Reprinted from The Advertising Dentist

Converting Business Leads Into Sales

by Rene Gnam, Advertising Consultant

(EDITOR'S NOTE: A constant creator of marketing campaigns and sales strategies, Rene Gnam is a full-time direct marketing consultant wbo assists with marketing plans, wites copy, and designs top-pulling mailings and ads for business, consumer, and professional audiences. You can reach Rene at 1-813-407-8400 or

(AUTHOR�S NOTE: This column was adapted by Johanna C. Chappell from my more detailed presentation in an article entitled Proven Techniques to Turn Sales Leads Into Customers which appeared in Zip/Target Marketing Magazine. See Article #33 on my web site.)


by Rene Gnam

How many follow-ups should you attempt in your effort to convert a lead to a sale? At least two by mail, plus one by phone, produce better-than-average sales conversions.


Because no one else in your field is doing such a thorough job and I'll likely buy from the company that treats me individually and promptly and who continues to remind me. Example: A few years back, as a test, I mailed requests for free literature to 100 companies. Only 82 sent the literature and only 2 of the 82 called


Because it's more exciting to create the ads and mailings that get the leads than to create the follow-ups. Because most assume that sending one piece will do the job.


When your first mailing arrives, I may be too busy to concentrate on it today...or out of the office...or in a rotten mood for a reason you can't predict. When the next mailing arrives, maybe I'll be better disposed toward buying from you.

And a phone call before your mailing service starts...or in-between...can indicate to you how hot a prospect I really am...whether you should follow up or mail even more...whether you should make further calls or even send a salesperson.

No one knows the ideal number of follow-ups.

It varies for every product or service, for every industry, for every audience. I've successful used 11 (yes, 11) follow-up mailings and made them pay. You will determine how many to send by noting the fall-off in conversion by effort.

Wait a minute. A long minute.

How much is an order worth to you, much is a new customer worth over a period of time?

Sure, the standard mailer mentality tells you to knock names off your mailing list if they haven't bought anything in the last two years. Nonsense.Consider this...A few years back, Joe Reisner attended one of my advertising seminars in New York. He didn't buy a thing. But I kept him on my mailing list and kept sending follow-ups. Four years later, he paid $660 to attend a Chicago seminar and two years after that he finally bought $470 worth of consulting time. That's $1,130 so far. How much did it cost me to keep mailing to Joe? Maybe $50 for two dozen efforts...but I finally landed him...and now he gets more mailings.

A good business prospect should stay on your list forever, even when he or she moves to another company. If he liked you enough to respond once, keep after him.

That's why I use seven follow-up mailings and two phone calls to sell boiler valves to boiler room supervisors. That's why a number of my clients now send continuing mailings to prospects that initially expressed only minor interest.

It pays.


Rene Gnam is an independent response marketing consultant

specializing in creative advertising techniques.

He can be reached at 813-407-8400


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Rene Gnam is a Marketing Consultant and Advertising Copywriter

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I'm usually in Florida, and here are the numbers:

FAX 813-475-4354      CELL 813-407-8400

You can reach me right now by e-mail:


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