It’s such a simple concept and one that is frequently overlooked.
It’s overlooked because a lead survey campaign is less about advertising your product or service and more about generating leads and collecting information for the sales team.
I think many would agree that the very best sales people share two important traits:
  • The know how to ask good questions.
  • They know how to listen.
Well, that’s what lead surveys can do for you.
A lead survey won’t sell your product or service, but it will give your sales team the information they need to get the sales process started.
It will generate responses from key decision-makers in your target market, and then it will ask questions that will help qualify those leads.
Questions like
  • how often do you purchase a particular product or service, or
  • how satisfied are you with your current supplier, or
  • what frustrations do you have with your current product or service.
You get the idea.
Starting conversations with data.
In sales, you are always looking for prospects who may be open to conversations – and a lead survey will help you identify those people.
Best of all, when you begin those conversations, you will know exactly what direction the conversation should take by addressing the pain points the prospects themselves have identified.
Do people actually respond?
Yes, a surprising number of people are willing to answer your questions if you do it correctly and don’t get too greedy.
In my experience with direct mail surveys, we often see response rates that exceed other lead generation mailer formats.
But we also use incentives – small gifts like a coffee card – to maximize the response. Just a token of appreciation and well worth the additional cost per response.
Lead surveys using direct mail
We’ve been doing lead surveys with direct mail for a few decades now – with consistently good results. The mailing package is simple: #10 window envelope, 1-page/2-sided survey and a #9 business reply envelope.
Although we often provide an online survey, the vast majority of responses come back via reply mail.
Lead surveys using email
Unlike direct mail, we do not put the survey in the email. Instead, we use email to invite survey participants to click on a link to an online survey.
The obvious advantage of using email is cost. It is much cheaper than direct mail. But you also need to be sensitive to the fact you are sending cold emails – and that is a problem for many email service providers.
In summary …
Start focusing on response and think about what your sales people can do with a supply of completed surveys.
Don’t get greedy with your questions. Ask reasonable questions that are not too difficult or too intrusive.
Understand that some responses may in fact not be good leads – depending on how they answer your questions.
Use a small-dollar gift to thank the prospect for taking the time. This gift also gives you another reason to make a follow-up phone call.
Email is cheaper, but direct mail has a proven track record too.

A Quick Word About Us

We create lead generation campaigns using Direct Marketing or Digital Marketing – and very often a combination of the two, which we describe as Digital Direct Mail.

Our campaigns include both Outbound Marketing (direct mail, cold email, phone) and Inbound Marketing (SEO, PPC, Local Search) as well as Lead Nurturing funnel activities.

If lead generation is in your plans, we invite you to download our FREE Guide, The Lead Generation Blueprint. Or click here to schedule an Exploratory Phone Call.

About Bob McCarthy

Bob McCarthy is a direct response consultant and copywriter with a focus on direct mail, email and digital marketing. Bob works with B2B, B2C and Non-Profit clients. You can download his free ebook, "Making Snail Mail Work: 13 Lessons in Direct Mail Strategy."