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On the Right Track: Intercity Rail Freight’s Targeted Email Journey

Success stories of our clients


Intercity Rail Freight




Railway, Medical Transport, Sustainable Supply Chain Logistics


Create engagement and revenue opportunities and media outreach with manually-researched, personalised outbound email.


70+ meetings in 3 months with major pharmaceutical companies, mid-level labs and medical clinics
2 new signed agreements

The Client

Intercity Rail Freight is a pioneer in rapid, cost-effective, and sustainable supply chain logistics. In operation since 2010, Intercity works with UK passenger rail operators to provide a critical service rapidly transporting medical goods across the country. They do this by utilising unused space on regularly scheduled rail routes and partnering with electric vehicle fleets or cycle delivery partners for low/zero-emission first and last-mile service.

By leveraging the UK’s 125 mph passenger rail service, Intercity provides extremely fast, flexible, secure, and cost-effective transport with clear environmental upsides. Its groundbreaking Medi FastTrack service is ideal for time and temperature-sensitive consignments — a service perfect for medical labs and pharmaceutical vendors that depend on speed and flexibility to ensure their patient’s health and welfare.

The Challenge

Jeff Screeton, Intercity Managing Director and supply chain logistics veteran was all too aware that without proper exposure even the most necessary and ingenious solutions can get lost in the crowd. Despite his decades of experience, Screeton had some key issues when it came to promoting the cutting-edge Intercity concept. He needed to find a way to scale his business development efforts with limited time and resources, and, more critically, to promote Intercity in a way that would get both the railways and new customers on board.

Unfortunately, Intercity’s previous experience with freelance lead generation and outsourced telemarketing agents had proven uninspiring and ineffective.

The Solution

Lead Gen Dept immediately understood Intercity’s value proposition and marketing requirements. “The first challenge Jeff faced was convincing the different rail networks to embrace the Intercity concept, so they could put on more routes and increase the company’s service area,” summarizes Connor Addis, Managing Director. “Second, Intercity needed leads for medical companies who could use the service to deliver their consignments. They needed a unique campaign strategy to fulfil both goals.”

Getting Noticed with Targeted Email

With Screeton on board, Lead Gen Dept concentrated on targeted outbound email to start conversations on IRF’s behalf. First, they designed an email campaign to enhance Intercity’s public standing in the sustainability and logistics spaces. “We researched journalists who had previously written about trains, sustainability, and the environment, and emailed them with the opportunity to develop articles directly with Jeff and Intercity,” explains Addis.

Creating the Right List

Lead Gen Dept simultaneously began business development and lead generation efforts for Intercity. “We focus on making the right list for each client,” explains Addis. “That meant taking the time to consult with Intercity to find potential customers that are the right size, who sell the right service and occupy the right geographic location. Intercity had to identify each prospect as someone they wanted to do business with.”

“We hand-researched medical companies and laboratories that would be a good fit. Then, we mapped out the decision-makers within each organization and developed a personalised email opener for each client,” says Addis. Depending on the size of a prospect, Lead Gen Dept researched between five and fifteen viable email contacts per company, before settling on the one that best matched Intercity’s needs.

“We don’t spam people,” emphasises Addis. “We do our homework, research their colleagues and contact only the most carefully selected prospects. Then we offer them something of value — something they want to know."

Making it Personal

“By taking the time to research every prospect and write something personal about their business, it shows that each email has been written one-to-one. We’ve seen this increase response rates by 15%,” Addis explains. “For every email we send, we look for something appropriate to comment on, for example, congratulating the prospect on their new offices, an award they won, or perhaps a well-known client they are working with. Making it clear the email isn’t automated encourages prospects to read the whole thing and respond if they are interested.”

The Results

The effort paid off in spades. “Through our email media outreach, Intercity got picked up by three different publications — the Sunday Times, Sustainability Magazine, and Retail Times,” says Addis. “That started the drums beating and the right people noticed. Among the respondents to that campaign was Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris.”

On the business end, “Intercity generated over 70 appointments with companies that ranged from AstraZeneca to mid-level labs and medical clinics,” says Addis. “Two major laboratories and clinics have come on board and the lifetime value of those accounts will be well in excess of what Intercity has invested in the Lead Gen Dept campaign,” says Screeton.

From Intercity’s perspective, Lead Gen Dept has injected new life into the business and relieved long standing bandwidth issues. “Coordinating between the couriers, clients and the train operators, there wasn’t the time to research a prospect list, come up with a campaign, and follow up on hundreds of emails, but Lead Gen Dept took that off my plate,” says Screeton. “Since we began, we have had abundant opportunities that I’m following up on and creating proposals for.”