November 2009

In This Issue 

The Philosophy of Lead Generation -- Nov 17th Presentation

Lumpy Mail, Dimensional Mailer, 3-D Mail -- a Rose or a DUD?

Productivity Games -- Finding Wisdom in the Team -- Dec 15th

New Offering -- Discounted Destination Tickets

The Philosophy of Lead Generation

--the right combination of visibility, offer, response and follow-up brings the best results

Please reserve  Tuesday, November 17, 2009 for MPPA’s November program.  I am going to be presenting a new program that I have developed for Service Businesses Designed to increase revenue and sales volume 30%.

Service Businesses have a particularly tough task -- how to make sure that you have a pipeline of customers always ready to purchase your service? For many businesses, the solution is to invest in all types of lead generation programs.

While lead acquisition is important, I have come to believe that it is only one of a collection of strategies that, implemented together, will impact the bottom line. In addition to identifying potential customers, service businesses need to focus on scoring their leads so that they can react according to the value of the lead, nurturing those that are not ready to buy now, and getting realistic about the other factors that influence eventual conversion to paying customer status. I call all of these elements, The Philosophy of Lead Generation, and I will be telling all how to become sensitive to them, and implement an integrated program to the improvement of your bottom line.

Click here to download The Philosophy of Services Business Development: Lead Generation Methodology and Practices

Lumpy Mail, Dimensional Mailer, 3-D Mail
-- a Rose or a DUD?

“Tom, if you’re not using Lumpy Mail, you are missing a great opportunity.”
The speaker was Jim Cecil, founder of the Nurture Marketing institute, and a lecturer at a marketing conference I attended in 1993. Jim had been talking about some amazing results he had obtained using regular mail, with an enclosure large enough to make the envelope  “lumpy”.  When doing a B2B mailing for a large software company based in Washington State (!!) he achieved a 63% open rate. (In direct mail circles, that is considered REALLY good).

Since that time I have used lumpy mail from time to time, where the value of new relationships was high enough that it made sense to do anything we could to make a connection with a target. As a matter of fact, I am working on two such programs now for a couple of clients. They work because, as one happy customer put it, “With [lumpy] mail pieces I've experienced as much as a quadrupling in response rate over "flat" letters and postcards.  There's just nothing like dimensional's like being a kid again, ripping open your mail to see what the surprise is inside! ”

If it is such a great technique, why isn’t every B2B solicitation “lumpy”? Because the other side of the coin (pun coming!) is cost and lead quality. The cost per lead makes this technique an unprofitable one if the Lifetime Customer Value is not greater than $500, in my opinion.  And then there is the cost of the “enclosure”.  I got a piece of lumpy mail last week with a pen inside. I opened it, kept the pen, and threw out the mailing piece.  You want to avoid buying the lead with an enclosure that is too valuable.

Howard Sewell, of Connect Direct Inc., a highly successful direct mail firm that focuses on high technology businesses, advises his clients to ask these questions before embracing lumpy mail for a lead generation campaign:

  • Is my goal maximum response at any price, or is it minimum cost per lead?
  • How much is a lead really worth to our company?
  • What qualifies a prospect as being a genuine lead, and will this campaign generate those kinds of prospects?

Productivity Games -- Finding Wisdom in the Team -- Dec 15th

I met Luke Hohmann, founder and CEO of Enthiosys when we were playing together in our “sandbox.”

That’s right. A few years ago, during a stint as Service Marketing Manager at SGI Global Services, we hired Luke and his team at Enthiosys to help us with our strategic planning process. My boss wanted a collaborative process, and he wanted to discover the hidden wisdom of the extended team – what did we all know that we didn’t know we knew, that would help his division be successful in the coming year?

That was how I got introduced to an amazing concept, using collaborative play to surface new wisdom that was there all the time. Luke went on to write a book about the process, and is going to demonstrate how the process can work for even the smallest business. One lucky pre-registrant will be preselected by random drawing prior to the December 15th program. Luke will use the principles of Collaborative Gaming to create a “game” that we will all play at the meeting to help the selected individual solve a business problem.

Don’t miss this unusual program. Space will be limited to 50 people. Preregister with this link. As always, you can select full breakfast, or just a beverage.

Announcing a New Offering -- Discounted Destination Tickets

Are you looking for a great incentive gift, customer appreciation premium or just a discount on some great Family Fun?  Employees of large companies can access discounted tickets to area “destinations” and make them available on demand. Generally, small firms and solo business owners have to be satisfied with the occasional AAA discount .  But not any more.

The Midpeninsula Professional Alliance announces a new program: Discounted Destination Tickets. We will use the power of collective purchasing to negotiate special “go any time” tickets to SF Bay Area destinations, for the benefit of our members. We will start with one destination, and expand the list based on the demand and utilization.

Our first “destination” will be the Winchester Mystery House, in San Jose. In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House.

Sarah Winchester built a home that is an architectural marvel. Unlike most homes of its era, this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail.

Tours are conducted as per the schedule on their website ( . Tickets for the property cost between $26.00 and $20.00 depending on age. MPPA member ticket prices will reflect a discount of approximately 40% off published rates. We will need to purchase at least 10 tickets at time for this program to work, so please, if you are interested, contact me well in advance of your planned outing, or gift giving occasion. We will need to accumulate a total order for 10 tickets before we place our first order.

Tom Pencek

PS. My Friend Nathan Emmett, over at WMH just called with a great offer: If anyone would like to set up a group ticket purchase plan for your own company, just contact Nathan directly. He would be happy to help.


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