With the increasing acceptance that work-from-home is the business model most firms will adopt for the foreseeable future, sales and marketing professionals who previously employed door-knocking and large-scale events for business development are having to look elsewhere. A renewed interest in well targeted email marketing has emerged, resulting in an intense focus on building high quality lists.

In times past, fishbowls resided on counters of B2C firms with storefronts or on high top exhibit counters designed for card collection at trade shows, and in-store traffic and events qualified as a good source of fresh contacts, but when prospects and referral sources stay away, astute marketing teams begin looking for different approaches.

Last month I overheard a promotion that Attorney Ken Nugent was running with the local radio station, offering to award $500 during each Braves game to one local EMT. The promotion went on to describe how EMTs should logon to a particular website and record their information. In pandemic-times, everyone is thinking about how to give back to first line responders, but savvy marketers may recognize that this program wasn’t entirely altruistic.

Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C. is a well-known and highly rated personal injury (PI) law firm. Guess who gets to meet lots of potential prospects with personal injuries? You guessed it: EMTs. By registering to win the $500, they provided their contact information and likely also opted-in to on-going firm marketing.

While I’m sure EMTs are someone discouraged (industry code of conduct or the like) from making referrals, it doesn’t hurt for Ken Nugent to have a feel-good relationship with these folks that I’m confident will ultimately lead to downstream referrals.

Interestingly, I saw an announcement of a copycat program the following week from a competing PI law firm aligned with a different Atlanta sports team still playing this fall. In this promotion they were giving $500 to active duty military, another worthy group of folks who are similarly celebrated for their efforts during this pandemic. Here’s the rub: active duty military folks aren’t meeting recently injured individuals and their family members on a routine basis so while this law firm may gain good will through their promotion, I question the value of their qualified opt-in list in generating future business. Essentially, I think they missed the mark and didn’t think through their entire promotion.

In today’s business environment where mailing lists can be purchased for hundreds of dollars per thousand names, $500 per game may seem an expensive investment but a little cash-benefit analysis is required here. $500 for even one single name that leads to a qualified referral and a one-third share of future PI award is a worthy investment, far outshining the performance of cheaper mailing lists or even free email lists resulting from data scraping.

While not every business has the wherewithal nor the opportunity to pull off a similar promotion for compiling targeted mailing lists, I hope readers will find inspiration in this summary to dig deeper or seek help in getting creative with their own practices.

This post is courtesy of MMC Principal Jennifer Koon