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Improving Customer Relationships with Marketing Automation

Improving Customer Relationships with Marketing AutomationWith all of the hustle and bustle associated with attracting, growing, and converting leads, it can oftentimes be easy to forget the real key to achieving sustainable growth: cultivating loyal customers. This means not only a customer that will offer a consistent source of revenue, but who will also provide valuable recommendations to help in enhancing products, and even drive new prospects to your brand by recommending your products and offering testimonials.

Strong customer relationships are vital to any business strategy, but unfortunately, they are often given little priority. Marketing automation can help in improving customer relationships. While there is a common misconception that marketing automation comes to an end once a customer is converted, that is actually not the case. Marketing automation can continue to provide a number of important benefits, even after a deal is concluded.

Improving Content

Oftentimes, marketing automation efforts focus on personalizing content for the purposes of bringing new clients on board. In reality, however, customization is just as important to current customers. Marketing automation can provide a wealth of information regarding a client’s recent activity, including any content he or she may have recently downloaded, areas where he or she may be struggling, or an area where they may be interested in expanding their knowledge. Having this information available can ensure that the right questions are crafted, while also ensuring that you’re providing a more valuable customer experience.

Identifying Brand Ambassadors with Lead Scoring

Lead scoring can prove to be a highly effective method for identifying the biggest fans of a brand quickly and easily. This is important for several reasons. Customers who download and share content regularly and who interact on social media accounts are extremely valuable. Not only can they offer credibility, but they can also become powerful brand ambassadors. Lead scoring offers the opportunity to identify such customers and begin the process of building relationships with those individuals, while also rewarding them for their loyalty.

Marketing automation is excellent at providing drip marketing capabilities, which can be quite beneficial for helping current customers have an even more valuable experience. This is precisely what drives true customer loyalty and retention.

Mistakes with Marketing Automation – and How to Fix Them

Mistakes You May Be Making with Marketing Automation and How to Fix ThemWhile marketing automation has become an increasingly popular approach for generating quality leads and driving them through the sales funnel efficiently, it’s not uncommon for marketers to make mistakes in implementing marketing automation tools. The power of marketing automation cannot be denied, but it also is not a magic solution that will resolve all marketing problems. As is the case with any solution, marketing automation is only as effective as the team behind it and the time you invest in it. Failure to properly implement and make the most of marketing automation will almost always result in failure. In this post we’ll share common mistakes with marketing automation and how to fix them.

Failure to Develop a Documented Strategy

Without a documented marketing strategy, marketing automation tools cannot possibly hit your desired target. A proper marketing automation strategy should effectively tie together the goals of a company with the techniques used to reach those goals. Marketing automation tools serve as a means to execute a proper strategy; they are not an actual strategy on their own.

Only Using Marketing Automation Tools as Email Marketing Tools

Marketing automation tools provide far more than just email capabilities. While email is still an incredibly effective marketing automation tool, a successful marketing automation campaign requires harnessing all available features, which may include lead scoring, search engine optimization, landing pages, and metrics and reporting.

Focusing on Selling Instead of Nurturing

Lead nurturing is one of the most powerful benefits of a marketing automation tool. When used properly, it can help to move prospects through the sales funnel more quickly than when using traditional marketing tools. The problem is that many marketers focus on selling rather than nurturing leads at the top of the funnel. When a heavy sales pitch is used too early, it often drives leads away rather than moving them forward. Selling should be reserved for the bottom of the funnel leads, while the top of the funnel leads should receive useful content related to their specific interests.

Tracking the Wrong Metrics

It can be incredibly easy to get sucked into the vast array of data available from marketing automation tools. Placing too much emphasis on the wrong data, however, such as social shares and traffic, can prevent you from tracking metrics that really matter, such as lead conversion rates. Always keep in mind that the importance of certain metrics may change based on where a lead is in the sales funnel.

Taking the Next Step after Implementing Marketing Automation

Taking the Next Step after Implementing Marketing AutomationAs important as planning is to the success of marketing automation, it’s also important not to drop the ball after a marketing automation campaign is implemented. Unfortunately, marketers often tend to struggle with the next step after implementing marketing automation. Most often, these areas include starting small, sourcing quality content, and implementing steps for passing leads on to sales management as quickly as possible.

Begin with Micro-Campaigns

Many times, marketers are so excited at the prospect of launching a marketing automation campaign that they try to implement too much too soon. The key to success is to drive some valuable activity to your marketing automation system right away. Launching small campaigns by targeting great prospects, including existing customers, can generate high-value activity. Try offering valuable information and educational content to encourage leads and get them excited about what is to come.

Sourcing Good Content

Among the biggest bottlenecks many marketers face is trying to source good content while keeping it updated, fresh, and relevant. Planning ahead can help to eliminate many of the struggles associated with sourcing good content. It is vital to the success of an automated marketing campaign to always have a steady supply of quality content. Consider the different types of content available, and plan to include a mix of content genres to keep things interesting. For example, mix it up between articles and videos, blogs and infographics. Sources should be updated frequently. The ultimate goal is to deliver fresh content that will help target leads to move to the next stage of the sales funnel without delay.

Tips for creating good marketing content.

Pass It On

The results of an automated marketing campaign are only beneficial if they arrive in the hands of sales managers as quickly as possible. Establishing report subscriptions to deliver valuable data from the marketing automation system to the right people can ensure that leads are acted upon quickly, before they grow cold.

Following these easy steps can help in getting data flowing into an automated marketing campaign once it is implemented, and ensure the greatest degree of long-term success.

What You Need to Know to Make Your Marketing Automation More Effective

What You Need to Know to Make Your Marketing Automation More EffectiveThe benefits of marketing automation are well known, including improved lead management, staff efficiency, marketing ROI, and increased sales. Even so, not all marketing automation campaigns are as effective as they could be. The tips below are provided to make your marketing automation more effective.

Planning Is Primary

The first and most important step in developing an effective marketing automation campaign is identifying and fleshing out goals for connecting with leads. Whether that is through social media, email, website content, or a mix of methods, it is important to consider the best ways to communicate, as well as how frequently to communicate with leads, to obtain optimal results.

Gathering Data

The process of building an effective marketing automation plan relies heavily on understanding as much about a target audience as possible. Taking the time to gather and analyze data for the purposes of determining a lead’s choices is well worth investing the effort and time.

Tell Prospects What to Do

Including a clear call to action is vital to help prospects uncover the information they want while also driving follow through. By linking a call to action with an offer, a marketing automation campaign gives prospects greater incentive to take the next step. This is particularly important for prospects at the top of the sales funnel.

Scoring Leads

Among the greatest benefits of marketing automation is the ability to score leads. While marketing automation tools are great for driving leads, it should be recognized that not all leads are the same. Some leads are hot, while others are simply should be passed by. Lead scoring helps to discern the difference between the two, and ensures that valuable time and effort is not wasted on leads destined to generate little return, while simultaneously focusing more effort on leads with the most potential to convert to paying customers.

The process of building a new marketing automation plan can at first seem overwhelming. If you approach the process in a step-by-step manner, however, the process becomes simpler and sets the stage for greater success.


Deploying Long-Tail Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation to Build Relationships  

Deploying Long Tail Nurturing to Build Customer Relationships Using Marketing AutomationThe more touch-points you have with website visitors, the more opportunities you have to convert those visitors by collecting their contact information. Long-tail lead nurturing, combined with marketing automation, provide the additional touch points you need to build trusting relationships with prospects and customers. Determining when and where to deploy those touch points can often times be a challenge for many marketers. In addition, contact prospects at the wrong time and you run the risk of scaring them away. Wait too long to contact a lead and you likewise run the risk of losing that lead forever. Timing is absolutely vital to successful marketing, regardless of industry.

Long-tail lead nurturing gives your brand the chance to build solid relationships while becoming a trustworthy, helpful source of information. By helping your visitors with their problems or questions and staying in contact with them,  you are able to set the stage to convert that lead into a sale later on.

What Is Long-Tail Lead Nurturing?

By deploying long-tail lead nurturing, you gain the chance to use an array of intelligent actions that are designed to engage your visitors even further with the use of multi-touch, multi-channel communication. For instance, after a visitor enters information to receive free information (like a crash course on training) via an engagement window, you can then leverage the opportunity to follow up with that visitor via text messages, emails, direct mail, and more. You can even take advantage of the chance to assign leads to specific salespeople and have touch points delivered automatically, thus taking advantage of one-on-one communication.

Unlike traditional ‘drip’ campaigns, automated long-tail lead nurturing is designed in an intelligent manner to reflect the interests and actions of your lead.  As a result, you can rest assured that your leads are provided with exactly the right information at precisely the right time.

Why Is Long-Tail Lead Nurturing So Important?

It’s no secret that many of your site’s leads never actually convert into sales. What you might not realize is the extent to which that happens. According to research from MarketingSherpa, 79 percent of leads never actually convert into sales. Furthermore, the primary cause of such poor performance is a lack of lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is so important that brands that perform well at lead nurturing tend to generate up to 50 percent more sales-ready leads.

As important as the sales funnel may be to the conversion process, there are always holes present within that funnel. Long-tail lead nurturing helps to seal those holes so that you are able to convert more leads into sales while losing fewer targeted leads.

Although a triggered long tail lead nurturing campaign might seem to be a bit impersonal, the exact opposite is actually true. When you are able to deliver content that your visitor want and when they want it, they’ll likely not care how or why the information arrived, provided it is relevant. Ultimately, when lead nurturing is performed well, the process will feel quite personalized and not at all impersonal.

Exit Intent: Why It’s Important and How you Can Use it to Convert Website Visitors

Using Exit Intent to Convert Website VisitorsRegardless of best efforts, the reality is that many visitors to your website will still leave your site without making a purchase. Even the biggest online sites experience this same problem. Boosting your conversion rate by one to two points could make a significant difference in terms of failing or succeeding. Needless to say, it’s vital to convert website visitors whenever you can.

The reality is that website visitors are fickle. Some customers will even place items in their shopping carts and then leave without completing a purchase. The good news is that there is a solution to this problem. It’s called exit intent technology and it can be used to convince your website visitors to stay and eventually make a purchase. By enticing visitors who might otherwise choose to leave your website, exit intent technology allows you to hold onto visitors and ultimately increase sales.

How Does Exit Intent Technology Work?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to determine why your visitors are leaving is that something originally attracted your visitor to your site. This could be a product, your brand reputation, or even an effective marketing campaign. Whatever it was, something drew your visitors to your website and encouraged them to look around.

The goal of exit technology is to remind your visitors of what got their attention in the first place. Perhaps you have products that your visitors have not yet seen. If so, you could highlight those products along with appealing prices. Are you currently offering a free shipping option or a special discount? If so, exit intent technology ensures that your customer sees those offers before they decide to leave your site.

Exit intent technology works by tracking the mouse movements of visitors as well as their speed in order to detect the precise moment at which the visitor may be able to exit your website. As a visitor is about to exit the website, an engagement window will prompt the visitor to linger on the site by displaying a highly targeted campaign that matches the visitor’s reason and interest for being on the site.

For instance, perhaps the visitor was reading material to learn more about a specific product. Or, maybe the visitor had expressed interest in prices, but failed to make a purchase. Exit intent engagement windows are deployed at precisely the right time to provide targeted offers or coupons to your website visitors.

Taking Advantage of a Second Chance at Conversion

Even if your first attempt at converting a visitor failed, exit intent technology gives you a second chance to convert that prospect into a customer. This can be approached in a variety of different ways, including reinforcing your original marketing message and call to action, changing to a different offer or message, and capturing contact information. By restating your message differently, you can take advantage of the opportunity to convince visitors to rethink  their decision to leave your website.

Consider a Crash Course

Another effective way to sustain relationships with website visitors and grow your brand is by offering crash courses. Think of these as mini training courses. You could trigger an offer for someone to get a crash course if they try to exit a specific page. You could have a crash course for each of your product/solution pages, or maybe even your pricing page. If someone’s interested, they might accept your offer for free training. You’ll benefit by converting website visitors and capturing their name and/or email. Now you’ll be able to market to them in the future.

The Link Between Content and Conversions

The Link between Content and ConversionsDisplaying dynamic, engaging content in real-time as visitors arrive on your website is an incredible way to encourage visitors to stick around and convert into paying customers. As technology has advanced, the ability to do this is no longer a pipe dream but is very much a reality. By building a rich profile of the visitors arriving on your site that becomes stronger over time, you can do exactly that. This is what we call the magic link between content and conversions.

This can be accomplished through a combination of behavioral information, including actions taken by visitors, such as clicks, email opens, document downloads, page visits, webinar attendance, video watches, and more. Along with demographics from your own CRM and social data, it becomes possible to deliver a powerful and effective customer profile. When retrieved in real time and used in precisely defined rule sets, this data makes it possible to create a much more personalized website experience for your visitors.

Many website owners make the mistake of thinking only of themselves and their needs when creating their website and future content. In order to engage your audience in an effective manner and convert those visitors into paying customers, you must first lean how to address your visitors’ basic concerns. This is particularly true when it comes to first-time visitors to your website. When a visitor first arrives on your site, he or she will typically ask, even if subconsciously, the following questions:

  • Will this website meet my needs?
  • Can I trust this website?
  • Does this website have the solution that will solve my problem?

Leveraging real time data-driven content gives you the ability to find out exactly what it is that your visitor wants and deliver content that will reassure visitors that your site can meet their needs, can be trusted, and has the solution to solve their problem.

In the early days of the Internet, marketers often had no choice but to create campaigns that were inexact in terms of focus and awareness. Today, we are able to see exactly who shares and clicks what as well as how visitors navigate our sites. Furthermore, we no longer have to wait a lengthy period of time to see that data. The data and metrics available today allow us to gain much deeper insights into what visitors do and what they want.

When it comes to reaching out to customers via online marketing, it is not always about what we say, it’s also about when we say it, where we say it, and how we say it. In particular, timing can be one of the most important elements in converting a casual visitor into a paying customer.

The good news is that you already have the data you need in order to create engaging content that your visitors will relate to. While you might not have the necessary framework in place to put that data to work for your website, tools are available to help you understand your visitors better and leverage data in real time to deliver powerful, personalized content at precisely the right time.

Convert Visitors into Loyal Customers

Converting Casual Visitors into Loyal CustomersAccording to a study conducted by the CMO Council, higher engagement and response rates are the number one reason for utilizing personalized content. The study further found that personalized content tends to convert more customers.  So why not start to convert visitors into loyal customers?

One of the most common problems that many brands experience in their online marketing efforts today is trying to convert casual visitors into loyal customers. As most brands are well aware, many visitors tend to arrive on their sites, surf around for a bit, and then leave without making any attempt to engage or making a purchase. In order to increase conversions and boost profit levels, it is essential for brands to learn how to convert more of those casual visitors into loyal customers.

While more traffic is always desirable for your website, the reality is that traffic only matters if you are continually increasing the number of visitors you convert. When it comes to designing a successful and effective website, too many marketers tend to focus on what they need to do to attract visitors to their website. Unfortunately, all of the work that you do to get people to visit your website will be for naught if you are not able to convert visitors into paying customers. In terms of converting casual visitors into loyal customers, one of the best ways to do this is to engage them with personalized content.

As advanced as technology has become, relationships are still one of the primary drivers that can encourage a prospect to choose one brand over another brand. While you might not be able to utilize face-to-face connections as you would with a brick-and-mortar store, you can still leverage your online presence in order to interact in a direct manner with those customers who visit your website. In this regard, you will be able to create more powerful relationships while encouraging visitors to take the next step to becoming loyal customers.

Without the tools to drive conversion, brand awareness may be nice, but your sales simply may not reflect the true number of visitors your website attracts. In order to convert casual visitors into sales, your website must be built with the right support.

Data-driven, dynamic content in real time is one of the most important elements website owners today can use to convert even the most casual visitors into loyal customers. In the design of your website, consider what information your visitors want most and whether they are able to find that information right away. Remember that most visitors today have incredibly short attention spans. Furthermore, they have far more online information from which to choose from today than they did just a few years ago. This means it is absolutely vital that you capture their attention right away and deliver the information they want most. Real time data-driven content can tell you exactly what a casual visitor wants and give you the ability to deliver the information they want in order to create more personalized content and drive higher conversions.

Personalizing Your Content to Drive Engagement

Personalize your Website ContentWith more content than ever online with which your brand must compete, learning how to personalize your content to drive your engagement has become essential. No longer is it enough to simply update your website on a regular basis. You must create a dynamic website experience that is designed to encourage prospects to convert to customers and shorten sales cycles. Personalization of your website content is one of the best ways to do this. Begin personalizing your content to drive engagement today!

The Benefits of Personalization

Thanks to technological advances, marketers now have the ability to take full advantage of personalized website content. By using personalized content, you can reduce clutter in the vast amount of online content that your brand must compete with and create a web experience that is far more relevant and personalized to the individual visitor. This is a far more targeted marketing approach that is also much more effective.

By providing your customers with a more personalized experience, your brand can benefit from visitors remaining on your website longer, downloading more offers, and ultimately making more purchases.

The social media revolution has dramatically changed the way in which the Internet is used. Today, it is more about user-driven content and user engagement. Website personalization provides your brand with the ability to change website content dynamically and extend offers based on visitor-driven criteria. Such criteria can be created in almost any way that you might desire, including visitor actions, website behavior, content interests, etc.

Creating Engaging Web Content in Real Time

Analyzing visitor behavior and then re-designing your website content in real time gives your brand the opportunity to recognize and tap into your customer’s interests. This also gives you the chance to maximize engagement and sales by delivering incredibly personalized website experiences for each customer based on current as well as past behaviors.

Ultimately, it is important to recognize that when a visitor arrives on your website, he or she is only interested in their own specific needs. They are not interested in any other information and it is up to you to provide the personalized content necessary to pique their interest and keep them on your site long enough to convert them into paying customers. Each time that a customer returns to your site, your content should be updated to encourage customers to continue moving through the sales funnel without running the risk of having the customer be distracted by information they do not need and not relevant to them.

In order to maximize the opportunities made available by personalized content, it is important for your brand to focus on creating content rather than taking a broad spread approach. The creation of buyer’s personas can be an excellent way to determine the type of content that should be created to drive engagement. The latest technology has also made it possible to create a variety of content options for driving a more engaging web experience through home page content, cross-selling, and product level recommendations.