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A New Chapter in Low-Cost Lead Generation

  |  October 1, 2008   |  Comments

A disaster recovery software company generates leads for under a penny per e-mail. Read on.

Chances are, with the economy in crisis, you're looking for new ways to bring in more leads for less.

How about less than $1 a lead vs. $30 to $40?

Yes, I thought I'd get your attention with that one, so read on, because this concept is a real "page-turner" for anyone responsible for lead generation.

We all know that white papers, e-books, etc. are great for generating high-quality leads.

But Vision Solutions, a global disaster recovery software provider, made their e-book, "Business Continuity Today," even more accessible to their prospects -- by offering just a chapter at a time on IT topics such as virtualization, replication, and data security.

Ed Vesely, SVP, says these bi-monthly chapters are "our number-one lead generation vehicle from a cost-per-lead and quality-per-lead standpoint. We find that because this eBook is so content rich, it attracts the most serious buyers -- because the casual viewer isn't going to take the time to subscribe and download this kind of educational content."

Every month or so, the company sends out a "new chapter e-mail notification" highlighting the latest downloadable installment. Those who missed previous chapters, which all have their own attention-getting "book jackets" to capture the prospect's attention, can go to the chapter archive to retrieve the ones they want.

Vesely reports high loyalty rates for his subscriber list. And at less than a dollar a lead, these e-book chapters significantly outperform his other lead generation efforts, such as onsite event marketing and Webcasts, which fall in the range of $30 to $40 per lead.

While Vision Solutions came up with the chapter publishing approach on its own, it really took off when the business decided to graduate from a homegrown publishing system to Genoo's on demand, subscription-based online marketing tools.

Vesely says, as a midmarket company, it was important to him not to have to involve his own information technology department in setting up this publishing venture because it's difficult to get IT support for anything that's not absolutely critical.

Looking "outside the firewall," he did see solutions in the range of $60,000 from top lead generation providers. But when he saw that Genoo could do it all "for $200 a month and less than a penny per e-mail, it was a no-brainer."

Now every month when he shows his top 25 campaigns to the board, he always looks like a hero because his "less than a $1-a-lead" chapter campaign is always ranked near the top. "The board just loves it -- we laugh our heads off that something so inexpensive can be so impactful," he said.

Can't we all use a few laughs like that at our board meetings right about now?

What's your least-expensive, most impactful e-mail campaign approach? Share it with Karen for future columns.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Gedney

Karen Gedney, an award-winning creative director and copywriter, shared her insights as a ClickZ Experts contributor from 2000 through 2009. She was known for her successful track record of achieving high e-mail response rates for Fortune 1000 companies and leading organizations. She died Nov. 16, 2010.

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