The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 11, 2011 • Issue 11:04:01
A brief on prospecting
In writing for The Green Sheet, I am sharing prospecting and sales techniques I have encountered over my years in the payments space, as well as in companies I had previously founded that focused on sales and marketing. In this article, I address direct mail, email and online marketing companies.
Direct mail: Does it or doesn't it work? We all get a lot of it and sometimes refer to it as "junk mail," but the response rate for a flat piece is 0.03 to 2.56 percent, and dimensional mail (any piece that isn't flat) is significantly higher, with a response rate of 0.5 to 4.25 percent. From my perspective as a recipient of mailings, several factors are critical for this medium to be effective, including creativity, whether it's in the form of humor or a dimensional piece that entices the recipient to open it; continuity of message through multiple mailings to the same recipient; and follow up. Direct mail with no follow up is a waste of money. A carefully timed phone call within 24 to 48 hours following delivery is very effective in helping to close a prospective merchant. Have you ever tried a direct mail campaign to a unique vertical market? Although postage can get expensive, it may be worth the effort and expense.
Email and online: As a layman with limited knowledge of email and online marketing campaigns, I will state some statistics gleaned from expert sources. Click-through and conversion rates for various types of online marketing are: email messages - 0.10 to 1.73 percent (2.9 average conversion rate); online advertising via search engine - 3 to 5 percent (10 to 15 percent conversion); banner ads - 0.20 to 1.11 percent (6 to 10 percent conversion); and email sponsorships - 0.10 to 0.27 percent (8 to 12 percent conversion).
I recommend meeting with experts in these fields to acquire more knowledge before undertaking one of these types of campaigns. Keep in mind that marketing experts always recommend an integrated marketing approach because no single marketing message can accomplish all your goals.
Jeffrey Shavitz is one of the founders of Charge Card Systems Inc. He is also an active member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board and the First Data ISO Advisory Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-878-4100. For additional information on CCS, please visit www.chargecardsystems.com/gsadvisoryboard or the company's corporate website at www.chargecardsystems.com.
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