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

Increase Lead Engagement through Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns

Increase Lead Engagement through Multi-Channel Marketing CampaignsEngaging leads takes time. To get your lead truly engaged and ready to take action, it usually takes a few touches through a few different channels before you gain their trust. Engaging your leads and keeping up with their preferences doesn’t have to be a confusing, timely chore. Having a marketing automation plan in terms of implementing multi-channel marketing campaigns simplifies the process of contacting leads and increasing lead engagement. It also ensures your leads are receiving your messages in the most convenient way possible. In the long run, this means the chances of gaining your leads’ trust increases, which places you closer to closing the sale.

Manage Multi-Channel Marketing Automatically

Using marketing automation to track, score and nurture prospects makes it a walk in the park to understand your leads’ needs. No more manually entering information into your CRM, no more room for human error when in comes to following-up and researching. The brilliant thing about automating your marketing practices is that you can add additional channels and manage all of them in the same place. Text messaging allows for direct and convenient communication and, according to recent polls, most texts are opened by the recipient within minutes. Lead Liaison has just announced the Multi-Channel Marketing capabilities that allow you to engage leads in brand new ways and cover all the bases.

Using SMS

The engagement rates of SMS marketing blow the others out of the water when compared with email marketing and social media posts. The reasons for this jump in recipient activity may be for several different reasons, the first being convenience of reception. Your smartphone is either in your hands, on your desk, in your pocket, or in your purse—never too far from reach. You’ll probably even get an instant notification of the new message with a preview of the text, which is a foot in the door, especially if the message is a discounted offer or deal that you’re offering in exchange for immediate action.

Direct Mail

Despite recent research and polls, SMS isn’t for everybody. That’s why it’s important to utilize multi-channel campaigns and engage your leads when and where they’re ready to receive your messages. On the other end of the spectrum, Lead Liaison has also introduced the direct mail channel. While SMS channels lead in engagement rates, direct mail campaigns are champion when it comes to new customer acquisition (read: multi-channel marketing = success).

At less than $1 per card, you have complete control over what’s sent to your leads. To emphasize all the channels of communication and marketing available, you even have the ability to add a QR code to the card that sends your lead straight to a landing page and right to your next call-to-action. Direct mail plus website visits brings you closer to the goal.

Every lead behaves differently, and that’s where your lead nurturing and tracking practices come in handy. Increasing lead engagement starts with understanding your leads’ needs and how they like to receive their information. The next step—personalizing not only the method of communication, but the message you’re sending as well.

Do You Have Control of Your Lead Tracking?

Take Control of Lead Tracking

Do You Have Control of Your Lead Tracking?

It’s time to take control of your lead tracking. Are you wasting time manually researching, following up, and tracking each lead? Sure, it’s not a waste of time; thorough research and proper follow up are the stepping-stones to closing the deal. Having full control of your lead tracking will allow for your reps to be better informed and better prepared to close. But, manually populating each lead’s profile is a time-consuming and often

repetitive task that, I would guess, is not all that exciting. Not only does this

method of lead tracking waste valuable time, but it also opens up the opportunity for human error. You send several follow-up emails each day to your leads. Then, for each one, you still have to input all of the relevant details into the CRM. Whew! Not following the full routine of lead tracking is detrimental to your future relationship with the lead. Take control of your lead tracking and spend more time closing leads instead of repopulating data into your CRM.

Keep up with your leads

Tracking leads (and keeping documentation of it) is increasingly important in building your relationship with them. How can you follow up with a relevant, personal message if you don’t remember where you left off? Every rep does it differently, some prefer handwritten sticky notes, some input it directly into the CRM. Either way, making that information readily available for your next interaction allows you to pick up where you left off. It also allows you to transfer the lead to another rep, if need be. Lead tracking done through marketing automation allows you to filter out the leads that just aren’t interested, or may be interested next year, or are only interested in this one specific product, etc. Take control of your lead tracking—keep up with them to help you figure out what they want and when they’re ready for it.

Strategize the next moves

Lead tracking through marketing automation should provide a record of their response times. When did they respond to your last email? Was it in the morning, or at lunch? Chances are, their response times are indicative of when they’re available, and therefore the perfect time for you to reach out to them next time. Leads are quickly lost if you become an inconvenience for them. Manage your leads and maintain control of your lead tracking by working with their schedule.

Lead Liaison’s Send & Track plug-in works seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and lets you take control of your lead tracking. Using this marketing automation tool keeps your leads out of that scary black hole of lost emails and wasted communication. The Send & Track plug-in adds a button to your Outlook that automatically inputs the correct data into your CRM and tracks all of the future activity with that lead. Not sure if the lead opened the last email you sent them? Send & Track will tell you that too. Plus, it automatically syncs data to your CRM for leads that have already been entered into the system.

Customer Profiling for Deeper Advertising

Customer Profiling for Deeper AdvertisingIf you’re not profiling customers, you could be missing out on valuable information that will help deepen your sales funnel and ensure repeat customers. Customer profiling isn’t all about lumping your customers into a category-it’s a way to understand what your customers are thinking or hoping to buy so that you can develop customized marketing assets that increase your appeal.

Many businesses pass over customer profiling because they throw a wide net when they begin their marketing, then never really pay attention to who is responding or buying over time. Because of this, businesses that are profiling their customers could be missing out on a brand new market and increased sales.

Customer Profiling: The Basics

Your first step to successful profiling is to get acquainted with certain information about your target customer. Compare this information with the demographics of the people who are currently buying from you. For most businesses, there may even be a secondary set of demographic information you can analyze to identify another subset of customers you can target.

When profiling customers, take a look at some of this information to determine who your target customer is and how you can mix up your marketing efforts.

Age. This doesn’t have to be strict – for instance, ‘the average range of your customer is 54 years old’ – rather, it’s more important to identify your customer based on a range of different ages, then market to the ranges saving yourself some time and effort.

Income. If you’re selling things your target audience member can’t afford to buy, you’re wasting time and advertising dollars. Determining what your average customer makes and how to target your customer based on that information is crucial to a successful marketing campaign.

Ethnicity. People from different ethnic groups often use different products and have different retail needs.

Geotargeting. With all the specific geo-targeted marketing possible in the digital world, it makes sense to know where your customers are coming from. For instance, if you run a national advertising campaign and most of your customers happen to be from Wisconsin, it makes sense to do some specialized advertising to your target customers in that particular state.

Making a Plan

Marketing to your target audience is really only possible if you know that audience. Customer profiling will allow you to get a look at your average customer and determine whether or not that person is getting the kind of advertising they need to buy your products more quickly.

If you don’t have any idea who your average customer is, deep analytics data may give you some insight you never thought possible. Lead Liaison’s marketing automation dashboards are sophisticated while retaining the user friendliness average business owners need to succeed. Talk to us about a consult today!

How to Send SMS Messages with Marketing Automation

How to Send SMS Messages with Marketing AutomationLead Liaison is genuinely enthused about our ability to offer our customers automated, personalized and measurable multi-channel marketing capabilities. Like you, we were asking ourselves how to send SMS messages with marketing automation. Well, since our Revenue Generation Software™ helps customers deliver marketing automation strategies it’s a no brainer to plug-in the ability to send text messages directly into our platform. In addition to SMS messages, Lead Liaison’s platform can also deliver direct mail, email and voice calls as part of a comprehensive suite of actions.

Adding SMS marketing was fun and easy. We used a few components to pull the integration together, Twilio, Webhooks and our automated processes. Here are the steps we took:

  1. Opened our Twilio account, created a SMS phone number and funded the account with $20.00 (10 minutes)
  2. Created a Webhook call in Lead Liaison (3 minutes)
  3. Setup an automation to send text messages through our marketing automation, triggered off certain criteria/events (10 minutes)

In 23 minutes we beefed up our multi-channel marketing! The nice thing about this setup is that we configured things once and we were done. We were able to use Lead Liaison’s tokens (merge fields) to insert First Name and Mobile Phone Number into the body of the text message, keeping the content dynamic. We modularized the text message and packaged it up into a Webhook. Then we simply dragged/dropped the SMS call to Twilio into our automated workflow. Bam! No more wondering how to send sms messages with marketing automation, it’s here! See the image attached to this post to see our SMS message delivered by Twilio.

3 Things to Know About Lead Distribution

3 Things to Know About Lead DistributionStudies have shown that automating your lead distribution process leads to higher conversion rates. Advanced marketing automation software ensures that more of your reps’ precious time is spent interacting with prospects rather than organizing lead distribution manually. Here are 3 things to know about lead distribution and a few things to know when implementing the most effective marketing automation platform for your teams:

1. Collaboration

Communication is key when it comes to moving a prospect forward. Each business runs differently, but having an organized way of passing a lead around is mandatory for success. Be sure all of the reps on the team have a simple way of updating a prospect’s status so that when it’s time to distribute, all the necessary information is in place.

2. Methods

The most common methods for lead distribution can be categorized into a push, pull, or hybrid.In addition to the 3 things to know about lead distribution, here are 3 things to know about lead distribution methods:

Push. Lead Liaison offers the Round Robin approach, a push method that evenly disseminates leads to the appropriate reps in a systematic, cyclical manner. Performance-based distribution is also a push method, where the incentive to turn the prospect into an opportunity is to gain another lead. Criteria-based distribution is another push method, where prospects are assigned using location or type.

Pull. Rather than pushing prospects out to the reps, another method is the pull method. This allows reps to take charge and pull prospects from the pool when they’re ready to take them on. Pulled leads can be regulated in a few ways, such as ensuring the rep’s other prospects have been advanced or enacting a cap on each day’s pull allowed.

Hybrid. As you would guess, the hybrid method is a thoughtful combination of both push and pull methods. An example would be using the Round Robin technique in addition to allowing reps to pull new prospects under a set of conditions (which could be performance-based).

3. Getting Higher Conversion

Managing an effective system of lead distribution helps increase conversions. A higher contact rate—more interaction between the reps and their prospects—is one of the best indicators of higher conversion rates. Deciding on the method(s) of distribution that best fits the needs of your business may be difficult, but finding that balance (even through trial and error) will boost the business in the long run.

By automating lead distribution, your team will have more time to focus on creating personalized campaigns and to contact prospects in a more meaningful way. For more information on how Lead Liaison can manage your lead distribution, click here.

Direct Mail with Marketing Automation

Front of Direct Mail PostcardWe recently added the ability to send direct mail with marketing automation using Lead Liaison. We’re genuinely excited about this new marketing channel that our customer base can take advantage of. Designing our first direct mail campaign was easy. In this post we’ll talk about how simple it was to put together a direct mail campaign using Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software.

Background on Direct Mail

B2B marketing typically requires 5 to 7 touches before a prospect buys from a provider. Why? They want to build trust, build the relationship and know you’re not a fly-by-night vendor blasting out communications hoping you’ll respond to the first thing they see. Using all of those 5 to 7 touches on phone calls or emails could get old, really fast. Enter direct mail.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, typical response rates are 4.4% for direct mail (overall)

While response rates are high, so are conversions for new customers.

The CMO Council reports direct mail has the highest rate of success in new customer acquisition at 34% compared with other marketing channels.

It’s time we start thinking about integrating direct mail with marketing automation.

How We Did It

Back of Direct Mail Campaign

Adding direct mail to our marketing automation campaign was easy. Here are the steps we took to launch our campaign.

  1. Created a template in Photoshop. This took us about an hour to do. Alternatively, you could use pre-made templates from our partner, Direct Mail Manager. They’ve got 100s of pre-made cards to choose from.
  2. We put a QR code on the back of the postcard that linked to a landing page we built in Lead Liaison. When the recipient gets the card they scan it with their smart phone which loads the landing page along with an attractive offer.
  3. We deposited $1.04 into our account at Direct Mail Manager. Yes, only about a buck! Each card cost $.52 and we sent one to our Product Manager and one to an Account Manager. You can deposit as little as $.52 into your Direct Mail Manager Account.
  4. We created a Webhook in Lead Liaison.
  5. We added the Webhook as an action in our marketing campaign workflow.
  6. Boom! Within three (3) days the postcard showed up in the mail.

Let us help you get your direct mail campaign off the ground!

Why Marketing Automation Makes Sense

Why Marketing Automation Makes More SenseMarketing automation is the perfect tool for today’s consumer audience. Marketing automation makes sense. There are several features that give automated marketing the upper hand when it comes to conversion rates (we’ll get into that in a bit), but today’s consumer is certainly web-savvy—they spend more time on the internet than they do watching TV or reading magazines. So why not reach them where they’re already going to be, right?

Behavior-based lead scoring

Companies benefit from choosing marketing automation in that the potential customer’s behavior is tracked and scored. No need to manually track click-through rates from Google Analytics, your software is already doing that for you. Marketing automation tracks your leads and generates profiles based on their online behavior. This information warms the leads automatically for the sales reps. How awesome is that? No more shots in the dark, no more cold calling. Read more about how this is helpful for small business owners.

It’s not just for scheduling; it’s for maintaining a conversation

Automation is so often misunderstood as simply a means of scheduling. Sure, scheduling happens, but more importantly using marketing automation includes complex analytics that capture the behavior of your potential customers, scores it for you, and therefore helps maintain a relevant conversation that closes the lead. The important thing to note is that, although it sounds like kind of the opposite, automation actually helps to keep the personal touch in your interactions with leads. Automation supplies enough relevant information to take the relationship to the next level by offering products that the lead is already interested in. Of course, this can be done manually, but automating this relationship-building process saves so much time for your business, allowing your employees to spend their time closing the leads rather than researching them.

The bottom line is a higher conversion rate. These rates are ultimately a result of a system that creates highly targeted and personalized efforts, utilizing conditional logic. This means that once you reach out to your lead it is not in an unsolicited manner (such as a spammy email campaign). What good is your analytical data if you don’t utilize it in future lead generation endeavors? Marketing automation makes this process a breeze.

Lead Strategy Creation 101

Lead Strategy Creation 101

Lead Strategy

Lead strategy is, in part, about segmentation – ensuring that the proper messages are sent to your audience in a way that will make them convert. Many businesses find it hard to start identifying sales funnels and developing a lead strategy – in part because the term “conversion” or “conversion point” doesn’t make any sense.

A conversion is what happens when your customer buys, becomes a lead or otherwise engages with you in a way that meets your advertising goals. The term ‘conversion’ refers to the fact that the customer has converted to your brand messaging – meaning they find use for your products and find you trustworthy enough to leave their information or buy.

Identifying Your Conversion Point

For many businesses, there is no email collection form, phone number or other conversion point on the site – product sales will be the only way your business converts users. Having multiple conversion points gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your audience and ensure future conversions. For instance, if you’re only selling products and never capturing a customer’s email, you may be missing out on valuable data that will lead to a conversion later. Your first step in creating a lead strategy is to identify your conversion points, and establish multiple points for conversion if you don’t have them already.

Lead Strategy: Identifying CPA

Your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) reflects how many marketing dollars you must spend to get a sale. Obviously you want your CPA to decrease over time so that your marketing dollars result in a profit. You’d be surprised how many businesses haven’t identified a CPA. When creating a lead strategy, it’s important to take into account how much money you’re spending and your overall return. Lead strategy often requires investment, so it’s critical to know where your money is going.

Creating a Lead Strategy

Now it’s time to build funnels. Ask yourself these questions: How do clients find your site? What actions do they take when they get there? What does your buying process look like? Use these questions to imagine actual sales funnels that relate to your business offerings and selling points. Factor in whether or not your different sales points require different messaging to sell your clients faster – for instance, should clients who previously purchased products from you receive the same marketing messaging as new clients? These questions are important to answer.

Finally, get some help when it comes to lead strategy. Marketing automation might be the best bang for your buck – talk to us at Lead Liaison today to find out how marketing automation could change your marketing messaging and increase sales!

Getting Your Subscribers to Open and Click

Getting Subscribers to Open and ClickIt’s tough to send good marketing emails. Even after they’ve opted in, you have to reaffirm their interest with each and every email you send. And let’s be honest, it takes time to develop a winning email marketing strategy, and no matter the size of your business, time is expensive. Here are a few quick and simple things to implement in your email marketing strategy:

A/B Testing

Try A/B testing with several strong subject lines to see what works better. What’s going to make your recipient open this email? The first step is getting it opened. Check out these email subject line hacks taken from SXSW session titles. Try out your own version of these against something else you think might work. It’s all about experimentation and understanding your subscribers. Tailor it to them personally as often as possible.

Spicy Subject Line

Surprise your subscribers with an interesting subject line. Play-up the sense of urgency and scarcity of your product. Along the same lines of A/B testing, test out what times of the day work best for your content. Are you grabbing your audience at a time when they’re looking for your services? Or are you sending at a time when your email is just one of many and it’s lost in the pile? Check out a few tips on improving your open rate here.

Know Your Subscribers

Understand your buyer persona. What makes them tick? Why would they have subscribed to your list and what kind of information are they seeking? This is where organizing your leads properly will really pay off. Read more about email tracking here. Targeting your subscribers personally makes them believe that email is for them, not just the whole pool of subscribers.

Lead Liaison keeps email marketing simple for you through our marketing automation services. We make it easy for you to succeed in each email campaign, keeping each email personalized, utilizing drip campaigns, keeping your lists clean and organized, and providing important analytics.

Mobile Marketing Automation: Is Your Business Ready?

Mobile Marketing Automation

Mobile Marketing Automation

Mobile marketing automation is happening – though mobile marketing and marketing automation are not new concepts, businesses who pay attention to their mobile marketing are finding the information they gather more useful and profitable than ever.

If you’re thinking about doing mobile marketing for your business, the first question is, how mobile is your audience? If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, if you’re not working on being found in places like Google Local or doing any form of local marketing and if you have no plans to consider a mobile-friendly site in the future, you might consider skipping mobile marketing.

Is Mobile Marketing Right For You?

Not all businesses really need to do mobile marketing – but many who would find qualified mobile traffic are avoiding mobile. Likewise, the vast majority of businesses haven’t discovered how amazing marketing automation could be for their businesses. Considering a mobile marketing plan for your business could put you ahead of the curve.

Putting the Data Together

A marketing automation dashboard gives your company access to marketing funnels that are individualized and that work for your particular business. Your dashboard not only streamlines your funnel – it helps you better manage team workflow, marketing tasks and to more easily interpret your data stream.

Mobile marketing data may be vastly different from your regular data – for instance, mobile users may tend to look at your site at a specific time of day that laptop or desktop users don’t. Without the proper analytics, this type of information is hard to come by.  Many companies aren’t even using the free, most basic analytics out there. The only way to truly determine whether or not your marketing services are working to bring in new leads and re-engage existing clients is to consistently and carefully analyze your data.

With mobile use consistently on the rise, mobile marketing will play a key role in the success and productivity of future businesses. Many businesses don’t want to go into mobile marketing because they fear the cost – but there are many responsive website builders out there that will convert your website at low cost. For many businesses we work with, responsive web technology for mobile marketing has been worth looking into.

How Will I Know if I’m Ready?

Talk to us at Lead Liaison and let us take a look at your site, your offering and your mobile-readiness. Mobile marketing might actually benefit your business more than you know.