Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

Lead Generation INDEX

Getting Your Audience to Read

My radio coach said something interesting the other day;

"My biggest challenge as a teacher is to get these youngsters to read."

Frank is the leader of the local community college radio station. He teaches radio broadcasting at the school. I went to him to improve my radio and television interview techniques. Because up to now it's been learn by observation - and copy. Okay as far as it goes - it does not go far enough.

Within minutes Frank told me I did not need the classes he teaches. Why? Because the main stay of his teaching is getting the students to explore the subject, to study the topic, to dig deep and not be satisfied with surface knowledge. To read to learn. Sometimes called research.

Forget who said it ... yet this statement is profound; "He who does not read is no better off than he who cannot read".

So, yes, reading is important. Reading can be on the web, in newspapers, magazines or books - anywhere knowledge is available. Fact is, if you do not read you cannot know. Reading is something I do. In spades. Thus, Frank said skip his class.

So, what was Frank really saying? Frank was saying we are at a time where watching is the way many learn about the world. Listening is in second placed behind television, video, movies, the WWW. Reading is somewhat further down the list.

What's all this got to do with lead generation? How 'bout a whole lot! Because before you can turn a suspect into a prospect and then into a customer, they must know something about you. At least a sufficient amount to decide they want to know more. For many this marketing message comes in print.

It might be an industry specific magazine or newsletter. Or a general newspaper. It could be literature and brochures handed out at a trade show or shipped via traditional mail. It could be a web site. Or a fax or E-mail marketing campaign. Most often it's a combination.

And even when telemarketing and 1:1 sales calls are included in the mix, usually something in writing is part of the presentation. Read tools are a part of lead generation.

Reading is so important many of the dot-com companies produce their own magazine. They too have learned the advantages of reading.

To this end, many have discovered post cards can do the job when you're looking for leads. Both traditional and jumbo size post cards work. They are colorful, easy to look at ... and quick to read. When you reduce your lead generation message to post card size you could be opening a door for more leads ... for more success.

Here's my take on post cards; I love 'em! I use them myself for lead generation ... and have for 3 decades. The first time was 1972. I was at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. All my clients and best prospects knew I was going to the Games ... I told them. While there I visited a kiosk, bought 40+ post cards, hand wrote a "having fun, wish you were here" note, and mailed them.

An amazing thing happened; the receivers saved the cards. When I got back and saw these same people, they all had the cards somewhere in their office. Some had theirs on the bulletin board. Others the wall - a few still had them on their desk.

Of course, seeing the card allowed me to open the conversation. Ever since this first experience I've been using post cards. To this day.

Here's how post cards work best; as part of a series of direct mailers. When you're thinking lead generation, direct mail is a natural. Sure, today you can E-mail or fax, use the telephone or print. Broadcast too - radio and television. Still, direct mail is a major tool for on-going lead generation programs.

So, as you plan your direct mail lead generation effort, think 1 or 2 post cards in the series.

Your first mailer might come in a traditional business envelope. Another in a jumbo envelope. Maybe 1 or 2 in the set are self mailers ... a folded piece, combining successful direct mail elements into a single piece of paper. And 1 or 2 can also be post cards.

Let's remember what a lead generation program is. It's reaching your prospective marketplace with an interesting message. Purpose; to get them to say; "Okay, I'll talk to you. Tell me what you offer and why I should do business with you." This is the primary purpose of lead generation ... to get your prospect to raise their hand and identify themselves as being available to talk with you. Lead generation has a very simple objective.

To support this article I've included a number of my picture post cards. As another thing I've learned is to make my own. To personalize "me" as well as my message.

A couple of the cards are copies of the jacket of my book - the earlier and now current version. Most of the balance are scenes from places I've been speaking in the last year; Sydney, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Bangkok, the Philippines. Every year or so I create a new card.

From the scenic series of cards.

Click the image for a larger view.

Copy of the POWER DIRECT MARKETING book cover.

Click the image for a larger view.

From the scenic series of cards.

Click the image for a larger view.

Copy of the DIRECT MARKETING book cover.

Click the image for a larger view.

From the scenic series of cards.

Click the image for a larger view.

Copy of the sketch used on most RJM marketing materials.

Click the image for a larger view.

From the scenic series of cards.

Click the image for a larger view.

Over time I've learned a couple of things. First, BIG is better than small. The vacation size cards are too small to say very much. And besides, the post offices around the world have become automated. Meaning they spray bar codes on the bottom of all mail - including your post card. Many times covering up your identification.

Speaking of which - identification - your complete name, address, logo, phone, fax, e-mail, Web site must be on the card. How else can a prospect find you? They can't - unless you make it easy. Make it easy ... include full contact data on your post cards.

Well, I'm not the only one using post cards for lead generation. A couple of clients have found them a source, too.

Del Webb, the home builder with a slant toward retirement communities, uses post cards as part of their marketing mix. A sample from their Sun City Palm Desert location is here. The front of the card is full color - the back the message. They have found these work well.

FRONT (Click image for larger view.)

BACK (Click image for larger view.)

FRONT (Click image for larger view.)

BACK (Click image for larger view.)

The largest post card allowed through the United States Postal Service is 12" X 15" in size. I designed one for Del Webb - here's what happened;

FRONT (Click image for larger view.)

One panel of the BACK
(Click image for larger view.)

... the sales reps absolutely love it ... the company hated it with a passion!

The sales reps loved it because it generated leads. It did this because it had 3 coupons - each with a separate offer. The reps liked the results - which were way above "normal".

The company did not like it because "it is not our image".

Now, before you jump, image IS important. Especially to a corporation like Del Webb. Which has properties coast-to-coast in the USA. They are the diamond of their industry ... and they need to stay that way.

So, we didn't do any more super-jumbo post cards for Del Webb. Wrong tool for them.

Another jumbo was created for McMurry Publishing. This was one of a series introducing a new custom publishing opportunity - Salud Y Vigor ... a Spanish language health and fitness magazine.

Fax-back form (Click image for larger view.)

The launch of the magazine was with a 5 page personalized letter. And a FaxBACK form. It worked like gangbusters. The jumbo post card came later in the lead generation series ... and it did not do particularly well.

Hindsight says because the offer was too weak. A FaxBACK form was designed into the card - it did not work either.

So, what's the message?

No matter your method, your lead generation message must first be aimed at the right audience. And second carry a sound offer.

The "creative", whether it be a super deluxe jumbo 4-color direct mail package with windows front and back, or a simple 2 color post card, must be meaningful to your prospect. If you are going to get them to read it ... and respond.

My cards are all simple. I ask the reader to phone me, or visit my web site. And ... it works.

Example; a recent mailing from Singapore got me a speaking gig. The meeting planner told me my card arrived the week they were selecting speakers for their next conference. My hat got tossed into the ring - and I won.

You can guess post cards do work well for me, or I would not continue to use them 3 decades after the first. And you'd be right. In fact, every post card mailing has resulted in at least 1 piece of new business. Something happened that would not have happened without that mailing.

Think about how your can get your audience to read your message. A post card just may be part the answer for your next lead generation campaign.

Good friend and a true business marketing lead generation expert is Mac McIntosh.

Mac and I are doing seminars together. We'll do one for your company, your association, your organization.

Tell us what your needs are. Mac and I will tailor a day or 2 or more just for you. For details on Mac, see http://www.salesleadexperts.com/.

Or send an e-mail to Mac at Mac@SalesLeadExperts.com.

You can also fax or e-mail Ray. Details at the bottom of this page.

Lead Generation INDEX

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