Best practices on lead generation

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.

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor Tracking

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

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

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

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

Why Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Should Use Marketing Automation for Prospecting

I Love Prospecting with Lead LiaisonProspecting is a headache for most sales reps. Sales people get pressure from leadership to sell faster and meet the demands of the current quarter. As the day-to-day pressure mounts salespeople get distracted and lose focus on prospecting as they concentrate more on closing existing deals in late pipeline stages. What salespeople wind up with is more business at the bottom of the funnel but a very non-existent top and middle of the funnel. For small to mid-sized businesses these issues compound as smaller companies have less resources to work with.

It’s vital salespeople close deals and prospect at the same time. However, it’s unrealistic to think most salespeople will be consistent with their prospecting efforts. Using sales automation, salespeople can be ultra-efficient, almost like an assembly line, with a systematic and scalable way to prospect. Marketing automation software for small to mid-sized businesses helps salespeople use automated workflows to “chase” prospects once they’ve identified their targets. Prospect communication happens in the background using multiple touch points, something that’s imperative when prospecting, to connect with your prospect. Executing such a process looks like this:

  1. Add the contact to your CRM
  2. Add the contact to a Lead Liaison Workflow
  3. Boom! A series of 2-week communication automagically chases your prospect by sending them personalized communication
  4. When prospects engage, you’ll know about it in real-time and remove them from the Workflow

The flow chart below depicts a sample Chase Workflow that a small to mid-sized company might build to automate sales prospecting. I promise, we can make you love sales prospecting!

Let us know if we can help you build this awesome process into your sales organization.

Marketing Automation for Prospecting

2 Week Chase Workflow

Business Intelligence and Visitor Tracking Solutions

Visitor Tracking IntelligenceBusiness intelligence can benefit a business at any size or level, and visitor tracking is an important part of that intelligence. Many small businesses look past marketing automation as a viable option due to size, not enough staff on hand, etc. However, with the right marketing automation tools in place, small businesses can utilize the same type of visitor tracking and business intelligence tools that larger businesses use.

Lead Follow-Up

Small businesses won’t become larger without figuring out how to sell more and how best to utilize leads. Smaller businesses may be using tools that weren’t necessarily meant to track leads just to keep all their data straight. For example, Google Docs is a powerful, flexible tool, but isn’t necessarily best used to classify the movement of leads through your funnel or different buyer stages.

The right CRM can do that – but paying for an enterprise level CRM plus all the other tools you need can be a waste of money when your relevant business leads and successful advertising information can be funneled through one solid backend.

Marketing automation tools aren’t just about keeping track of lead flow – they’re about managing information in one easily organized place. With the right visitor tracking systems in place, any member of your team should be able to check in, get an idea of what ‘s happening and use that business intelligence information to better determine how to sell to clients.

Visitor Tracking and Onboarding

Ease of use is one of the most important components of using any marketing automation dashboard. A smaller company that can best care for the individual needs of a small business is best. Within that smaller company is housed various team members who need the right training to use whatever business intelligence or visitor tracking systems are in place. Training is crucial – you don’t want to pay for a tool that you or your staff members are never going to use.

It’s important to take your time making the right choice for a marketing automation company. The marketing automation giants out there offer plenty of solutions with built-in visitor tracking – but are they going to take the time to train employees and get everyone on-boarded? Working with a smaller marketing automation company can be better because every client counts – so every function that’s utilized, every staff member that’s trained and every tick in your “sold” column keeps the machine running.

Talk to Lead Liaison specialists today about how marketing automation can take your small business to the next level!

You’ve Got Visitor Tracking Going – Now What?

Visitor Tracking - Now What?So you’ve been using marketing automation tools to engage in visitor tracking for your business and you have all the data you could ever hope for. What’s next?

Visitor tracking isn’t something all businesses are doing, but they should be. The in-depth information provided by the knowledge of who is visiting your site, how long they stick around and what they’re clicking on can provide advanced intelligence data you never thought possible. We’ve already established how great it is to have this info – but what do you do once the data starts coming in? How can you make the right decisions for your business based on the data you’re seeing?

All the Articles

When users engage with business websites, many of them determine the service value of the company they’re researching based on what kind of content or information the business provides. You may look at visitor tracking data and find that users are clicking on or paying attention to certain blogs as opposed to other areas of content. Maybe more visitors are finding your blog entries or other content via entry from Google. What does this tell us about the way you can use this information in future marketing efforts?

First, if users tend to engage with certain content and you don’t have a sign up box somewhere on your page, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to get users into your information funnel. Promising similar content to the kind that’s really engaging users is a great way to grab email addresses and get your customers that much closer to a sale.

You can also use this as an opportunity to get users further engaged with your website. Info blocks that promise similar content if a user clicks on a story can be really helpful in getting users to spend a fair amount of time on your website, therefore seeing you as a trusted content source. 

What About Advanced Visitor Tracking?

When you’re able to log individual users based on identifying information such as an IP address, you can use this information to tailor your content to what that user wants to see – or to have an agent chat with them in a way that can better capture a sale. There’s no shame in preventing your value proposition in a way that gets you closer to a sale, specifically if you know which individual user your sales staff is talking to.

Lead Liaison offers advanced visitor tracking via its marketing automation services. Talk to us today and discover which marketing automation opportunities will best serve your business!

 

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.

Boost Demand Generation through Sales and Marketing Alignment

Boost Demand Generation through Sales and Marketing AlignmentWe know successful deals aren’t created and closed by the sales team alone; there’s significant homage due to the marketing team in their demand generation efforts and kick-starting the funnel. To maximize outcome, the secret is to enable your business to boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment. Don’t get us wrong—this doesn’t mean cutting the marketing team altogether and asking sales to take over (check out this case study); rather, have the two teams work harmoniously to achieve the best results.

Manage the Data

Between the two departments, data should be gathered and analyzed and best practices defined. When determining which strategies have proven most successful, keep in mind the four primary phases of demand generation: awareness, interest, preference, and commitment.

The goals here are to drive awareness and interest through successful inbound and outbound marketing that will enhance the sales cycle. In order to boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment, both teams must be focused on determining the buyer persona. The marketing team gains awareness of and attention from potential prospects (suspects) through understanding who they are and what they want. This knowledge comes through the eyes of the sales team. By having a comprehensive profile of the current buyer persona, marketers can more directly target the audience and create more personalized campaigns, such as email marketing, which in turn drive higher return rates. Gather, analyze, and share the knowledge.

Guide Validation

Once the marketing team has generated demands, the next step is to convince the suspects that your solution is best through generating the leads. The marketing team has a plethora of ammunition to accomplish this: whitepapers, videos, blogs, reviews, direct mail, etc. Re-analyze and reuse the data collected from automated marketing solutions to further personalize each point of contact with the prospect to determine scoring and qualification, and pass only the qualified ones over to sales.

Nurturing the leads to the point of qualification comes when you boost demand generation through sales and marketing alignment. If the demand generation is low, activity in the pipeline is low, close rates are low. It’s key to have a solid grasp of the initial steps in order to maximize flow in the funnel to the closing steps. Implementing marketing programs that work together with a structured sales process will help to build awareness about your solution, remind prospects why your solution is better than others, and convert prospects into customers.

How to Keep Tabs on Your Leads

How to Keep Tabs on PeopleSo you’ve got your marketing automation software in place, but are you utilizing it to optimize lead scoring? Once a lead is qualified by marketing to hop into the sales ring, it is important for the marketing team to transfer all pertinent lead details to sales so that each lead’s score reflects their conversion readiness. Lead scoring is not all equal, and different actions by the lead call for different scores. Make use of social media marketing together with sales and marketing alignment to ensure your sales reps are as ready as can be. Learn how to keep tabs on your leads. 

Know Who’s Coming to Your Site

Identify your leads. Understand who the visitors to your site are by asking a few (not too many) questions when they take certain actions. Find a balance between requiring too much information and not enough—if you allow prospects to browse your online content and even download a white paper without filling in some identifying details, you’re letting the leads slip right out of your hands. On the other hand, prospects can tell when you’re being too nosey, asking for more information than necessary, sometimes even pushing them to click the “x” in the corner and close your page all together. There’s a balance in there somewhere, try implementing some A/B testing to find it.

To capitalize on multi-channel marketing and social media marketing, provide your lead the option for a social media login. It’s not only convenient for the user to simply click once without having to create a new password, but it also allows the opportunity to gather more information from the user via their social media profile and better tailor their experience with your brand. They’ve filled in their preferences and “likes” for the world to see on social media, why not use that information to better understand them?

Let your Leads Know you Appreciate Them

While you keep tabs on your leads make sure to offer special coupons, badges, and other rewards to your leads that take the next step or requested action in the conversion process. Giving them an incentive to provide more information (and potentially even share it with their own network) is an opportunity for your brand to reach new prospects without additional effort on your part. Freebies and other forms of recognition help to build trust and encourage more conversions. Ask your leads to share the love.

Maintain Sales and Marketing Alignment

Use lead scoring to bridge marketing and sales teams. Your marketing team can utilize all of this information—preferences from social media logins, incentives/badges leads have earned, how each visitor interacts with the site—to score each lead, input this information to the CRM, and provide a detailed summary of each lead’s buying readiness. Many features in marketing automation software make it easy to transition a lead from marketing to sales, and even drastically improve conversion because of the transfer of knowledge per lead and the ability to personalize each touchpoint.

Make the Most of Lead Scoring

Finally, be sure to use certain parameters when implementing your lead scoring system. When using the incentive method, let your leads know there’s a deadline or an expiration date on their “points.” Often, you’ll see this will push them to take an action sooner or make a decision about something they were previously on the fence about. Use your marketing automation software to help you keep track of lead scoring as well as the amount of time the lead has been in your system to avoid inflating the lead’s score. This will help authenticate each lead’s score and provide more accurate transferral of information.

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.

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!