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

Marketing Automation: What Defines Top Performers?

What Defines Top Performers in Marketing AutomationIn organizations, job retention in the marketing department remains low. In fact, job tenures in a typical marketing department are as little as three years and it’s one role that is under constant analysis and assessment. When performance wanes, marketers can expect to have to answer big questions and fight for their jobs. Successful marketers from one company may have trouble transitioning to another because what works for one industry may not work in another. This can lead to confusion about what traits top performers have.

Most top performers tend to focus on keeping their existing customers while spending less time on expanding their customer base. Keeping your customers loyal and happy tends to work out much better for companies rather than chasing after new customers. It’s also less expensive with top performers only spending approximately 20 percent of their budget on expansion where others in the field spend around 30 percent. When it comes to customers, top performers also make it a priority to manage the entire life cycle of their clients. Instead of leaving the majority of the life cycle to sales and technical support, top performers recognize that marketing has a huge role to play in successfully managing the entire customer experience.

Speaking of the customer life cycles, top performers tie response rates, satisfaction scores, and other metrics into how well they’re performing. Instead of measuring typical things like number of leads, top performers are able to control their technology and make it work for them instead of the other way around. In fact, 30% to 75% of top performing marketers personalize their technology and data to get a better perspective on how they’re performing and what they should change to boost performance.

Finally, top performers recognize that retention is a problem. Recruiting and retention is a priority among top performing companies but it doesn’t stop there. Top companies make sure that they provide their crucial employees with the training, technology, and resources needed to get their job done – therefore, customer satisfaction tends to rank just as high as customer satisfaction with these companies.

Obviously, when it comes to performance, recognizing the link between customers, marketers, and the sales team is key. But you also have to take all of that data and put it to good use – making it work for you – instead of the other way around. Marketing automation may vary from industry to industry but top performers know that one thing remains true: using your stats and metrics to evolve and change your marketing strategy will maximize your effectiveness.

Create Marketing Customers Love

Create Marketing LoveIf implemented correctly, marketing automation provides the framework of sending customers and prospects messages that resonate with their specific needs and wants.  Ultimately, marketing automation is the tool you will use to drive customers to your website and products.  It will keep your customers happy, informed, and connected – and provide you with real-time analytics that are invaluable to a marketer.  When done right, you’ll create content that your customers will fall in love with.

Humans make decisions based on emotions – how something makes them feel, what it reminds them of, and what kind of experiences they’ve had in the past with similar products or businesses are all influencers on how your prospects will react to a product.  This means that your marketing needs to leverage this to your benefit. When a customer loves your marketing they’re more likely to try and love your products.

How Does Marketing Automation Do It?

Marketing automation makes it easy for you to be aware of where your prospects are in the buying pipeline.  This, in turn, allows you to interact with your prospect in a way that’s appropriate for whatever stage they’re at – cultivating relationships with prospects who aren’t ready to buy, networking with those who are in contact with sales, and developing relationships with customers who’ve already purchased.

How Does It Work?

Marketing automation can also give you great details on what your prospects are reading, how they engage, and what they’re doing socially.  Using this information, you can see what they like and send them more of it – all because marketing information provides you with segmented information.

Additionally, you’re able to send messages at the right time and on a schedule that works for the customers instead of your marketing team.

Before marketing automation, messages were generally sent during normal business hours or by snail mail.  This means that your customers sometimes received communications when they weren’t able to reply.  Messages were forgotten or pushed aside.  Even worse?  Prospects received marketing in their mailbox days after they’d already purchased.  Marketing automation creates better timeliness, which increases the appeal of your marketing.

Customizing each interaction, whether it’s through e-mail or your landing pages renders every bit of content is customizable for each prospect.  Relevant content automatically makes it more enjoyable and the bonus is that you can also make sure prospects are receiving consistent communications.  Prospects and customers don’t want to receive disorganized messages but it’s easy to make this mistake, especially if the customer is interacting with different departments at the same time.  Marketing automation ensures that communications and every interaction are smooth and easy.

For marketing automation to work correctly and for your customers to love it, you’ll need to use it intelligently.  Following the tried and true tips of successful automation will be key to making your messages and content relevant and personalized.  Make sure you’re using your automation software to make the best marketing possible. The Lead Liaison staff is happy to help you make this happen!

How our Company Saved $9,618 on our Mailchimp Email Campaign – Get More out of Email Marketing

Get More out of Email Marketing

Get More out of Email MarketingOur company recently sent an email campaign the “old school way” to see how difficult and costly it would be compared to sending the email campaign and complement the strategy with Lead Liaison. We wanted to empathize with the 100s of thousands of companies that spend money on email marketing but aren’t equipped with the full software solution to turn their salespeople into “happy heroes”. Companies think they’re saving money by going with email service providers like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, when they end up spending way more than they anticipated in the end without having software that fosters sales efficiency. In this post we explain how to get more out of email marketing. Lets unfold what we did.

In this exercise, we sent out an email to 17,000 contacts. Although Lead Liaison has a powerful email marketing component to the platform, we wanted to act like most businesses and signed up for Mailchimp. The campaign was a huge success and cultivated the average click-throughs (2.2%) in the software and web application industry. That’s 374 people that clicked at least one link in our email campaign. Now, most businesses would send that list of click-throughs to their sales team and ask them to follow up. Let’s look at the investment required to properly follow up with these 374 “leads”:

  1. 374 people clicked a link.
  2. Consider an average time of 20 minutes for each rep to research the lead, contact them, add reminders in their CRM, follow up, etc. It’s probably more, but we’ll be conservative here.
  3. 374 people x 20 minutes = 7,480 minutes = 125 hours spent chasing these leads.
  4. We all know salespeople are the most expensive resource in a company. The average fully burdened cost of a software salesperson is $175,000 per year. $175,000 / 2,080 business hours in a year = $84 per hour.
  5. 125 hours x $84 per hour = $10,500 spent following up with these leads.

Yep, that’s right…a typical company would spend over $10,000 on their email campaign. These companies might be looking for some cost savings as a Mailchimp subscription at this contact level is $150 for the month; however, they end up spending a lot more in operational costs. It’s important to look at the total cost of the campaign, from the price of the software to deliver the campaign through the follow up. The problem with this type of traditional approach to email marketing is that the marketing person has to invest more time (and ultimately the company’s money), extracting data from Mailchimp, parsing data to determine which reps should get each lead, and delivering data to them. Now, let’s look at how we saved 92% of that investment, or $9,618, by using Lead Liaison for sales efficiency.

Instead of following up with everyone that clicked a link in an email, we used Lead Liaison to take care of all our tracking, lead qualification and lead distribution. It took us 20 minutes to set things up before sending our campaign through Mailchimp. We spent 5 minutes adding a tracking token to the end of each of our links inside the Mailchimp Campaign. Then we spent 15 minutes setting up a Workflow that ran for two weeks following the launch of our email campaign. In our Workflow we told the system to look for:

  • new leads from email marketing with
  • website activity after the date we launched the campaign
  • with a lead score more than 30

With these rules we could automatically distribute warm leads to our sales team, based on territory, round robin, or sales rep performance. The lead is then automatically synced into our CRM and the salesperson gets a task reminder to follow up. The sales team is a lot happier as they’re focusing on qualified leads and don’t have to bother with data entry. Lets look at the numbers:

  1. 21 hot leads were generated that met the above criteria
  2. The reps were able to spend more quality time (30 minutes per lead) on each prospect as they knew their prep and research would be more meaningful with higher quality leads. Reps used Lead Liaison to see what the person looked at after they clicked the link in the email and how many other times they visited our website. Reps could see all kinds of digital behavior like when they played our video explainer, visited our pricing page, and more.
  3. 21 hot leads x 30 minutes per lead = 10.5 hours spent chasing hot leads
  4. At $84 per hour, that’s $882.
  5. Compared to $10,500 for the “traditional” approach to following up to an email campaign, our company saved 92%, or $9,618, had a happier sales and marketing team, kept all the data in the system, and saved time not having to export or lose data.

That’s a pretty compelling ROI. Even if we didn’t invest the 15 minutes setting up the Workflow in Lead Liaison, we could have used our visitor tracking solution for the period of our campaign, filter out Known Leads (people with an email) with an Original Lead Source of Email Marketing, and sort by Lead Score. The website visitor tracking view displays businesses visiting our website in real-time and tracks activity across all our marketing channels. We could have easily clicked the “Hits” column to see what pages people viewed during their visit and how many times they visited our website since the campaign ran.

website visitor traffic

We hope you try a modern approach to email marketing and connect email to web using Lead Liaison to get more out of email marketing.

Marketing Automation and Trial Conversion

Marketing Automation and Trial ConversionIf you’re failing to convert customers from your free trial offers then there’s probably a very simple reason why:  you’re failing to engage them.  Failing to engage potential customers within the first three days of a free-trial sign up is the number one reason why customers lose interest in a product or feature.  And if they’re not interested or find the experience enjoyable, they’ll get bored with the product, and will fail to convert.

On average, you can expect somewhere around 15% of your free-trial users to become paying customers.  That number drops significantly within ninety days as you lose customers as they try the product and find that it might not work for them.  So you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to attract more free trial users, convert them to customers, and keep them as customers.  This is where marketing automation and trial conversion comes into play.

Marketing Automation and Trial Conversion

Email marketing can be a useful tool in getting customers to convert.  Even if you have a small percentage of users converting to paying customers, a small improvement in activation rate will increase your paying customers.  Developing a relationship with your potential customers can be as simple as sending short, concise, and personalized messages via marketing automation.

You’re going to want to send your first messages within ninety minutes of your leads expressing an interest in the product – this will give you the best chance of converting them.  Marketing automation can do all of this for you.  All you have to do is set up your software to trigger an email once a customer signs up for the free trial.

Crafting Scheduled Messages

You should also have a scheduled messaged that explains all of the features of the free trial program or product and how to get started quickly.  This message should give customers the option of contacting a representative at your company or within your customer service department if they have questions – which is just another way for you to establish a personal relationship with the customer.

Scheduling multiple messages throughout the trial period will also help you with your conversion rate but only as long as you’re adding convincing content.  Marketing automation via trial conversion can help you monitor your customer’s free trial use and trigger appropriate e-mails to be sent to them.  For example, if your customer hasn’t used the free trial in a week, your marketing automation software could trigger an email with the goal of getting the customer back to the trial.

By monitoring usage of the trial, marketing automation can give you valuable insight into whether or not an extension of that free trial is appropriate.  Users who have already stopped using the product prior to the end of the free trial are unlikely to move forward in your sales funnel.  However, users who are actively using the product but stop due to attrition may be viable candidates for at trial extension.

If you’re ready to take the next step in applying a marketing automation solution to your business, contact us today!

Disappointed with LeadLander?

Disappointed with LeadLanderAre you disappointed with LeadLander? LeadLander sells its product with a simple premise: throw some tracking code on your website and wait for the magic to happen.

Then you wait….and wait….and where is all of this magic?

The reality is that you need a strategy with any visitor tracking product that you use.  Your strategy should include four basic questions and include capabilities to achieve the answers to these questions:

  1. How do you draw active/interested buyers of your product to your site?
  2. Can your program filter buyers based on their likelihood of buying at any given time?
  3. Does your strategy allow you to distinguish between which products/services that an individual buyer is most likely to be interested in?
  4. Once a buyer is identified, what happens next in your sales process? Does your technology support execution of this strategy?

We used the solution for about two years. We started to call it LostLander. It sent us off on a wild goose chase the majority of the time. We ended up spending more money than we did without it. Instead of turning into a revenue driver, it was a cost center. – VP Sales, Lance Boyd, Arxan Technologies.

The good news is that a few simple strategies are likely to raise your sales results, and help you maximize the value of many of the sales and marketing efforts that you are presently engaged in.   If you are interested in a free consultation on marketing strategies that might help boost your success with programs like LeadLander; I highly recommend contacting us and asking for a free 30 minute consultation.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Sales Team

Improve the Efficiency of your Sales TeamIf the primary function of your business is to provide a product or service to customers, you must ensure that you improve the efficiency of your sales team.  No matter how top notch your products or services may be, if your sales process is incompetent, eventually your business will suffer or fail.  We’ve collected and compiled some top ways to improve your sales processes.

Sales Pipeline Management: A Key to Success

Measuring your sales pipeline and its ROI are a challenging for any business.  But it’s the first step in the process of making sure your sales team is working smarter and not harder.  First, make sure you’re delivering attractive content to generate online traffic.  Keep track of metrics and data to track any stagnation and to calculate how long you expect each of your prospects to spend in your sales pipeline.  Identify each type of customer in your sales pipeline – this way you can tailor up-sell offers based on a prospect’s individual behavior.

Lead Sourcing

Make sure you’re spending time tracking which leads are likely to close.  Training your sales team on the three primary ways of calculating lead sourcing can lead to a more successful sales process:

  • A conversion rate will tell your team which sales sources are converting leads to opportunities.  Using a simple formula will assist you in comparing current sources with ones you hope to use in the future.  If you find that sources aren’t working for your leads – strategize with your marketing and sales team as to why this is the case.  Are you approaching the leads from this source in the wrong way or is this simply a case of the source being unattractive to the right customer?
  • Figuring out your lead to close length will give you information on how long a lead source takes to close.  Each source that you’re using will bring your company leads at different steps in the purchasing process.
  • Average value per lead calculations will tell you which sources provide you with the best customer fit, for the best value.  Do you want several smaller sales per month or one or two big sales?  Average value per lead will help you start devoting your time and effort into sources where the best leads are active, providing you with the type and frequency of sale that you want.

Sales and Marketing:  Working Together for the Best Leads

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams takes more than just a few monthly meetings.  Encourage your sales team to give marketing feedback on the leads received on a regular basis.  This will give your marketing team the chance to make adjustments to their marketing automation program.  Products marketers should share new product features with the sales team – this will make your sales team more knowledgeable on the products.

Pinpointing deficits in your leads funnels, using metrics to measure your lead sourcing, and ensuring that your sales and marketing team are working well together are all vital ways to ensure your success.

How Can I Generate More Leads?

How Can I Generate More Leads?When it comes to the best ways to generate sales leads, we all know that social media is a well-used platform.  However, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook usually generate few sales leads.  Let’s take a look at how we can utilize marketing automation in our goal to generate more leads and answer the question, how can I generate more leads?

Leveraging your Marketing Automation Program

Marketing automation has been shown to increase lead conversion and provide focused information on scheduling, tracking, and defining marketing programs and processes.  A marketing automation program gives you all the tools needed to generate leads and track them as they move through the sales funnel.  Real time analytics give you insight into where your leads are in the buying process and an average timeline on when you can expect them to buy.  This gives you the opportunity to personalize your messages to your leads depending upon their needs, instead of sending out generic messages that will often be ignored or deleted.

Marketing automation can also make capturing lead information easy and effective.  With a landing page, leads are able to quickly and easily enter their contact information or request your product catalog or a call about your services.  Using marketing automation effectively means that you will be able to track the success of landing pages and make adjustments where you see fit.

Another crucial area where marketing automation is effective lies in the content you’re posting on your blog.  Marketing automation is able to track the effectiveness of the information you’re posting – including how appealing it is to your leads and audience.  Figuring out the proper number of communications for your prospects will ensure your posts don’t wind up being overlooked or worse, deleted before they’re noticed or read.

Marketing Automation Helps Qualify Leads

Often, we make the mistake of including ALL leads in our communications.  This only causes good, qualified leads to fall among the wayside, lost in a crowd of leads that aren’t worth the time investment.  Marketing automation helps you qualify your leads by giving your marketers precision in all of their marketing processes.  By monitoring leads and gathering useful information, including what search terms they’ve used and what content they’ve viewed, marketing automation makes it easier to understand where the consumer is in the buying process.

It also makes it easier to score leads.  Lead scoring is a simple process of assigning number values to certain behaviors and attributes so you can measure the value of a lead.  This numerical value will help you determine whether the lead is to be passed onto the sales team or if the lead needs more information, content, or research.  Marketing automation will also score company demographics such as location, company size, and other criteria to ensure that the correct types of leads are being funneled to your company.

The marketing automation sector is expected to increase from $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion in 2015 – this is a significant increase and indicates the tremendous impact of marketing automation.  Adding marketing automation to your repertoire will add increased value to your business process and marketing department as a whole.

Ready to take the next step?  Let’s help you with adding marketing automation to your business repertoire!

Marketing Automation: Why Does Lead Nurturing Make Sense?

Why does lead nurturing make sense?Lead nurturing, the marketing process of developing relationships with leads regardless of their current timing to purchase, is a straightforward concept. But many don’t realize the importance of lead nurturing or how it can help. Let’s look at lead nurturing and how it relates to marketing automation.

Why Lead Nurturing Makes Sense

One of the biggest pros for lead nurturing is the ability to market personalized messages to prospects. These messages can be generic in nature but personalized to an audience that’s only in Lead Stage 1 of marketing automation. These leads have only just entered the market and do not have a current timeline for purchasing.

It’s important if you’re looking into automation not to just send leads cold emails. Your first objective for beginning lead nurturing is to establish permission to stay in contact with the lead. If your audience loses interest in your messages, they’ll unsubscribe from your mailing list or mark emails as spam.

Target Your Leads

Make sure you’re creating content that your visitors want to see. The more you can find out about a lead who’s visited your website, the better. By creating high quality content that is relevant to your leads, you’re increasing the possibility of converting leads to customers significantly. Make sure that when sending out your messages, you’re not overdoing it. Ask yourself: when’s the best time to send messages so you can ensure your prospects will see them? Answer that and then tailor your messages to be sent out at the best possible time.

Another best practice for lead nurturing that might seem like it’s coming from the stone age, is using plain text emails instead of HTML. A few lines of content and a personalized signature go a long way toward establishing an individualized message, which is targeted to your audience. HTML based emails are fine when sending out training tips or when the emails are clearly coming from the marketing department and not the sales department.

When Lead Nurturing Works

Lead nurturing is a powerful way to use marketing automation to stay in touch with prospects. When it works, you’re able to establish purchaser preference while also gaining useful knowledge about your prospects timing. If you’re ready to take the next best step with lead nurturing and marketing automation, contact us today! Lead Liaison staff would love to chat with you about your company’s individual marketing needs.

Is Visitor Tracking Violating Your Privacy Statement?

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy Statement

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy StatementDo you have a privacy statement?  If so, you might be violating it with many visitor tracking programs. It’s important to ask your self, is visitor tracking violating your privacy statement? Make sure you know what you’re getting into and who you’re dealing with.

Here is how it works.  Company A has a strong marketing effort.   They get 1,000,000 people to “opt-in” by submitting a form.  Visitor ID Company drops a cookie on the machine as part of the transaction, and tracks the behaviors of that party including visits so that it can create a better experience between Company A and the visitor.

Nothing wrong so far.

The trouble begins when Visitor ID Company wants to attract Company B.  They offer Company B a 7 or 14 day trial and use Company A’s database to correlate unique visitor IPs to their database.   Some have even been known to throw in “sample data” from a competitor’s traffic to show what could be achieved while the trial period is in progress.

Here are the problems:

  • Company A has just helped its competitor
  • Company A has breached its moral and legal obligations (in some cases) to its clients to protect their relationship
  • Company B is wasting sales time pursuing fake leads or bad data entered by company A
  • Visitor ID Company has mislead a prospect into buying results that are a representation of what could happen… under the guise that it just happened.

Long story short, you have just breached your customer’s data by working with a visitor tracking solution that shares data.   The good news is that there are a limited number of companies that DO NOT share data.   Those companies actually pull superior data for your sales team in the long term; because they don’t add the other company’s garbage (such as false records).

The downside, is that during a “trial” the company that is using gray-hat techniques will often seem to be a superior/easier to use solution.    So, be careful when conducting your trial and make sure that the vendors you look at are willing to sign a privacy policy that matches the ones you give to your prospects and customers.

How Does Marketing Automation Help Inbound Marketing?

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound MarketingOccasionally we run into customers that are fortunate enough to have way too much business. They’ve got more leads than they can handle. That sounds like a good problem to have, right? Well, what if there are so many leads that the organization has a hard time keeping up? This is a reality for some businesses. They fall behind as all of their leads are look-a-likes and some of them start falling through the cracks.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, make sense of the data and leads resulting from your inbound marketing. Second, use automation to transform the task of following up into an efficient, well oiled machine. In this post, we’ll focus on the first step, making sense of your inbound traffic and help you understand how does marketing automation help inbound marketing.

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound Marketing

There are three corner stones of making sense of your inbound marketing. We call these the “three Ps of inbound marketing”; profiling, prioritizing and pinging.

Profiling your Prospects

You’ve got to profile your prospects by building a clear picture of who they are and what they’ve done before coming into your lead funnel. Create a digital DNA of your prospects that combines demographics, online behavior and social information.

Prioritizing your Prospects

Prioritize your inbound marketing by automating the process of lead qualification. Most marketing automation systems use lead scoring and lead grading as two ways to prioritize website activity using any criteria. Marketing automation companies that get it right offer both automatic and manual lead scoring, for greater control. As inbound traffic comes in each of your prospect’s behavior is scored. The higher the score the hotter the lead. Lead grading helps you identify ideal buyers. These two pieces of criteria are then combined with other criteria, such as recency of activity, and placed on a hot lead dashboard, which simplifies the process of identifying who’s hot and who’s not.

Pinging you

You know your inbound marketing efforts are paying dividends when your prospects express key buying behavior. We call these Buy Signals at Lead Liaison. When a Buy Signal is triggered we alert you via text or email. If you’re buried in new leads its good to know when you need to follow up with the hot ones instead of treating everyone as equals.