Anything related to marketing tips, strategies, best practices and more will go here.

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!

The Value of Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-Channel Marketing is the Way to GoIn today’s marketplace, it’s essential to reach as many customers and prospects as possible. The best way to communicate with your target audience is with multi-channel marketing. Using just one marketing method – such as email – is no longer enough to remain competitive. The various marketing channels all offer unique advantages for promoting your company. By creating an integrated marketing plan, you ensure your company’s survival and profitability. Forrester Research reports that 86% of marketers understand that multi-channel marketing is essential for long-term growth. It’s important to understand the value of multi-channel marketing.

Email Campaigns

Marketing with email is still a viable and inexpensive option. With email you can send out useful information to targeted customers on your lists. You can also easily split test your emails to find the one that offers the highest return on investment. Express Pigeon reports that email marketing brings in a 4,300 percent ROI. According to ExactTarget, 78% of companies use email for retention. This shows the importance of customer loyalty to a business.

Print Media

Although many companies market online, it’s still a good idea to promote your business offline as well. Sending out print brochures, postcards, flyers, and other printed materials are a good way to generate new leads and bring potential customers to your website.

Promotional Items

Branding is another important method for selling your products or services. With a company name and logo on promotional items such as pens, calendars, note pads, and magnets, you can spread the word about your business by giving something useful away for free.

Direct Mail

For many, sending out direct mail pieces to a targeted audience is still an effective method of lead generation. Although it is more expensive than other methods, your letter is more likely to be opened and read, especially with fewer companies utilizing direct mail today.

Text Messaging

Mobile marketing is on the rise with around 98% of text messages read within a few minutes, reports EZTexting.com. By using text messages, you can communicate and interact with potential customers while increasing brand awareness. It’s no longer enough just to use email. To compete in the business world today, a company has to utilize a host of marketing strategies. The strategies should all work together, and compliment each other, to send out a unified message. By creating an integrated marketing approach via multiple channels, you boost your company’s success in a global marketplace.

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.

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!

The Importance of A/B Marketing Strategies on the Web

A/B Marketing StrategiesDid you know that a website’s design matters? The way your website was designed has an impact on your client’s reaction! Websites are normally designed with a certain aim, which is a call to action. The achievement of this call to action goal highly depends on the user’s response to the website content. With regard to this, many companies are incorporating the A/B marketing strategies into their testing.

In today’s digital world, A/B marketing strategies have proven to be a vital tool that businesses should possess, so as to enable them establish the most suitable features that work best for their websites. This tool is responsible for providing you with information regarding how users react to the content on your website. The reactions in question refer to the layout, use of words and pictures, the colour scheme, navigation among other elements. These factors are tested by comparing at least two different designs of a website’s landing page (hence the term A and B). When the comparisons are made, the version with the highest number of sales is considered to be the best.

So why is A/B testing important for your business?

Yes, it is a good thing to have this tool. However, it is more of a vital aspect that should be part of your marketing strategy. The good thing about A/B testing is that you will be in a position to constantly know which one of your website designs performs best. Here are some reasons why you should use A/B testing:

  • Help in market research: With A/B testing you will not waste any time or money on focus group discussions to find out what kind of websites consumers like best. As you well know, the outlook of your website is highly determined by customers depending on their preferences. This is a marketing tool that will help you in establishing that.
  • Problems are solved easily: If you have a specific feature on your website that is getting a negative response from users, A/B testing can assist you in determining why that particular feature is failing to work. Sometimes it could be as a result of the wrong choice of words, colours or even the certain placement of a button.
  • You are able to determine your objective: The major objective of any website is to have a high performance rate especially when it comes to call to action. Whatever you aim at achieving with your website, A/B testing will provide you with the knowledge to establish priorities make necessary adjustments and constantly carry out experiments on various designs so as to attract more traffic to your website.

There are some marketing professionals out there who carry around the assumption that A/B testing is a complex tool to use along with their marketing strategies. What they don’t know is that the best thing about this tool is that it is very cost-effective and, most of all, it helps you understand detailed facts regarding human psychology and how different designs have an impact on users.

Digital Tools That Marketers Need To Dominate the Digital Era

Digital Tools That Marketers Need To Dominate the Digital EraThis guest blog has been provided by Jasmine Sandler.

Why You Need Digital Tools

The Internet provides myriad opportunities for marketers to sell their products and services. But successful digital marketing requires sophisticated tools that work in tandem, creating ongoing efficiencies and insights.

Digital tools are pieces of software that do two things: They automate and manage a marketing process, and they measure the effectiveness of the initiative. For example, they can manage your CRM by taking information submitted by a prospect via a web form, segmenting the lead and relaying it so that a salesperson can easily use the information to nurture the sales process.

Types of Digital Tools

There are three levels of digital marketing tools:

1. Simple Tools

Examples include Google Alerts, Social Mention and Alexa. Each provides simple information. The first two track the mentions your product gets online; the latter shows the traffic ranking of your website and that of your competition.

2. Advanced Tools That Let You Take Action

Google Adwords drives leads. Lead Liaison automates the sales process. Hootsuite and Viral Heat help to manage social media programs.

3. Developer Tools

These tools help your web developer to create applications that enable you to deliver your brand across multiple platforms. Mobile apps, for example, can drive productivity for both salespeople and customers and help speed order processing. Google Webmaster is a tool that can help your SEO

How to Manage & Measure a Digital Marketing Program

All of these tools, or others like them, are needed to manage a digital marketing program. If you need an audit on your digital marketing strategy, an audit of your social media program or social media training for your team, I’m here to help. Contact me at Jasmine Sandler.com.

Can Automation Help Marketing & Advertising Agencies?

Marketing and Advertising AgenciesDigital agencies have a new tool to gain a competitive edge: marketing automation. And while there are those that wish to focus on simply designing creatives and making social posts, progressive agencies are looking to manage their clients’ marketing lead pipelines. Marketing automation (we prefer the term “revenue generation”) provides a multi-layered way to show clients how well your messaging develops client/prospect relationships.

Agencies can leverage their expertise in message development with the ability to provide managed marketing services. Our Lead Management Automation™ platform allows agencies to identify marketing/advertising leads, move leads through advanced messaging, integrate agency campaigns with inbound channels, and provide metrics to their clients. Rather than taking a shotgun approach, agencies can segment markets for specific messaging. And results are better defined as demographic and behavioral data provide ad managers information to help refine future messaging.

Today’s advertising is delivered through social media, content marketing, mobile, and other digital channels. Marketing automation monitors these channels, allowing agencies to manage audience, delivery, format, and other parameters.

Through marketing automation, digital agencies can provide:

  • Lead prospecting
  • Lead tracking
  • Lead qualification
  • Lead nurturing

Once a lead has passed advanced from marketing-qualified (targeted for nurturing activities) to sales-qualified (ready for contact by the client’s sales department) an agency can seamlessly transition the lead generated from their activities to their clients’ customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. This can be a powerful benefit for agencies looking to create a deeper relationship with their clients.

Advertising and marketing efforts are geared towards creating attention, generating interest, motivating decisions, and inspiring action. Marketing automation provides a management tool throughout the entire process. By offering clients lead management services in addition to campaign development, digital agencies reduce their clients’ need to continually monitor and analyze results and allows agencies to modify messaging and campaign execution in order to maximize results.

How to Develop an Effective Marketing Automation Strategy

How to Develop an Effective Marketing Automation StrategyAn effective marketing automation strategy has the ability to quickly generate new customers and increased revenue. It gathers potential leads that are actively searching for information online, profile’s each lead’s interests, nurtures leads with helpful and relevant content, and then scores them to assess their potential for conversion. The process is efficient and automated, but a truly effective marketing automation strategy will also require a human touch.

It is All about the Customer

The first and most important focus must always be on satisfying the customer’s needs and concerns. This can be achieved by understanding the critical attributes of existing customers and then using those factors to create a lead scoring model.

What is the lead researching online?

What is their buying history?

What are their interests?

An effective marketing automation strategy is based on finding out as much information as possible on every potential lead. Clever marketers will use registration forms to block particularly valuable content, requiring leads to volunteer pertinent information prior to access. Marketing automation also uses online newsletter registries as a method for gaining greater insight into a lead’s characteristics.

Lead Profile & Ranking

Once this information is obtained, marketing automation software compares and ranks it using a profile of an ideal prospect. For an effective marketing automation strategy, the profile it is ranked against should as closely represent a typical buyer as possible. A good plan is to create the lead scoring using a collaboration of both the sales and marketing team’s experiences with current clientele.

Marketers know what landing pages and tutorials are bringing in business and the sale’s team understands what their customers need and want. Any marketing automation strategy will need both perspectives to effectively capture an accurate and complete lead profile.

Segment Leads into Groups

Using the information gathered for the profile, each lead will be segment in groups based on similar needs and wants. Marketing automation cannot effectively target every lead individually due to the massive volume of leads it generates. However, personalized campaigns make a huge difference in the eyes of the customer. Since the customer is the first priority of marketing automation, lead nurturing campaigns are created to target specific lead segments.

Content that Provides Value

The last fundamental aspect of marketing automation is creating relevant and informative lead nurturing content. The content that is being provided to lead must offer them real value. This is a business’ chance to brand themselves as experts in their field and earn the customer’s loyalty.  All lead nurturing content must be focused on building relationships and trust.

An effective marketing automation strategy begins by profiling, ranking, and segmenting each lead. Once leads are grouped together and their needs are understood, quality content can be customized to satisfy their concerns. All of this is designed to produced more qualified leads and build stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships.

Three Ways to Plug a Leaky Sales Funnel

Three Ways to Plug a Leaky Sales FunnelDo you have B2B leads that aren’t converting to sales because they are falling through the cracks of a poorly managed sales funnel? If your company’s lead management system isn’t preserving your marketing leads, you’re not alone. According to B2B experts, 80% of leads aren’t converted because of poor lead management. The good news is there are ways to keep your sales funnel from leaking.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation (MA) software packages provide a programmed method of maintaining a connection with leads while they are being nurtured towards sales-readiness. An MA program helps prevent funnel leakage through a reporting structure which exhibits the status for each marketing lead.

If you’re running a lean sales team, agents are likely balancing the management of existing accounts and new account acquisition. Agents can quickly lose focus on a lead. An effective MA program engages your leads until they are contacted by a sales representative.

MA also allows your sales team to determine a contact strategy for building new accounts; it helps manage leads through a process of qualification, interest building, and preparation for sales engagement. When a sales agent contacts a lead, she is aware of the marketing activities that lead has been exposed to.

Lead Scoring

Developing a lead scoring system helps to prioritize and cultivate leads – and keeps leads from dropping off the face of your B2B world. A good lead scoring model identifies worthwhile leads and classifies leads as they advance through the sales funnel. Once a lead achieves a score that warrants a sales contact, an MA program can alert the appropriate sales team member.

Not only does a lead scoring system reduce the likelihood of a lead being improperly dropped from the sales funnel, it also increases the efficiency of your sales team by allowing it to focus on the hottest leads, which are indicated by the highest scores. Meanwhile, cold leads can be removed systematically. For example, leads can be eliminated from consideration when they drop below a lead scoring threshold.

CRM Integration

By blending your marketing software program with your customer relationship management software, your sales team becomes more effective at managing its sales funnel. If a lead enters the CRM because of a high lead score, but it’s discovered by a sales agent that circumstances have changed, such as a change in budget or timing, a sales member can return the lead to the marketing pipeline for further nurturing.

The B2B sales cycle is long, and sales engagements can be mistimed. Through a CRM integration with a marketing automation platform, the risk of losing a sales lead when it is reclassified as a marketing lead is reduced.

Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software platform provides marketing automation, lead scoring and CRM integration among other capabilities as three corner stones of preventing  a leaky sales funnel.

Progressive SEO Tactics Which Define Inbound Marketing

Progressive SEO Tactics Which Define Inbound Marketing You’ve probably studied numerous search engine optimization tactics which assist your business in saving money normally spent on marketing efforts.  The general consensus states you’ve probably read how inbound marketing tactics will grow your business by producing enticing content which organically ranks.  Combining both SEO tactics and inbound marketing efforts into one sweet package, however, is an area we’ll implore your astute business sense in today, providing specific steps on how progressive SEO tactics which define inbound marketing can redefine your business presence online.  Content is great, keywords are necessary and meta data definitely needs accuracy.  We’ll stretch well beyond those ideologies today, however, and bring your link efforts to light by introducing better content strategies.

Solving The Keyword Puzzle

It may seem trivial to many businesses; however, when businesses begin their online explorations they need to clearly define keywords before opening their doors, yet you’d be surprised how inaccurately this is done.  Many people use the Google Keyword Research Tool to find their highly relevant and widely searched keywords, hoping to vault immediately ahead of competition.  Sure, it works to a point.  What would be even better is employing keyword co-occurrence, otherwise called semantic connectivity.  Since recent updates to algorithmic patterns mean content is under fire, choosing words which naturally have similar meaning or belong with each other will make your keyword selection seem less forceful.  For example, let’s say you operate a music website; here is the old way and new way.

  • Older way to choose keywords: music, musical, a music, music a, music store
  • Newer way to choose keywords: audio, melodies, tunes, sounds, beats, songs

As you can see, we’re using synonyms of these keywords as our main website meta data.  We’ll then write content which blends these terms into something which naturally looks like it belongs.  Why is this relevant to inbound marketing? The more natural your content is written without forcing keywords, the greater relevance Google will find in your content which organically raises your position in search results.

Buddy Up With Blogs

Next phase of inbound SEO is how Google will adjudicate relationships you’ve formed with similar niche sites.  To increase your site’s worth, the evolution of guest blogging has now become hotter than ever, and for perfect reasons.  Instead of comment spamming to get relevant links, we’ll need to locate blogs related to your business and write for them with only one relevant deep site link in either your author bio or within content (depending on site rules).  How do we find guest blogs?  Here are some specific ways we can do this:

  • Use My Blog Guest to find blog or site owners looking for relevant content.  Write the content to their specifications with specific reference to a blog post within your own blog.  Sign your guest post with author biography dictating what your business or blog is about.
  • Search Google cold-turkey by using the following search query – blog: “submit guest post”.  You could specify “powered by WordPress” or even throw a specific keyword in your search query.  Alternatively, you could simply search for ‘top places to submit guest post’ and sift through thousands of blogs all day to find your niche.  Not exactly effective time management, however, to take this route when better search strings are available to use.

Once you’ve found relevant blogs where your content can reside, and upon approval of your post, you can write another post on your site with the title of your recently approved guest post as a themed link. This gives you both juice and makes people want to follow your other stories.

Why is this relevant to inbound marketing? Simply put, Google wants your content to contain inbound and outbound links to content which is similar to your own instead of boring contextual links parked in your link section.  The more you guest post and share your ideas with others, the more others will be drawn back to your content.

Making Internal Connections

Equally important to inbound marketing is tactically linking content together within your website to tell Google that everything you’re writing about or selling is relevant to each other, and keywords which you’ve chosen to target.  This is great for not only getting better page ranks, but also perfect for targeting search traffic to generate customer traffic specifically targeted to your businesses.  Making sure to link each keyword to specific keywords which belong together between content will greatly improve your inbound marketing efforts.

Ideas To Increase Content Readability

Since the greatest inbound marketing tactic which professional SEO companies will not tell you is organic rankings are golden, your efforts all begin with providing readable content your readers can relate to.  These readers will naturally find you if your content doesn’t appear to be repetitious, and avoiding repetition means coming up with well-discovered content from your own expertise and not copied from other sources.  Let’s look at several ways that naturally relevant content can create organic SEO opportunities which directly feed into the definition of inbound marketing.

  • Solve problems. You can write how-to’s, funny literature and content which seems to be heart-felt yet people have issues, and your business needs to address consumer woes and solve them. When writing your content, keep in mind prevalent worldwide issues.  Address the issues, what problems these issues are causing, and how you plan on defeating these problematic areas.  Constantly telling people how to do something will rob your business of customers as you’ll simply teach consumers how not to use your product or service.
  • Answer questions. If your website or blog receives lots of inquiries, perhaps spend your time writing content which collectively answers these questions.  When people feel suppressed by your solvency, they’ll be more apt to purchase from you or at least follow your content closer.
  • Debrief customers. People always wonder how things work in boiler rooms, office meetings or in datacenters.  Deliver a sense of demystification by describing what really goes on behind closed doors so people feel more ‘in the loop’ with you.  Making people feel completely in control opens more doors, and brings better meaning to word of mouth advertising.
  • Provide visualizations. Google loves videos, great content and website interaction.  You can easily combine the three to propel your inbound marketing efforts to the next stratosphere by making videos of your content, and even providing afterthoughts under the video.  When people have visual verification you exist, the walls come down and more business will come your way.

The Main Inbound Marketing SEO Tactic Is Content

If you list every possible search engine optimization method known to man, many relate to outbound marketing.  Link building, social sharing, PPC and other major forms of generating mass traffic are all relevant to shouting at customers instead of letting them find you.  Content creation, both through guest blogging and self-published works, is the best and only effective mannerism which inbound marketing truly comes to form.  Content may not be ‘king’ in the books of many SEO professionals, yet Google is proving through recent changes that more brownie points are given to websites which have useful, well-researched and deeply linked content as opposed to those who have millions of irrelevant links or multitudes of social media followings.