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Lead generation success - Critical Success Factors

We agree with the Anand Sanwal's statement that 93.9 percent of all cold emails from salespeople are absolute and utter rubbish (Source), apart from being illegal in Europe thanks to GDPR. Writing a compelling message overwhelms most sales and marketing people. That's a great opportunity to make your message stand out from your mediocre competition by meeting the following requirements.

GDPR lead generation requirements are forcing a change in how companies generate, convert, and retarget leads.  Cold emails to prospects are NOT GDPR COMPLIANT. In this context PENSAKI can make a valuable contribution. Response rates between 10 and 40 percent can be achieved with PENSAKI letters. This expression of appreciation always leads to very good results, IF the following success factors are taken into account. Blunt advertising messages won't convert, even when written with a Montblanc© fountain pen. Our most successful customers pay particular attention to preparing their acquisition letters, based on the following recommendations.

Successful lead generation does not work with blunt sales messages. Your cold outreach ROI will sucks if you work with a sales pitch instead of enabling an initial conversation with a human being. One-sided sales pitches are a nuisance. A bespoke handwritten message only has an effect on the recipient if it is a PERSONAL message from one human being to another. Your recipients must feel personally touched by your expression of appreciation.

Your message must directly get at the WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME (WIIFM). Your mission is to engage the audience — to get them interested, give them a reason to engage with you. Point out the benefits you will be able to generate for the recipient or limit yourself to the expression of appreciation. What benefits can the recipient gain from dealing with you? Refer to a landing page for any further/advertising information that underlines your statements, but please do not write a one-page marketing text. Be relevant or accept failure.

Did you know that the standard period of attention is just four seconds? Only think about it. It is in this four-that your handwritten letter has to contend against the rest of the planet to attract attention. Your message must sustain that attention to engage people in a more in-depth experience and to ideally respond you directly.

K.I.S.S. stands for "Keep it simple stupid" - short and simple messages are more catchy and therefore easier to understand. Avoid stringing together hackneyed phrases, do not annoy the reader with PR speech bubbles. If the recipient comes to the conclusion that you can't keep it crisp and short, you have a real problem. Formulate your statements in short, concise sentences, try to have an activating effect by stimulating curiosity and not indifference. Bad sales letters are full of buzz words, anglicisms, abbreviations and boring phrases. Successful sales letters are not written in an artificial language, but are short and concise, tailored to the target group.

Handwritten notes can make an important contribution to your B2B lead generation goals. Your handwritten sales letters or invitations can achieve open rates of up to 99% and response rates between 10 and 40 percent. Yes, that’s massive in comparison to any other lead generation tactic you can think of. The recipient of your message automatically – on a subconscious level – assesses the perceived costs that the sender has invested in his message. This is called “costly signaling”. On this page, you will find the most important success factors so that also your B2B lead generation campaign with Pensaki can also be extremely successful.

Acquiring new customers with handwritten letters is not the silver bullet. Successful lead generation campaigns require more than a handwritten note. However, if you consider these success factors you will be rewarded with outstanding results. Always focus on enabling a first conversation instead of one-sided sales messages.Important requirements for sales success are resilience and attention to details. This is especially true for the daily fight for attention. Handwritten messages offer an outstanding opportunity to stand out from the competition. At the same time, handwritten letters are not a sufficient condition for marketing success. Those who pay attention to the interaction of success factors will be rewarded with outstanding results. For example, response rates of 20 to 40 percent are quite realistic. The most beautiful handwriting only has an effect on the recipient if the associated message is right and the recipient really feels personally addressed. Therefore, you should invest enough time and effort in the form and content of your text beforehand.

Covering the Bases: Successful Sales Campaigns

The more precise your target group definition, the more successful your campaign can be. For which industries are your solutions ideal to generate demonstrable added value? Which company size is ideal to generate these results? Which decision-makers benefit most from this added value? How can these results be quantified?Creating a list of existing customers that have been very successful with your solution/services is a great point to start with. Then ask yourself about their key characteristics on a company level.An ideal customer profile is a description of your target companies on a meta level, i.e. not the individual buyer or end user — that can generate the most benefits from your solution or services. Your solution needs to solve a compelling event that those organizations face.The ideal customer profile can include e.g these characteristics:1. Geography2. Industry/vertical3. Employee headcount4. Annual revenue or size of their customer base5. Technologies used (ERP, CRM, etc.)

A handwritten sales letter must always be addressed to one person (correctly and completely). A letter addressed in this way must refer to the professional function of the person and may of course only be sent to the person’s business address. Please never write “to the marketing management” or similar. Such a formulation allows only one conclusion: the sender has spared the effort and time to find out the details. In this way nobody can feel “personally” addressed. The appreciation conveyed in handwriting then simply reaches into the void.

Under no circumstances should the content of your handwritten message been sent in parallel by email. A lack of response to these messages cannot be compensated by a handwritten “magic hand”. Therefore, make sure that you always keep the handwritten content exclusive.

B2B Lead Generation and GDPR: Online only with opt-in but offline only without opt-out! Legal aspects also play an important role in the lead generation context. Companies may only be approached “cold” if they have a “presumed interest” in the relevant offer. This has not been changed by the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Content: Benefits, Relevance & Brevity

Of course, the relevance of the content is the decisive factor for the success of your customer acquisition campaign. Your “handwritten” message must address the recipient personally and be bursting with relevance. Banal advertising messages remain banal even in “handwriting”. Of course, every successful personalization begins with the correct and complete postal address. It is therefore essential that you check that all master data is up-to-date before sending a high-quality handwritten advertising letter by post.Under no circumstances should you use an impersonal form of address. This is because it is impossible for you to express a personal reference or esteem in this way; only specified people can be held in esteem. If you nevertheless use this address, make it clear that you have not had time and/or time to take a look at the company.

Benefits Sell, Features alone Don’t. Your latest and greatest features simply mean nothing to your prospects unless they effectively translate into lower costs, quicker delivery or something else of value. Being established 400 years ago or having received 1000 bn in venture capital funding means nothing to your prospects unless that feature can be translated into a benefit of reliability and a guarantee of being in business in the future.Prospects and customers in general simply don’t care about statements about product features: You need to tell your prospects how their life or business will improve as a result of buying your product or service. They expect to obtain a significant business result (either improving opportunity/capability or reducing pain). Product features are generic, while benefits are personal. If something is a feature, every customer can take advantage of it. A benefit, on the other hand, usually applies to a very specific subset of customers, your ideal customers. Therefore it is very critical to know your buyer’s goals, challenges, and desires. Tipp: Ask yourself this: “will this aspect of our product/service help the prospect to achieve their goals or alleviate their pain? If the answer is no, simply skip this aspect in your messaging.Focus on what matters most, because when explaining benefits, quality always beats quantity.

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid) – Short/simple sentences are more catchy and therefore easier to understand. Avoid stringing together worn-out phrases or buzzwords, do not annoy the reader with PR bullshit lingo. If the recipient of your letter decides for himself that you can’t be brief and that you are a time bandit, then you have a real problem. Formulate your statements, in short, concise sentences, try to have an activating effect by stimulating curiosity and not indifference. Refer to a landing page for all further/advertising information. A successful sales letter NEVER exceeds the length of a DIN A4 page! Bad acquisition letters are very often full of buzz words, anglicisms, abbreviations, and boring phrases. Successful Akquisebriefe are not written in an artificial language, but formulated target group-fairly briefly & scarcely. Write simple sentences that are not nested.

People write letters. Organizations send out printed direct mail. So better not write “your team”, but use instead a personal letter closing.

Follow-Up is Where Most Deals are Lost or Won.

According to research ONLY ABOUT THREE PERCENT OF YOUR TARGET MARKET IS ACTUALLY READY TO BUY FROM YOU NOW, the rest is NOT YET. These prospects are the companies that have a need and are actively looking for a solution, based on a compelling event and available budget. Those prospects want to make a purchase withing the next ninety days.All other potential customers might have a need but are not proactively looking for options yet. A well-planned cold call or marketing campaign can be very effective because they are open to new ideas. Others might already have a need, but not enough to act now. Those companies may look and behave like potential customers, but they will not commit within the next 90 days. They currently simply have different priorities. Your sales success, therefore, depends strongly on how successful you are in following up your existing contacts. Without follow-up activities, you leave your business success to chance. 90% of recipients of handwritten PENSAKI letters will remember receiving the letter positively. Use this priceless advantage e.g. for a follow-up call.

Even the best (cold) handwritten sales letter is often only the equivalent of a first professional “knocking on the door” or a first introduction. Especially in sales, first impressions can make all the difference between creating an opportunity and not being able to even open a sales opportunity. With your bespoke handwritten letter, you have already left an outstanding first impression. But now you need to follow-up to engage with your prospects.Your bespoke handwritten letter might not trigger a direct reaction/response as it requires a bit more to do that (timing, relevance, priorities, etc.). So plan your sales campaigns right from the start in such a way that the follow-up call takes place a few days after the campaign has been mailed.Tip: Ask by telephone whether the recipient has received the letter! If there’s one thing that too many sales reps suck at, it’s following up. It’s the same old story—you don’t want to be annoying, so you play it safe. But you need to develop a follow-up strategy that will get you more clients and help you close more deals.According to some internet research 80 percent of sales require 5 follow-up calls. Unfortunately 44% of salespeople give already up after one follow-up call.

Comparison of response rates with cold sales letters

Email (only GDPR-compliant with double opt-in) ¹ : 1%
Print Direct Mail (GDPR-compliant without opt-out) ¹: 5%
Pensaki-letters (GDPR-compliant without opt-out) ²: 40%

Legally speaking, all business invitations are advertising. Therefore, sending an invitation (according to EU-GDPR) may also constitute an unreasonable nuisance. If the invitation is sent by email, consent with the double-opt-in is legally required beforehand. If the invitation is sent by direct mail, no prior consent is required. While recipient opt-ins aren't compulsory in the case of direct mail, gaining legitimate interest is. If your company can prove your campaign is of legitimate interest to those you are targeting, the need for consent disappears. This is unlike email marketing, where consent is always required. Cold contact by email, WhatsApp or SMS are not GDPR-compliant, whether for consumers or business. As a result, the DMA Response Rate Report 2018 demonstrate, high-quality offline mailings can make a very important value contribution.

Effective Response Rates With PENSAKI Letters

40 %

Response Rate

Source: R wie Resultate

"....I was able to generate eight meetings from the 20 letters I sent, six of which have become new customers."

40 %

Response Rate


Sourc: Twitter

"Pensaki invitations generate new leads for our Oracle Eloqua campaign. Lead conversion rate of about 40%!"

10 %

Response Rate

Source: Return of the Jedi

"... achieved a 10% response rate with a cold mailing list, 10% of those invited got back to make an appointment the exhibition stand".

24 %

Response Rate


Source: Testimonial

"With Pensaki sales leters we easily achieved a 24% response rate. Normally, even with up-to-date data, the response rate is below 2%."

Lead generation with PENSAKI: Digital Thought Leaders

Timmy Hack

"We are completely satisfied with both the Pensaki order process and the results of the handwritten letter campaigns!"

Shahin Pour


"We are a very satisfied customer for several years now. The quality of the cards is excellent and the online service is ideal for our VIP - CRM campaigns".

Jakob Becker

PaulCamper 🇩🇪

"Excellent service, the results are indistinguishable from a human handwritten card. We are a satisfied customer for several years already."

Michaela Seika

Oracle 🇩🇪

"Pensaki handwritten invitations generate a 40% lead conversion rate for our Oracle Eloqua campaign!"

Anna Brunner

"We've sent Pensaki handwritten invitations to several thousand European decision-makers and the response was great."

Stephan Kreissler

Forum Mediaplanung 🇦🇹

"We've achieved an attendance record largely due to the handwritten invitations from Pensaki."