In marketing parlance, “leads” are prospects – people who are at least somewhat likely to buy your product or service, but haven’t yet. It works like this: First, you “generate a lead” which means you get the name, email address, physical address, or other contact information from someone who might buy from you. Second, you “convert the lead” into a customer. 


Marketing has a role in both steps. Websites are often referred to as a common way to “generate leads” but while web traffic has its value as a metric, it doesn’t equate to leads – nameless, faceless website visitors aren’t leads yet, because you don’t know anything about them. So how do you “generate leads” – whether it’s converting website visitors or window shoppers or people who see your bus ad? Here are two ways.


2 tips for generating leads


1. Introduce yourself to likely prospects by mail. Mail is a great way to introduce yourself and your business to people who are likely prospects (aka “leads”). If you have a very particular target prospect then a mailing list can help you get your mailer to people who fit that bill (try the Lookalike Report to build a mailing list that matches your best customers). If your likely prospect fits within a broader demographic, or a certain geography, then Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) can be an effective, cost-efficient way to introduce yourself. 


However you decide to mail, be sure to include a strong call-to-action and offer on the mailer that entices the recipient to call, visit your website, come into your store – or in some other way make themselves known to you as a true prospective customer. Reply mail, for example, offers the perfect opportunity to learn more about your prospects and capture their contact information.


2. “Capture” them right away. If your likely prospects might come across your marketing while they’re on-the-go, a QR code can be a great way to bring them into the fold. A real estate agent, for example, might put a QR code on the “For Sale” sign; a store owner might put one on the window outside. Then, when a likely prospect (“lead”) comes across the QR code, they scan it with their smartphone and are taken right away to your mobile website. (We can help you build one.) 


On that mobile website, include some sort of call-to-action and offer that compels people to share their information with you (say, a “share your name and email address for a free desert” offer) – that’s how they become a true prospective customer that you can continue to market toward. Or use the Google Add-on, Mail My Doc by Click2Mail to create and mail a follow up mailpiece regardless of where you might be.


Once you have the name and contact information of the prospect, it’s time to convert them into a customer. How? Here are three ways.


3 tips for converting leads into customers


1. Mail frequently – Because it takes on average 7 “touches” (or contacts) to close a deal, mailing frequently is key to converting leads into customers. One easy way to do that is with a series of mailers that fit into a broader campaign. We’ve seen some really creative ideas – like a scavenger hunt that ends at the mailer’s business. Or, you could send a monthly informational newsletter or coupon book. Whatever you decide to mail, be strategic; be sure that your mailers compliment your other marketing efforts. 


2. Engage your audience – A strong call-to-action tied to an offer is critical for engaging the mail recipient. Plus it’s an easy way to turn leads into customers. For example, you could send a postcard inviting the recipient to a VIP event where you give away a free product or service – the chance to win will get them there, and give you the opportunity to convert them to a customer. Remind recipients that their mailer is the ticket in – that way you can track and measure the results of your efforts.


3. Show, don’t tell –  As they say, oftentimes “the proof is in the pudding.” If yours is a business conducive to showing off your work (say, a marketing firm or a custom dress shop or a landscaping business) showing your prospects what you can do can go a long way to converting prospects to clients. A full-color flyer or booklet is a great way to send colorful photos that show off your work.


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