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

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!

Marketing Automation to Meet All Business Needs

Marketing Automation to Meet All Business NeedsLead Liaison is busy adding bits and pieces to our marketing automation software that deliver a better customer experience all the way around. With marketing automation, it’s important to bend your solution to what your business needs – not try to change the way your business operates to best fit your marketing automation purchase. This is why partnering with a company that’s changing its offering to better suit what customers need over time is a good solution for your business.

Event Planning

Many companies have event planning needs – consistently scheduling conferences, meetings and impromptu phone or Skype chats to get the job done. Without a system in place to get meetings off the ground at a moment’s notice, many companies have headaches ensuring that associates check their emails or phone messages in time to make crucial meetings or to prepare necessary meeting elements.

This is where marketing automation steps in – with the right company, event planning assets can be incorporated into the company’s marketing automation back end, creating an opportunity for employees to keep and access all necessary meeting information in one place and receive meeting reminders and scheduling details. Marketing automation for companies can be more about tracking leads when event planning capabilities are available.

Marketing Automation and Advanced Reporting

Marketing automation tools should come with easy to run and understand reports. These reports should be able to pull data that will shed light on the finer details of your company’s marketing automation efforts. From responses to a certain marketing campaign to fine data that can be used for quality control, the right reports should be run and viewed on a regular basis to give clients access to details and data that help make marketing decisions.

Your marketing automation team should be able to train you in running these reports as well as understanding them. It’s best to run and review reports on a schedule, perhaps as part of a regular departmental team meeting.

With changing technology, companies need to be ready to change their offerings to give better service to their clients. This includes incorporating phone, text, email marketing, social media tracking, article writing and other services into marketing automation offerings. At Lead Liaison, we’re proud to offer this technology as part of our increasing efforts to upgrade client services and provide integration of the latest technologies into our own services. We’d love to show you more – talk to us about how we can best service your business today!

Marketing Automation: Do You Know Your Data Stream?

Marketing Automation: Do You Know Your Data Stream?Marketing automation isn’t just about gathering data – it’s about learning to collect data in a way that can be palatable, interpreted in a timely fashion and applied to your particular business situation. In general, the word ‘data’ tends to freak people out – many company execs anticipate binary numbers spitting out at them once data tracking solutions are in place, but this simply isn’t the case.

Today’s data sets are completely different than they were a few decades ago. The data marketing automation provides a company can include information like social media engagement statistics, email readability and click through and whether or not paid advertising campaigns are truly working for a business. Sophisticated marketing automation campaigns can even tell whether or not visitors to a business website are repeat customers or first-timers. What business decision maker wouldn’t want this type of information?

Starter Marketing Automation Data

Many companies put marketing automation on the backburner because they simply don’t want to worry about the incoming data. Regardless of whether or not marketing automation is the best decision for any business, chances are most businesses have a wide variety of different kinds of data coming in over time. Many companies don’t have anyone taking a look at this data in a collective way.

The problem becomes more significant when a company outsources marketing. If a firm overseas is handling your social media while a US firm is optimizing your website – all while your internal staff handles email and general marketing messaging – your attentions could be divided. Each different part of your marketing is one piece of a whole. Your SEO strategy is affected by PPC, your email strategy is affected by whether or not your website is optimized, etc. How can you know how different areas of your marketing are working the most effectively for your business? It’s simple: Marketing Automation.

Focusing on the Right Data

It’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re looking at data that will best benefit your business over time. One of the best ways to know whether or not your data stream is optimized is to work with a marketing automation company who can get you set up – then determining a person within your organizational structure who will monitor the data, report to you and help you assess whether or not marketing campaigns could be made more effective.

Working with a marketing automation company that can give your business the training and solutions you need for your data stream is critical to marketing success. At Lead Liaison, we’re integrating new and improved solutions on a monthly basis for clients all over the world. Talk to us about how we can meet your marketing automation needs today!

Is Conversion Tracking Enough?

Is Conversion Tracking Enough?Conversion tracking is at the heart of any effective marketing campaign. Without the ability to understand where sales are coming from, any company’s overall marketing campaign suffers.

Conversions should be tracked from the time a lead lands on your pages through to the sale. Fortunately, most modern PPC and other marketing services allow businesses to see how users are converting down to the keyword. But is it really that easy? Is there additional information a business can gather to determine how users are finding them, buying and interacting with various marketing materials?

Advanced Tech is the Key

Nowadays, conversion tracking is a given in most marketing services – but it’ll only go so far. Google has great tracking and remarketing tools, but at the end of the day you can’t personalize a lead down to an IP address, name or business due to Google’s privacy policies. When half your Analytics data comes up as “not set”, it’s not always easy to use free tools to figure out how your marketing is working.

Marketing Automation for Conversion Tracking

When you’re working with marketing automation tools, you never have to worry about getting a metric or data back that will tell you “information unavailable” or “not set”. This is why so many businesses have come to rely on marketing automation to take conversion tracking a step further.

Personalization is a big reason for this. Analytics and similar sites don’t function as a CRM that will also manage your leads for you while you’re personalizing them.   Marketing automation does this automatically and flawlessly – letting you know who’s looking, what they want to see and giving you hints on how best to advertise to them in the future.

Once you get the hang of it, personalizing leads via marketing automation is ten times easier than relying on many free tools. You can see the individual pathways a user takes through your site, whether or not each individual IP can be connected to a returning user as well as what content engages the user most.

For many small businesses, conversion tracking isn’t enough – that extra level of data that separates a truly qualified customer from someone who is just passing through can be so critical to success. Additionally, the ability to segment lists based on information personalization can ensure quicker conversions in the future.

Lead Liaison offers the opportunity to take conversion tracking one step further with our marketing automation. We’d love to tell you more! Talk to us about how we can increase leads through your pipeline today.

Is Mobile Marketing in Your Wheelhouse

Is Mobile Marketing in Your WheelhouseMobile marketing isn’t just about running ads in popular apps. It’s about tailoring your ads across the board to a mobile user experience. The way people use their mobile phones to access data has changed drastically over the last few years. If you’re not on board with those changes and tracking your mobile user data thoroughly, you could be missing important marketing opportunities for your brand.

Mobile Marketing in Facebook Ads

One great example of the way users are engaging with mobile marketing is Facebook ads. In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook ads are now available in the main news feed section of a user’s Facebook stream.

If you’re selling an app or have a mobile-friendly web store, users can simply click a “download now” or “shop now” button right in the ad that will allow them to go to your next conversion step – or convert right then and there.

Mobile Marketing via text

With Lead Liaison’s incorporation of Twilio’s back end text marketing systems, engaging your audience with text messaging has never been easier. Sparse, correctly targeting mobile marketing via text can work if users have opted in to receive your promotions.

Mobile marketing also works well to interface with your business or advertising teams about meetings, upcoming events or weather delays. Mobile marketing isn’t just about reaching out to the customer – it’s about creating connections, even within your own business structure.

Mobile Marketing on the Back End

The power of mobile marketing increases when you’re able to read and interpret the resulting data from your marketing campaigns across the board. Working to compare what percentage of users access your site on mobile can give you some important insight on how to best engage your mobile users. Is your mobile browser bounce rate higher? What types of smart phones are people using to access your site? Is mobile information presented so that users can engage with dynamic content easily?

Google Analytics provides tracking and acquisition options for people who are interested in mobile marketing, but sometimes Google data just isn’t enough. If you want the opportunity to dig down deep into your backend analytics, identifying core users from IP address and frequent visits, then linking your data to corresponding marketing campaigns, Lead Liaison could be a great solution for you. Marketing automation helps you collect and utilize mobile marketing data in the fastest, most reliable way possible. To find out more let us come up with a customized proposal for your business needs today!

How to Create a Successful Sales and Marketing Collaboration Plan

How to Create a Successful Sales and Marketing Collaboration PlanIt’s no secret: a well-oiled organization understands the necessity of inter-department collaboration and productive communication. In order to boost lead generation, keep leads nurtured and happy, and gain return customers, you must have a successful sales and marketing collaboration plan in place. Maintaining a healthy communication internally should translate to developing a strong engagement with the target audience which helps boost your rate of return.

Marketing automation, smartly implemented, can make this process easier and more efficient. However, without sales and marketing collaboration and alignment, your sales team will inevitably waste time following leads that just aren’t qualified (yet). By keeping both parties in the know on how to properly analyze your lead tracking practices, you’ll find it’s much easier to nurture leads and provide personalized marketing efforts. Cold calling everyone who signs up for your newsletter will probably deter leads from taking the next step and you’ll risk looking desperate. Strategize and implement a clear and concise protocol for points of contact to potential leads at the appropriate times.

Maintain two-way communication

Studies have shown that returning customers make up a significant portion of your revenue, so proper lead nurturing sets the stage for a lasting relationship. Ensure your sales and marketing collaboration plan includes guidelines on how and what is communicated between departments. This level of collaboration means greater customer satisfaction through better communicated ideas. Let your marketers set up sales for success through targeted marketing campaigns that communicate a positive message about your brand and delivers what the potential customers are looking for.

Keep tasks relevant and separate (don’t do the same thing twice)

While collaboration is key, it’s still a good idea to have tasks and responsibilities that the marketing team is responsible for, and tasks and responsibilities that the sales team is responsible for. This is the reason for the division—play up each department’s strengths. The marketing team should be able to create killer content that gives the sales team the upper hand when it’s their turn to reach out to qualified leads. Sales and marketing collaboration means communicating key points between departments, not consolidating the whole process into just one team or the other.

Strategic implementation of your marketing automation practices between sales and marketing is critical. Because most of your potential customers will find your brand through the internet, chances are they can easily find your competitors as well. Use the analytics from your marketing automation to draw up a plan of action for your leads as they request more information and take the next steps. The joint efforts of both departments will enforce this plan of action. The marketing team needs to head up key strategic, back-end development while the sales team can focus on maintaining lead (and customer) satisfaction. Keeping the customer in mind throughout the whole process means keeping everybody engaged and will provide the greatest return.

Get the Most Out of Your Analytics

Get the Most Out of Your AnalyticsWhat exactly are marketing analytics and why are they so important? First of all, marketing analytics help to put accountable numbers behind your marketing programs. By monitoring the right numbers, you can maximize ROI and ensure your marketing efforts are producing the greatest response. In turn, you’ll be able to get the most out of your analytics through applying the data to future marketing plans.

Traditionally, marketers are seen as the creative types that focus on sculpting an impactful message to drive prospect response. Recently, we’ve seen marketing analytics creep more and more into the marketers’ day-to-day routine. Why is this? Mostly this is because numbers are easily trackable and provide a means for interpreting how prospects interact with your business. Read more about bringing an analytical culture into your marketing practices here.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Analytics

 

Integrate analytics into the rest of the marketing plan.

Utilize marketing automation to track your web visitors’ activity. The data from those reports will show you which landing pages are the most effective and which CTAs your prospects are following. The tracking software will enable marketers to effortlessly integrate analytics into their daily routine and follow up with prospects, understanding where everyone stands in the funnel. A successful integration should reinforce your sales and marketing alignment. Use your marketing analytics to turn your sales funnel into data.

Interpret the data.

So now you’ve got all of this data, how will you interpret it to get the most out of your analytics? You’ll see better ROI when you’re able to more personally connect with your prospects, so a thorough understanding of their activity and interaction with your brand will help marketers get their point across effectively. Interpreting the data will also aid in sales and marketing alignment in that you’ll be able to refine your funnel, maximize the CTAs that work and cut the attempts that aren’t as fruitful. It is important to prune your data—don’t waste time analyzing data that isn’t showing results or giving actionable items.

Review regularly.

Checking the stats once a year won’t create as much of an impact and certainly won’t help you to get the most out of your analytics. Make checking the numbers regularly a habit—have the data available for monthly or quarterly marketing meetings when the whole team is present so that everyone’s on the same page. Lead Liaison has a solution for keeping an eye on visitor behavior and enables you to gather information and metrics as they happen.

Incorporating these simple steps into marketers’ day-to-day will ultimately aid in gauging new marketing initiatives. You’ll be able to monitor unique visits as well as track return visitors to keep an eye on their buying interest and ensure they are qualified appropriately. Tracking the referring sites of your visitors will also help to point out potential marketing partnerships. Use this fact-based decision-making in order to get the most out of your analytics and ultimately the most out of your current marketing practices.

Social Monitoring: Do You Need It?

Social Monitoring: Do You Need It?Many businesses implement complex marketing automation systems with a goldmine of data coming in – yet never seem to think about social monitoring. Taking a look at how customers behave when they use your website or view your marketing materials can give you a ton of great information, but you’re not always going to get the full picture of a user’s behavior scope.

While you’re confronted with raw data that can inform your marketing plan and increase branding or even sales, you may be missing out on valuable information that puts you in the loop about what customers are actually looking for. By monitoring conversations surrounding your brand and relevant keywords, you can get a better idea of how to craft customized content and engage with your audiences at a higher level.

Social Monitoring: What is It?

In a nutshell, social monitoring is about watching what your customers are tuning into online in order to make decisions about the types of content you put out there and how you represent your brand.

For instance, if you own a tire company and communicate with customers directly on your Facebook page, you may find that a decent amount of customers ask questions about flats – repairing tires, when to buy new tires and how to avoid driving on a tire that is in dangerously bad shape. You see social media conversations on your Facebook as well as web searches asking questions about tires.

However, major news stories are out there highlighting the dangers of driving in various weather conditions without the appropriate tire. Your competitors are engaging in dialogue with potential customers on their own Facebook pages and within various news stories about tire conditions in bad weather.  If you’re not having these conversations, you’re missing out on putting yourself and your expertise in front of customers in a way that would result in brand recognition and sales.

Engaging Socially

The above is a simplistic example, but you can apply it to just about any industry. There are plenty of ways to figure out the kinds of things your customers want to talk about. Check hashtags on Twitter, set up an alert for your core business keywords using http://alerts.google.com, or incentivize customers to complete online surveys that gauge what types of topics they’re interested in talking about. You can also look to click through and open rate in your email marketing efforts to determine what content best engages customers.

Marketing automation is a must for your business, but the more data you can collect from other channels, the more reliably you can determine the best direction for your marketing. You deserve a marketing automation dashboard that gives you everything in a package – from article writing to social monitoring to robust reports and engagement suggestions. Check out Lead Liaison’s dashboard to find out more about how a well-rounded marketing automation tool can take your business to the next level!

Boost Demand Generation through Sales and Marketing Alignment

Boost Demand Generation through Sales and Marketing AlignmentWe know successful deals aren’t created and closed by the sales team alone; there’s significant homage due to the marketing team in their demand generation efforts and kick-starting the funnel. To maximize outcome, the secret is to enable your business to boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment. Don’t get us wrong—this doesn’t mean cutting the marketing team altogether and asking sales to take over (check out this case study); rather, have the two teams work harmoniously to achieve the best results.

Manage the Data

Between the two departments, data should be gathered and analyzed and best practices defined. When determining which strategies have proven most successful, keep in mind the four primary phases of demand generation: awareness, interest, preference, and commitment.

The goals here are to drive awareness and interest through successful inbound and outbound marketing that will enhance the sales cycle. In order to boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment, both teams must be focused on determining the buyer persona. The marketing team gains awareness of and attention from potential prospects (suspects) through understanding who they are and what they want. This knowledge comes through the eyes of the sales team. By having a comprehensive profile of the current buyer persona, marketers can more directly target the audience and create more personalized campaigns, such as email marketing, which in turn drive higher return rates. Gather, analyze, and share the knowledge.

Guide Validation

Once the marketing team has generated demands, the next step is to convince the suspects that your solution is best through generating the leads. The marketing team has a plethora of ammunition to accomplish this: whitepapers, videos, blogs, reviews, direct mail, etc. Re-analyze and reuse the data collected from automated marketing solutions to further personalize each point of contact with the prospect to determine scoring and qualification, and pass only the qualified ones over to sales.

Nurturing the leads to the point of qualification comes when you boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment. If the demand generation is low, activity in the pipeline is low, close rates are low. It’s key to have a solid grasp of the initial steps in order to maximize flow in the funnel to the closing steps. Implementing marketing programs that work together with a structured sales process will help to build awareness about your solution, remind prospects why your solution is better than others, and convert prospects into customers.

The Value of Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-Channel Marketing is the Way to GoIn today’s marketplace, it’s essential to reach as many customers and prospects as possible. The best way to communicate with your target audience is with multi-channel marketing. Using just one marketing method – such as email – is no longer enough to remain competitive. The various marketing channels all offer unique advantages for promoting your company. By creating an integrated marketing plan, you ensure your company’s survival and profitability. Forrester Research reports that 86% of marketers understand that multi-channel marketing is essential for long-term growth. It’s important to understand the value of multi-channel marketing.

Email Campaigns

Marketing with email is still a viable and inexpensive option. With email you can send out useful information to targeted customers on your lists. You can also easily split test your emails to find the one that offers the highest return on investment. Express Pigeon reports that email marketing brings in a 4,300 percent ROI. According to ExactTarget, 78% of companies use email for retention. This shows the importance of customer loyalty to a business.

Print Media

Although many companies market online, it’s still a good idea to promote your business offline as well. Sending out print brochures, postcards, flyers, and other printed materials are a good way to generate new leads and bring potential customers to your website.

Promotional Items

Branding is another important method for selling your products or services. With a company name and logo on promotional items such as pens, calendars, note pads, and magnets, you can spread the word about your business by giving something useful away for free.

Direct Mail

For many, sending out direct mail pieces to a targeted audience is still an effective method of lead generation. Although it is more expensive than other methods, your letter is more likely to be opened and read, especially with fewer companies utilizing direct mail today.

Text Messaging

Mobile marketing is on the rise with around 98% of text messages read within a few minutes, reports EZTexting.com. By using text messages, you can communicate and interact with potential customers while increasing brand awareness. It’s no longer enough just to use email. To compete in the business world today, a company has to utilize a host of marketing strategies. The strategies should all work together, and compliment each other, to send out a unified message. By creating an integrated marketing approach via multiple channels, you boost your company’s success in a global marketplace.