an online conversation
about design management

Grow your business the old fashioned way

There is a lot of talk about lead generation as if it is some mysterious and complicated process. For a design studio it is not a major task. Unlike retail businesses we don't need thousands of clients. We want thousands of jobs but we want them from a select group of clients. Lead generation in a design studio is all about getting a select group of potential clients and then focussing in on them.

We use eMarketing a lot to communicate with our clients, but we have not given up on the old fashioned way of using direct mail.

Over the years we've developed many direct mail campaigns and we know that a traditional response is about 1%. For large companies like supermarket chains it may be worth the effort but small businesses like design studios need a much better response.

It is possible to get a much better response – it just needs a bit of work. We designed and produced a 6 month direct mail campaign that returned $330k worth of new business at a cost of $15,000 (including our time).

Here's what we learnt from doing that campaign.

Start with a small very targeted list. We started with 20 contacts – all people we had previously worked with because this gave us the opportunity to design a targeted, personalised message.

Make it educational. We found the best way to sell our services was to NOT sell them. We used our work as examples to educate clients, for example we explained the difference between CMYK and spot colours by annotating samples of our work. Put web links to your site into the stories and use this to track the response.

Make it personal. We put hand written notes in the envelope with the direct mail. This included handwritten post-it notes to direct people to specific articles or ideas they might find of interest.

Follow up. We did this in two ways. Firstly we enclosed a response form and asked for feedback and other contacts we could send our educational piece to. Secondly, we followed up to make sure they received the material and that it was of use.

We produced this newsletter each month for 6 months and tracked the cost and the results. We printed extra newsletters and now we continue to use them to send to potential clients.





marketing to design clients