New Trends in Lead Capture (1,363 words)
How the Web and e-mail are being used to draw in the right business prospects
By Russell Kern
During the past few years, the Internet has changed the way business-to-business (b-to-b) leads are captured and cultivated. Russell Kern, president of Kern Direct, a Los Angeles-based agency specializing in sales lead generation, shares some of his insights into what makes a successful online b-to-b lead generation program. For more information, contact Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q What mix of media are being used to get b-to-b leads today vs. a few years ago?
A Over a five-year trend, there's been a clear shift in where leads come from. Five years ago it was 100 percent direct marketing and print; three years ago it was 25 percent e-mail and 75 percent direct marketing. Now it's 50 percent to 60 percent e-mail and 50 percent to 40 percent direct marketing.
I see this mix holding up for a while because of e-mail saturation and consumer reaction to spam and over communications. My prediction is that as more e-lists become available, e-mail's share of the mix eventually will top out somewhere in the 65 percent to 75 percent range.
Some people hoping for nirvana from the Internet replacing traditional media have to wake up to the fact that this is not nirvana, and it's never going to be 100 percent online.
As for the precise media mix chosen by a particular marketer, that really depends on the audience the marketer is trying to reach. Consider for example, high-tech companies vs. doctors or CPAs. Doctors maybe check their e-mails once a day. The high-tech people are probably wired all the time.
Q How is the Internet being used to draw in new business prospects?
A The key trend for the Internet, or I should say the Web, is "value-added." Something called "micro capture sites" have, in essence, become the offer for b-to-b campaigns. The offer is that the site has a lot of valuable content. Thus hard copy literature kits are fading away and more and more marketers are putting all aspects of a campaign offer online. These sites have multiple sections of information, which provide value to the responder. They typically contain assessment quizzes, ROI calculators, product configurators and access to some library of white papers or product sheets.