Ricoh Dealers Reap Rewards From e-Leads

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Ricoh Co. has signed 249 dealers for e-Leads, an e-mail program that has lifted click-through rates 30 percent on prospecting efforts in recent months.


The program, developed by Paramax, lets dealers target 15 market segments with e-mail offering Ricoh's printers and copiers. Segments include advertising, entertainment, Fortune 500/general office, garment industry, graphic artists and publishing houses.


At a password-secured Web page, the dealers choose a market segment and the equipment they want to pitch. They type a subject line and a personal letter up to 200 characters long directed to the prospect. A preview of the e-mail -- showing images of the product, the personal letter and a description underscoring the product's potential uses for each market segment -- can be viewed before hitting the send button.


The e-mails, which can be sent to up to 50 addresses, offer recipients a button at the bottom of the message advertising the chance to obtain product literature, request a call from a sales rep, enter sweepstakes, get rebates or learn more about the products.


Ricoh, West Caldwell, NJ, also has used a dealer points award to recognize agents who perform best using e-Leads.


Meanwhile, Paramax has installed sales channel programs for a division of pharmaceutical firm Bayer, as well as upscale window manufacturer Hunter Douglas and software company Lucent Technologies.


To employ a program similar to the Ricoh model, Steve Burger, national marketing manager at Paramax, Red Bank, NJ, said a company might spend up to $200,000, depending on the extent of customized content.


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