Generating leads online can increase conversion

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Earlier this year, JupiterResearch estimated that e-mail marketers spent $1.2 billion in 2007, with this figure set to increase 75% by 2012 to $2.1 billion. In spite of this strong predicted growth, some companies still are not optimizing this marketing channel or using it to its full potential.

With more than 94% of US organizations using e-mail marketing, according to Forrester, it is now, by far, the most popular form of direct marketing. Businesses should focus on the quality of the data that's used in order to optimize deliverability.

Deliverability stands as the number-one challenge for marketing managers. With ISPs continually trying to reduce spam, and with even opt-in e-mails sometimes unwanted, it is vital that messages are targeted and relevant to avoid having your e-mail addresses blacklisted. This is easier said than done, however, as many rented and in-house mailing lists become outdated quickly — and in some cases, are entirely inaccurate. So, how can you ensure that your e-mail campaign is not a waste of time and budget? How can you ensure that you target good quality data?

Online lead generation provides a way to generate pre-qualified sales leads via online data capture. When consumers register their interest in a brand or offer online, and they input data based on their own individual information requirements and preferences, it becomes more viable. Consumer profiling helps marketers to effectively target their sales efforts at the right demographics. It also ensures that a company contacts only consumers who have directly expressed an interest in receiving further information — thereby increasing the chance of conversion as well. This saves money and maintains a targeted and proactive approach to an e-mailing campaign.

In some countries across Europe, such as Germany, it is a legal requirement for consumers to double opt-in to receiving e-mails before a company is allowed to contact them regarding its products and services. While this is not yet the case in the US, talks are already being held about this becoming law within the next two years — which would have a significant impact on the industry.

Double opting-in of your customers is a great way to help your business become whitelisted — listed as an approved e-mailer — while steering clear of any blacklist

Also, companies whose e-mail campaigns are properly targeted will see greater conversion rates, with considerable bottom line success. This type of campaign maximizes the chance to convert a lead, because opportunities to purchase are presented when customers are most interested. The combination of targeted data and speedy turn-around in responding helps to ensure that this rapid, cost-effective direct marketing strategy remains a worthwhile channel for any organization.

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