Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Leads or not?

A client of mine has a small company that sells a consumer food product. On the web site, there is an offer for free samples. For many months, they would get a few requests for a free sample every week. But recently, they started receiving hundreds of responses. This surprised them and prompted a call to me.

The first thing I recommended was contact some and find out how they heard about the offer. From this, we found out that a web site that lists free offers has picked up on her offer.

This made me worry, as a while back another client had a sweepstakes listed on their web site to win a Palm Pilot. A sweepstakes site found out about this, and listed this. The goal of the sweepstakes was to get leads, and the folks who came from the sweepstakes web site were not potential users of the software product. At that time, the sweepstakes web site listed the direct URL for the sweepstakes offer (not the home page), so we were able to simply rename the URL (www.coname.com/sweepstake.html to www.coname.com/sweepstake2.html), and the link from the sweepstakes site was broken. My first thought was that we might want to do this here.

The goal of the free sample offer is to also get leads. In looking at the names coming in and information provided, it seems that the requests for the free offer could be good leads. So now the challenge is how to arrange it so they can handle this influx of leads, as previously there were so few they did it by hand. Now they are setting up a simple database to handle the information. Along with that, they will track to see if any of these folks go from sample requester to product purchaser.

In addition, we are watching to see if the number of requests slows down. If not, we will likely change their sample request process to one involving an online database (like MySQL), which will allow them to transfer data directly to their PC database, further automating the process.


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