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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.

Marketing Automation Lite?

Marketing Automation Lite?Marketing automation isn’t new technology these days – companies both large and small are latching on to the fact that marketing automation can help them differentiate different sales leads to develop strategic marketing techniques for different audiences. Many of us have heard of or been offered marketing automation trials via the largest companies out there. There’s a lot of competition and plenty to learn with regard to what the right marketing automation solution is for each company.

Smaller, local companies may not have leads trickling in on a national level. Many of our clients are asking for a sort of marketing automation lite, and companies like Reach Local are advertising these services to clients who run smaller businesses. So, is a scaled down and more flexible version of marketing automation preferable and possible for smaller businesses?

Why Marketing Automation?

Local businesses are a great target for marketing automation dashboarding. All businesses need to know where clients are coming from and to nail down a more specific target market.

Here’s the thing about marketing automation – it works regardless of how large or small your business is. Whether you’re getting two leads a day or twenty, whether you have a large customer service base to mobilize or you’re just getting started, more in depth information about your business never hurt anyone. In fact, the more you know about your customers, the more you’ll be able to create custom funnels that expose particular customers to data that will further convince them to buy. Why would any business – of any size – want to pass over that kind of powerful insight?

Marketing Automation – Light

It further stands to reason that any marketing automation company worth its salt should be willing to offer custom and completely individualized solutions based on a business’s particular needs. “Marketing automation lite” is just another marketing gimmick. The right marketing automation company won’t hesitate to give you the tools you need for your business to succeed, regardless of your business size. As you grow, you should be able to add custom tools to your marketing automation dashboarding to provide further insight and add to the analytics needs of your business.

Lead Liaison provides companies with services that fit a company’s size and needs – whether your business is large or small, we can give you a solution that will help connect you with your customers, de-mystify analytics and increase sales. We don’t put things in a pretty package – all our customers, large or small, get the same level of individualized service. Talk to us about a custom quote today!

Marketing Automation for Salesforce.com’s Group Edition

Marketing Automation with Group EditionThere aren’t many providers that offer marketing automation for Salesforce.com’s Group Edition. Lead Liaison has had this capability since 2011. We’ve filled the gap for a number of companies using Salesforce.com’s Group Edition that don’t have anywhere to turn for an easy way to attract, convert and close more business using automation. Case in point, even Salesforce.com’s own marketing automation application doesn’t even support the Group Edition.

Lead Liaison’s full suite of marketing automation services are available for use with Salesforce.com’s Group Edition. You can see some of the sales and marketing automation services here. The integration is ideal for small businesses just getting rolling with a CRM. They get to use a best-in-breed CRM with a best-in-breed marketing automation platform at cost-effective prices. We understand small business and have crafted  a business model specifically designed for smaller companies. Basically, for a dime per contact you can nurture, qualify and better market to your audience.

Want a demo of Lead Liaison’s integration with Salesforce.com’s Group Edition?

 

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.

Who Are Marketo’s Competitors?

Who Are Marketo's Competitors?Well, that’s a great question and we’ve got answers! It’s us, Lead Liaison. It’s been interesting to see Marketo evolve over the past few years. They started providing analytics on pay per click ads along with a few other basic marketing tools. They’ve grown to a public company with multiple products in their suite. They’re a great company and industry leader, don’t get us wrong. But they might be overkill for your business.

When a prospect of ours contacted us we found they were using Marketo. They’re considering switching as they’ve wondered if Marketo is “more horse than they need”. Well, this happens. As companies grow, especially really quickly, they tend to pile on features and capabilities and often times lose track of the essence of what people need. With this prospect, they cared about the following services:

They’ve been paying Marketo upwards of $40,000 per year and I’m sure much more on top of that for support and implementation services. When we showed them Lead Liaison we quickly got their attention. We were checking the box in all these areas and were able to show them innovative capabilities that simplified their sales and marketing operations. Best of all, at about a 45% cost savings. Marketo wants your business, and they want a lot of it. They’ve got to meet Wall Streets demands so they need those big sales. Lead Liaison wants to meet your demands, not Wall Street’s, through customer satisfaction.

Our platform is small business friendly and enterprise ready. We’re hungry for new customers and ready to respond when people ask, “Who are Marketo’s Competitors?”. Give us a chance to show you what we’ve got. We want to win you over.

Who are Marketo’s Competitors?

Are You Using Your Bounce Rate To Make Decisions?

Bounce RateBounce rate isn’t just a metric hanging out in your analytics dashboard – it’s a valuable piece of information you can use to gauge how users behave on your website. If you’re not taking your bounce rate into account when you make decisions about changing your site, you could actually be decreasing your conversions and sales over time.

Since this is the case, it’s important to have an idea about what this rate means and how you can use it to your advantage. Your bounce rate reflects the percentage of users who visit your site and take no further action – whether visiting another page, filling out a form or spending time on your website.

So, how can understanding your bounce rate help you to streamline your process and increase conversions on your site?

Adding an Action

Bounce rate information is valuable when it comes to adding an action to your website. If you’d like to point users to a specific page, create a form for your site, or test any other kind of action element, watching bounce rate over time is a good indicator of how your audience will respond to your new elements.

Try introducing your new action, then seeing if bounce rate varies by a range of ~10% over time. If your bounce rate decreases, great! If you find it increasing, it might be time to switch back to your old page or test your action in another place on the page.

Split Testing

If you have the ability to test two different offers at the same time, spit testing is great for any business. You can test things like:

  • Page headlines
  • Calls to action
  • Form placement (as discussed above)
  • New logos or branding elements
  • Different offers

Google Content Experiments is an Analytics tool you can use to gauge the effectiveness of particular split test experiments. It’s a good way to determine which of any particular elements is working in your favor in terms of bounce rate.

Working With Analytics

Google Analytics isn’t the only place you can take a look at your bounce rate and come up with ways to improve your website. Lead Liaison offers tools, tips and user-friendly training that will allow you to best determine how bounce rate is affecting your website. To find out more about how Lead Liaison’s advanced marketing automation platform can help you determine which action items are best for your website, check out Lead Liaison today.

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.