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How LeanLogistics identifies the warmest leads

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Before turning to an automated e-mail program to sort out warm leads from cold ones for its sales staff, the marketing folks at LeanLogistics sent every business card and e-mail response to sales in case there was a live one in the bunch.

“In the past, we had no way of distinguishing between someone who was just interested in information or someone who might have a budget or project and could potentially purchase our services,” said Ginger Stegmier, director of marketing at LeanLogistics, a Holland, Mich.-based provider of software service platforms for large companies' transportation management systems.

To remedy that problem, LeanLogistics added an e-mail marketing tool from Silverpop called Engage B2B that encourages visitors to its Web site or responders to e-mail campaigns to fill out a short survey that quickly gages their level of interest in the company's products and how close they might be to purchasing in the sales cycle, Stegmier said. If a respondent says they have a procurement project or money to spend, they will get funneled to sales.

“Now our sales reps can focus their time on those leads that have been prequalified to some degree, and they're not wasting their time wading through 350 leads to get to the 50 that actually have money to spend,” Stegmier said.

Others will be directed to LeanLogistics' ongoing lead nurturing campaign, where they will continue to get monthly newsletters or periodic promotions and white papers. As a result, LeanLogistics has seen its open rates for e-mail communications jump as high as 25% percent, from the typical average open rate of 3% to 5%, Stegmier said. “Now we're only putting people back into our database that show greater interest in continuing to receive information from us,” she said.

What's more, the marketing tool enables the company to segment its database so future communications with those individuals are more targeted to their specific industry or job title. “That's important right now since people are bombarded with so much e-mail and we don't want to send them something they don't want,” she said.

And finally, the new program assists LeanLogistics in tracking the number of leads generated by e-mails sent to third party subscriber lists owned by industry publications. Now the company can negotiate discounted rates with publications that aren't delivering the click-throughs they predict will occur when LeanLogistics sends an e-mail blast to their subscriber list, Stegmier said. “Because of the analysis tools we now have, we can decide which publications are working for us and figure out where to spend our marketing dollars next,” she said.

Stegmier added: “We're a lean organization with a small marketing department. Automating all these processes helps us be a more targeted e-mail marketer because we don't want to bother people who aren't ready to engage with us yet.”

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