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Jun 18, 2001
Case Study

Connect Direct Repurposes Old Email Newsletter Articles for Sales Lead Generation Campaign

SUMMARY: If you publish an email newsletter for your clients or sales prospects, you'll definitely want to check out this Case Study! Since 1996, Howard Sewell, President Connect Direct, has been promoting his marketing agency by publishing a free monthly email newsletter -- "The Connect Direct Tip o' the Month." When he looked over his old issues, he realized most of them featured "evergreen" information that was still good. So, Sewell wondered if there was another way to get some value from his hard work.

Since 1996, Howard Sewell, President Connect Direct, has been promoting his high tech direct marketing firm by publishing a free monthly email newsletter -- "The Connect Direct Tip o' the Month."

Connect Direct's site included a virtual library of Tip back issues, most of which were evergreen (meaning timeless) but Sewell wondered if there was another way to get some value from his hard work.


Sewell's team re-used the old newsletters to create a printed, wirebound, 52 page book -- "The High-Tech Direct Marketing Handbook."

The book is 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" (a convenient size both for production and snail mail fulfillment.) It includes a brief introduction, a table of contents in which each of 49 tips are gathered in sections by topic including "Creative" and "Lists", and an index. Each tip is laid out on a single easy-to-skim page.

Next Sewell added an actual photo of the new book to every page of the firm's Web site. Visitors who click through are presented with strong benefits copy to convince them it's worth filling out the form directly below to get their free copy. The copy reads:

"Generate more leads in 45 easy steps! Get a free copy of "The High-Tech Direct Marketing Handbook," a compendium of 45 tips and techniques on strategy, offer, creative, lists and more. Even seasoned marketers will find something new and useful on virtually every page - such as:

- 5 key questions to ask when choosing between online and direct mail campaigns (Page 9) ...
- How to get your direct mail package into the hands of key decision makers (Page 36) ...
- 4 critical ingredients for building an effective Web response page (Page 45) ... "

Next visitors must fill out a form in order to receive the book. Sewell asks three pre-qualification questions in addition to name and address. These include type of company, types of campaigns they're current running, and who's creating their direct marketing campaigns for them now.

Sewell drove traffic to the form by asking his staff to email the offer to their friends in Silicon Valley, and by purchasing sponsorship ads in several email newsletters targeting high tech marketers and Silicon Valley executives.


Sewell says, "The results have been pretty astonishing." The rate of inquiries from his Web site has increased "substantially" and the newsletter sponsorships have "generated over 100 leads at a cost per lead of less than $10."

Although not all of these leads are ready to hire Connect Direct as their agency right away, Sewell notes, "I've always maintained that if your lead generation efforts rely on people who are "ready to buy" (in our case, ready to hire a direct marketing agency), then you're doomed to failure. Far better to offer information on how to solve a problem (ex: how to improve the effectiveness of your direct marketing campaigns). You'll not only generate a much larger pool of prospects, and if you "stay in front of" those prospects who aren't ready to buy immediately, you'll be part of the buying decision when they do have a need in the future."

The form to receive the book:
See Also:

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