Best practices for lead generation, marketing automation and revenue generation topics.

Is Geotargeting Right for National Brands?

Is Geotargeting Right for National Brands?This Marketing Profs article discusses the marketing issue many national brands face: geotargeting to smaller areas is often impossible, leaving local businesses to fill in the gaps in the market. The result is local market representation failing to become part of a company’s overall strategy – therefore, lost revenue.

Local marketing strategy and geotargeting are only one piece of a larger marketing automation puzzle. For businesses, the implementation of the right marketing automation strategy is only the beginning of the plan – not intended to be the plan itself. It’s important that large national brands that are thinking about geotargeting consider if they have the staff and resources to address the geotargeting data that emerges from marketing automation implementation.

Understanding Geotargeting

The first step in considering geotargeting for large national brands is to get an idea of what goals the brands are hoping to accomplish. Ultimately an increase in sales and revenue is always the goal, but so is identifying whether or not the associated costs will be worth the investment.

For instance, if every geotargeted customer costs $100 in marketing dollars to obtain while the typical revenue per customer is $70, there’s a problem. Marketing automation is a good way to understand these ROI disparities and determine whether or not geotargeting is worth it for a larger business.

Marketing Locally

Marketing automation is also great for building localized lists. Having a standard set of users to continuously target will show you if your geotargeted marketing campaigns are as effective as possible. The sum of the geotargeted parts is your end user base in any given area, so it’s important to understand that marketing to a cluster of users in a singular location is essentially what you’re going for. Your end users are your bread and butter, so carefully monitoring how they use your marketing automation campaigns will make all the difference.

It’s important to work with a marketing automation firm that really has it together and can implement geotargeting effectively. After everything is set up, the available data stream is up for the company’s interpretation and use. Marketing automation set up is only the beginning – from there, companies need to be able to rely on their company’s support to help interpret data and figure out how to run their geotargeting efforts on a consistent basis.

Lead Liaison has some of the best customer support and follow-up in the business. We work with large and small brands alike and would love to chat with you about geotargeting your business! Contact us today for a free consult.

Why Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Should Use Marketing Automation for Prospecting

I Love Prospecting with Lead LiaisonProspecting is a headache for most sales reps. Sales people get pressure from leadership to sell faster and meet the demands of the current quarter. As the day-to-day pressure mounts salespeople get distracted and lose focus on prospecting as they concentrate more on closing existing deals in late pipeline stages. What salespeople wind up with is more business at the bottom of the funnel but a very non-existent top and middle of the funnel. For small to mid-sized businesses these issues compound as smaller companies have less resources to work with.

It’s vital salespeople close deals and prospect at the same time. However, it’s unrealistic to think most salespeople will be consistent with their prospecting efforts. Using sales automation, salespeople can be ultra-efficient, almost like an assembly line, with a systematic and scalable way to prospect. Marketing automation software for small to mid-sized businesses helps salespeople use automated workflows to “chase” prospects once they’ve identified their targets. Prospect communication happens in the background using multiple touch points, something that’s imperative when prospecting, to connect with your prospect. Executing such a process looks like this:

  1. Add the contact to your CRM
  2. Add the contact to a Lead Liaison Workflow
  3. Boom! A series of 2-week communication automagically chases your prospect by sending them personalized communication
  4. When prospects engage, you’ll know about it in real-time and remove them from the Workflow

The flow chart below depicts a sample Chase Workflow that a small to mid-sized company might build to automate sales prospecting. I promise, we can make you love sales prospecting!

Let us know if we can help you build this awesome process into your sales organization.

Marketing Automation for Prospecting

2 Week Chase Workflow

Business Intelligence and Visitor Tracking Solutions

Visitor Tracking IntelligenceBusiness intelligence can benefit a business at any size or level, and visitor tracking is an important part of that intelligence. Many small businesses look past marketing automation as a viable option due to size, not enough staff on hand, etc. However, with the right marketing automation tools in place, small businesses can utilize the same type of visitor tracking and business intelligence tools that larger businesses use.

Lead Follow-Up

Small businesses won’t become larger without figuring out how to sell more and how best to utilize leads. Smaller businesses may be using tools that weren’t necessarily meant to track leads just to keep all their data straight. For example, Google Docs is a powerful, flexible tool, but isn’t necessarily best used to classify the movement of leads through your funnel or different buyer stages.

The right CRM can do that – but paying for an enterprise level CRM plus all the other tools you need can be a waste of money when your relevant business leads and successful advertising information can be funneled through one solid backend.

Marketing automation tools aren’t just about keeping track of lead flow – they’re about managing information in one easily organized place. With the right visitor tracking systems in place, any member of your team should be able to check in, get an idea of what ‘s happening and use that business intelligence information to better determine how to sell to clients.

Visitor Tracking and Onboarding

Ease of use is one of the most important components of using any marketing automation dashboard. A smaller company that can best care for the individual needs of a small business is best. Within that smaller company is housed various team members who need the right training to use whatever business intelligence or visitor tracking systems are in place. Training is crucial – you don’t want to pay for a tool that you or your staff members are never going to use.

It’s important to take your time making the right choice for a marketing automation company. The marketing automation giants out there offer plenty of solutions with built-in visitor tracking – but are they going to take the time to train employees and get everyone on-boarded? Working with a smaller marketing automation company can be better because every client counts – so every function that’s utilized, every staff member that’s trained and every tick in your “sold” column keeps the machine running.

Talk to Lead Liaison specialists today about how marketing automation can take your small business to the next level!

You’ve Got Visitor Tracking Going – Now What?

Visitor Tracking - Now What?So you’ve been using marketing automation tools to engage in visitor tracking for your business and you have all the data you could ever hope for. What’s next?

Visitor tracking isn’t something all businesses are doing, but they should be. The in-depth information provided by the knowledge of who is visiting your site, how long they stick around and what they’re clicking on can provide advanced intelligence data you never thought possible. We’ve already established how great it is to have this info – but what do you do once the data starts coming in? How can you make the right decisions for your business based on the data you’re seeing?

All the Articles

When users engage with business websites, many of them determine the service value of the company they’re researching based on what kind of content or information the business provides. You may look at visitor tracking data and find that users are clicking on or paying attention to certain blogs as opposed to other areas of content. Maybe more visitors are finding your blog entries or other content via entry from Google. What does this tell us about the way you can use this information in future marketing efforts?

First, if users tend to engage with certain content and you don’t have a sign up box somewhere on your page, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to get users into your information funnel. Promising similar content to the kind that’s really engaging users is a great way to grab email addresses and get your customers that much closer to a sale.

You can also use this as an opportunity to get users further engaged with your website. Info blocks that promise similar content if a user clicks on a story can be really helpful in getting users to spend a fair amount of time on your website, therefore seeing you as a trusted content source. 

What About Advanced Visitor Tracking?

When you’re able to log individual users based on identifying information such as an IP address, you can use this information to tailor your content to what that user wants to see – or to have an agent chat with them in a way that can better capture a sale. There’s no shame in preventing your value proposition in a way that gets you closer to a sale, specifically if you know which individual user your sales staff is talking to.

Lead Liaison offers advanced visitor tracking via its marketing automation services. Talk to us today and discover which marketing automation opportunities will best serve your business!

 

Ethical Visitor Tracking

Make Sure You Have Ethical Visitor TrackingThere will always be buzz in the analytics community about whether or not visitor tracking is ethical. With Facebook’s latest Messenger company and online privacy issues hot on the minds of many internet users, the issue of what data a company should or shouldn’t have access to will likely remain a hot news item over time.

Regardless, is there anything wrong with companies using visitor tracking to meet their potential or current clients’ needs? When is visitor tracking ethical or unethical? How can businesses ensure their visitor tracking complies with the email programs, analytics programs and marketing automation software they’re using?

When Is Visitor Tracking Ethical?

Visitor tracking is all about logging information on individual website visitors for business intelligence use. Having this information on hand allows businesses to determine which action to take that might result in a conversion from the visitor. Whether this is logging IPs, collecting emails or initiating chat with a user, getting personal information about users can be beneficial for many businesses.

So when is this type of tracking ethical? When a user willingly gives a business information such as an email address, phone number, street address or any other personal data, they’re essentially giving their permission to contact them. Knowing who that user is by logging their IP and identifying further visits to determine which marketing methods might be best is permissible.

Here’s when it gets tricky – the sharing of information with other net properties or other businesses violates privacy all the way around, can be illegal and gives individual users due cause not to trust a business or engage with them further. It’s important for businesses to disclose that they take privacy seriously, and give users a 100% fair and complete expectation of what will be done with their data.

The Appropriate Disclosure

This Lead Liaison blog entry details how unethical visitor collection practices violate user privacy and could cause problems for businesses. To avoid issues, businesses should make sure they are engaging with software and visitor tracking solutions that are ethical at their core. Many marketing automation solutions have the tracking power available to provide business intelligence without violating ethics or spam or privacy laws.

At Lead Liaison, we take privacy and ethics very seriously. We work to make sure clients can get the intelligence they need without compromising user security or the trust of current or potential clients. To find out more about how our ethical visitor tracking solutions work, contact us for a consult today!

 

Top 7 Ways to Maintain Customer Retention through Marketing Automation

Customer RetentionIt’s easy to get lost in the process of lead generation, mindlessly nurturing and scoring in order to convert and build your customer base. However, just as a top-scoring, warm lead is easier to persuade to sign the deal, increasing your customer retention even as little as 5% can produce increase in profit from 25% to 95% percent. Technology makes it even easier to keep in tune with your buyers and ensure you’re staying on their good side. Check out these top seven ways to maintain customer retention through marketing automation:

  1. Understand the insightful feedback. Your current customers are already giving you valuable market information. Check their activity on your site—what are they clicking, downloading, and sharing? Also, don’t forget to encourage feedback from them, whether through social media surveys, website forms, or directed email marketing campaigns. These customers have already been converted, chances are they are nearly guaranteed hot leads with insightful feedback on your products.
  2. Drip Marketing. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by utilizing personalized drip marketing campaigns. They didn’t open your last email? Try segmenting those customers and sending them a second email, targeted at their needs.
  3. Stay in touch. Don’t quit your lead scoring just because they’ve converted. Continue to score them and determine which content you’re producing is most valuable to (lifelong) customers. Provide helpful how-to’s on the best practices and most recent updates on your products. Cultivate this relationship to maintain customer retention through marketing automation by scheduling regular touchpoints with buyers at least once a month.
  4. Don’t get caught up in filling the top of the funnel. Lead generation will no doubt be an imperative player in your company’s success. There’s no reason to forget about the bottom of the funnel, though. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to capitalize on the leads that are already warm and proven to be ready to buy.
  5. Give them what they want. Analyze buying cycles, particularly those of your current customers, and remind them when they want to buy based on their previous behaviors. For example, if your product is a yearly software program, send out a notification a few months before their service expires, giving them a personalized reminder to renew. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by giving your customers what they want and when they want it.
  6. Thank them. Give them a special coupon code on their buying anniversary or provide a unique offer right after their purchase. Incentivize them to share your product with others as well through referral systems. Use social media to provide a contest among followers, encouraging their interaction and engagement (AKA business insight) with your company.
  7. Provide the solution. Chances are, your buyers put their trust in you. They count on you to be the expert; in fact, they’re probably paying you to be the expert. Don’t let them down by providing shotty customer service or not updating your resources regularly. Use creative and timely content to maintain customer retention through marketing automation practices.

Marketing Automation: How Does the CEO Fit In?

Marketing Automation for the CEOWhen is it best for a company’s CEO to get involved with the marketing team’s overall efforts – this is the question marketing automation answers for many organizations. The idea that the CEO of any-sized company turns his or her back to the marketing team’s efforts – taking a “set it and forget it” approach to advertising – is one that comes to life for many agencies and gets in the way of upgrading legitimate marketing efforts.

Knowing this, how can any organization’s CEO make sure that the company marketing team is on board with making changes that benefit the organization from the ground up?

Understanding Marketing Automation

Many companies avoid choosing marketing automation services due to the work it would create on their end. Let’s face it – many companies don’t make it a priority to connect sales and marketing departments the way they should. This results in a disjointed effort between sales and analysts, creating unhappy customers and getting in the way of productivity.

Marketing automation is a great way to not only establish and track legitimate leads for any organization, but to develop an internal process that unites sales, marketing and execution departments. Because the process of getting a lead all the way to working for a customer require follow-up, tracking and cooperation on the back end, a work system can be set in place that solidifies the efforts of these departments like never before. The result is a workflow that’s not just fully automated, but addresses the unique needs of all areas of the business.

Getting the Right Training

The training involved with implementing marketing automation is not just for employees or individual department heads  – the top-level of the organization – particularly the CEO or business decision maker – should have some idea of how marketing automation works and how it may be implemented within the organization as a whole.

The best way to ensure these strategies are in place and working for a business is to have the CEO go through the appropriate training, delegate responsibility and understand how everything works. This can only be accomplished with a marketing automation team that cares about its business and customers. A solid marketing automation system needs to be in place, but a team willing to train employees (and CEOs) and to stick around for follow-up is integral to the process working for everyone involved.

The Lead Liaison team doesn’t drop off service after marketing automation – we stick around to make sure all companies’ needs are met from the top down. Talk to us about a consult today!

3 Steps to Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing Automation

Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing AutomationIt’s no surprise that marketing automation opens opportunities for managing your leads like never before; but how else can you use the system to benefit your business? A case study by Marketing Sherpa found that utilizing marketing automation can drive more 75% more leads. Even though you’ve got this huge flood of leads, we know they don’t qualify and convert themselves. What could be the risks involved with passing all of the new leads on to sales? How hazardous is it to prematurely qualify leads? Manage the influx of leads and drive lead qualification through marketing automation.

What qualities do “qualified leads” embody? Although this is a crucial question, it will inevitably be different for each organization that attempts to define it. It is imperative that the sales and marketing agree on some of the “static” characteristics of the ideal lead that is nearing their buying decision. Some of the static definitions of each lead will derive from pieces of their profile that are unlikely to change in the next few quarters, such as their job title, the size of their company, their geographic location, etc. Each of these items will factor into their score, and ultimately, how they’re qualified and whether or not they get pushed to sales. Here are three things that will help drive lead qualification through marketing automation:

Monitor Lead Engagement

In order to properly and completely profile each lead and potential lead, it’s necessary to have a good handle on the amount of contact they’ve had with your brand. There’s nothing worse than to scare away a prospect by pushing them to sales too early. With the right tools, marketing automation can make tracking visitor activity a breeze, with gadgets like desktop clients. Monitor your landing page traffic in real time, see which links/images are getting the most hits, and discover who’s spending the greatest amount of time on your site. With the various tools that marketing automation affords your business, it becomes less of a chore to discover and evaluate the potential buyers’ interest levels.

Prioritize and Push (only) the Hottest Leads to Sales

Shorten the sales cycle by prioritizing the prospects who have shown their readiness to make buying decisions. Understand, gauge, and encourage their readiness through effective and diligent lead nurturing practices. Utilize personalized email messages and targeted content to engage and drive lead qualification through marketing automation. By prioritizing the leads that are most ready to buy, your sales team is less likely to waste their time chasing prospects who do not feel informed enough to make a decision. Along the same thread, don’t give up on these leads. They may only require a little extra TLC and the right nurturing campaign to push them over to the qualified side.

Ensure your CRM is Synced

Chances are, your marketing automation software is equipped to automatically synch with the CRM. Be sure you’re not entering the same information in multiple platforms. Synching up the common platforms between both the sales and the marketing teams provides a greater visibility, stronger communication, and an overall clearer plan of action.

3 Ways Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer Persona

Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer PersonaImplement successful marketing strategies and make the most of content-driven, scalable automation confidently through understanding your buyer persona. Marketing automation is a useful tool in gathering the analytics you need to build your buyer persona, strategically reach your target audience, and truly understand what they’re looking for.

According to an article by Tony Zambito, thought leader on the topic, buyer personas describe “who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, where they buy, when buyers decide to buy, and why they make buying decisions.” That’s quite a bit of information to gather. In the end, building accurate models of buying behaviors helps you to understand how your prospects expect and prefer to interact with your brand. Use marketing automation to build your buyer persona. Uncovering such knowledge will arm both sales and marketing teams with the information and assurance they need to seal the deal.

Integrate the Analytics

With features such as Lead Liaison’s Social Append, marketing automation allows you to gather data available from a variety of sources and channels and build a telling profile of your ideal prospect. Not only will you understand their social interactions, but you’ll also have a grasp of how they expect to interact with your brand and product. Another useful way to implement the numbers and stats you’ve gathered is to sort your prospects: what actions were taken by you that won a prospect over? What were the signs that you were about to lose a prospect? Building out a thorough analysis of this data will help to create a persona based on previous experience that will ensure a successful plan for the future.

Work with the Sales Team

Get insights from the sales team to refine the personas. They’re the ones with the most direct contact with prospects, so take advantage of their findings. When using marketing automation to build your buyer persona, marketers and sales teams need to maintain a two-way communication plan so that they can nail down the specifics- what questions are your prospects asking during their buying process? What are their goals, or what are their company’s goals? What are the signs that a prospect is ready to buy? Productive lead tracking and nurturing can provide the data you need to see what action steps the marketing team is taking that lead to higher success and ROI in the sales interactions.

Create a Range of Different Personas

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by creating and implementing just one persona. Recognize the common factors in your buyers’ decision-making process, and develop a few different personas that are testable. When thinking about a relevant range of personas, utilize customer surveys, case studies, and other tools and strategies already in place. Having a broader perspective allows you to try out various strategies to discover which works best.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices and Your Organization

Lead Nurturing Best PracticesIt’s true that lead nurturing best practices are important to establishing good relationships with prospects, though many small businesses don’t really have the time or the resources to think about it. The act of adopting marketing automation into company processes is about giving your organization the ability to start nurturing leads and developing a deeper, more intensive and effective funnel over time. For many businesses, understanding the best ways to nurture leads aren’t a part of this process from the get-go.

When considering how to nurture leads for your business, it’s best to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Here are some ideas on how you can get the type of familiarity that will help you best turn your prospects into completed conversions.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices

At minimum, nurturing leads is about developing a relationship of trust with your customers. Because many modern business relationships start and continue over the internet, the in-person, ‘human touch’ component of interaction and communication is sometimes lost.

To give you a good example, many of us would never buy a car over the internet without test driving it, feeling the steering wheel under our hands and being able to experience being in the car and seeing the exterior first-hand. With recent economic issues these past few years reducing the income of many, customers want to “feel out” your product or service and feel they’re getting the best bang for their buck before making a deeper commitment.

Take a step back and ask yourself how your website, self-presentation and various sales materials stand up to the test of time with regard to how much customers trust you. If your offering was a car, do customers get a good feel for the product and develop trust before making a big commitment?

Making it Personal

The more personality and trustworthiness you put across in your marketing materials, the more it’ll be likely that clients trust you over time. It’s important to give your marketing materials that personal touch – for example, if your business happens to be family owned, this is a great way to tell your clients more about you and establish that trust. Try writing a company blog or recording a video where you showcase members of your staff or a specific team.

Lead nurturing best practices are all about getting to know the client better and putting personalization into practice. Marketing automation can help you track data, and the right marketing automation team can help you figure out what your clients want to see from you before you even start tracking, as well as how to better nurture leads. Find out more by consulting with Lead Liaison’s friendly staff today!