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Corn Field Marketing #2: Drip Irrigation

My last post shared what Heartland Technology Solutions is doing in the area of event marketing, but that's not all they do. They have a tried and true direct marketing strategy as well. During his Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference seminar, Heartlands Sales and Marketing VP Larry Hedin shared their top performing direct marketing tactics. Larry calls it 'drip marketing.'

#1: Deliver a series of oversized "Impact" postcards

HTS Impact Postcard

HTS Impact Postcard

Heartland's mail campaigns are designed as a series to drive home a specific message (ie. the case for disaster recovery services.) The sales force performs follow-up calls after the third mailing with the goal of setting up appointments.

#2: Create a monthly e-newsletter

HTS e-Newsletter

HTS e-Newsletter

HTS used to do a print newsletter but they soon realized they were spending more money and receiving less information from their customers. They use Constant Contact, an online newsletter management service, to deliver a monthly e-newsletter and to track open rates and click throughs by topic. That way, they know which prospects are interested and the topics in which they are interested.

Larry was clear that the purpose of the newsletter was not to sell HTS services. It was to educate and inform prospects, and to get the prospects to take action by clicking through to the HTS website. Each newsletter is built around a topic of current interest, like disaster recovery during tornado season.

The e-newsletter generates real sales results. For example, Heartland sold a Voip phone system to a local school based on a school administrator reading a Voip article in an HTS newsletter. This $70,000 sale has grown into other opportunities in other offices under the school's control.

To date, over 1300 people are signed up to this free monthly newsletter. Their newsletter is so popular that HTS is rebranding their newsletter for over 200 other IT services partners around the country. While intended for marketing Heartland's core services, the e-newsletter has created an entirely new line of business.

Next Up: Solution Selling -- a formal sales process gets results!