Any useful tools such as ROI calculators, Service Level Agreements, etc will go here.

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Lead Scoring – The Fast Way to Convert Leads

lead scoringIn order for marketing automation to be successful, you need to understand the quality of your leads. Leads are evaluated based on their readiness to buy, with cold leads requiring a lot of nurturing and hot leads ready to take their credit cards out and buy. Lead scoring is an effective way to identify hot leads, so that you can send them over to your sales team. Companies that do this properly spend more time focusing on leads that are “ripe”, while “unripe” leads continue to be nurtured through other automations.

Lead Scoring 101 – How It Works

When people visit your site, they complete a series of actions, and each action tells a story. If someone reads your About Us page, it shows a little bit of interest. However, if someone drops something in a shopping cart or downloads a white paper, it tells a different story. Every person who visits your website is a lead but each person is different, and you must treat them as such. You cannot treat the person who visits your About Us page the same as you treat the person who abandons something in the shopping cart.

That’s where lead scoring comes into play. With this marketing automation strategy, you assign a value to each action on your site. For instance, you could say that putting something in a shopping cart is worth 100 points and downloading a white paper is worth 50 points.

Setting a Target Score with Lead Scoring

You will need to set a target score that indicates a lead is ready to go to your sales team. This magic number means someone is ready to talk to a member of the team and make a purchase. Don’t set this number too low, or you’ll aggravate your visitors. Then again, don’t set it too high, or you’ll lose potential customers. This will take some practice. Spend some time finding your industry’s sweet spot. Each industry (and even each company) has its own sweet spot. Finally, don’t pick a number and stick with it. Have sales and marketing work together to always fine tune the lead scoring threshold. Consider creating a sales and marketing service level agreement to identify what should be scored.

Consider Other Qualifications Besides Lead Scoring

For many companies, lead scoring isn’t enough. Qualify your leads further by combining lead scoring with additional criteria, such as age, location, education level, company, and more using concepts like lead grading. It’s possible to adjust the lead score based on these criteria to better represent the quality of the lead.

Lead scoring is an advanced process and one you should not take on by yourself. It’s something that you get set a process for and move on, giving you more time to closing that deal. Automate it with easy-to-use software like Lead Liaison. This lead scoring software will help you identify your leads and convert them into customers.

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Landing Page

Landing Pages: its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

What is a landing page?

As it relates to marketing automation, a landing page is a web page that has two functions: to convert a lead and to serve up information. So we should start there. Converting a lead means to take a prospect (or “lead”) and convert them into a contact or an opportunity.

Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. – Search Engine Land

The way a landing page converts a lead is usually by a form. It is typically reached through clicking a link or advertisement. It is a key component of any marketing campaign, and exists as a way to measure campaign traffic.

The most valuable thing you can get from a landing page is a person’s email address. In exchange for that, you can offer all sorts of things like:

  • Coupons
  • Downloadable content
  • Free trials
  • Access to a cool video

What should it look like?

A landing page should be uncluttered. Visitors typically only spend about 5 seconds interpreting what is needed from these types of pages. The call to action should be clear. For example, “Submit your name and email address for a 50% off coupon!”

If within 3 seconds, the visitor can’t assimilate how the page will benefit them in any way then they won’t stay. – True Conversion

It’s common for landing pages to exist on their own, without navigation to the main website or menu. The page should look like it is a part of your website (same color scheme, logo, etc), but only have one option: to collect the visitor’s information.

With the right software, you can build trackable landing pages into your marketing campaigns in no time.

 

7 Ways to Attract B2B Buyers With Mobile Marketing

B2B Mobile Marketing

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at Trumpia

Google is now reporting that 42 percent of B2B buyers are starting their research process on their phones. This number will only continue to rise as the B2B buyers increase with Millennial professionals who are well-versed in mobile technology.

Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile are seeing a downward ranking on Google (who knows full well that their users are often on devices with smaller screens). Users that land on pages poorly designed for their device are likely to back out and go somewhere else. No one wants to pinch and scroll just to read the marketing message or try to click in tiny links to navigate a page. Instead, companies need to use optimized web site designs so that their pages fit on any screen. Optimized pages load quickly and are set up differently to fit on smaller screens.

1. Design Responsive Emails

Along with your website, your emails are going to be likely viewed on mobile devices as well. In order to have easily readable emails, you will want to utilize responsive designs that will adapt to the screen size they are viewed on. Keep your subject line brief, preferably 3-5 words so that it won’t be cut off by the device. Limit your graphics and compress them to a small size so that you won’t even add a second to the email load time.

2. Build an App

Apps are frequently used by mobile users. Many businesses are finding that an app specific to their brand products or services can help increase retention with users. Apps can help draw back customers by managing rewards programs, streamlining the order process, enhancing the purchase experience and more. In order to create an app that really adds benefit to your customers, you will want to identify a very specific type of customer or lead and then focus on services that will directly address a business pain or marketing strategy for that type of customer. Don’t make your apps too broad or they will cease to be of any real value to anyone.

3. Utilize Established App Platforms

When you realize that mobile marketing is important to snagging a major part of your audience, then you will also realize that many apps are already getting a lot of attention. Use popular apps, like Facebook and LinkedIn, to address an audience that loves to browse content. Pinterest and Instagram appeal to leads that love looking at visual inspiration. Make sure you keep your profile updated with valuable content and fill out all details (especially contact information), so your viewers don’t have to search to find you later.

4. Create Optimized Landing Pages

If you’ve already optimized your website and email campaigns, then you will want to start creating optimized landing pages. These are going to be different than your typical landing page, because they will be designed to fast action and streamlined CTAs. Keep your pages short, sweet and visually straightforward. Remember that keeping information “above the fold” (before the user has to scroll further down on the screen to see more) is important for getting your message across immediately.

5. Trim Your Content

All of this optimizing for smaller screens is going to mean that you need to write content that is concise. While an article can be a longer form of content, your web pages, landing pages and emails all need to be to the point. SMS is a great way to deliver snappy content directly to a user’s device. It is especially important to keep your headlines short, as well as subject lines and headers that break up your content.

6. Foster Sharability

There are several things you can do to increase sharing and engagement from your B2B audience:

  • Don’t focus on your brand — focus on what your audience needs and wants
  • Post about industry important topics, trends, tips and stories that are not product- or service-related
  • Utilize emotion to drive importance — users that feel empowered, sad, scared, enraged or inspired are more likely to share the content they identify with
  • Use images to intrigue readers to stop scrolling and click on your content — images throughout the text will also keep your users eyes moving

7. Streamline Your Funnel

Finally, make sure you are very careful to create a sales funnel that does not have rabbit trails for your leads. Mobile users are making decisions quickly, while they are on the go, taking a short break or waiting on something. Keep your CTA clear and singularly focused so they are not distracted before getting to a decision point.

What’s Next?

How do you ensure that your customer is getting the best mobile experience possible when interacting with your brand? Make sure to share them with us in the comments below. I would love to read them.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at  Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms. As an innovator in two-way SMS/MMS marketing, Trumpia’s mission is to empower brands and public figures with interactive access to their audiences, reaching targeted affinity groups in a personal way. Trumpia delivers world-class content such as video, ticketing, polling, products sales, contests and giveaways.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter (@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

Marketing Automation Company Introduces World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

ALLEN, TX — July 14, 2016 — Lead Liaison, a leader in marketing automation software, announces exciting new features to enhance user experience within their top rated platform.

World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

Great marketing automation companies are superb listeners. One attribute that Lead Liaison is known for is the attention they give to what users have to say about their application. This upgrade is no different. Feedback indicated that there was a need for an easier interface when creating forms within Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software® platform. Their new form builder, which mirrors user experience for their email builder, was released last week. It features drag and drop functionality and the ability to customize color, fonts, field sizes and more with just one click. This feature is expected to cut down on time markers spend creating campaign content.

Jen Worsham, Director of Marketing & Client Relations at Lead Liaison says “Being able to style a form from the user interface is huge! Prior to this new generation form builder, customers would have to create separate style sheets. Now, they simply select colors, fonts, and more with a few mouse clicks. This visual web form builder lessens the dependency that marketers need for IT and web developers to assist them in the form creation process.”

Email Enhancements that Save Time

Lead Liaison already makes database segmentation easy, allowing users to segment their leads into various categories, based off of things like lead score or location. In previous versions, users would need to build a separate list within the email function of the app in order to target specific groups. Now, they’ve made communicating to those groups even easier with their “Send to portion of database” email option.

“Our visual email builder is the best in the industry, hands down. It’s super easy to construct emails with our drag and drop designer. Now the user gets an inline experience, where they can create and send an email to a new list all without having to diverge from the core email sending experience. I expect a lot of marketers to recoup more of their valuable time with this new time-saving feature.” – Worsham

About Lead Liaison

Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Allen, Texas, near Dallas. For more information, visithttp://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Companies dedicate a lot of resources to creating marketing content. But what’s more important is measuring the effectiveness of that content, so that you know where to spend those marketing dollars going forward. The calculation of a particular content’s clickthrough rate can be an effective tool to measure how well your keywords and ads are performing. It calculates the number of clicks that your link receives divided by the number of times your link is shown,  formatted as a percentage.

clickthrough rateA Quantifiable Number

These days, it’s hard to measure the emotional reaction to a piece of virtual content. Measuring the clickthrough rate allows you to see who engaged with an ad or call to action (CTA) in an email campaign – indicating that they were interested. A high CTR says that people want to know more. A low CTR indicates that your ad might need some improvement, or possibly that your call to action was not relevant enough.

Observation

Another way to measure interest in your content, particularly sales emails, would be with a tracking plugin. This allows you to observe the clickthrough. Lead Liaison has a Google Mail plugin called Send & Track, which allows senders to track 1:1 emails by reporting if and when the recipient opened a link within the message. What’s more, when a recipient clicks on the link within your email, Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™ is then able to connect that person to all of their actions within your website.

The key is to find out what’s working and what’s not. Paying attention to this information will help justify resources spent, and will make you more prepared to make content decisions going forward.

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Database Segmentation

Database Segmentation

Database Segmentation: its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Many small businesses use tracking services to find information about their prospects or leads, be it contact information, age and gender, or even things like their buying behavior. Database segmentation refers to the organization of that data in a way that can then influence outreach such as email marketing campaigns, or strategic company decisions like selecting new product lines or determining pricing strategies. A few examples of ways to segment your data could be…

Lead quality - Within marketing automation software, leads can earn a score. Ten points for opening an email, 100 points for downloading content, 500 points for watching an entire video, etc. Lead qualification is a great way to segment. You could have different buckets according to lead score (i.e. 0-100 score, 101-500 score, 501-1000 score).

Ideal Buyers - Who are your ideal customers? Do they have certain job titles, company sizes, demographics or criteria. Ask your sales people, and then utilize your database segmentation tools. Once you’ve done that, you will be able to treat that group differently than you would a group that may not be as inclined to consume your product or services.

Geography  – Maybe certain areas of the world are more important to you than others. Or perhaps they should just receive separate content that is specific to their region. The folks down in Austin might need to know when your new barbecue recipe is available, whereas the crowd up in Chicago are more interested in when your winter boots are on clearance.

What’s even better (and more effective) is that you can then combine these! Perhaps you would like to send a handwritten letter & company t-shirt out to only your highest scoring leads in California. If you’ve utilized the data segmentation features within your marketing automation tool, you can get that personalized content out to that specific group of prospects in no time.

How to Make Your Mobile Marketing Work Harder

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post relating to Salesforce.com.

Does your mobile marketing match your consumers’ use of their devices? If you’re like most companies, the answer is “Probably not.”

There are different types of mobile users—regular, super, addicts, all of whom can be affected by mobile marketing in some way. How you reach them depends in part on the individual setups they have—push notifications, for example. Of course, push notifications equals more times opening an app. But push notifications can’t and shouldn’t be random. They should be designed to create an experience and action, as should SMS marketing.

The majority of customers wouldn’t mind more contact from brands using SMS marketing. Those messages get the attention of customers in a crowded world, and they often result in very quick review of a message.

There is a great gap between how much time we spend on our phones, and how much (or little) companies are investing in mobile advertising.

How important is mobile marketing

 

How can you make your mobile marketing work harder and smarter? To learn more about the potential in mobile marketing and the various ways to engage customers, check out Marketing Cloud’s article Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns.

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What Is A Marketing and Sales Service Level Agreement? How Can It Help My Company Boost Sales?

What Is A Marketing and Sales Service Level Agreement? How Can It Help My Company Boost Sales?A fair number of companies we’ve spoken with have wanted to know “what is a marketing and sales service level agreement (SLA) and how does having an SLA in place help to increase our sales conversions, reduce customer buy cycles, and drive higher revenues?” The short answer is: it’s a document that inspires symmetry. The longer answer is:

What an M&S Service Level Agreement Is

A marketing and sales service level agreement is a binding agreement between the sales and marketing teams that specifies a lead generation and management process. The purpose of a service level agreement is to broker collaboration between both departments by defining a qualification process, lead scoring criteria, and accountability standards. Typically, the goal for executing an SLA is to generate an acceptable level of marketing-qualified leads (MQL) for the sales team to convert into sales-qualified leads (SQL) or sales opportunities.

Within a marketing and sales service level agreement there are requirements for how leads will be managed by marketing and delivered to sales. On the sales side, there are requirements for follow up responsibilities on marketing-qualified leads and converting MQLs to SQLs. In some cases, there may be parameters for how demand will be generated as well.

5 Ways an SLA Aligns Marketing With Sales

  1. Provides a defined pipeline that clarifies when a lead has reached marketing-qualified status.
  2. Provides clear stages for advancing leads towards sales-readiness
  3. Provides lead scoring metrics that reflect lead engagement levels with marketing assets (sales can see how effectively marketing assets are educating leads)
  4. Provides goals for sales to generate sales-qualified leads and opportunities
  5. Establishes that marketing is responsible for de-duping, filtering competition, and removing bot-filled forms

4 Ways an SLA Aligns Sales With Marketing  

  1. Provides defined follow up time for leads received by marketing
  2. Defines an automated lead nurturing process aimed at providing the highest quality leads at the earliest possible point
  3. Provides a criteria-based lead distribution process for sales optimization
  4. Provides goals for marketing to generate marketing-qualified leads and a percentage of leads that eclipse a lead scoring threshold

Operating without a service level agreement can reduce the efficacy of your lead generation/marketing automation system. Be sure to set the standards for both departments early to get the most from your MA platform.

Strategic Marketing Tools

Strategic Marketing Tools

Millions of marketing teams struggle finding the right strategy to market their solutions. Marketing tools help marketers do their job more effectively and efficiently; however, finding the right set of strategic marketing tools can be a bear. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of strategic marketing tools for you and encourage you to help us build upon this list. We categorized each tool into its respective marketing bucket. If your marketing team doesn’t have these tools to support their campaign, go get them! Note, we’ll keep this list dynamic and continue adding tools to it over time. What are your favorite strategic marketing tools?

Finding Professional Business Contacts

Data.com
Hoovers (primarily executives)
LinkedIn
Lead Liaison
ZoomInfo
NetProspex

Finding Companies

Hoovers
Lead Liaison
Data.com (limited company search)

Social Media

TweetDeck
AddThis
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Radian6 (owned by Salesforce.com)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEOMoz
SeoQuake (+ plugins for Firefox)

Analytics

Google Analytics
Adobe Online Marketing Suite (Omniture)

Revenue Generation Software

Lead Liaison
• All the other wanna-bes

Email Marketing

iContact
Constant Contact
Vertical Response
Lead Liaison (closed loop)
ExactTarget

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Salesforce.com
SugarCRM
Microsoft Dynamics
NetSuite
Maximizer

Press Releases

PRWeb
PR Newswire

Disclaimer: Lead Liaison has no affiliation with any of these tools, except our own ;-)

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Marketing Trade Shows

Marketo put together a nice wall-hanging-graphic on marketing trade shows in the United States. Attending all marketing trade shows would be exhausting; but, surely there are a few shows to highlight for attendance. The graphic groups marketing trade shows by region and orders them by month. Dreamforce and MarketingSherpa are two of the biggest shows around. SXSW is a great show that adds lots of social events to the agenda, mixing entertainment and business together. But before you invest $10K+ per show, let’s discuss how to make marketing trade shows successful.

Making Marketing Trade Shows a Success

Keep three rules in mind when you attend marketing trade shows. Plan, qualify and follow-up. A great teacher once told me, “Output equals input”. Make sure you make a list of targeted prospects or customers, schedule meetings before hand, get promotional material in place and assign roles and responsibility to your team. Next, qualify your leads at the show. It’s amazing to me how many marketing trade shows I’ve been to where the marketing person comes up to me – while I’m chatting with someone else – and asks, “Can I scan your badge”. I think they’re just doing that because they’re paid on how many contacts they can collect. Make sure you engage with attendees at your booth. Try not to sell, but to listen. Finally, make sure to follow-up. It’s amazing to me that some of these companies do not follow up after I’ve expressed some interest at marketing trade shows. So, how can lead qualification and lead follow up be improved?

Simplifying Trade Show Qualification and Follow Up

By using Lead Liaison’s revenue generation software sales and marketers cut through the clutter of qualifying and following up with leads from marketing trade shows. Using our software allows marketers to:

1. Upload collected contacts into our database
2. Send relevant email communications to their contact list (email marketing)
3. Listen to how recipients respond and engage with your communications (lead tracking)
4. Automatically qualify respondents based on how they engage with your brand and marketing content online (lead scoring)
5. Keep a complete record of the respondent’s current and future engagement with your company (lead management)
6. Nurture the contact by sending them relevant communications over time to further build the relationship and educate them on your solution (lead nurturing)
7. Surface only the hottest marketing trade show leads ready to be handed to sales (lead distribution)

We’re compiling our own list of top marketing trade shows for 2012. Are there any shows that are missing in the graphic? Which marketing trade shows are your favorites?

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