Case Study No. 1; Uncovering high-potential sales leads


Problem:  The Marketing Director of a large pre-engineered building manufacturer needed 30 independent contractors who represented the company in the U.S. and Canada to learn about new building projects when they were still on the drawing boards — not to read about them in newspapers that cover ground-breaking ceremonies.

Strategic Solution:  Target 20,000 business owners within the 30 marketing areas, create, produce and mail highly personalized quarterly mailings over a 2-1/2-year period.


  • 2,247 of the 20,000 business owners that were targeted responded to one or more of the mailings (a 12.24% response rate).
  • Overall, the responses received represented over 21 million sq. ft. in new construction projects.
  • The average size of each prospective project was nearly 19,000 sq.ft.

By highly qualified leads, we mean that 1,121 of the 2,247 respondents (45.9%) answered these six key questions:

  1. If they were, in fact, planning on building anew or expanding an existing facility, how big would this project be (in square feet)?  
  2. When did they plan on building (i.e., month and/or year)?
  3. For what reason?  What is the end-purpose for building (e.g., expanded warehouse, new manufacturing plant, office, retail space, etc.)?
  4. Where? Did they own the land on which they were planning to build?
  5. How far along were they in the planning process?  Had they already engaged the services of an architect?
  6. How familiar were they with pre-engineered building construction and the Robertson Builder from whom they had received the mailing?

For more information on how result like these were accomplished, please continue reading: This targeted “grassroots” program was designed specifically to help independent commercial building contractors who had chosen to pay and participate in the manufacturer’s lead-generation program Hogan Direct had developed to increase prospects’ awareness of their contracting businesses, strengthen their individual companies’ identities in their respective marketing areas, and uncover qualified prospects for negotiated new building or building expansion projects.

The heart of the program was an interactive, user-friendly web site that was uniquely partitioned and fully customized to individual contractor’s specific marketing needs.  It gave participating contractors  greater control over the list management of their quarterly mailings, a broader database, immediate access to any sales leads, and a voice in the sales process.

Interested contractors could go onto the manufacturer’s Intranet to learn more about this exciting lead-generation program.  Then, if they decided to participate, they would simply follow instructions to enroll on-line.

After enrollment, the contractor received a temporary password that provided access to a list of approximately 10 to 15% more business prospects than they specify when they enrolled.

  • Address records are imported and assigned to Builder’s exclusive sections of the intranet website.
  • Builders then identified which of these companies they did and did not want to mail. Typically each address record contained the following information for the companies selected in the marketing area the contractor had designated:
    • Company name
    • Name and title of the company’s owner, CEO, or manager
    • Company’s street address and mailing address
    • A brief description of the company’s primary business (SIC Code)
    • Number of employees
    • Annual revenue.

The web site was open for each enrolled contractor’s personal use 24/7.  With their own account number and a personal PIN, each participating contractor had exclusive access to partitioned part of the site that included valuable sales information

  • An in-depth review of the list of prospects a participating contractor was mailing to each quarter
  • The means for submitting any additions, changes or deletions the contractor chose to make online.  Their revisions were made immediately – in real time!
  • Reception of  their leads faster.  In fact, they could be “picked up”within the same hour they were received and posted by Hogan Direct’s Service Center.  Leads typically included a brief profile of the prospects that had been drawn from a historical database, plus the qualifying information the prospect had provided about their building plans.
  • Contractors could choose the mailing they wished to send each quarter from an assortment of professionally prepared mailings – all featured on the web site.
  • Participating contractors were encouraged to enter information they gathered during sales calls made on prospective customers, including the date they planned on calling back.
  • Partitioned and customized web sites also provided the means for each contractor to enter a printed up-to-date profile about his company in every Building Planning File that was mailed to prospects who responded to quarterly mailings.
  • Contractors could pre-select all the counties and/or zip codes in which they intended to do business.  They could also select the size of companies (based on annual sales and number of employees) in those counties or zip codes.
  • Contractors could also submit their own mailing lists in printed or typed form or on computer diskette.

Professionally prepared direct mail was created to pay quarterly “visits” on decision makers in the form of attention-getting personal mailings that appeared to come directly from each participating contractor.  The mailing components were also created to leverage the manufacturer’s name and reputation with the contractors’ companies’ names

Mailings were addressed by name to the key decision-maker in each company — usually the business owner, CEO, location manager (if a branch or subsidiary), or the facility manager.

Ultimately, the program reached 20,000 U.S. and Canadian business owners

Contractors could choose the imprint that appeared on the letterhead and carrier envelope – the name of their company, their business address, and phone number.

Participating contractors could even determine how many mailers they wanted to send:

  • By selecting fewer than all the counties or zip codes within their market area for specific quarterly mailings.
  • By specifying the number of companies they wished to mail each quarter*.  For example, if there were 1,600 businesses in a contractor’s market area, he or she could choose to mail only 500 of these per mailing.  Hogan Direct recommend at least 250 per quarter to help ensure that each participating contractor receive an adequate number of sales leads.
  • By controlling the number of mailings each contractor sent each quarter and the degree of lead-qualification service they received, the contractor could automatically control costs.

Fulfillment mailings were sent to prospects within 24 hours of receipt by Hogan Direct — easy-to-understand information that educated them about justifying the cost of construction, proper planning steps, advantages of pre-engineered construction over conventional construction, and choosing the contractor as their Builder.

Hogan Direct informed participating contractors they could have Hogan Direct qualify their sales leads for them.  Because of busy work schedules, any contractor who preferred, trained, experienced telephone sales support people make their initial phone follow-up calls.  If so, only the most qualified prospects would be sent to the contractor.

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