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“Cost Effective Lead Gen Ideas to Maximize a Slow Summer”

Don’t Let the Dog Days of Summer Slow Down Your Business

Summer can turn into a slow season for some companies. If your company falls into this category, here are three ways to jumpstart your lead generation efforts, warm up leads for the fall and maximize slow time:

Clean up Your Customer Database
Identify a person within your organization who has good people skills and 1-2 hours a day free to make calls and send emails. Many companies who ask their employees for a volunteer find that a front office or data entry/office person will step up to do something new. Have them call all of your customers (current and former, if possible). Ask the client to verify contact information and answer a few questions if they are willing. Enter the data into your existing database or get an online CRM solution. Most options are easy to maintain and very cost-effective, starting at $99 a user, per year, hosted. The questions should be tailored to your company’s needs. For example, a software company might ask:

Q1-Is our product meeting your needs?
Q2-Any suggestions or future needs?
Q3-Verify address, phone, email
Q4-Ask if they would like to “opt: in for a quarterly newsletter or other communications

Deliverable: A current list of customers that you can now maximize to your benefit for information or to cross/up-sell, create referral programs, etc. An up-to-date customer base is a valuable asset to any business and is many times over looked. If you don’t know who your customers are, you won’t know what they are going to need next and you’ll have a hard time growing a steady revenue stream.

Clean up your prospect database
Now, this is my favorite area. The best and most cost effective program I always suggest to clients is to take their last 1-2 year’s worth of “names/leads” and put them into one database and market to them. Email is so cost-effective these days that it just makes good business sense to utilize it.

Step 1 – Gather all the leads you have, no matter how good or bad you think they are, and combine them into one database file.
Step 2 – Create 1-3 email campaigns to execute over a 3-month timeframe in order to nurture a future pipeline for sales.

Deliverable: An up-to-date and very valuable prospect database that you can market to on a regular basis and integrate with other marketing strategies. Many companies pay top dollar to generate leads that get passed to sales and then fall by the wayside when the next batch of leads hits the pipeline. You paid for the name once; re marketing to it is free and the best way to build a strong pipeline.

Quarterly Communication (newsletter, printed piece, coupon, etc.)
Start a quarterly communication for your customers that offers information that is useful to them. It can be anything from an e-letter (very cost effective) to a printed piece that is mailed or delivered. Suggested format for an e-letter:

• 1/3 valuable content: Anything that relates to the audience. You can be specific or generic lifestyle. All that matters is that the information provided is valuable and useful.
• 1/3 useful tips: This could be product/service-related; perhaps a story about how another customer used the product or service in a unique way to save money/increase sales. Very few people maximize products these days, because of the level of sophistication or technology, so user tips go a long way.
• 1/3 suggested vendor links: If you know your audience, chances are you have an idea about other products and services they use. So give them (again) information that is valuable via a link to a site that offers a discount or special offer. This kind of “online” partnerships can benefit your customers and increase your web page ranking and SEO status.

It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not. The huge value your company receives is a captive audience that has agreed to hear from you. Marketing these days to current and potential customers has become challenging and can be expensive, but if you can keep your current customer base willing to hear from you a few times a year, it will be much easier to up-sell them something in the future or gain referrals from them. Bottom line: you save future marketing dollars.

Filed Under: Leads Blog

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