Online Meets Offline
Ganis adds that clients have found optimal results when the two touchpoints are scheduled no more than four weeks apart. However, there's no set rule when it comes to the timing of your follow-up contacts, since the sales cycle for each company and product type can be unique.
Take, for example, Players Vacation Club Inc.: The San Diego-based parent company of Players Vacation Club, My Computer Club and eclubUSA may nurture customer leads for less than a day or more than a year. The clubs allow members to finance purchases on products and services: Players Vacation Club deals in travel packages; My Computer Club sells computers and accessories; and eclubUSA offers a mixture of travel, computers, jewelry, electronics and more.
Leonard Durow, vice president of Players Vacation Club (PVC) Inc., explains that the Web sites of the company's three clubs pull 500,000 unique non-member visitors a day. In 2000, the company was capturing contact information on roughly 60 percent of its sites' visitors, but saw that number drop to about 24 percent over the past few years. Durow suspects that consumers were loathe to provide their personal information out of fear they would be inundated with e-mail marketing pitches from the club.
To work harder at gathering leads from its Web sites, the company decided to use exit pop-under ads that offer visitors who are leaving a site the option to provide their name and a call-back phone number; the club also promotes its toll-free phone number in the ad, so that people who want to talk to a sales representative immediately may do so.
By more actively promoting its customer service call center, Durow says that PVC Inc. has been able to secure contact information on another 1.5 percent of its sites' visitors. Depending on the channel preference of the lead, PVC Inc. will use direct mail or e-mail for future conversion efforts.