7 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in Lead Generation

Have you ever heard that a shark must continue swimming or it will die? Sharks breathe through two basic methods, buccal pumping and obligate ram ventilation. I’m not 100% sure how to pronounce either of them, but it boils down to how the water flows over their gills so they can pull out the oxygen they need. If water isn’t moving over their gills in one way or another, they might just die.

The same goes for leads into your business. One gulp of air will not sustain a shark. And one completed sale will not sustain your business. A constant flow of new leads must be generated to bring fresh sales and interest to your door.

There are a TON of ways to do just that. But before you set off into the wild blue lead-gathering yonder, there are some important things to ask yourself. An industry icon, Milt Pierce, once listed out 50 items to keep in mind as you start looking for leads. I’ve taken that list for you, and boiled them down to what I consider the 7 Best Pre-Questions for a Lead-Generation Campaign:

1.) Is there a geographic region that I cannot cover (sales or distribution)? Spreading yourself too thin over your ‘market’ can backfire. Keep your circle of influence manageable and keep your head above water.

2.) Should I use a single mailing or multiple outreaches? Ask yourself, “How hard is it to sell my product or service?” If your only goal for the first touch is to get a response – and you do – it might not make sense to beat that same drum a second time? (see #7 for another perspective)

3.) Are we going to offer a free gift or sizable discount to entice a response? I’m not saying you always need an offer or a free gift. I certainly don’t know that you should add one to a mailing for existing clients. But if you’re looking to gain clicks, or return calls, or visits to a landing page, a quality and desirable offer can be quite the difference maker.

4.) What graphic design and copy approach is best for the audience we want to reach? This can be key.  The design needs to be attractive, but not overwhelming; the copy should build curiosity without exposing the meat of the message. Knowing your target audience helps, as well as generally using some restraint in type face, background, and language.

5.) What happens if the mailing produces TOO MANY leads? It sounds like a good problem to have, right? But, even if you’ve properly targeted your audience, if more people respond than you’d counted on, you need to be ready to jump into action.

6.) What is the best/most appropriate follow up to our postcard campaign? This can be delicate, but there are times when getting someone on the phone, speaking to them directly about the offer you presented can turn them from a target to a lead, and then to a sale. This is second-to-last for a reason. Alienating a target is a great way to lose them forever.

7.) How many times should I mail a lead before I give up on them responding? That depends on your situation, honestly. And probably has a little bit to do with what you’re asking the target to be interested in learning more about your product or service.  Are we talking slot machine software, or water bottle blanks, or hotel safes? You’ll want to identify a break-even point in the mailings and determine at what point you need to either alter the message (TEST!), or remove a target from your list, altogether.

There may only be two ways a shark can guarantee it gets the oxygen it needs to keep living, but there are infinite ways and combinations of these rules you can use to strengthen your lead generation. Direct Mail coaches are ready and waiting to show you some great ways to put these rules into practice. Set up a free coaching call today!