(This is part 1 of the “how to super-charge your lead generation” series. See part 2 – how to create direct mail pieces here)

Before we begin:
Make sure that you leave your “I know it all” attitude at the door. Leave your skeptic mind outside these following pages. I invite you to open yourself up and take a look at a new way of generating leads for your online business. Plus, whining about your business lead generation does not help. Let’s move you to another level and thinking.


lead generation for attorneys and professionals
How to super charge your lead generation

We are talking about direct mail and direct response marketing (DRM). The direct mail business is booming. We’ll get to that.

News media makes money when they get your eyeballs. Most of time – and understanding how the human mind works, they focus on “negative” news and stories. You know what I mean. How many times do you stop or slow down for a beautiful sunset as you drive down the freeway? How about this instead: You see a horrific car crash that happened 30 minutes before, and you slow down and can’t wait to see it? The media knows you better than you know yourself…

Direct-Response Marketing is a type of marketing designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual advertisements.[1] This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches, primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller, and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services. Direct-response marketing is delivered through a wide variety of media, including DRTV, radio, mail, print advertising, telemarketing, catalogues, and the Internet.

However, online activity is only part of this “game”. Recent hard-copy offline statistics speak for themselves:

Here are some interesting facts about offline data:

google direct response marketing budgets
Courtesy: marketingland.com
  • Google, the world’s most recognizable brand online – uses direct mail to onboard small businesses for their Adwords campaigns (PPC/Pay-Per-Click Advertising). You may have seen the $100 or $75 vouchers that they give you for trying their advertising platform.
  • DM News (2011) reported that 98% of consumers retrieve mail from the mailbox the day it’s delivered, and 77% sort through it right on the spot. Does your traffic links, email, brochures and flyers get that attention?
  • DMA Fact Book reports that 12 Billion catalogs were mailed in 2010. Hint: there is a reason for why companies do that… it works!
  • The postal service is not going away – Nalc.org report that the Postal Service deliver to 146 million businesses and households each day, six days per week. UPS delivers to 8 million addresses daily, while FedEx serves even fewer.
  • In the USA – Direct Mail is expected to rise to over $48 BILLION – a 5.8% increase over 2010 (delivermagazine.com)
  • On average, folks that receive catalogs in the mail spend 28% MORE MONEY on items than those who do not receive one. (delivermagazine.com)

In this special 3-part series, you’ll learn:

  • How to find the “right” leads for your business — whether you are an attorney, doctor, real-estate broker, chiropractor, financial advisory, dentist and professional services firm
  • How to build sales-copy to create an emotional trigger point for your prospect  – present the “right bait to the right critter”, i.e. don’t bait with something that is already available to the ‘animal’ (like corn in the cornfield)
  • How to find the right formats for your mailing
  • Where to find providers for your campaigns and a list of resources to start

A behavior of buying

Buying behaviors
What are YOUR buying behaviors?

To find leads for your market, and to have the highest paydays for your business, you must find prospects that have shown that they are buyers of those products, and that they HAVE BOUGHT BEFORE. See, if they bought in the past, they will buy again. They have proven that they will spend money, and they shown that they will buy again.

The top 3 strategies you must know:

  1. How to pick and rent a list
  2. How to present an offer
  3. How to get it printed, posted and sent

Online, I discuss the importance of a targeted visitor. If someone is searching for “teeth whitening”, most of us would expect to find results in the search engines for dentists and cosmetic experts that do that kind of work. But, we know very little else. They could be researching, comparing offers, dentist’s backgrounds, history, etc. We don’t know their demographic backgrounds and it is limited overall. So, we test that traffic, and get them on a list, to try to inspire, educate, inform and nurture. Over time, we sell them something. Most will not buy on the first visit.

Offline, we have the opportunity to reach out with a message that nobody else sees (not your competitors, as they do online), except for the intended audience. Sure, postcards and letters may get screened by the gate-keeper, but that’s another story. And, there are techniques for that too. For now however, we know that we can pick and choose a buyer-audience by virtue of a targeted list.

Key terms to understand are:

  • Compiled list – not very specific list
  • House list, house file – your own existing list of addresses
  • Buyers list – verified buyers in your niche or related
  • PURL – personalized URL (firstname.domainname.com)

A simple way to start by finding your list is to map out the audience profile. Get clear on these:

Map your audience profile
What is your AUDIENCE profile?
  • Demographics – age, sex, income, occupation, location, own home or vacation home
  • Psychographics – hobbies, interests
  • Techno-graphics – tech challenged, or tech friendly, etc.

Who is your ideal customer, client or patient? Start simple, and don’t overcomplicate. But, get clear on this. For example, the idea that you can “market to the world” is a complete waste of anybody’s time. Would you want one-hundred of your perfect (buying) customer, or 10,000 of “anybody out there”?  Of course you know the answer, but the “mass-marketing” approach is done too often, and without much thought (social media!). People go for the big numbers, tweets and likes. It looks impressive, but that’s about it.

So, how do you find these people or businesses?

Answer: SRDS.com – this website covers data cards and list brokers in the US, Canada, UK and many locations around the world. It’s the ultimate solution for your research. But, you need to complete the exercises above. If you don’t know who your perfect client is, SRDS will be a waste. (and so will everything else).

You can target B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) lists easily.

The whole idea is that filtering and segmentation allows the best candidates for your offers to appear.

For example, using one advanced strategy, you’ll be able to match American Express Black Card holders that travel to find complimentary lists that an owner of such a card might have.  Using the ‘overlay’ technique (I explain that in part 2) to find complimentary lists that show subscribers to certain travel magazines and find out if they have a second home, children in/out of household, etc.

And, with all your research, we want to get “buyers” lists. One of the ways to determine that is to make sure to look at recency as one of the quality factors for you. “RFM” (recency, frequency, monetary) is one of the terms you’ll come across. Read more about RFM here.

See you in the next post.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below:


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.