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Lead Generation & Audience Engagement
Takeaway notes from a Folio Magazine webinar. By Aliza Bornstein, copywriter, Melissa Data

Marketers and media companies need to learn how to identify the way audiences consume and use different forms of media. They can accomplish this by measuring the reach and frequency in a multi-platform world, and maintaining share of voice in an age of information proliferation. They also need to create an innovated way to stay relevant to their audience.

They can do all this through examining the four lead types below and the relevance they carry into producing sales.

1. Traditional hard leads are direct requests for information from an audience member to the advertiser through the media outlet. They have historically been perceived as low volume, high quality leads. Advertisers complain about the lead and time delays in receiving lead information. They’re traditionally obtained through reader service cards and outbound lead generation efforts.

2. Soft lead programs are leads acquired on a quarterly basis. They’re presented as high volume leads with no guarantee of quality. However, in a down economy, all leads have value. Leads generated through queries off the fulfillment system can suppress duplicates and track demographic dates to filter out any inconsistent or contradictory responses. (This results in higher quality leads). Information on these leads are obtained through audience development efforts, qualification, and registration cards.

3. Digital edition leads are received on a regular basis, retained in a retrievable system, and can be re-selected at any time. Logos of full page advertisers are placed on the outbound digital edition announcement with links directly to their ad in the issue. Audience members that click on the logos are tracked through the audience fulfillment system, and leads with demographics are forwarded to advertisers on a weekly basis. Once an advertiser is set up in the system, links are assigned, and process for distribution is automated, which requires no additional time from staff to maintain.

4. Newsletter leads (similar to digital leads) are run through the same process as the digital edition leads previously discussed. Each advertiser has a single account in the lead generation system, with each lead marked by source with the date and time of each click. Newsletter editorial that is relevant to an advertiser’s product can also be tracked and distributed as leads in the same system. The system allows for generations of profiles of the types of audience members that are clicking on ads to allow the advertiser to get a better understanding of who is responding. Cross tabs can be run across all demographics.

To generate revenue and offset costs:

• Set a requirement for advertising spending levels on lead generation programs and stick to it. Programs that are given away have less perceived value.
• Set expectations—don’t over-promise on lead quality. The goal is to provide the advertiser with a consistent stream of potential buyers.
• Sell leads that are not specific responses to ads—readers of particular stories and soft leads.
• Append data from your database to advertiser lists for a one time fee or as part of a program.
• Allow advertisers to sponsor questions or qualification and registration forms to offset the cost of collecting data.
• Use the leads and metrics for your own benefit and cross-sell/up-sell with radical forms and co-registration/co-marketing programs.
• Charge more for engagement lists—premiums paid for audience members that receive multiple products.

Takeaway: What matters now

• Media touch-point analysis (must reach and influence audiences when and where they consume business information—in print, online, through email, in-person, mobile.
• Media brand preference (platform agnostic—engagement).
• Total audience across all products—total reach.
• Total unduplicated audience across all products.

---Source: Folio Magazine May 28, 2009 webinar ( Heidi Spangler is the director of audience circulation and development for Questex Media Group. Reach her at










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