All articles, commentary, etc. that does not fit under Best Practices, Press Releases, Testimonials, or Documentation goes here.

Why is Email Authentication Important?

parcel-575623_1280Email authentication is very important when sending emails through another domain. Marketing emails sent through your marketing automation software is a great example of an email sent outside of your company domain (yourname@yourcomany.com). Authentication helps legitimate senders prove that their email isn’t forged, and can help receiving email servers (like the corporate email servers to which you are sending your marketing emails) control inbound spam.

Still don’t fully understand the concept? We can help break it down for you. Let’s say that you are at home, waiting on a package to be delivered. A guy in blue jeans, a baseball cap, and sunglasses knocks on your door. You become hesitant to open the door to accept the package, because you expected the package to be delivered by a professional delivery service (like FedEx or UPS). You may not even open the door at all, in fear of a stranger gaining access to your home.

The next day, a big, brown UPS truck pulls up to your house. A man in a brown UPS uniform hops out with a package, and rings your doorbell. You don’t hesitate in opening your door and accepting the package, because it is being delivered by someone you believe you can trust.

This is email authentication. In our story above, you are playing the role of the email receiving server (your email account). The likelihood of your denying the package is higher when you don’t know or trust who is sending it. Deliverability is impacted, and it also just looks a little suspicious.

Your marketing automation company should encourage you to add email authentication to your domain. It’s a best practice, and should not be overlooked. Lead Liaison mandates that in our onboarding and assists our clients in that process. We then verify that it has been added, because we know that is a best practice. Even though it’s a little bit more work, and more follow up on our part, we prefer this over going the “easy way” and letting our customers figure it out for themselves.

Interested in learning more about Lead Liaison and our best practices? Click here for a demo!

How to Run a Webinar: Syndicate Webinar Content

How to Run a Webinar

This is the ninth and final installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

In our most recent post in this series, we talked about pre-webinar bonding & follow-up. The last step of the process is to syndicate your content.

Syndicate Webinar Content

You’ve invested a ton of time planning and preparing for your event. Make sure you get the most out of your investment by syndicating your content. Syndication means taking the content and reformatting it to fit other mediums or marketing channels. For example, take your webinar recording and:

  • Have the video transcribed. We suggest using Upwork to hire someone to transcribe your video. It’s super affordable and worth the money!
  • Format the transcription into a white paper. Place the white paper on your website as Trackable Content in your marketing automation system and gate the content.
  • Put your video on an internet video hosting and analytics company like Wistia, embed it in your website, and gate the video.
  • Break down the white paper into smaller blog posts. Schedule the blog posts using your CMS.
  • Include the video, whitepaper, and any other related tools or documents in a downloadable “kit”, which is a fantastic lead generation strategy. Prospects are more inclined to give you their email address in exchange for lots of value.
  • Put the webinar recording in a “Resources” section on your website.

What to Expect

Attendance depends on the factors described in the beginning of this document. About 40-60% of registrants will show up for live viewings, but you can expect more registrants to trickle in and watch on demand over the next few days following your webinar.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you’ve got an idea for a series, we’d love to hear it! Comment below.

Do you want your own personal copy of the entire guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Are You Ready to Nurture Your Leads?

Most marketers think that lead nurturing is just a natural process. They gather some leads, nurture them, and then make sales. In reality, you aren’t going to be successful with lead nurturing unless you are prepared. In order to prepare, you need to go through a three-step process. This process will help you have a successful lead nurturing campaign.

Know Your Target

Targeting is essential with lead nurturing. You can’t target everyone in your market and expect to get results. Instead, you need to narrow the scope of your targeting so you communicate with people who have shown interest in your product or service. Target the people who are in the middle of your funnel and need a little nudge. These people are the most responsive to a lead nurturing campaign.

Think About Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king,” and that is especially true with lead nurturing. You need to think about how you are going to communicate with your leads. Consider mixing your content up. You might want to send some personal emails wishing your leads a happy holiday or a fun summer, along with educational content that will help them make an informed purchase. Then, consider personalizing it with handwritten letters.

You also need to consider how much content you will send. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity. With that in mind, stick to around four to five pieces of content for your campaign.

Consider Length

Your lead nurturing campaign needs to have a beginning and an end. If it goes on indefinitely, you will never turn your leads into customers. You have some leeway for how long your campaign should last, but 45 days is the sweet spot. You should be able to nurture your leads and turn them into buyers at this time. If you can’t convert your leads, you need to look over your data and see where you are losing your leads.

Lead nurturing is one of the most important components in internet marketing. Remember to prepare for your lead nurturing campaign so you can get the best results. The right preparation goes a long way into achieving your lead nurturing goals.

Are you ready to nurture your leads? Talk to one of our experts today!

 

How to Run a Webinar: Pre-Webinar Bonding & Follow-Up

How to Run a Webinar

This is the eight installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

In our last post in this series, we talked about building a compelling landing page and “Thank You” page. The next step is to get comfortable with pre-webinar bonding and follow-up.

Pre Webinar Bonding

If possible, create further short pieces of content that cover any possible objections and start building more trust with registrants. This can be drip fed via email before the webinar. This content could be short videos or articles or just a nice webinar cheat sheet to download and print off before the webinar. Your marketing automation software can help you build a simple drip track for new registrants prepping them for the event.

Follow Up

Make sure to follow up with attendees and no shows once the event is over. We suggest doing so three (3) days after the event. In your follow up, include a video recording of the webinar. Put it into an email, but only include an image of the video. When clicked, the recipient should be taken to a landing page, separate from your registration page, where they can play the video. Separating your follow up page from your registration page will help you isolate statistics and get better tracking from your marketing automation system. This is especially handy for people that couldn’t attend the event as they can watch the video later at their convenience.

In the next, and final, installment of How to Run a Webinar we’ll talk about syndicating your content.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the entire guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Breaking the Lead Gen Stereotypes

Gopher LeadsDid you know that the success rate of getting an initial appointment through cold calling is about 1-3%? Whereas, when the same call is made through a referral, the success rate shoots up to 40%. [1]

Luck plays a role in business success, but you can’t leave the health of your sales pipeline to chance. Besides the expensive traditional channels for generating leads, there is an innovative, often-overlooked approach to filling the top of your sales funnel: formal business referral program. Here are 5 steps to effectively use your professional network to become an extension of your sales force by generating high quality leads and business referrals:

#1 – Define your Ideal Customer

To ensure that your network and connections are investing their time in chasing the right people, make sure they understand your ideal customer base. Succinctly explaining the need that your product or service addresses in advance will better clarify your value proposition to your potential prospects.

#2 – Tighten the Feedback Loop

The need to have an effective two-way communication channel is paramount. No one will continue to send introductions and prospects into a referral-blackhole! So, make sure you provide regular updates on the referrals sent your way. The results in the image below show that when you implement an effective referral campaign, with systematic two-way communication system facilitating frequent automatic updates, the engagement rates can go as high as 74%.

#3 – Incentivize Referrals

Having a structured incentive plan within your referral program will keep your network motivated to look out for new leads. Evernote, a leading CRM platform with over 100 million users, acquired 13 million users through partner referrals. Evernote rewards points to its customers every time they make a referral, and the points can be used towards a free upgrade or increased upload capacity. [2] It is, therefore, important to recognize and reward the people who contribute to your pipeline.

#4 – Eyes on the Progress

Once you have gathered some prospects through your referral program, the next crucial step is monitoring the progress closely. Gather information about the activity of your referral network and analyze pipeline results to make intelligent decisions about how to continuously improve the program drive higher conversion and sales. In other words, monitoring the activity and effectiveness of your referral program will allow you to better educate, communicate with and encourage your lead referral network.

#5 – Remarkable Results

If you follow the above 4 steps, you will have a consistent pipeline with relevant leads. Additionally, your business will earn a higher conversion rate due to higher quality of more actionable leads.

Lead generation is the oxygen for the survival of any business, but it can be extremely difficult to identify the right source of leads. So, with the ever-changing modern world of commerce, make sure your methods of generating leads have not passed their expiry date.

Sources:

[1]https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/the-abusive-math-of-cold-calling/

[2]http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/05/13/evernote-reaches-100-million-users/

Guest Poster: Sahand Sojoodi

Founder and CEO of Gopher Leads Inc, a technology startup that accelerates sales revenue by engaging the customer-facing frontline. I have worked as an innovator and early-stage startup founder for over a decade. Gopher Leads utilizes a modern, mobile, cloud-based platform to educate, engage and incentivize employees to generate leads from their daily routines.  Follow me on Twitter @sojoodi, or email me directly at sahand@gopherleads.com.

 

What Does a Marketing Automation Platform Cost?

Marketing Automation CostAlthough marketing automation is one of the most rapidly growing segments within the business software industry, there is still tremendous room for growth. If your organization is considering the implementation of marketing automation in the near future, you might wish to know how much of a budget you should set aside before beginning a search for the right program. There are numerous marketing software pricing plans and models. Below, we explore the various factors affecting marketing automation platform costs.

The question of how much a marketing automation platform costs is one that many marketers often ask. It should be understood that the cost of a marketing automation platform will vary based on a number of factors. While there are some open-source marketing automation platforms that may at first appear to be free, most such platforms have a certain cost of ownership. Generally speaking, prices for marketing automation software will be based on the following factors:

  • Number of prospects, which is how we refer to contacts at Lead Liaison
  • Edition (whether you choose standard, professional, or enterprise)
  • Third-party services that connect to the platform
  • Number of emails sent per month
  • Number of unique active contacts per month

Additionally, there could also be other plug-ins or add-on fees. Examples include fees for APIs or other third-party services that connect to the platform. Extra fees may be based on the following features:

  • CRM integration
  • Number of users
  • Training
  • Feature add-ons, SEO, social media management, content management plug-ins, SPAM analysis, email deliverability testing, customized landing page URLs, dedicated IP addresses, etc.

Each of these factors should be taken into careful consideration before choosing a marketing automation package to ensure the package you select is in line with both your budget and your needs. In addition, consider the size of your organization as well as scalability for growth.

On the low end, a small to mid-sized package will typically begin at about $300 per month. However, it should also be noted that pricing can range up to about $4,000 per month for higher-growth companies.

Interested in a demo of our marketing automation platform, free of charge? Click here to put in a request!

How to Run a Webinar: Building a Compelling Landing Page and Thank You Page

How to Run a Webinar

This is the seventh installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

In our last post in this series, we talked about Promoting your webinar. The next step is to build a compelling landing page and “Thank You” page!

Build a Compelling Landing Page

Your marketing automation system should have some great tools in place to help you build a landing page and web form that’s styled and customized to fit the look and feel of your brand. Here are a few ways you can make a compelling landing page:

  • Keep your communication succinct and list out the three benefits to joining the webinar (what you’ll learn).
  • If the presenters are well known, consider putting a picture of the presenter on the page to personalize the event.
  • If you’re offering an incentive, make it clear to the user what that incentive is.
  • Keep the focus on the page, and converting the visitor. Don’t put other things like your website navigation menu or other links that could divert the user’s attention.

Build a Great “Thank You” Page

Similar to the landing page, you want the Thank You Page to be simple, with an easy way for the user to add the event to their calendar. Add a “add to calendar” button with instructions on how to add the event straight to their calendar. AddToCalendar has some neat tools to create buttons and links for this purpose. After the registration form is submitted, make sure to send a thank you email. All of this will increase your attendance rate.

In the next installment of How to Run a Webinar, we’ll talk about pre-webinar bonding.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the rest of this intuitive guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

How To Increase Your Click-Through Rate

CTRFrom email marketing to website offers, your click-through rate (CTR) is one of the most important metrics you track. People need to click to get to the next point in the funnel, so it is essential that you do everything you can to increase your CTR. After you boost your CTR, you will push more people into the purchase funnel and get more sales. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to boost your CTR.

Test Your CTAs

You should insert a call-to-action (CTA) each time you want someone to click on your website or in an email. Don’t choose just one CTA and reuse it. Instead, split test all of your CTAs to find out which ones work best. This will provide important insight into what your audience wants. Then, customize your CTAs for your audience (you could even utilize your database segmentations here!). Once you put the best CTAs in front of your audience, your CTR will get a huge boost.

Use Personalized Content

General content simply doesn’t convert as well as personalized content does. Use software that collects information about visitors and then personalizes the experience based on that information. From using the person’s name to providing relevant content, there are tons of ways to personalize people’s experiences. The better you are at this, the more your CTR will grow. Marketing automation can help you automate this personalization process!

Entice Your Readers

It is easy to increase your CTR and push people through the purchase funnel by providing some great offers. A free whitepaper or a free trial can go a long way in increasing your CTR. It is a good idea to test and personalize offers for your users. This puts the best offers in front of all of your visitors. When people click on an offer, have them give up some personal information so you can continue to customize the experience. Then, you can use the newly acquired information to increase your CTR even more.

If you can increase your CTR, you can grow your business. Use these tips to get people to click on your links and offers. The more clicks you get, the easier it will be to grow your business.

Get helpful analytics from our powerful marketing automation tool! Click here to learn more!

 

How Does Digital Marketing Impact Your Ability to Build Your Brand Awareness?

digital marketingDigital marketing has leveled the playing field for companies of any size to build awareness.  Unfortunately, it has created some unique challenges as well.  Whereas an established brand may have carried value for years (or even decades) with traditional media; brands may become stale or erode in a matter of months in the new media environment.

Taking a quick SWAT analysis of branding in a digital environment, we can quickly identify the following opportunities and challenges:

Strengths of Digital Marketing:  There’s a low cost/ease of entry. And, you have the ability to reach the world in one “market.”

Weakness: Your competition can create a lot of noise. New entrants can continually challenge your brand position.

Opportunity: A sustained/successful approach to digital branding will generate an influx of qualified leads. Converting such leads should cost a fraction of the cost of traditional media, and traditional sales efforts. The world can become your marketplace!

Threat:  If your competitor has a head start on you, it’s hard to catch up to their brand.  The greater their lead, the harder it is to overtake their position. Many companies have solutions that can out-compete their competition at every level, but lose opportunities because of their failure to win the branding war.

So What is the Solution?

Each solution is going to be unique to the company that is being advised.  What we do know is that nearly 100% of all purchases over $100 will result in some sort of online investigation by the decision maker and influencers.  As such, it is important to build your brand with a balanced approach of attraction (ex: PPC/SEO, retargeting, proactive outreach, etc), listening (visitor tracking, data intelligence, surveys, etc),  relevant communications/education (targeted email, direct mail, videos, etc), and execution (sales calls, relevant calls to action) and remarketing (effectively supporting and upselling to your existing list of fans and customers).

If you are interested in learning more about how you could build your brand,  Lead Liaison is currently offering a free brand analysis to all interested parties.  Simply click here to talk to someone about our process and to enroll in the program.