Some Globe and Mail publicity about start-up Canadian lead generation business led me to a brief but informative phone conversation with a GrowthGenius sales representative.
The concept: The company develops an introductory email campaign for you tailored to attract inquiries and initial sales meetings, in part by applying artificial intelligence to tailor the language to suit both your and the prospective clients’ interests.
Is this service worth the money?
I cannot say, because the budget in the range of $3,000 per month for a minimum six month commitment (four months if you prepay) went too far out of my comfort zone. The rep said if certain criteria are met (and you can confirm the details before signing on), GrowthGenius will guarantee at least 10 actionable references per month, but it can take a couple of months for things to get into gear and for the results to be valuable.
Notably, while GrowthGenius is a Canadian business, it doesn’t provide its services to Canadians because of the country’s stringent anti-spam legislation. (While it is unlikely anyone will be fined or charged, just sending a single commercial email without either clearly documented express or implied consent, outside of some narrow categories and exemptions, is illegal.)? And since the objective is to attract clients, the word “commercial” clearly applies to the relevant mailings. The US-only limitation isn’t a problem for me since our business has significant operations south of the border.
In theory, at least 10 warmed, qualified leads should more than cover GrowthGenius’ cost if your fees or project values are high enough — and that wouldn’t be a problem for the AEC community. And, despite the painful requirement to sign up for a six-month stint, that sort of commitment makes good sense for any serious marketing or business development initiatives. We need to put some skin in the game, and allow the leads enough time to develop and convert, before we either give up or confirm the idea is a winner.
Of course, because the service is new, you probably won’t have direct comparisons and reference points; and in any case, it is unlikely you could learn much from how a remotely related AEC organization fares. So, in deciding whether or not to use this service, I think the decision will come down to your budget, risk profile, and how much you need new business leads.