Convert More Leads: How We Used $1,000 to Get a 70%+ Conversion Rate

This entry was posted on January 29, 2013 – No Comments

Tagged boost conversion rates, gift-giving, marketing campaign, marketing strategy, prospecting ideas, sales campaign, turning cold leads into customers

We just recently finished a series of prospecting campaigns that turned out even better than we expected.  We went “old school“.  We were genuine We went direct.

The funny thing is that our business itself is a “spin” on a widely practiced sales and marketing technique that just fell by the wayside because it isn’t easy to manage – gift giving.  The reality is that gift giving is a number of things, but to name a few directly- a sales prospecting tool and a way to boost your conversion rates.  Here’s what we did to turn $1,000 into a 50%+ conversion…

Step 1: Build a Targeted List

We started by asking our top five sales people to pick out their top ten leads.  The, “make or break,” leads. This was the easy part – most people in sales or business development, at least the good ones, will be able to tell you their top leads at the drop of a hat. No problems here.

Step 2: Set the “Per Lead” Budget

For the first campaign, we decided to set a budget of no more than $20 per lead.  Plus shipping and handling, we landed at about $25 per lead.  It may be expensive compared to PPC advertising or just sending an email, but the conversion (“yes I’m interested,” or, “no, we’re not interested this year,” is what we were interested in.  So we moved forward.

Step 3: Craft the Message

The next step was to craft the message.  This really isn’t that hard if you know what you want to say.  And the best thing to say is the truth.  So that’s exactly what we told our prospects… that we can help make gift giving easier for them this holiday season. That’s one part of our business.  For you, it might be something different, but we went directly with what we do, in a genuine tone, and asked for a brief conversation to speak further.

Step 4: Initiate the Marketing Campaign

Now we had to decide what we wanted to send and how to send it.  For us it was convenient because we just used our own platform (see how you can use our platform too), and initiated a custom gift-giving campaign with Godiva Chocolates.  To be honest, we never really thought about using our own platform to do sales and marketing, but it “dawned” on us that it was possible, right in front of us, and ready to go, so that’s the path we chose.  

Step 5: Politely (but consistently) Follow Up

After the recipient list was developed, the order was submitted to the vendor, and the letters were sealed and sent, we had a follow up campaign in mind.  We knew when the gifts would be delivered and when we should expect a, “Thank You,” by phone or email… so if we didn’t get one within two or three days we followed up with a polite email.  If we didn’t hear back from a gift recipient, we just kept following up – five times total.  And what was our “reward”?


For this particular campaign, we had a 75% response rate (60% positive, 15% no go).  And by conversion, I mean, “the percentage of people that got back to us with an, ‘I would like to learn more,’ or, ‘thank you so much but I’m not interested right now’.”  Isn’t that what any good salesperson is looking for?

Should everyone have replied to us?  Probably.  But we didn’t worry about it because we were too busy talking to the people that actually wanted to do business with us.

Our takeaway is this – gift giving is a highly targeted marketing strategy that works for us… we just so happen to be in the business of making it easy to do which is why we tested our own business on ourselves.  Why do we think it works?  Well, when you get a gift, do you not feel the obligation to at least respond with a thank you?  That’s how we feel too, so that’s why we knew it would help us stand out.

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