One of the surest ways to build the trust required to do business these days is to be able to demonstrate your willingness to give, to add value, before you ever ask for anything in return.
Certainly you’ve seen this dynamic play out in the act of referrals. You’ve probably also seen or felt the impact of this mentality in the offering of free white papers, how to seminars and evaluation sessions.
But what about in a lead generation environment where you’re trying to create awareness and land an appointments? What about using this thinking in situations where you are essentially trying to get the attention of a prospect that doesn’t yet know you exist? Can the give first mentality be used to open doors and create enough trust to get you invited to tell your full story?
Here’s a simple campaign that I’ve seen do just that.
- Acquire a highly targeted mailing list from Hoovers, InfoUSA or Jigsaw.
- Send an email and postcard to a small number, say 100, using variable data printing on the postcard to display the prospect’s name big and bold.
- In the email use the prospect’s name only in the subject line.
- In the body of the email and for the postcard copy simply state that you have a few ideas on how they could get x (x = more clients, better return, few errors, more done, etc – it’s what you sell) – don’t add anything else about you or your solution, just keep it to that one line and add a link to a personalized landing page (using a pURL) from a service like SendPepper. (there are lots of services that can accomplish this, but I really like the features from SendPepper)
- The personalized link and page features the name of the prospect and provides five or six of your best recommendations or tips. Don’t hold back, give them some really good information and advice. The content of this page can be segmented for different variables, but for the most part the actual content will be generic, but still valuable with a personalized feel driven by the pURL technology.
- If you’re using an integrated tool like SendPepper, you’ll get notification when someone visits their page and you can then follow-up with even more great information and a call to action, such as an appointment, evaluation or presentation of more customized ideas.
A couple things to note:
This works at a far higher rate than simple bulk mailing because of the personalization and because you’re offering something of value that is easy for them to consume and simple to understand.
Too often we try to spell out multiple offers in hopes that something will stick – keep your message dead simple and intriguing and you’ll get far more response.
Keep the batches small so you’ll have plenty of time to follow-up immediately and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Most services allow some amount of split testing as well.