What should you know when planning a lead-generating direct-mail program? Here are a few pointers to guide you in the right direction:
1. How many steps are there in the buying process for this pro-
duct? Where in this process does my mailing fit?
2. What can I tell my prospect that will get him to take the
next step in the buying process?
3. Can I reduce selling costs by creating a mailing designed to
produce a direct sale (a mail order) instead of an inquiry?
4. How many leads do I want to generate? Do we want a large quan-
tity of "soft" leads? Or are we better off getting a smaller
number of more highly qualified leads?
5. What happens if the mailing produces too many leads? Too few?
6. Is there a geographic region that my sales force does not
cover? How can I respond to inquiries from this region?
7. What is the primary market for my product or service? (Which
industry needs it most?)
8. Are there any secondary markets for the product large enough
to justify a custom-tailored version of the mailing?
9. Who is my primary prospect within the target industry? What
is his or her job title? Function?
10. Who are the other people (by job title) involved in the pur-
chase decision for this product? What are their roles? (Who
recommends the product? Who specifies it? Who has authority to
approve the purchase?)
11. Must we reach all of these prospects? Or can we generate the
desired sales result by targeting only one or two key decision
makers at each prospect organization?
12. If we don't know who we should be mailing to, how can we find
out? From our sales representatives? Market research? Direct
13. If we don't know what we should be telling our potential cus-
tomers about our product, how can we find out?
14. Should we tailor versions of our sales letter either to vertical
markets or various job titles--or both?