Archive for January, 2007

Lead Generation: Don’t chase leads, have leads chase you!

Lead generation can be a tricky practice for marketers. I know this because one of my responsibilities is to generate leads for my department. There are lead generation services on the Internet that provide you with names, email addresses, phone numbers, and more of total strangers. I submit that such services are a waste of money, at least for what I’m trying to accomplish.

Generating leads should be more than emailing (spamming) total strangers who have never heard of your business. Generating leads should be more organic, more natural. Let me put it another way. The leads should come to you; you shouldn’t need to go after the leads.

How do you accomplish this? There are many ways. One way, which I am currently experimenting with, is the use of online tools and quizzes. I believe in providing web users with great tools they need and fun, interactive content (online quizzes). Doing so turns users into customers.

But you can’t expect to throw tools and quizzes on your web site and expect to start generating leads. You’ll need to make your tools unique. Focus on something the users haven’t seen before. Once you have a unique offering you need to promote it. Do this by branding your tool, or quiz, with you company’s logo and a clickable link back to your homepage or online form. Then syndicate your tool across the web, ideally a high traffic web site.

My department is about to do exactly that. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out. Be prepared for a celebratory post!

ABS Climbing Comps at Climb Nashville

FYI, this has nothing to do with marketing. I just thought I would share one of my passions with you.

If you haven’t read my profile you might not know that I am a bouldering and climbing enthusiast.

So my climbing gym, Climb Nashville, hosted the regional ABS Climbing Comps. I attended the event but I did not compete. I was amazed as I stood and watched these amazing people complete increadibly hard bouldering problems. I met Kate Reece (pictured) who’s name is well-known in bouldering circles. These people are truly sick!

REI does it right: Customer Appreciation & Giving Back to the Community

REI, the outdoor/adventure retail chain, knows how to keep their customers happy. They offer every person who enters one of their stores an opportunity to place membership. The membership is lifetime and only has a one-time charge of $15 dollars during signup. Trust me, it’s a sweet deal. Why? When you become a member of REI, the store sends you a 10% refund on all of your purchases at the end of the year. The refund can go towards any purchase at an REI store or you can turn it in for cash! I just became a member in December and I am already going to receive over $40.

But REI doesn’t stop there. They give back to the community and the outdoors by supporting hundreds of local efforts to preserve and protect the lands that adventure seekers love. For example, REI stores partner with local groups to improve local areas and trails. And by partnering I don’t mean they make a contribution to the group, even though they do that too. I mean that store employees get together in groups and go out to do the work themselves.

Yes, REI is company that not only believes in what it preaches but practices it as well. Many other businesses would do well to follow their example. By having such programs in place, they have made me a lifetime customer. That’s the genius of their membership program and why REI has over 2.5 million active members.

Marketing Monster: A Top 150 Marketing Blog

ToddAnd has put together a list, a rather impressive list, of the Top 150 Marketing Blogs. Yours truly has made the cut. I am honored to be on the list next to some great names and blogs.

Thank you all who read and subscribe to this blog.

The Good & Bad about Goals

So today I have devoted most of my time to research and goal setting for the 2007 year.

I have three main goals for this year.

  1. Launch Marketing for our Real Estate department
  2. Rejuvenate Investment & Real Estate Resource Centers
  3. Generate a 30% referral increase


The goals scare me…
All three goals are big and will be difficult to achieve. They require me to produce a library of marketing materials and create interesting/informative content to use on our resource center pages. These are no easy tasks!

But the goals also excite me…
Reaching these goals has the ability to generate a ton of revenue, which makes me look good to my employer!

That’s the good and bad about setting goals
The scare you when you set them especially if they are lofty goals. But the amazing benefit of reaching them motivates me to attack them with everything I’ve got.

Don’t let fear take hold of you when you’re setting your goals. If you do, you risk setting your goal to short (resulting in fewer benefits if your reach them) or not setting any goals at all.

How to use the company newsletter to increase leads

I wrote an article for my company’s December newsletter that increased our lead volume by 249% from the previous week! Here’s how I did it.

1) I used a catchy subject line

The title of the article was “An often overlooked budget area.” This subject is very appealing to the target market of the newsletter, people concerned about their finances.
Marketing Tip: Always use a subject that grabs the reader’s attention. It’s the first thing they see.

2) I wrote an informative article

The article I wrote was informative and detailed how the average American can save money by simply electing new health insurance options. The article did not focus on hard selling but it did focus on providing valuable information.
Marketing Tip: Give readers something they can use instead of trying to “sell” them. By giving them the information freely you help your reader which builds trust and loyalty.

3) I used a soft sell technique

At the end of the article I mentioned that our company can help aid the reader in the process outlined in the story. I then added a link to a webpage where the reader enters their information.
Marketing Tip: My experience with newsletters has taught me a soft sell will work more often than a hard sell. Tell your readers how you can help them. Don’t pummel them with a bunch of adjectives and adverbs declaring your company to be the best.

4) I added a testimonial

In conjunction with the soft sell, I added a sterling quote from one of our customers that loved our service and the amazing results he had gotten from it.
Marketing Tip: I’m not sure there is anything better than a customer quote to relieve a potential customer’s uncertainty. Use quotes to help the soft sell.


Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

Blog Recognitions