Working the List: Case Study in Target Marketing Magazine
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on January 15th, 2013
I have just finished reading a very interesting case study in the December 2012 issue of Target Marketing magazine.
It’s for Red Tie Insurance Services, which revealed how it works all the angles to squeeze every drop out its rented lists. Although the company relies on cold calling as its initial point of contact, its approach would work for print and mail, as well.
Here is the nutshell:
1. Once or twice a month, Red Tie purchases a homeowners list based on ZIP Code radius.
2. It imports the list into its CRM system to glean all the phone numbers, address, and names associated with those homeowners.
3. It cold calls all homeowners on the list. For those it cannot contact by phone, it contacts by email if available.
4. Using its CRM system, Red Tie finds Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts for the leads it cannot contact by phone or email and invites them to connect through the company’s Facebook page.
Red Tie has a 22% conversion rate among prospects with whom it speaks, and outside lists comprise 65% of its marketing mix. I have a call in to the owner, Reginald Hawkins, to find out what percentage of those email contacts and social media invitations convert to actual phone calls. As soon as I hear back, I’ll update this post.
[Update: Hawkins indicates that his email contacts generate about a 3% conversion-to-phone call rate. Social media is marginal, but it's just an important "catch all." You never know what leads it will generate.]
For clients who serve business and professional services providers who target homeowners, renters, new movers, and similar audiences, a similar approach could be used with print, as well. Instead of cold calling, use personalized print as the first contact. If possible, prime the pump with personalized email or use email to follow up (“Did you receive our postcard?”). Connect with nonrespondents using social media. It’s a simple repeatable approach that has paid off for this marketer.
As a side note, if you go to Red Tie’s Facebook page, it’s interesting that they have a huge QR Code in the upper righthand corner that says, “Scan Me!” The code takes you to a mobile version of its site. We might say, “Why would someone scan a QR Code to go to the mobile site when they are sitting at a computer right then and there?” The answer is, I don’t know, but what I know is that people do it — all the time.