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

Top 7 Ways to Maintain Customer Retention through Marketing Automation

Customer RetentionIt’s easy to get lost in the process of lead generation, mindlessly nurturing and scoring in order to convert and build your customer base. However, just as a top-scoring, warm lead is easier to persuade to sign the deal, increasing your customer retention even as little as 5% can produce increase in profit from 25% to 95% percent. Technology makes it even easier to keep in tune with your buyers and ensure you’re staying on their good side. Check out these top seven ways to maintain customer retention through marketing automation:

  1. Understand the insightful feedback. Your current customers are already giving you valuable market information. Check their activity on your site—what are they clicking, downloading, and sharing? Also, don’t forget to encourage feedback from them, whether through social media surveys, website forms, or directed email marketing campaigns. These customers have already been converted, chances are they are nearly guaranteed hot leads with insightful feedback on your products.
  2. Drip Marketing. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by utilizing personalized drip marketing campaigns. They didn’t open your last email? Try segmenting those customers and sending them a second email, targeted at their needs.
  3. Stay in touch. Don’t quit your lead scoring just because they’ve converted. Continue to score them and determine which content you’re producing is most valuable to (lifelong) customers. Provide helpful how-to’s on the best practices and most recent updates on your products. Cultivate this relationship to maintain customer retention through marketing automation by scheduling regular touchpoints with buyers at least once a month.
  4. Don’t get caught up in filling the top of the funnel. Lead generation will no doubt be an imperative player in your company’s success. There’s no reason to forget about the bottom of the funnel, though. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to capitalize on the leads that are already warm and proven to be ready to buy.
  5. Give them what they want. Analyze buying cycles, particularly those of your current customers, and remind them when they want to buy based on their previous behaviors. For example, if your product is a yearly software program, send out a notification a few months before their service expires, giving them a personalized reminder to renew. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by giving your customers what they want and when they want it.
  6. Thank them. Give them a special coupon code on their buying anniversary or provide a unique offer right after their purchase. Incentivize them to share your product with others as well through referral systems. Use social media to provide a contest among followers, encouraging their interaction and engagement (AKA business insight) with your company.
  7. Provide the solution. Chances are, your buyers put their trust in you. They count on you to be the expert; in fact, they’re probably paying you to be the expert. Don’t let them down by providing shotty customer service or not updating your resources regularly. Use creative and timely content to maintain customer retention through marketing automation practices.

Marketing Automation: How Does the CEO Fit In?

Marketing Automation for the CEOWhen is it best for a company’s CEO to get involved with the marketing team’s overall efforts – this is the question marketing automation answers for many organizations. The idea that the CEO of any-sized company turns his or her back to the marketing team’s efforts – taking a “set it and forget it” approach to advertising – is one that comes to life for many agencies and gets in the way of upgrading legitimate marketing efforts.

Knowing this, how can any organization’s CEO make sure that the company marketing team is on board with making changes that benefit the organization from the ground up?

Understanding Marketing Automation

Many companies avoid choosing marketing automation services due to the work it would create on their end. Let’s face it – many companies don’t make it a priority to connect sales and marketing departments the way they should. This results in a disjointed effort between sales and analysts, creating unhappy customers and getting in the way of productivity.

Marketing automation is a great way to not only establish and track legitimate leads for any organization, but to develop an internal process that unites sales, marketing and execution departments. Because the process of getting a lead all the way to working for a customer require follow-up, tracking and cooperation on the back end, a work system can be set in place that solidifies the efforts of these departments like never before. The result is a workflow that’s not just fully automated, but addresses the unique needs of all areas of the business.

Getting the Right Training

The training involved with implementing marketing automation is not just for employees or individual department heads  – the top-level of the organization – particularly the CEO or business decision maker – should have some idea of how marketing automation works and how it may be implemented within the organization as a whole.

The best way to ensure these strategies are in place and working for a business is to have the CEO go through the appropriate training, delegate responsibility and understand how everything works. This can only be accomplished with a marketing automation team that cares about its business and customers. A solid marketing automation system needs to be in place, but a team willing to train employees (and CEOs) and to stick around for follow-up is integral to the process working for everyone involved.

The Lead Liaison team doesn’t drop off service after marketing automation – we stick around to make sure all companies’ needs are met from the top down. Talk to us about a consult today!

3 Steps to Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing Automation

Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing AutomationIt’s no surprise that marketing automation opens opportunities for managing your leads like never before; but how else can you use the system to benefit your business? A case study by Marketing Sherpa found that utilizing marketing automation can drive more 75% more leads. Even though you’ve got this huge flood of leads, we know they don’t qualify and convert themselves. What could be the risks involved with passing all of the new leads on to sales? How hazardous is it to prematurely qualify leads? Manage the influx of leads and drive lead qualification through marketing automation.

What qualities do “qualified leads” embody? Although this is a crucial question, it will inevitably be different for each organization that attempts to define it. It is imperative that the sales and marketing agree on some of the “static” characteristics of the ideal lead that is nearing their buying decision. Some of the static definitions of each lead will derive from pieces of their profile that are unlikely to change in the next few quarters, such as their job title, the size of their company, their geographic location, etc. Each of these items will factor into their score, and ultimately, how they’re qualified and whether or not they get pushed to sales. Here are three things that will help drive lead qualification through marketing automation:

Monitor Lead Engagement

In order to properly and completely profile each lead and potential lead, it’s necessary to have a good handle on the amount of contact they’ve had with your brand. There’s nothing worse than to scare away a prospect by pushing them to sales too early. With the right tools, marketing automation can make tracking visitor activity a breeze, with gadgets like desktop clients. Monitor your landing page traffic in real time, see which links/images are getting the most hits, and discover who’s spending the greatest amount of time on your site. With the various tools that marketing automation affords your business, it becomes less of a chore to discover and evaluate the potential buyers’ interest levels.

Prioritize and Push (only) the Hottest Leads to Sales

Shorten the sales cycle by prioritizing the prospects who have shown their readiness to make buying decisions. Understand, gauge, and encourage their readiness through effective and diligent lead nurturing practices. Utilize personalized email messages and targeted content to engage and drive lead qualification through marketing automation. By prioritizing the leads that are most ready to buy, your sales team is less likely to waste their time chasing prospects who do not feel informed enough to make a decision. Along the same thread, don’t give up on these leads. They may only require a little extra TLC and the right nurturing campaign to push them over to the qualified side.

Ensure your CRM is Synced

Chances are, your marketing automation software is equipped to automatically synch with the CRM. Be sure you’re not entering the same information in multiple platforms. Synching up the common platforms between both the sales and the marketing teams provides a greater visibility, stronger communication, and an overall clearer plan of action.

3 Ways Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer Persona

Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer PersonaImplement successful marketing strategies and make the most of content-driven, scalable automation confidently through understanding your buyer persona. Marketing automation is a useful tool in gathering the analytics you need to build your buyer persona, strategically reach your target audience, and truly understand what they’re looking for.

According to an article by Tony Zambito, thought leader on the topic, buyer personas describe “who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, where they buy, when buyers decide to buy, and why they make buying decisions.” That’s quite a bit of information to gather. In the end, building accurate models of buying behaviors helps you to understand how your prospects expect and prefer to interact with your brand. Use marketing automation to build your buyer persona. Uncovering such knowledge will arm both sales and marketing teams with the information and assurance they need to seal the deal.

Integrate the Analytics

With features such as Lead Liaison’s Social Append, marketing automation allows you to gather data available from a variety of sources and channels and build a telling profile of your ideal prospect. Not only will you understand their social interactions, but you’ll also have a grasp of how they expect to interact with your brand and product. Another useful way to implement the numbers and stats you’ve gathered is to sort your prospects: what actions were taken by you that won a prospect over? What were the signs that you were about to lose a prospect? Building out a thorough analysis of this data will help to create a persona based on previous experience that will ensure a successful plan for the future.

Work with the Sales Team

Get insights from the sales team to refine the personas. They’re the ones with the most direct contact with prospects, so take advantage of their findings. When using marketing automation to build your buyer persona, marketers and sales teams need to maintain a two-way communication plan so that they can nail down the specifics- what questions are your prospects asking during their buying process? What are their goals, or what are their company’s goals? What are the signs that a prospect is ready to buy? Productive lead tracking and nurturing can provide the data you need to see what action steps the marketing team is taking that lead to higher success and ROI in the sales interactions.

Create a Range of Different Personas

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by creating and implementing just one persona. Recognize the common factors in your buyers’ decision-making process, and develop a few different personas that are testable. When thinking about a relevant range of personas, utilize customer surveys, case studies, and other tools and strategies already in place. Having a broader perspective allows you to try out various strategies to discover which works best.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices and Your Organization

Lead Nurturing Best PracticesIt’s true that lead nurturing best practices are important to establishing good relationships with prospects, though many small businesses don’t really have the time or the resources to think about it. The act of adopting marketing automation into company processes is about giving your organization the ability to start nurturing leads and developing a deeper, more intensive and effective funnel over time. For many businesses, understanding the best ways to nurture leads aren’t a part of this process from the get-go.

When considering how to nurture leads for your business, it’s best to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Here are some ideas on how you can get the type of familiarity that will help you best turn your prospects into completed conversions.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices

At minimum, nurturing leads is about developing a relationship of trust with your customers. Because many modern business relationships start and continue over the internet, the in-person, ‘human touch’ component of interaction and communication is sometimes lost.

To give you a good example, many of us would never buy a car over the internet without test driving it, feeling the steering wheel under our hands and being able to experience being in the car and seeing the exterior first-hand. With recent economic issues these past few years reducing the income of many, customers want to “feel out” your product or service and feel they’re getting the best bang for their buck before making a deeper commitment.

Take a step back and ask yourself how your website, self-presentation and various sales materials stand up to the test of time with regard to how much customers trust you. If your offering was a car, do customers get a good feel for the product and develop trust before making a big commitment?

Making it Personal

The more personality and trustworthiness you put across in your marketing materials, the more it’ll be likely that clients trust you over time. It’s important to give your marketing materials that personal touch – for example, if your business happens to be family owned, this is a great way to tell your clients more about you and establish that trust. Try writing a company blog or recording a video where you showcase members of your staff or a specific team.

Lead nurturing best practices are all about getting to know the client better and putting personalization into practice. Marketing automation can help you track data, and the right marketing automation team can help you figure out what your clients want to see from you before you even start tracking, as well as how to better nurture leads. Find out more by consulting with Lead Liaison’s friendly staff today!

Marketing Automation to Meet All Business Needs

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

Event Planning

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

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

Marketing Automation and Advanced Reporting

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

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

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

Marketing Automation: Do You Know Your Data Stream?

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

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

Starter Marketing Automation Data

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

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

Focusing on the Right Data

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

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

Is Conversion Tracking Enough?

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

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

Advanced Tech is the Key

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

Marketing Automation for Conversion Tracking

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

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

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

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

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

Is Mobile Marketing in Your Wheelhouse

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

Mobile Marketing in Facebook Ads

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

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

Mobile Marketing via text

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

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

Mobile Marketing on the Back End

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

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

How to Create a Successful Sales and Marketing Collaboration Plan

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

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

Maintain two-way communication

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

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

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

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