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Jan 1, 2007
Yet surveys of more than 3,500 people who made inquiries regarding products and services, conducted by Warne, a Toronto based marketing company, found that 19 percent made purchases within six months from the company they contacted, or a competitor. Within a year, 29 percent made a purchase. By 16 months, those that bought reached 43 percent, and within two years, 57 percent made a buy.
That suggests that two in 10 people who make such inquiries want to buy right away and another four want to buy later. Yet the study showed that just 17 percent of inquiries were answered.
One reason why is that salespeople find it hard to distinguish between leads that will fade and ones that will turn into live prospects. Often the good leads get tossed out along with the bad.
One solution is to establish a cost efficient system that triggers appropriate responses all along the extended timeframe. It could be an automated email program with preselected messages that respond to keywords in an electronic query. Or it could be a mailer in response to phone queries.
"Generally, using just one approach will not adequately fill the lead pipeline and keep prospects flowing through it," says Jerry Rackley, a marketing consultant based in Stillwater, OK. He suggests that companies employ a number of lead generation tactics. Among them are mass mailers, in addition to emails and search engine marketing. Following are 10 ideas for generating more leads:
Marketing aimed at generating sales, versus those aimed at branding or building customer loyalty, relies on the following components, according to Mac McIntosh, a sales consultant based in North Kingston, RI: an effective marketing database, direct marketing that generates queries, and events or promotions that move prospects to purchase. He also advises using online and search engine marketing and relationship marketing that, he says, nurtures and qualifies prospects. Information in this article was edited from an article by Joanna Krotz on the Microsoft Small Business Center website. Krotz is owner of Muse2Muse Productions, a custom publisher based in New York City.
Topic: Business Strategies
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