Direct Marketing (Financial Services Leader)


In 2010 a prominent leader in the financial services tax technical space faced a need to drive greater awareness of its value. Most of its clients were in the heavy equipment industry, which at that time was being devastated by the recession.

Leadership directed marketing and sales to coordinate on a direct media campaign to generate warm leads. The target was 10 (in this industry, program deals were very high value, so 10 leads would represent substantial revenue potential).


The good news is that the company had a substantial database of companies and people in the industry which it had compiled over several years. There was a lot of bad news, though.

  1. The industry was, in the estimation of analysts, in far worse shape than most. It isn’t in a recession, said one noted expert, it’s in a full-blown depression, with record numbers of businesses in danger of closing their doors.
  2. Much of the data was badly out of date and in need of hygiene. In the words of the data analyst, it was a “trainwreck.”
  3. The company had recently been through two rounds of layoffs and budgets were extremely tight, so there was minimal budget.


We developed a three-phase campaign:

  1. Direct: a letter with an enclosed datasheet was sent to defined job titles in the industry.
  2. A few days later we followed with a targeted e-mail, accompanied by a case study.
  3. The following day a telemarketing follow-up sweep began.

The campaign was heavily reliant on communication and strategic message design, emphasizing that the company’s services represented a significant and immediate source of crucial cash flow.


Direct campaigns of this nature typically generate a response rate of one to two percent. Remember – this project targeted a dead industry with bad, out-of-date data.

  1. The response rate was seven percent – five times average.
  2. The campaign generated more than 60 warm leads, six times the leadership-defined target.
  3. The campaign directly generated one major sale – a company contacted sales, ready to sign up, after the e-mail arrived.

This three-stage, multi-touch methodology drives high awareness and “warms the pipe” in ways that foster better response rates, especially when paired with sophisticated messaging strategy and tactical execution.


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