As rare as hen's teeth

If you build it, they will come

If you build it, they will come. OK, but “how many?” I hear you ask.

Have a quick Google and see if you can find any real, concrete data on results obtained from marketing. It is scarcer than hen’s teeth.

Of course there are lots of claims like “Increased by 50%” but what does this mean? If this was an increase from 2% to 3% it would be accurate but it certainly doesn’t sound so good put this way.

What I hope to do with this article is provide actual data from real projects which allow you to determine possible costs, revenue and profit for yourself. The data has been sourced from several EDM projects in the UK, Czech Republic and Italy amongst others.

How many is good?


The number of leads that a bank generates is typically a result of three factors;

  • Leads derived from analysis (models, scores, etc.)
  • leads added to “make up the numbers”
  • and the marketing budget (to limit the leads).


OK, so how many leads do you generate/deliver?

One famous UK bank generates 650,000 leads per month (7.8m per year) for their 2 call centres alone. This works out at 3 million leads per 1m customers per year. They report sales of 3.8% on these leads.

Is that good? I wanted to find out, so I did a little digging.

I think there are three steps to this;

Number of leads x conversion rate  x  value of a sale.

How many leads will I get?


In their Jan/Feb 2004 issue Banking Strategies Magazine  showed that this worked out to about 1.4 significant “Sales Events” per person every 5 years.

Using simple maths for 1m customers this means 1.4m leads in 5 years, or 280,000 per year or about 800 leads a day per million customers.

Interestingly, this number stacks up in practise with those banks where we have implemented such solutions who generate about 700 – 1,000 leads per day per million customers.

I’ve caught them. Now you skin them.


In the previous blog I showed some of the sales numbers achieved by banks using EDM. In Customers that I have dealt with personally, these ranged from 12% – 34%. For the sake of this exercise I have decided to use a sales conversion of 10%. This is a pessimistic choice but is good enough to illustrate the point.

What’s it worth then?


How much is a Sale worth? Initially this was a tricky question, as I found out from a UK bank who showed me that their profitability ranged from an annual NPV of £300 down to minus £28 depending upon the product being sold.

Having said this, for their calculations they use an average figure of £60. Interestingly this was backed up by three other banks from different countries around Europe who use figures of €90, €70 and €75. Despite being from totally different countries the numbers used are remarkably similar.

For the purposes of our exercise, I would like to suggest that the average value obtained from the sale of a bank product is €70.

Let’s do the maths.

Number of leads  x conversion rate x value of a sale.

280,000   x  10% x  €70 = €2,044,000 per year.

So, EDM will generate income of €2m in sales for each 1m customers.

Is this good? You tell me.

Using numbers from the UK bank I mentioned previously:

3m   x   3.8%    x  €70   = €7,980,000.

So the normal marketing generated 4 times as much income.

Now, let’s take into account the costs.

If we calculate that a call from a call centre costs €3 (which is low), we can then come out with results as follows:

Income              Costs                 Profit
€2,044,000     €840,000        €1,204,000

€7,980,000     €9,000,000    €1,020,000

Here you can see one of the real highlights of EDM, not only is it very profitable – but it is VERY cost effective. FYI using EDM one bank reduced their marketing collateral costs by 75%. Now you can see why.

On a final note, one client I talked too used their own figures on this and found that their marketing costs were much more than the income it generated. Shhhhh.



All of the above is open to debate and argument. I put it forward for you to use, substitute your own figures, etc.

But I need more, I hear you say.

Well, the number of people buying products / services from you on any given day is probably finite and doubling the number of contacts is not going to change that. It merely increases the costs and dilutes the results.

However there is more that you could do. The same BAI research found that over the same 5 year period there were 203 opportunities to provide Service to the customers. And as we know, better serviced customers are happier, more profitable and buy more from you. I wholeheartedly suggest that you use Service as a source for providing more leads.

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