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

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!Building an email list takes time. We all know this, yet something about the allure of buying emails and trying to “beat the system” captures the attention of many companies. It may seem at first that buying an email list is a great workaround – saving you from having to build a list organically and expend money and effort into lead gen – but at the end of the day, buying lists for sale could be hurting you more than helping you.

If you’re a company that’s built an email list via direct list purchasing, why should you stop doing this – and better yet, what can you do to get that legit list you’re looking for without a lot of legwork?

 

Building an Email List Organically – Stop Buying!

The minute you buy a list and execute emails to that list, you’re sending spam. Why is this? Well, 100% of the list subscribers you just purchased opted in somewhere else. They never agreed to receive promotions from your particular company.

Any legit email service provider (ESP) is going to ask for your address and company information to comply with CAN-SPAM regulations. Additionally, your ESP should confirm that you built your opt-in organically to decrease the chance of spam. If your list isn’t organic, your ESP may shut down your campaigns and bounce you even after your first list send. If you’re in this situation and you just paid for an email list, you’re now out the new customers AND a way to send your emails. No bueno!

How Can You Build a List Organically?

For starters, you should be prepared to offer great content. A top of the funnel activity such as a blog post, a free offer like a white paper or an instructional video offers opportunities for you to build organic traffic and get customers engaged with you. The free, useful content you offer is bait and will also help you succeed organically – particularly if you use things your customers are searching for as the title of your videos or blog posts. For example, if you’re a financial planner you may use something general such as “what is financial planning?” that has a high search volume as your post or video title.

Once users take the bait, they’ll see an opportunity to download a whitepaper from you. Ask for their email address to get the whitepaper – and voila, you now have their email and can advertise to them again and again without spamming. Create several funnels and opportunities like this based on the different services you provide, or different topically separated content offerings on your site.

Want more info on how to build your list organically? Lead Liaison can help! We’ll assist you in rethinking your funnels, building out new campaigns and measuring them today. Let’s chat!

 

3 Ways to Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User Experience

Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User ExperienceThe art of converting prospects into customers begins with their first interaction and experience with your brand, whether that’s through a landing page, social media ad, or (fingers crossed) word of mouth. If this experience is frustrating and not user friendly, what incentive do they have to return? Here are a few points to consider when shaping your user experience and ways to use marketing automation to your advantage:

Customize

  • Landing pages: How did a visitor find your website? Be sure what they’re looking for is the first thing they see. Create a few different landing pages for various scenarios, especially if you have a vast range of products.
  • Emails: Make sure you are providing pertinent information that will warrant them to open the email, not unsubscribe. This may include special deals/offers, but nothing too spammy.
  • Verbal contact: Utilize marketing automation software to synchronize platforms to be sure sales reps and customer service are on the same page when speaking to a customer or a prospect.

Interact

  • Survey your customers: Ask questions about what they believe is your most useful and convenient feature. Survey prospects, ask what they’re looking for in a product and see how closely you can meet their needs.
  • Reward: Host contests on social media to engage your followers, and provide a coupon code or free service to those who interact with your brand.
  • Customer support: There’s nothing more frustrating for your customers than to pay for a monthly subscription service and not receive the support they need to use your service to their greatest benefit.

Personify

  • Don’t be the bot: When automating your marketing process, it’s important to keep in mind your customers are real people that are intelligent and think for themselves. Canned messages just won’t cut it for most. Steer clear of creating bulk messages to send out on social media platforms, as that only invites ridicule. Engage with customers through carefully planned social media campaigns.
  • Get the details: Often a step of the implementation or customer support process, getting details from your customer in how exactly they plan to implement your service or product can truly help start a beneficial relationship. By understanding their needs, you’re able to gather insight for further improvement while also providing them with the most efficient way to implement your service.
  • Create a two-way conversation: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The basic take-away point is to create an environment in which your customers and prospects alike feel comfortable to interact. Check out these simple steps that encourage your customers to engage in a positive way.

Track Email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response and More

Integrates with Any 3rd Party Email Service Provider or CRMDid you know you could track email from a 3rd party email service provider, or ESP, and get even more value out of your existing email system? Marketing automation from Lead Liaison will help you track email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, ExactTarget, Emma and any other 3rd party email system you can imagine. We’re not just talking about basic stuff like opens and clicks that you have to dig up, we’re talking sophisticated tracking that delivers crucial sales intelligence pushed to your reps.

What’s the value-add?

This process will magnify the value of your 3rd party email system by 10x. Here’s what you’ll get above and beyond what you have with your 3rd party email provider:

  1. Complete history of online behavior. We’ll pull together past, present and future activity that your prospect demonstrates as they engage with your company’s brand. This includes all kinds of behavioral tracking, such as document downloads, pages viewed, videos watched, chats, social media engagement and more through the life of the prospect’s buying cycle.
  2. Real-time website visitor tracking. We’ll tell you when your prospect is online and what they’re looking at in real-time.
  3. Sales alerts. When your prospect comes back to your website and demonstrates buying signals we’ll send a Buy Signal alert to your sales rep via email and/or text.
  4. Profile enrichment. We’ll layer on data from 110+ social networks on top of the rich demographic and behavioral information collected on your prospect.
  5. Original lead source attribution. Marketers spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns but often times have difficulty attributed closed business to their marketing campaigns. We’ll identify the original lead source of your prospects with “Email Marketing” if they engage with your email sent from the 3rd party system.
  6. Lead qualification. When your prospects engage with emails sent from your 3rd party system Lead Liaison will automatically add a point value, determined by you, to your prospect’s lead score. Lead scores range from 0 to 1,000 and provide a great way for marketers to help salespeople separate hot leads from stagnant leads.

What do you need to do?

Integrating marketing automation with your 3rd party email service provider is easy and can be done selectively, on a campaign by campaign basis. To integrate Lead Liaison with your 3rd party ESP simply add some special tracking code to the end of each of your links. We’ll use the email information and tracking code to add engagement activity to your Prospect’s Profile. If the Prospect is already in your system with an assigned Lead Owner we’ll trigger Buy Signals for the Lead Owner.

 

Marketing Life Hack 101: Lead Liaison Outsourced Blogs

Outsourced BlogsWhat if you could sit back and produce a blog every week with less than 30 seconds of effort? Have you considered outsourced blogs or using an outsourcing service to complement your blog content with authentic, SEO boosting content?

Here are some predictable (SALES) benefits:

  1. Drive traffic to your site.  Blogs/content drives SEO. SEO drives traffic.
  2. Thought leadership.   Think about it.  The last time you saw an article in a blog, didn’t that person/company quickly become the thought leader in your mind?   The halo principle applies here; and if you aren’t winning the blog game… you’re missing out on sales
  3. Blogs are lasting.   Not only do you drive customers to your site when you release a blog, you win prospects and customers over for the future too!

With Lead Liaison you can outsource blog content with ease. You choose the content,  outsource it to our third party writers and schedule future blog posts. It’s an end-to-end project management interface that walks a marketer (or intern) through the process of requesting content, reviewing it, approving it and automatically publishing it to your website via content management systems like Joomla!, Drupal and WordPress.

The net results:  $ 250 + 10 minutes a month could yield a blog post each week for your company if you were a Lead Liaison Customer.

For the naysayers that say people don’t read blogs anymore.  You just did.

Are You Generating Helpful Visitor Profile Data?

Are You Generating Helpful Visitor Profile Data?Small to large businesses are constantly trying to figure out how to market to their target users, often ignoring the visitor profile data that’s in their backend or marketing automation system.  The focus of many of our blogs has been to define a target audience right away. Businesses frequently build a target audience profile based on what they expect of their users or what they’d like to see, rather than using data that could help make better decisions overall.

New businesses certainly require a grand floor analysis to better determine target audience but businesses that have been around for a while are often operating with the same target audience expectations used from the start. Keep this in mind – if unused data exists, any business could be missing opportunities and data collection efforts could be going to waste.

Understanding the Visitor Profile

Some important demographics to fish out of the mix when analyzing business data include things like:

  • Time of day visitors land on your website
  • Visitor gender
  • Income level
  • Keywords used to find you

In addition to these items, there are frequently overlooked pieces of visitor information that can help businesses better target users. Mobile, operating system and browser are available pieces of data that businesses often ignore. Bottom line, if half or more visitors are viewing a website or content on mobile, businesses need to ensure mobile users have the best viewing and purchasing experience possible. In many instances, operating without a mobile friendly website is an invitation to lost sales.

Breaking it Down

Visitor profile information isn’t useful without a strategy to deploy once that info is obtained. Key players in an organization who should be privy to this strategy might include a head of marketing, sales manager and folks in executive level operating roles.

A team leader should be assigned to be in charge of gathering the data and proposing how to move forward – very likely someone in a marketing role. This person should work closely over time with marketing automation staff to ensure data is being collected properly. A good marketing automation company will also suggest how the data may correlate into a high-level strategy that can be carried out across organizational departments.

If you’re not getting the data, the sales or you want to look into marketing automation to make your overall process easier, talk to Lead Liaison. We’re here to help you figure out how buy signals, high-level data, visitor profile data and better analytics can increase your bottom line.

Five Ways of Using Visitor Tracking to Increase Visitor Engagement

Five Ways of Using Visitor Tracking to Increase Visitor EngagementHave you ever thought of using visitor tracking to increase visitor engagement? You can have numerous visitors to your site, but unless you’re doing the right visitor tracking you may be missing some terrific data. It’s best to tempt visitors to dive deeper into the website. Tracking visitor engagement starts with a hit on your website while the engagement process begins once visitors start to use your site. Following are five ways you can engage visitors for a better web experience all around.

Provide Links to Internal Content and Pages

Prominently displaying links to other related products and pages retain visitor engagement, take them “down the rabbit hole of your site” so to speak and will urge them to search and keep coming back for more content.

Minimize Site and Page Load Durations

Most internet users tend to leave if a site or page fails to load in three seconds. Since most outstanding search engines such as Google understand this, you may find yourself falling further behind in search rankings for pages that load sluggishly. It is good to have a high-load speed for your site so you don’t lose visitors or SEO ranking in general.

Make the Website Simple

For business sites, the more difficulties a client faces, the less likely they are to purchase your products and services. Your site should have a simple menu design and language. All unnecessary form fields should be detached to simplify the lead collection experience from start to finish.

Have Features that Promote Direct Interaction

Features such as product analyses and blog comments allow the customers to ask questions and leave something others can read about the site or products. Ensure that the features are used well and all queries get a reply.

Analyze the Visitor Flow

Search engines have features that help monitor visitor actions. Monitoring includes information such as the first page visited, whether further pages are looked at, buttons clicked or actions taken on the site, etc. If your preferred visitor flow is not followed, you should review the page layout and content and create clearer calls to action.

Visitor tracking through engagements is vital to any site. Engagement helps keep visitors onsite for extended period of time so they can learn more about your content. Long durations on a site influence a visitor’s return rate. A higher return rate keeps customers engaged with your products and services and may eventually result in a sale.

For more information on how visitor tracking can directly benefit you, talk to us! At Lead Liaison.com, we’re here to bring more quality web traffic to your site and to help you use visitor tracking to increase leads and sales.

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor Tracking

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor TrackingPeople often ask me ‘What should I look for in a visitor tracking solution’?  Here are five things to consider when buying visitor tracking that will help you eliminate inadequate providers:

  1. Does the program have active or passive visitor tracking capabilities (or both).  Active visitor tracking will allow your sales and marketing teams to directly engage high value targets and identify their visits nearly 100% of the time.   Passive visitor tracking relies on people wandering onto your website and someone being identified (more on that later). Active visitor tracking offers the following advantages over passive visitor tracking:
    • Track prospects that you met outside of the website
    • View ongoing interest of existing customers
    • Understand the potential buyer’s true timing (as opposed to what they told you) and availability
  2. Is the program relationship based vs event based?  That means that someone that returns to your site 3 times in a week will appear to be three different people.   I don’t know about your sales strategy, but a client that comes to my “store” on a regular basis warrants a lot more attention than three lurkers that show no further interest. You should always select a program that gives you relationship based data.  Event based systems are way behind the curve, and will cost your company sales.
  3. Is the individual/company that visited your site provided?  It seems unbelievable, but there are still visitor tracking companies that won’t give you names (or company names) of your visitors.   If your goal is just to track generic traffic, use Google Analytics.  If your goal is to learn about individuals whom you hope to cultivate a business relationship with then use a platform like Lead Liaison.
  4. Will your data be shared?  The majority of visitor tracking companies use your data to help your competitors build a correlation between IP addresses and names.  We think that this is a dirty practice that results in errors and potential legal problems, let alone losing business that your company might be entitled to, to your competitor.   It’s a lazy approach to visitor tracking and we would never recommend using a company that shares data.
  5. Integration and reports:   Daily reports are a basic necessity of every company.  Real-time alerts are important to companies with high value sales opportunities.  I would also survey potential vendors to learn about how they can help you interface with your CRM and marketing automation visions. 

It also doesn’t hurt to explore what other solutions the vendor has to offer. If you go with their solution just for visitor tracking will you be “trapped” and not have a broader-based solution offering marketing automation that you can grow into? We’ve seen several companies spend thousands of dollars on visitor tracking to find out they still need marketing automation; then they find themselves investing in two disparate platforms. Costs sky rocket as companies pay for two separate solutions and have higher total cost of ownership managing two separate platforms. Why not have both visitor tracking and marketing automation tightly integrated into a single software platform?

The bottom line:  Visitor tracking programs can be an incredible asset for your sales efforts.  These tools are affordable, super easy to use, produce results day one, and show the most rapid ROI of any marketing investment that I’ve seen.  Make sure to remember these things to consider when buying visitor tracking and be sure your vendor gives you the right answer to all five topics above. If you do, then you are on your way to making one of the best sales & marketing investments in your company’s history.

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!