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8 Ways To Generate More Leads

In the old days (a few years ago), you could mail an envelope package or an email to a well-selected list and expect to get a fair number of orders.

Today the rules have changed and, for a bunch of reasons, marketers have had to adopt a two-step selling model:

Step #1: We use direct mail, email, and advertising to generate leads.

Step #2: We use telemarketing, direct mail, etc., to convert the leads into sales.

You know what I mean. Often, your direct mail sales letter or email isn't asking for a check. It's driving prospects to a URL for a white paper, an information kit, a free trial, you name it.

This means that if you want to make it as a marketer these days, you have to know how to generate leads. LOTS of leads.

Here are just a few time-tested, practical ideas you can put to use in your email, direct mail, or advertising.

1. Include your offer in the headline.

Readers are moving quickly and won't stick around waiting for you to get to the point. If you want them to take advantage of an offer, say so right from the get-go: Announcing a FREE software trial offer for accountants who manage fixed assets!

2. Expand on the offer in the subheadline.

There's no law that says you have to write a headline and then jump directly to the body copy. A nice little subheadline can flesh things out: Announcing a FREE software trial offer for accountants who manage fixed assets! (If you manage fixed assets, here's your chance to try our software without paying a penny!)

3. Mention the offer early in your letter.

It is a big mistake to wait until the end of the letter before explaining the offer. Again, it's a fact of life that readers want you to get to the point quickly, so let them know what you've got to offer immediately:

Dear Tina:

I'm writing with a free offer that can help you solve some of the toughest ISP management problems you face every day . . .

If you contact Anonotech immediately, I'll send you a copy of our fact-filled "Complete Guide To Effective ISP Management" absolutely free.

This "must read" 12-page document shares the vitally important lessons we've learned. . . etc.

4. Include the word "Free."

You know this rule of course. So tell me why this magic word isn't used more widely in marketing materials? Hey, it works!

5. Stress the fact that your offer has no strings attached.

Very important. Your readers want to know that if they respond, they won't be hounded in the future. So be sure to let them know: Please remember that there is nothing to buy and no risk or obligation of any kind.

6. Include a photo of your offer.

If you've got a white paper, a report, an information kit, a free ANYTHING, show it. A photo of your fulfillment piece makes the offer real. The picture can appear on the envelope, on the letter, on the Business Reply Card, etc. And don't forget a callout (a short block of copy

that's linked to a photograph or illustration by a straight line). It tells the reader what they're going to get and why it's worth requesting the offer!

7. Give your fulfillment piece a compelling name.

Whatever you do, don't make a bland offer. Give your offer a name and SELL IT!

WRONG: Get our free report now.

RIGHT: Get our free report, "Five Ways To Protect Your Precious Data!"

WRONG: Don't miss our free Information Kit.

RIGHT: Don't miss our free Information Kit, "How To Choose An ERP Solution - A Practical Guide For IT Managers."

8. Make it a "limited-time" offer.

One of the ways to get your readers to act is to create a sense of urgency. So give them a deadline. (You can always contact them later and say that due to incredible demand, you're extending the deadline.)

A final word . . . The Levison Laws mentioned above, taken individually, may not seem earth-shaking. But let me tell you ? combined with all the other tricks in the copywriter's magic bag, they can DRAMATICALLY increase response rates. The bottom line is this: paying attention to all the little details can add extra percentage points to your response rates. This in turn can mean the success or failure of your marketing efforts. Something to think about!