Posted on Feb 21st 2017 under Email Marketing
If you were asked to define sales, you probably wouldn't have much trouble, but what if you were asked how to make a sale instead? That is something most people have trouble with defining, and that is really because making a sale, whether online or offline, is something of an art.
Lead generation, which is the trusted route to sales, is a complex, daunting prospect in itself, unless you know the secrets that make generating leads so much easier and predictable, of course! Lead generation is something that can go very wrong, very quickly, without the right approach, so the answer is to take the right approach, follow our simply guide and ensure your lead generation works every time.
1. Segment your lead generation strategies
Throughout the world there are strategies that can be seen to working reliably and efficiently:
- Email marketing: This includes referral programs, subscription signup forms and landing pages.
- Social Media: Engagement on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and any other social sites.
- Website- Optimizing your website's appearance by gated content, videos and testimonials with social proofs.
- Network engagement— Attending webinars, conferences, events, guest posting and participating in discussions.
- SEM— PPC ads and SEO
- Content marketing— SlideShare presentations, blogging, and eBook giveaways.
You should choose the strategy that best fits your skills, knowledge and situation, and then the most important part of all, putting that strategy into practice.
Implementing any strategy is the hardest part, even experts fail sometimes, but why do people really go wrong at this point? Is it the difficulty or something else?
The answer is something else, specifically it is often a failure to implement the whole strategy, or badly manage the strategy in its entirety. Don't worry though, you can avoid those kinds of mistakes, as we can see in our next step.
2. Understand the most effective ways to deploy those strategies
Maximizing the effect of your Email Marketing
- Avoid using the recipient's name in emails, it can feel like an invasion of privacy.
- Make use of short subject lines! Research by Adestra discovered that subject lines of less than 10 characters saw opening rates of a remarkable 58%.
- Schedule your emails to be delivered between 8 pm to 12 am in the evening and from 6 am to 8 am in the mornings for the best reception.
- Send emails on the weekends when people have more time
- Do not bombard your list with offers in every email. Mix things up, offers in some and appreciation of your customers and subscribers in others or tips to help them and add value to the subscription. A 50/50 ration of offers and value emails works well.
Reach millions through social media engagement
- Make sure you are on the right platform for your target market. For example, if you are doing business for B2C, Facebook is proven to be the most effective. However, for B2B campaigns, LinkedIn and Twitter see better responses.
- Social media is a two-way conversation, meaning you need to engage with your audience as well. Like, retweet, share, post and update your connections every day. Don't forget the weekends either.
- Start discussions on your social networks. Get involve with groups who talk about similar things that relates to your objective. Share your thoughts, advice and tips. Ask others to do the same.
- Participate in open source forums like Warrior Forum, Reddit and SEO-chat, etc. Contribute and help out people there. Likewise, participate in question and answer sites like Quora and Yahoo answer. People love to ask questions, and when they get a good answer, they appreciate it.
Improving your online gateway with Website optimization
- Your website should be easy on the eye, mobile friendly and with a color choice that focuses on providing clarity for readers, you want to make it easy for them to see your message, choose your color scheme carefully.
- Make good use of lead magnates. Lead magnates are simply an offer of something for free in exchange for contact information. A free eBook for signing up to an email list for instance, that kind of thing.
- Take care to apply your CTA (call to action) effectively. The CTA provides a reason for your lead to act, there and then. "Buy Now before its gone", "Sign up today to begin your journey" and similar. Your website needs an appropriate call to action to be effective.
- Make use of highly convertible landing pages. A landing page is a standalone web page linked to your site that is focused on a specific product, offer, or promotion that is not found on your home page. Online visitors won't spend more than couple of seconds to find what they need on your site, and if they don't find it, they will leave. This is a problem, causing your bounce rate increase and lead conversion to go down. A landing page solves the problem because visitors go directly to the landing page and sees the offer they are interested in straight away. Because landing pages are so focused, with content and the call to action limited to the single offer, conversion rates are often significantly higher.
- Add an email gate to a promotional video. For instance, you have a video with useful information for your audience, simply add an email gate halfway through that requires them to input their email address to see the rest. It is surprisingly effective.
- Use the tools you have available, these include exit intent pop ups, 2 step opt-in forms, single opt-in forms, side bars and end of post opt-in forms. However, add these sparingly, overkill can drive visitors away.
Website optimization is an industry in itself, and there are endless ways you can tweak and adjust your site, however the above points are all essentials that you must always include for an effective website.
Search Engine Marketing Analysis
SQR (Search Query Reports) — This analyzes the keywords being used, identifying which keyword is driving the traffic. This also allows you to note the keywords that are not working and mark them accordingly.
RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Adds) — The process of segmenting your visitors based upon what content they viewed. For instance, if they visited your employment section, they may not be the target market for your new offer, and so can be excluded from your marketing list.
UDT (User Demographic Targeting) — This can be done through both Google and Bing ads, and demographic targeting can be for both search and display campaigns. One of the most effective ways of discovering who really is your ideal customer.
RGSP (Remove Google Search Partner) — Sometimes the leads coming from the partner network are of obvious low quality, removing them improves your campaign.
GDN (Google Display Network) — It is essential to keep track of where your ads are appearing, and the conversion rate from that location. If the lead quality is poor, exclude them from the campaign or pause the Google display network for a week or two and see if the results improve.
- Create your own blog, and fill it with valuable, informative and high quality content that adds value to your audience. Educate and inform, and they will respond.
- Share your content across all suitable social media platforms and see your social connections become involved with the discussion. Ask your social media audience to like, share, comment and so on to broaden your reach.
- Try and feature industry leaders and well known 'names' in your content. These kinds of people add authority to your content and increase its value to readers.
- Once you have features an industry leader, let them know about your piece and see if you can get a response. Tell them how great the reaction was from your audience, and ask if they will share the content with their own. Some may feel a little uncomfortable doing this, but persevere, it really does work!
- Reach out to other blogs working on similar topics, let them know of new ideas you have brought forward on your own blog and see if they will share that with their followers.
We have now looks at the segmentation of lead strategies and the best ways to implement those strategies, but now we need to look at the process of managing those lead generation campaigns to make the most out of this new-found knowledge.
3. Lead generation Process Management
Sales Ready Lead Assessment
This is the process of reviewing every lead captured to assess whether the lead is someone who should be directed into the sales funnel straight away or not. This is accomplished with a simple checklist of criteria for your leads that looks like this:
- Demographic assessment — Where they are located, male, female, age, and so on, depending on where the data was collected a lot of this may remain unknown.
- Source assessment — Where the lead came from, PPC, social media offers and so on.
- Behavioral assessment — This refers to what websites they visited, what they downloaded, any webinars they attended amongst others.
This information will allow you to assess if any given lead is sales ready or not, it is important to do this for every single lead, and this segregation into two groups of sales ready and not sales ready leads is called the Reprocess Lead Cycle.
With the two lists, as the names imply, you then have your sales team engage with the sales ready group, and retain the list of not sales ready leads for later use. It is important to respond quickly to sales ready leads, and a schedule for contact should be drawn up and acted upon to ensure sales ready leads are not left to make use of a competitor instead.
Monitoring your lead conversion record
Through the use of session playback tools, you can see how your leads converted. including how they behaved on your site, what they clicked onto and most importantly, how they arrived into your sales funnel itself. From this, you can more easily understand which aspects of your campaign, website and content are effective and which are not working as effectively as you want.
It is important to remember that understanding what is not working is as important as finding out what is if you want a successful campaign that reaches your goals. Comprehensive web analytic tools allow you to do this easily and quickly.
To meet your sales targets, the first thing you need is high volume lead generation. Finding potential customers and then turning them into actual customers does not have to be complicated or difficult if you use the right strategies and put them into practice effectively, and now you have the information you need to do just that, so give it a try!
Review your marketing approach today and see if there are areas you can improve on. Mistakes happen in business, it is how we respond to them, learn from them and avoid repeating them that leads to long term success.