Most prospective customers who provide contact information do so in order to receive content, information, and offers, for your brand. Perhaps unconsciously, people that have raised their hand also count on receiving relevant communications. We all know there are many marketers that abuse that opportunity by sending too many, or too irrelevant (or both) communications to those hand-raisers. Even worse, there are many more marketers that fail to have a plan to manage the new prospect’s interest. The creation of a comprehensive lead management program should be a big part of the toolbox belonging to the smart marketer.
Independent of the channel where the lead has been generated, the contact information (most often an email address, physical address or phone number) is your portal to a potential conversion from prospect to customer. This database can be appended with additional information (for purchase) regarding the prospect. The average lifetime value of customers should be your guide when deciding if appended data makes dollars and sense. This appended information is compiled from a variety of sources and can include demographic, household, store and brand preferences, all based on information that the prospect has provided to various retailers and service providers. By having a deeper view of the prospects marketers can make better decisions in targeting prospective customers with the right offer at the right time leading to more conversions.
It is very common for me to hear from a client or prospective client that they wish to do an email campaign, or display advertising campaign and yet do not have a plan for what the prospect should specifically do once they receive the communication. And even if there is clear direction, (visit this URL, call this number, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org), little thought is given to those that receive the communication but do not respond.
How long should a prospect be kept in the database? How often should that prospect be contacted? In fact the same can be true for current customers – what is your program to stay close to your current customers, how can you get them to buy more and be advocates for your brand? All of these questions should be part of a coordinated campaign to move your prospective customers along the lead management trail.
Testing messaging for frequency, subject lines, and offers should be a continual process of marketing optimization. Not having a lead management program is a tremendous misuse of valuable prospective data and preferences. Creating one is an investment that will pay many multiples on your marketing investment.
Are you doing enough to motivate your prospective customers? How about your actual customers?