email marketing remains the most cost effective tool for lead generation, it is also a cost effective tool for branding.

Email marketing is a valuable tool when it comes to branding your business. Branding is an important part of developing credibility and customer loyalty. However, we focus on lead generation so often, many people don’t realize that email marketing can be effectively used as a brand awareness tactic as well.

Common marketing knowledge tells us that people must encounter a branded message 7 times before they will recognize that brand. What’s more, it is rare for people to do business with companies they don’t recognize. This means that getting your brand message out there, even if it doesn’t immediately generate new leads, is very important in developing long-term relationships with potential clients. This will ultimately translate into dedicated and loyal customers down the road.

Think of a branded email marketing campaign as a virtual billboard: Your brand message just needs to reach the same people 7 times, even if they don’t pay much attention. Your goal is not necessarily to be every person’s favorite all-time brand. All you really need is to lodge your brand in the back of people’s minds, so that they will think of you when they walk by your booth at a conference and be more likely to stop and engage, or think of you the next time their needs match what you offer and are in buy mode. This means sending 7 or more email marketing broadcasts to the same target audience. It may seem redundant, but that’s exactly the point: Repetition is key when it comes to branding.

As for the email creative itself. Keep it simple and consistent – and short. You don’t even need to change your offer that much between your emails; you can tweak the details, but the basic message can be the same. Use the same color scheme, and make sure your logo is always visible and prominently placed. If your business has a slogan or tag line, include that too. Give people every opportunity to repeatedly see and register your brand’s defining characteristics.

While having a call-to-action is still important when it comes to email marketing for branding purposes, it may not be the ultimate indicator of the campaign’s success. You definitely want to give prospects the opportunity to take action and do business with you if they are so inclined, but the primary goal of a branding campaign is recognition. Many people won’t even begin to interact with your brand until after that 7th message is sent. Some will simply store your information away until they need your services sometime in the future, and that’s okay! Branding email marketing campaigns are all about reaping long-term rewards, and they definitely pay off down the road.

5 Essential Components to Writing Email Content to Prospects That Will Get You Noticed

By Kerry Williams

Email marketing remains one of the most cost effective means of getting your business message out there. Sending a message about your product or service can result in an increased demand for your offering. However, the difference between a “good” increase and a “great” increase is dependent upon the content of the email.

Great content can create more sales leads, drive website traffic, increase company awareness, and educate prospects. To ensure you get the most out of your email marketing efforts, follow these five guidelines:

1. Start your email by being personal – Personalize your greeting and opening content so it is specific to the reader. First make it about them and meeting a need they may have before you get into all you have to offer.

2. Include a benefit, or multiple benefits, that the reader can relate to. Then, take it a step further about how your offering can help to support their business objectives. You don’t want to just say “our widget will save you time and money” or “increase productivity” but rather tell them how much time, how much money and how much productivity. A good way to do this is by using your own clients’ examples.

3. Give them proof – prospects need a reason to believe you. Use real examples such as metrics, statistics, client quotes or testimonials.

4. Explain how your offering is different from all the competitors out there. When all things are created equal, people will choose the least expensive option unless you explain how you are different and tell them why you are better. Remember not to directly insult your competition, which would make you sound shallow and unprofessional.

5. Include a strong call-to-action. “Click here to learn more” will not get you the website visitors and qualified prospects you seek. Be bold, but not offensive, and ask for what you want. If you want to talk about the benefits your widget will bring their organization, then ask for a time to meet to discuss how these benefits will support their business objectives.

If you are looking for assistance with your email marketing, Cox eLearning Consultants has the knowledge and experience to create successful email campaigns that will get you noticed.