2% might say Yes, but what about the other 98%?

2% might say Yes, but what about the other 98%?

Lead or Demand Generation tends to concentrate on the prospects who say Yes – the ones who are ready to buy. It’s the metric used to judge the success of most campaigns. But what about the ones that say No?

I would argue a ‘No’ response is as important as a Yes. According to recent research by the DMA, email and telemarketing are the two most effective channels for generating sales leads. So what is the impact of a No via these two marketing tools?

Getting a ‘No’ via Telemarketing

You will get a No if your proposition isn’t relevant, and while this is true in all forms of marketing it is especially negative in telemarketing.

Good marketing should get a Yes and at worst a Not Now. Only bad marketing gets a No.

Telemarketing’s biggest advantage is its Human Interaction, it’s also the biggest weakness. A phone conversation is very personal, get it wrong and it can be intensely annoying.

A No via telemarketing could mean the contact never takes a call from your brand again – even if your new proposition is more relevant.

Getting a ‘No’ via Email

We’re back to relevance again. An irrelevant email will be deleted, or worse, unsubscribed. Current laws stipulate that if someone unsubscribes you cannot email them again – unless you can persuade them to re-subscribe (but not via email, so you will have to use more expensive direct mail, telemarketing, etc).

Take a look at Table A and see how your prospect list dwindles if just 2% unsubscribe from your monthly newsletter. Down by almost 50% in 3 years.

Table A: The impact of unsubscribes on email lists

 1% unsubscribe rate from monthly email2% unsubscribe rate from monthly email
After 12 monthsList reduced by 10.4%List reduced by 19.9%
After 24 monthsList reduced by 18.8%List reduced by 35.8%
After 36 monthsList reduced by 28%List reduced by 48.7%

And the impact of someone repeatedly deleting your brands email? You become regarded as a nuisance, and all your other marketing efforts suffer as a result.

So when you are testing different email text/formats don’t just concentrate on the opens & clicks, note the impact on unsubscribes. Think about reducing the frequency of email blasts and analyse if that reduces the opt-outs.

Turning a ‘No’ into a ‘Not Now’

The solution is to turn a No into a Not Now. Relevance is the key to better Lead and Demand Generation, and there are 3 key factors to consider… plus a warning for the future.

  1. Great data ensures you connect with the right person
    It seems obvious, but not enough time is spent on getting the right data. Some marketing execs find data boring, and sales execs struggle to keep it up to date.
    But great data ensures you are contacting the right person. At a basic level, it can deliver prospects with Authority (their Job Title?) and a little effort will identify if they have Need (a requirement for relevance). Both are the foundation for BANT* qualified sales leads.
  2. Predictive marketing further qualifies Need
    Predictive marketing uses Big Data techniques to identify companies that are displaying the right buying behaviour. Based on the previous activity of your existing customers it can identify similar behaviour patterns.
    This supplements any Need data you may have obtained elsewhere and further ensures your message is relevant.
  3. Original content will increase the Yes vote
    The final part of BANT qualification is to discover if the prospect has Budget and Timescale. This can take time and so you may get a ‘Not Now’ response. You need to maintain contact until the prospect is ready to buy. This is where content marketing steps in.
    OK, so your content is relevant, but if it’s just a repeat of articles people have seen elsewhere you will eventually get a No. Typically, they will unsubscribe from your newsletter.
    Make sure you produce original content based on subjective facts rather than objective gut feeling or anecdotal evidence. Conduct your own research and don’t regurgitate the ideas of other people. Become a thought leader, not a follower.

WARNING – The new EU Data law will make opt-in essential and limit the profiling of prospects. More details about the EU Data Protection Regulation are in an article I wrote titled ‘10 Must-know facts about the new EU marketing law‘.

Good marketing should get a “Yes” and at worst a “Not Now”. Only bad marketing gets a “No”. If you’ve ever met me you’ll know that one of my favourite sayings is…

It’s not just about the 2% that say Yes, it’s also about the 98% that say No.

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