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

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Lead Scoring – The Fast Way to Convert Leads

lead scoringIn order for marketing automation to be successful, you need to understand the quality of your leads. Leads are evaluated based on their readiness to buy, with cold leads requiring a lot of nurturing and hot leads ready to take their credit cards out and buy. Lead scoring is an effective way to identify hot leads, so that you can send them over to your sales team. Companies that do this properly spend more time focusing on leads that are “ripe”, while “unripe” leads continue to be nurtured through other automations.

Lead Scoring 101 – How It Works

When people visit your site, they complete a series of actions, and each action tells a story. If someone reads your About Us page, it shows a little bit of interest. However, if someone drops something in a shopping cart or downloads a white paper, it tells a different story. Every person who visits your website is a lead but each person is different, and you must treat them as such. You cannot treat the person who visits your About Us page the same as you treat the person who abandons something in the shopping cart.

That’s where lead scoring comes into play. With this marketing automation strategy, you assign a value to each action on your site. For instance, you could say that putting something in a shopping cart is worth 100 points and downloading a white paper is worth 50 points.

Setting a Target Score with Lead Scoring

You will need to set a target score that indicates a lead is ready to go to your sales team. This magic number means someone is ready to talk to a member of the team and make a purchase. Don’t set this number too low, or you’ll aggravate your visitors. Then again, don’t set it too high, or you’ll lose potential customers. This will take some practice. Spend some time finding your industry’s sweet spot. Each industry (and even each company) has its own sweet spot. Finally, don’t pick a number and stick with it. Have sales and marketing work together to always fine tune the lead scoring threshold. Consider creating a sales and marketing service level agreement to identify what should be scored.

Consider Other Qualifications Besides Lead Scoring

For many companies, lead scoring isn’t enough. Qualify your leads further by combining lead scoring with additional criteria, such as age, location, education level, company, and more using concepts like lead grading. It’s possible to adjust the lead score based on these criteria to better represent the quality of the lead.

Lead scoring is an advanced process and one you should not take on by yourself. It’s something that you get set a process for and move on, giving you more time to closing that deal. Automate it with easy-to-use software like Lead Liaison. This lead scoring software will help you identify your leads and convert them into customers.

 

7 Ways to Attract B2B Buyers With Mobile Marketing

B2B Mobile Marketing

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at Trumpia

Google is now reporting that 42 percent of B2B buyers are starting their research process on their phones. This number will only continue to rise as the B2B buyers increase with Millennial professionals who are well-versed in mobile technology.

Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile are seeing a downward ranking on Google (who knows full well that their users are often on devices with smaller screens). Users that land on pages poorly designed for their device are likely to back out and go somewhere else. No one wants to pinch and scroll just to read the marketing message or try to click in tiny links to navigate a page. Instead, companies need to use optimized web site designs so that their pages fit on any screen. Optimized pages load quickly and are set up differently to fit on smaller screens.

1. Design Responsive Emails

Along with your website, your emails are going to be likely viewed on mobile devices as well. In order to have easily readable emails, you will want to utilize responsive designs that will adapt to the screen size they are viewed on. Keep your subject line brief, preferably 3-5 words so that it won’t be cut off by the device. Limit your graphics and compress them to a small size so that you won’t even add a second to the email load time.

2. Build an App

Apps are frequently used by mobile users. Many businesses are finding that an app specific to their brand products or services can help increase retention with users. Apps can help draw back customers by managing rewards programs, streamlining the order process, enhancing the purchase experience and more. In order to create an app that really adds benefit to your customers, you will want to identify a very specific type of customer or lead and then focus on services that will directly address a business pain or marketing strategy for that type of customer. Don’t make your apps too broad or they will cease to be of any real value to anyone.

3. Utilize Established App Platforms

When you realize that mobile marketing is important to snagging a major part of your audience, then you will also realize that many apps are already getting a lot of attention. Use popular apps, like Facebook and LinkedIn, to address an audience that loves to browse content. Pinterest and Instagram appeal to leads that love looking at visual inspiration. Make sure you keep your profile updated with valuable content and fill out all details (especially contact information), so your viewers don’t have to search to find you later.

4. Create Optimized Landing Pages

If you’ve already optimized your website and email campaigns, then you will want to start creating optimized landing pages. These are going to be different than your typical landing page, because they will be designed to fast action and streamlined CTAs. Keep your pages short, sweet and visually straightforward. Remember that keeping information “above the fold” (before the user has to scroll further down on the screen to see more) is important for getting your message across immediately.

5. Trim Your Content

All of this optimizing for smaller screens is going to mean that you need to write content that is concise. While an article can be a longer form of content, your web pages, landing pages and emails all need to be to the point. SMS is a great way to deliver snappy content directly to a user’s device. It is especially important to keep your headlines short, as well as subject lines and headers that break up your content.

6. Foster Sharability

There are several things you can do to increase sharing and engagement from your B2B audience:

  • Don’t focus on your brand — focus on what your audience needs and wants
  • Post about industry important topics, trends, tips and stories that are not product- or service-related
  • Utilize emotion to drive importance — users that feel empowered, sad, scared, enraged or inspired are more likely to share the content they identify with
  • Use images to intrigue readers to stop scrolling and click on your content — images throughout the text will also keep your users eyes moving

7. Streamline Your Funnel

Finally, make sure you are very careful to create a sales funnel that does not have rabbit trails for your leads. Mobile users are making decisions quickly, while they are on the go, taking a short break or waiting on something. Keep your CTA clear and singularly focused so they are not distracted before getting to a decision point.

What’s Next?

How do you ensure that your customer is getting the best mobile experience possible when interacting with your brand? Make sure to share them with us in the comments below. I would love to read them.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at  Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms. As an innovator in two-way SMS/MMS marketing, Trumpia’s mission is to empower brands and public figures with interactive access to their audiences, reaching targeted affinity groups in a personal way. Trumpia delivers world-class content such as video, ticketing, polling, products sales, contests and giveaways.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter (@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

Marketing Automation Company Introduces World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

ALLEN, TX — July 14, 2016 — Lead Liaison, a leader in marketing automation software, announces exciting new features to enhance user experience within their top rated platform.

World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

Great marketing automation companies are superb listeners. One attribute that Lead Liaison is known for is the attention they give to what users have to say about their application. This upgrade is no different. Feedback indicated that there was a need for an easier interface when creating forms within Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software® platform. Their new form builder, which mirrors user experience for their email builder, was released last week. It features drag and drop functionality and the ability to customize color, fonts, field sizes and more with just one click. This feature is expected to cut down on time markers spend creating campaign content.

Jen Worsham, Director of Marketing & Client Relations at Lead Liaison says “Being able to style a form from the user interface is huge! Prior to this new generation form builder, customers would have to create separate style sheets. Now, they simply select colors, fonts, and more with a few mouse clicks. This visual web form builder lessens the dependency that marketers need for IT and web developers to assist them in the form creation process.”

Email Enhancements that Save Time

Lead Liaison already makes database segmentation easy, allowing users to segment their leads into various categories, based off of things like lead score or location. In previous versions, users would need to build a separate list within the email function of the app in order to target specific groups. Now, they’ve made communicating to those groups even easier with their “Send to portion of database” email option.

“Our visual email builder is the best in the industry, hands down. It’s super easy to construct emails with our drag and drop designer. Now the user gets an inline experience, where they can create and send an email to a new list all without having to diverge from the core email sending experience. I expect a lot of marketers to recoup more of their valuable time with this new time-saving feature.” – Worsham

About Lead Liaison

Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Allen, Texas, near Dallas. For more information, visithttp://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Companies dedicate a lot of resources to creating marketing content. But what’s more important is measuring the effectiveness of that content, so that you know where to spend those marketing dollars going forward. The calculation of a particular content’s clickthrough rate can be an effective tool to measure how well your keywords and ads are performing. It calculates the number of clicks that your link receives divided by the number of times your link is shown,  formatted as a percentage.

clickthrough rateA Quantifiable Number

These days, it’s hard to measure the emotional reaction to a piece of virtual content. Measuring the clickthrough rate allows you to see who engaged with an ad or call to action (CTA) in an email campaign – indicating that they were interested. A high CTR says that people want to know more. A low CTR indicates that your ad might need some improvement, or possibly that your call to action was not relevant enough.

Observation

Another way to measure interest in your content, particularly sales emails, would be with a tracking plugin. This allows you to observe the clickthrough. Lead Liaison has a Google Mail plugin called Send & Track, which allows senders to track 1:1 emails by reporting if and when the recipient opened a link within the message. What’s more, when a recipient clicks on the link within your email, Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™ is then able to connect that person to all of their actions within your website.

The key is to find out what’s working and what’s not. Paying attention to this information will help justify resources spent, and will make you more prepared to make content decisions going forward.

The Most Important Email Marketing Elements For 2016 (Infographic)

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at OnBlastBlog.com 

Let’s get one thing straight: email marketing is not dead, nor is it dying. It is still one of the most effective means of generating leads and conversions for a business. The old ways may have died, but there are new elements rising into the spotlight that change how we look at our email campaigns.

Today I’ll share several of the email marketing elements you should be using in 2016, followed by an infographic filled with the latest strategies that you can implement into your next campaign.

Today’s Top Email Marketing Trends and Strategies (Infographic)

You should start by avoiding the most common email marketing mistakes. Now, let’s look at some of the most important elements in any modern strategy:

  • Marketing automation such as drip campaigns and triggered message series are becoming more important to manage and nurture leads.
  • Segmenting your email lists based on a variety of factors (such as whether they’ve purchased or not) will ensure that your emails are personalized and relevant to each category.
  • Provide timely and relevant communication that addresses their needs.
  • Offer exclusive content they can’t get any other way.

Email marketing is a powerful tool in the right hands. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at today’s top strategies and let us know how it helps you in the comments!How to Send out Emails Like a Professional

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Database Segmentation

Database Segmentation

Database Segmentation: its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Many small businesses use tracking services to find information about their prospects or leads, be it contact information, age and gender, or even things like their buying behavior. Database segmentation refers to the organization of that data in a way that can then influence outreach such as email marketing campaigns, or strategic company decisions like selecting new product lines or determining pricing strategies. A few examples of ways to segment your data could be…

Lead quality - Within marketing automation software, leads can earn a score. Ten points for opening an email, 100 points for downloading content, 500 points for watching an entire video, etc. Lead qualification is a great way to segment. You could have different buckets according to lead score (i.e. 0-100 score, 101-500 score, 501-1000 score).

Ideal Buyers - Who are your ideal customers? Do they have certain job titles, company sizes, demographics or criteria. Ask your sales people, and then utilize your database segmentation tools. Once you’ve done that, you will be able to treat that group differently than you would a group that may not be as inclined to consume your product or services.

Geography  – Maybe certain areas of the world are more important to you than others. Or perhaps they should just receive separate content that is specific to their region. The folks down in Austin might need to know when your new barbecue recipe is available, whereas the crowd up in Chicago are more interested in when your winter boots are on clearance.

What’s even better (and more effective) is that you can then combine these! Perhaps you would like to send a handwritten letter & company t-shirt out to only your highest scoring leads in California. If you’ve utilized the data segmentation features within your marketing automation tool, you can get that personalized content out to that specific group of prospects in no time.

Reflections on Marketing Automation in 2016

Reflections on Marketing AutomationWe live in a time of extraordinary change. Marketing has come a long way in a small amount of time. And the industry is just continuing to refine itself! To be able to entirely appreciate the current state of marketing automation, it’s best to briefly acknowledge where it has been.

Marketing automation first came into existence in 1992, focusing on email alone. Businesses did not have a lot of online presence at the time, so there wasn’t really a huge opportunity for it to take off until the late 2000’s. Now, it has grown its capabilities so greatly that it is able to help companies deliver various marketing content through different channels to customers based on their online behavior.

As digital platforms become increasingly more powerful, there is more untapped data at our fingertips than ever. The need for organizing, integrating, and maximizing the benefits of that data has become essential. The phrase “work smarter, not harder” rings true. We have access to increasing demographic, psychographic, historical, and behavioral information. It’s information overload!

Marketing Automation now has the ability to capture all of this data, listen to it, interpret it, and utilize it in the most effective ways possible. The field of marketing automation is something that started small, exploded, and is now refining itself. Technology is more intuitive. Platforms are becoming easier to navigate. Consequently, the tools are more often used to their fullest potential.  Companies such as us have mastered content personalization, customizable resource centers, and integration.

What’s to Come in Marketing Automation

The marketing automation industry is somewhat saturated. This can be beneficial to the end user, in that companies must listen to their clients’ needs, wishes, and dreams. Even more customization, personalization and integration (with systems like mail or additional CRMs) is in the near future.

Another thing that is fast-approaching is an upgrade to the customer journey, or more specifically customer journey optimization. Instead of combining many customers’ courses of action into a few general paths, automation is challenged to grow to support infinite customer journeys. According to industry expert David Raab, this is “quite different from pre-determining an ideal customer journey and trying to force customers to follow it.” The industry seems to be taking back control over the user experience, instead of just reacting to it.

It’s an exciting time in marketing automation. With every challenge comes greater exploration and innovation. What do you see on the horizon for the industry? We look forward to hearing your feedback below!

What to Include in Handwritten Sales Follow-up Letters

What to Include in Handwritten Sales Follow-up Letters

Effective Sales Follow-Up

You have a prospect on the line, and now you just have to reel him or her in. Once you get him or her to shore, you’ll have money in your pocket and the admiration of your co-workers. While you could pick up the phone and beg the prospect to take the bait, handwritten sales follow-up letters are much more effective. Include the following components in your follow-up sales letter to increase your conversions, regardless of your industry.

Write About Benefits Instead of Features

Your handwritten sales follow-up letter should focus on the benefits you can offer instead of the features you provide. This is often referred to as selling the sizzle instead of the steak. Don’t tell people that the car you’re selling has an amazing engine. Tell them it will go fast. Don’t tell readers that your keyboard has low-profile keys. Instead, tell them it will speed up typing. Focusing on the benefits over the features will make your products stand out to the reader, which is a huge step in converting prospects.

Keep the Ball in Your Court

Control is an important part of sales. The person who has the control gets to take the lead. If you relinquish control, you will have to wait for the prospect to contact you, which might not happen. Maintain control by letting the prospect know what your next step will be, whether it will be a phone call, email, or another letter. Prospects can reach out to you before you take that next step, but if they don’t, you can follow up without feeling intrusive since they are expecting it. 

Reference Past Communications 

Personalization is key with sales. You will be more successful if you personalize your communications. With that in mind, reference past communications or interactions you’ve had with your prospects. If you make your prospects feel special, they will be more likely to take the next step and become customers. 

Your sales letter is possibly the most important tool you have in your sales arsenal. If you use the tool wisely, you will turn a high number of prospects into paying customers. Consider using a service for your handwritten sales follow-up letters so you will have ample time to handle your other sales duties. 

How to Make Your Mobile Marketing Work Harder

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post relating to Salesforce.com.

Does your mobile marketing match your consumers’ use of their devices? If you’re like most companies, the answer is “Probably not.”

There are different types of mobile users—regular, super, addicts, all of whom can be affected by mobile marketing in some way. How you reach them depends in part on the individual setups they have—push notifications, for example. Of course, push notifications equals more times opening an app. But push notifications can’t and shouldn’t be random. They should be designed to create an experience and action, as should SMS marketing.

The majority of customers wouldn’t mind more contact from brands using SMS marketing. Those messages get the attention of customers in a crowded world, and they often result in very quick review of a message.

There is a great gap between how much time we spend on our phones, and how much (or little) companies are investing in mobile advertising.

How important is mobile marketing

 

How can you make your mobile marketing work harder and smarter? To learn more about the potential in mobile marketing and the various ways to engage customers, check out Marketing Cloud’s article Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns.

Download this infographic.

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How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

Get Ready to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters – Be Different

With technology, people are always looking forward. They constantly think of new ways to tackle problems or attract customers. Sometimes, though, you need to take an old school approach to get the job done. That’s the case when it comes to prospecting. Instead of letting technology get in the way of your prospecting success, use handwritten letters. Once you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using this method all along.

Write Letters That Are Easy to Scan

People are used to reading on the web, where articles include headlines and are easy to scan. You can provide the same experience with your handwritten letters. Make the paragraphs short and to the point and include bullet points, if needed. People should be able to glance at your letter and pick out the main points without any problems. 

Use a Handwritten Envelope

Your letter will only be effective if the recipient opens it. People are more likely to open mail that has a handwritten envelope, so take the time to write the names and addresses out. If you don’t have the time, a service can do it for you.

Don’t Include Teaser Copy

Some people like to put what is often referred to as “teaser copy” on the envelope. They use words like “FREE” and “URGENT” on the envelope, thinking it will increase the open rates. Instead, it makes people think they have received junk mail. 

Use the Letter as Part of an Automated Sequence

Handwritten letters are an excellent way to prospect, but you can’t expect people to respond to them. People aren’t going to sit down and write a letter back to you, and many people won’t pick up the phone and call. That’s why you need to make them a part of a sequence. Follow your handwritten prospecting letters up with phone calls or emails so people can respond. Putting the letters inside of a sequence also makes it easier to nurture your leads.

Now that you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, it’s time to get started. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to write a great sales letter or if you don’t have the time to put into the process. You can use a service to handle the letters for you. Services can even include the handwritten letter as part of an automated prospecting plan.