Best practices for lead generation, marketing automation and revenue generation topics.

Marketing Automation with Squarespace

Marketing automation with Squarespace is easy to do when you connect two systems together, specifically – your website and marketing automation platform. As a standalone solution, Squarespace is a fantastic, cost effective way to build and manage your businesses website. However, without connecting it to a marketing automation platform you won’t be able to take advantage of data you collect on your website and run effective marketing campaigns with that data. Two important integration points are website traffic and form collection.

Lead Liaison provides a marketing automation platform that integrates these two areas, among others, with Squarespace. Customer’s using Squarespace as their website platform can easily add a few lines of JavaScript code into the footer or header of their Squarespace website. Once done, the marketing automation platform will begin tracking visitor activity, including names of businesses and people (something Google Analytics cannot do), and build rich profiles of visitor activity. As the system monitors visitor engagement, such as pages visited, documents downloaded, videos watched, on-site search terms, button/link clicks, and much more, a robust profile is created. This information is valuable insight that sales reps can use when contacting their prospect or following up website visitors. Marketers can also use this information for analytics, to gage how effective their Squarespace website is.

Web forms are another area where marketing automation platforms like Lead Liaison and Squarespace integrate. In Lead Liaison, users can build and style smart web forms and easily embed those into their Squarespace page. The smart web forms can pre-fill data, use advanced features like progress profiling, and most importantly easily capture the lead and/or inquiry and add it to your CRM. With the marketing automation platform, businesses can easily wrap critical business processes around the form submission. For example, lead distribution, lead qualification, lead follow up, and lead nurturing are all processes that can be built and automated using the marketing automation platform.

Once the marketing automation does it’s job of turning the Squarespace website from a static platform into an inbound marketing machine, marketers can use the rich data collected to run sophisticated outbound marketing campaigns. Instead of using basic email integrations with Squarespace, such as Mailchimp, for outbound communication, marketers can now leverage the true power of a modern day outbound marketing platform to run their campaigns. Marketing automation platforms like Lead Liaison help deliver omni-channel communications. Omni-channel communication includes both offline and online marketing channels. Instead of relying only on email, marketers can easily send handwritten letters, postcards, text messages, and more as one-off campaigns to select prospects, or as part of an advanced automated campaign. Imagine hooking up marketing automation with Squarespace and being able to automate a process around a web form submission. For example, the visitor comes to your Squarespace website, submits a form, gets an immediate response, gets sent to the right sales rep at the right time, then gets nurtured on behalf of the sales rep (because they’re not quite ready to buy – a common occurrence!). All of these things are possible when you connect your Squarespace website with a marketing automation platform like Lead Liaison.

One final area of integration is with dynamic content. Lead Liaison provides a solution called SiteEngage™, which adds a level of higher engagement to your Squarespace website. With this solution, businesses can tailor embedded content (images/text) on their Squarespace site to the visitor’s interests. For example, changing a text headline stating that your company loves working with people in the visitor’s state. Since your marketing automation platform will know where the visitor is from, this information can be used to personalize the website experience. The other benefit of making your Squarespace website dynamic with SiteEngage™, is with popups. In addition to smart web forms, Lead Liaison can use pop ups to help convert more visitors to your Squarespace website. These pop ups can use information on the visitor, like the state mentioned above, to tailor the content in the pop up. Pop ups can be trigger by button clicks, page scrolls, exit intent (closing the browser or hitting the back button), and page clicks.

To learn more about how you can integrate your Squarespace website with a marketing automation platform like Lead Liaison contact us today!

The Importance of Event Follow-Up: Part 1

Your organization just attended a big marketing event. There was a lot of planning that went into your organzation’s participation at this event. You spent lots of marketing dollars trying to make an impact, and hopefully creating a lot of leads. And it worked! Your onsite representatives collected tons of leads! You probably already know that your event follow-up is important, but did you know just how important it really is? And, how rare it is?!

Why is the timing of your event follow-up important?

According to recent research from Certain published on MarketingProfs, “some 73.5% of respondents say their firm takes four days or longer to follow up with event leads. Just 2% of respondents say their firm follows up with event leads on the same day.” Most respondants to this research said that the reason they do not follow up quickly is because of how long it takes to prepare the outreach and that they do not have the tools to speed up the process.

Prompt event follow-up is critical. It allows your organization to stand out from the competition because it shows that you care enough to make that follow-up a priority.

Event lead capture methods, like our app GoCapture!™, are an important part of any marketing automation platform. This functionality allows companies to streamline thier event follow-up in a way that is personal, instantaneous, and repeatable. Our app allows onsite representatives to collect lead information quickly (without losing any valuable information), by scanning a badge, a business card, by manual entry, or even syncing with a registration list. Then, once that information is captured, it can be automatically uploaded to our database, segmented, and placed into a nuture campaign.

That nurture campaign can contain releveant event follow-up information in the form of email, text message, postcard, or even a handwritten letter (our personal favorite!). Whatever the method of outreach, the message should be well thought-out.

What kind of message to you send in your event follow-up?

First and foremost, your event follow-up should identify the specific show by name, within the first paragraph or even in the subject line. This immediately validates your outreach, which should encourage recipients to read further. And, don’t forget to include the information from the onsite representative that the prospect came into contact with. That will help create a personal connection with your outreach.

The conversations that onsite representatives have with leads can be breif, or very surface level. Your event follow-up messaging should offer a range of options for further engagement – also known as your call-to-actions (CTAs). You really want to appeal to a range of prospects at various stages of the selling cycle. You could offer a free download of a high-performing white paper, offer a free demonstration, or simply encourage your prospect to sign up for your company newsletter. These clickthrough options will help sales prioritze which leads should be called first and will also allow for further segmentation.

If you are interested in a better way to manage your event lead capture and your event follow-up, let us help you! Check out our event lead capture app, GoCapture!™ and our marketing automation platform, Lead Management Automation (LMA)™. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to ask for a free, personalized demonstration.

Lead Nurturing Using Email

Lead Nurturing is dying quickly, and marketers are to blame. People are overwhelmed by massive amounts of email; and even your biggest fans are starting to see “educational” materials as being spam.

If I want to learn, I tend to go to a podcast, blog, or specific website for information. Information has lost its value in today’s “Google world,”  in most cases with evergreen content. However, automated messaging has one very important purpose: drawing attention to timely content.

If you are not sending content that is directly tied to the point in time that you are sending it, you are wasting your time and the time of your audience. And, your lead nurturing efforts are going out the window.

Instead, send timely/relevant information to nurture your leads. Examples include:

  • Special time sensitive offers (Your $50 coupon is going to expire tomorrow!)
  • Seasonal information  (Christmas is 1 month away and if you don’t buy your tree right now, you’re going to pay twice as much and get a brown tree!)
  • Date specific information (Your check-up is coming up in 3 weeks!)
  • Contact your representative and let them know to vote a certain way for our organization
  • Your contract is up for renewal
  • You are offering a webinar or attending a trade show and would like to include them

If there isn’t a time sensitive reason to open and act upon your message, 92% of all people that read the first line in your email will delete it/push it off with the intention of reading late – or worse, unsubscribe! Of the 8% that do read your entire email, 96% of those readers will not act upon your email.

A few tips to get a higher response rate:

  • Reference why you are writing to them at this time. Do so in the first sentence.
  • Let them know a consequence of not acting in the next 48 hours.
  • If information is not time sensitive, don’t send it, or wait until that information has a time sensitive meaning.
  • If your information is “education-only” consider sending a one sentence email letting them know that based on what you knew about that person, that you thought they would find a way to immediately benefit from the information…and send it as a link to a landing page. No proThis will build some level of curiosity, and the brevity of the email isn’t as likely to get 1,000 of your contacts to roll their eyes in unison when they open your email.   Also it will give you a much more organic “content garden” which could help SEO and future marketing efforts.

In the case of lead nurturing campaigns, less is best. Your messages should build excitement to the recipient. In doing so, you will be adding to your brand’s emotional value; and increasing response rates by 100% or more.

Want to learn how to automate time-sensitive messages as a part of your lead nurturing? Let us show you how!

5 Reasons Sales Teams Benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation Integration

We’ve talked about the 5 ways that marketing teams can benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation integration here. Today, we want to take a look at how sales can benefit from that same integration.

Let’s face it: time is not the sales person’s friend. I’ve seen far too many talented people fail in B2B sales because they couldn’t manage time. You certainly don’t need to waste time on courting unqualified prospects, hopelessly dialing bad numbers, and sending nurture email after nurture email to the “call me next year” crowd.

Having a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics will certainly help. You can use it to schedule tasks, keep prospects organized, and track your opportunities. But that’s just step one. You’ve still got to figure which prospects are worth your time and make sure you keep the data up to date.

That’s where marketing automation like Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™ comes in. We have multiple ways to help you make the most of your time and find the right prospects. In fact, we’ve got five major ways that sales teams benefit from Lead Liaison and Microsoft Dynamics integrated together.

1. Get quality Leads straight to your CRM.

Adding qualified Leads to your pipeline isn’t an easy task. By far, the most time-consuming thing in a sales person’s life is prospecting. In most industries, you’re lucky if 10% of the people you talk to are qualified (even less with cold email and cold phone calls). Even if the prospect has gone so far as to fill out a demo request, they might just be another sales person trying to sell to you!

Lead Liaison tracks visitors to your website and scores them based on engagement. Every time they engage with a piece of content, their score goes up. We also grade them based on your organization’s ideal buyer profile from A-F. When we know that they’re a good fit and have shown real interest, we can send an alert, sync them to Dynamics as a Lead, and even assign them to the appropriate prospect owner.

Now you’ve got a steady stream of Leads in your CRM that you know are qualified.

2. Easily gauge your prospect’s interest.

How many times have you sent an email to a prospect and never heard back from them? I probably just described 95% of your prospecting emails. Even once you have a steady stream of Leads from your site, what’s the point if you don’t know who’s responding to your communications?

Our Send and Track plugin has you covered. We can tell you when your prospect has opened your email or clicked on a link inside. We can even send a browser alert to Google Chrome so you know right away. You get to learn who is interested in what you’re sending, even if they don’t respond. And, because we track them from the moment they click the link, you get to see what they’re looking for on your site.

What does this have to do with Dynamics? Our plugin lets send a copy to your CRM. That means the email and its contents are logged for your reference. If the prospect doesn’t exist in Dynamics already, we’ll create a new Lead for you. No need to manually create new records after a cold email campaign!  

3. Automate your nurture.

We’ve all run into prospects that just aren’t qualified yet. They could be the perfect fit for your organization, but for one reason or another a deal just isn’t going to happen right now. However, it’s important you don’t lose track of these people. They’re the ones helping you make quota six months from now. If you’ve got an opportunity in Dynamics that has stalled out, we’re here to help.

With Lead Liaison, you can drop these prospects into an automated nurture campaign. The prospect will get occasional follow ups, interesting articles, or links to relevant videos straight to their email. The emails come from your email address, signed by you, and if the prospect replies, it goes to your inbox. You just put them in the nurture campaign, and we do the rest on your behalf.

We’re not limited to email, either. Lead Liaison supports multi-channel marketing efforts. You could automatically send them a postcard, have us text them for you, or write a handwritten letter on your behalf. You can even choose the type of handwriting we’ll use!

4. Always have the most up-to-date information.

Have you ever called an old prospect in your database to reconnect and found their number was no longer valid? Or worse, they didn’t work there anymore? It’s happened to all of us. Now you must take the time to find a new contact, get the right info, and hopefully get it done in time to finish your tasks for the day.

That is, unless you had Lead Liaison. We sync our data with Microsoft Dynamics every five minutes. If a prospect has filled out a form or marketing has just updated your master list of key accounts (without telling you… again), we’ll know about it and send that new information to Dynamics.

But it gets even cooler than that. We use the prospect’s email address to crawl social media websites like LinkedIn and Twitter. We capture data like their company and job title, and we check back in with them from time to time. If we’ve noticed a change, we update it on their profile. And yes, that means it gets updated in Dynamics, too!

5. Find out what the heck Marketing is doing.

Sales and marketing have a love-hate relationship in a lot of organizations. Sales depends on marketing for qualified leads, marketing depends on sales to close the leads. Sales feels like marketing wouldn’t know what “qualified” was if a prospect came banging on the door begging for service, marketing feels like sales just cherry picks the easiest prospects and whines about the rest.

Let’s take a step and look at the root cause: sales and marketing almost never talk to each other! Not so with Lead Liaison. You have an insight to the inbound and outbound marketing efforts your prospect has received. The data marketing collects is stored in their prospect profile, so you have just as much insight as your marketers.

This is embodied in two of our Lifecycle Stages: Marketing Qualified and Sales Qualified. This is a two-step process to allow both teams to equally vet new prospects. No more working separately; it’s time for sales and marketing to both be a part of the funnel once and for all.

When that qualified account becomes an Opportunity, we’ll pick that up from Dynamics and automatically move them to the Opportunity Lifecycle Stage. And on the wonderful day you get to click Closed-Won, we’ll move them to the Customer Lifecycle stage. You’ve got your deal, and marketing can move on to generating new leads.

If Microsoft Dynamics and Lead Liaison are not a win-win for sales and marketing, then I really don’t know what is. We hope you enjoyed this article on 5 ways sales teams benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation integration! For more information on Lead Liaison’s integration of LMA and Microsoft Dynamics CRM see this page.

 

5 Reasons Marketing Teams Benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation Integration

What are the 5 ways marketing teams benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation integration?

In this article we’ll discuss 5 ways marketing marketing teams benefit from integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM with marketing automation. Sales reps have always had their system of record, a CRM. A CRM is a common repository, a place to keep notes, contact information, and opportunities. Besides a need for pulling reports, marketers never had the need to access the CRM. The demand for businesses to grow, increased competition, and advancement in software as a service, has fostered a new suite of software capabilities – commonly referred to as marketing automation. Marketing automation is a suite of software services that help marketers do their job better and more efficiently. The problem is that marketers have their software to work with, and sales has their own. By integrating the two systems together sales and marketers can share data and help each other get the job done faster. In particular, there are 5 ways marketing teams benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation integration:

  1. Integrated views that include prospect activity.
  2. Better segmentation.
  3. Trigger actions on data changes.
  4. Integrated lead qualification.
  5. Data is in sync.

Integrated Views

A marketing automation platform, such as Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation software, helps marketers with outbound marketing, as well as inbound marketing. One key aspect of these platforms is being able to track all inbound marketer and engagement with outbound marketing. A marketing automation platform will build rich profiles of prospects as they download documents, watch videos, click paid ads, submit forms, visit web pages, and more. This information is crucial sales insight that needs to be available to sales reps in real-time. When integrating marketing automation and Microsoft Dynamics, this insight is mapped to Lead and Contact records in Dynamics. As a result, a sales person never has to leave Microsoft Dynamics to understand how their Lead/Contact has engaged with their company. It’s all inline in the Lead/Contact record.

Better Segmentation

Marketers used email systems like Mailchimp and Constant Contact before marketing automation existed. In the “olden days”, a marketer would use a “batch and blast” approach. They’d create a single email and send that email to a large list. With modern marketing platforms, marketers can easily segment their database. Not only can they use demographic data from Microsoft Dynamics CRM (things such as job title, industry, location), they can segment off of engagement data. For example, easily build a one-time list, or ongoing list that’s dynamically created, of all prospects who’ve had inbound activity within the past 30 days, live in five states, and downloaded a specific piece of content. What’s the point? Instead of demographic criteria, they’ve got more criteria to choose from, allowing them to build smaller segments (groups) of people to better tailor the message to a recipient’s interests. This helps marketers deliver a more personalized message – driving higher click through and open rates with email.

Trigger Actions

Marketers have greater control over how and when they send follow up content for nurturing when integrating marketing automation with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Using automation, a marketer can monitor changes in a data field to detect if the value changes to any matching criteria. When this happens, the marketer can execute any number of tasks. For example, if the Lead Status field changes to Customer, they could trigger an automation that onboards a client and walks them through the customer experience, getting them closer to cross-sell and upsell opportunities down the line.

Integrated Lead Qualification

Prior to having marketing automation integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, all leads look the same to a sales rep. In other words, the database is flat. The only way to differentiate leads is to use some sort of weighted scoring system. Marketing automation platforms refer to this as Lead Scoring, in Lead Liaison’s world it’s simply Scoring. For example, when your key documents, such as Case Studies, get downloaded, individual scores can be assigned to the action. With granular level control over scoring various interactions with prospects, the marketing automation system sums all individual scores into a single score, which is then shared with Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a Score field. Now, sales can create reports that give priority to their Leads and Contacts. Reps can make better use of their time by focusing on the highest scoring Leads and Contacts first.

Data is in Sync

With sales reps having their own stack, and marketing having theirs, it would be awful if the two systems did not communicate with one another and had data out of sync. With systems like Lead Liaison and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrated, marketers don’t have to worry about disparate systems. When Lead, Contact, and Opportunity data changes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it also gets updated in Lead Liaison…and vice versa. Marketers are not slave to the way the data exchange works either. They can set which fields in the CRM map to fields in the marketing automation platform, and set the syncing direction. For example, if the marketer never wants the marketing automation platform to update the Lead Source in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, then they can set the sync direction to one-way, going from CRM to marketing automation only – and not the other way around.

We hope you enjoyed this article on 5 ways marketing teams benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation integration! For more information on Lead Liaison’s integration of LMA and Microsoft Dynamics CRM see this page.

 

Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation Integration Matters

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing AutomationWhy Does Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation Integration Matter?

In this article we’ll discuss why Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation integration matter to businesses with a sales and marketing team. I’ve always been a proponent of CRM systems. As a user myself, I first started using Salesforce.com. I couldn’t imagine trying to keep track of my activities and tasks anywhere else (oh no, not a spreadsheet!). When I hear about companies that don’t have a CRM, I cringe! Whether you’re using enterprise-level CRMs such as Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics, or something with the essentials such as OneFocus™ or Pipedrive, having a marketing automation system coupled with your CRM is vital these days.

Let’s focus on Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the sake of discussion. Without a marketing automation system married up with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the CRM is just one big database. A large data repository.  Companies can “bring their data to life” by implementing a number of different automated processes. For example, nurturing, qualification, tracking, and more will all make your operations run smoother. Without establishing these processes, businesses risk not being able to effectively scale. Below are four reasons why integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation matters:

Four Reasons why Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Marketing Automation Matters:

Nurturing

Nurture prior to sales interaction. Sales and marketers widely view Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a standalone software system for sales. When pairing up a marketing automation system, such as Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation (LMA) platform, this changes. Marketers can take part in the traditional sales funnel, and support their sales teams. For example, Lead Liaison’s LMA has a concept of Lifecycle Stages. Lifecycle Stages provide a framework for marketers to “own” the top of the funnel, to transition prospects from anonymous > known > engaged > marketing qualified, and then hand warm leads off to sales for them to qualify. During these initial stages marketers can use lead nurturing to build stronger relationships with prospects. They’ll be able to educate them in ways that are important to them.

Sales Insight

Sales has greater visibility. A huge benefit of using marketing automation with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that sales has more insight. This applies to both Leads and Contacts inside Microsoft Dynamics. When the sales team opens up a Lead or Contact record inside Microsoft Dynamics, they will see marketing metadata (score, last website visit, etc.). They’ll also see recent inbound and outbound activities (website pages viewed, documents downloaded, tracking links clicked, videos watched, forms submitted, email engagement, etc.). This insight helps prepare your sales rep. Sales people will be more successful when they reach out. Sales reps will be equipped with more knowledge about their prospect’s key careabouts and interests.

Prioritization

Prioritize leads. When using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation, marketers can establish scoring rules. Scoring is a way to measure engagement. Marketers can configure individual scores to be associated with different types of inbound activities. For example, 10 points for an email link click, 50 points for submitting a form, 100 points for visiting your pricing page, etc. The higher the score, the more qualified and “hot” the prospect is. Using marketing automation, marketers can then establish a score threshold, to trigger an alert to the sales rep to take action. Another feature that’s not commonly used, but should be, is the ability to decrease a prospect’s score if they don’t engage. Lead Liaison’s LMA offers a feature called “Inactivity Periods”. If there’s no inbound activity within the inactivity period time frame, any number of actions can be triggered. For example, you could notify the sales rep, reach out to the prospect on behalf of the sales rep, or send the prospect and incentive to come back.

Revitalization

Revitalize old leads. Using marketing automation, it’s easy to segment and target leads/contacts based on last inbound activity. Without hooking up your Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance to marketing automation, this wouldn’t be possible. Dynamics will be a great database of record to track demographic data (job title, role, location, name, etc.) – things you might find on a business card, but it won’t track behavioral information (how the prospect engaged, inbound/outbound activities, etc.). All of this wonderful inbound activity that’s tracked by marketing automation gets appended to each record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As a marketer, you can use this information to better segment and nurture prospects that might need to be re-invigorated. After all, according to  Demand Metric, 60% of customers are encouraged to seek out a product after reading content about it

We hope you enjoyed this article on why Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation integration matters to sales and marketers! For more information on Lead Liaison’s integration of LMA and Microsoft Dynamics CRM see this page.

 

The Real Cost of a Legacy Marketing Automation Package

pexels-photo-75083Have you ever considered the real cost of a “spaceship” marketing automation platform (MAP)?

All too often we look at the subscription price of software as our “total investment.” You might even be willing to spend an extra $10,000-$30,000 on the software itself because a friend or sister company has had experience with it. But let’s dig deeper.

The bells-and-whistles companies that tout large user conferences and an abundance of consultants usually have secondary costs which are rarely investigated.  For example, I saw a recent posting for a “Marketo Expert.” The pay is $100,000+ per year (plus benefits). This tells me three things:

  1. The company is no longer looking for the best marketing mind. They are looking for a robot that knows how to use a complex software package that is already an anchor tied to their ankles.
  2. There probably isn’t a back-up resource with the expertise to use this software, meaning that they are in limbo as a result of lacking this resource.
  3. I would bet you dinner at a nice steak house that when the budget was submitted (and ROI was calculated) that a figure north of $200,000 was not presented to the CEO to buy this software. I’m also going to bet that this decision was driven by an employee that was looking to increase their personal value/salary as opposed to making the recommendation that was truly in the company’s best interest.

What’s even more upsetting is how discriminatory such rocketship systems are. If you need to be an “expert” in the software, it makes you wonder how the rest of your sales and marketing team will be able to collaborate and improve upon the value of such software via execution. How will the maximum number of our employees be able to benefit if the marketing automation platform that you’ve chosen needs someone solely dedicated to that particular brand?

Here is the good news: Even at a price point of $200,000+, and even after leaving untold thousands (or millions) of dollars on the table, this company’s marketing automation program is still likely to be profitable. What we should be asking ourselves is this: Why did we make this decision, when there are so many other programs out there that could have a greater impact on our bottom line. Why didn’t we demand ease of use over functionality that is difficult to use? Why are we willing to place our marketing execution program on the head of a single person, when we should rather be looking at things on a much broader scale?

There’s a better answer. Choose a marketing automation platform that is easy to learn, and doesn’t come with a bunch of hidden, extra costs for it to function properly. Choose a marketing automation platform that has a Support Team that will bend over backwards to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals, which simultaneously automating your lead scoring, segmentations, campaigns, and more. Choose Lead Liaison. 

Should You Build Your Website on the HubSpot CMS?

Are you thinking you should build your website on the HubSpot CMS? In this post we’ll cover five key points to consider.

COS vs. CMS

HubSpot refers to it’s platform to host and build your website as a COS, a Content Optimization System. On the other hand, other popular systems such as WordPress refer to their platform as a CMS, a Content Management System. HubSpot creatively uses the word “optimization” as they have mechanisms to help with SEO and personalization of content. These are not differentiating factors though – and you have to pay for the ability to personalize your content. For example, with SEO, there are readily available, and free, SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack, that you could easily add to your WordPress instance to start optimizing content. Regarding personalization, you can only do it if you’re using everything HubSpot. It might be wise to choose a solution to personalize content that is independent of the underlying platform. For example, Lead Liaison provides SiteEngage™, to create dynamic website content, which can be deployed on any CMS. If you talked to HubSpot, they’d pitch you on their COS having everything in it to handle marketing activities, like email marketing, social media, CTAs, and more. If you didn’t use the HubSpot CMS, and opted for something like WordPress instead, HubSpot would tell you that you’ll end up needing a bunch of other plug-ins to make your website work with marketing activities. Well, that’s not true. What you really need is a good marketing platform that can do all of that for you. Case in point, with something like Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™ platform, it includes all the facilities to successfully track inbound marketing and deliver omni-channel outbound marketing, without the need to install plug-ins. Regardless of your CMS, you’ll have the flexibility to launch marketing campaigns and embed forms and CTAs into your CMS.

CMS Market Share

hubspot cms market shareAs of this post, WordPress had 59.2% market share, followed by Joomla! with 6.9% and Drupal with 4.7% according to w3techs.com. HubSpot CMS had .2%. That’s not a lot of market share that’s been gained in 11+ years (HubSpot CMS available since 2006). I’m not a betting man, but I wouldn’t put my money into a system that is not widely used, supported by a single company (not a community), has limited choices for plug-ins/integrations, and costs a lot of money.

Proprietary vs. Open Source

Proprietary systems such as HubSpot’s CMS are going to be expensive, and restrictive. You’ll easily end up spending 10s of thousands of dollars on a proprietary platform. The advantage of a proprietary system is that the provider, HubSpot in this case, controls the entire experience. They can make sure everything works well together. On the other hand, a system like WordPress is open source, meaning there’s no charge to use it. You might spend $40 to $60 on a theme, but you’ll have millions of plug-ins. WordPress is the CMS that runs more than 25% of all websites across the world! According to ManageWP, you’d be in good company with sites like The New York Times, National Geographic, Forbes, etc. using WordPress. The number of available choices to offered by an open source system vs. a proprietary system are overwhelming.

Choices, Locked Down or Freedom to Move

With over 50,800 plug-ins and growing daily, 72 translations of WordPress, average of $50 per hour for developers, and thousands of themes, you’ve got choices with open source systems like WordPress. With a proprietary system, choices are limited only to what the vendor provides or the vendors community provides. With .2% market share, don’t hope for much.

This statement from The Sales Lion does a good job of summarizing migration challenges if you’re on the HubSpot CMS and want to get off of it:

Both platforms are completely independent, and therefore there is no easy way to migrate from one to another. There is no simple export process to easily move your Hubspot site to WordPress or vice versa.

If you are moving from Hubspot to WordPress, you’ll have to build each page again, through a copy and paste process. CSS styling will have to be duplicated to match the styling from the previous site. This can be done more easily by building a theme for WordPress that matches that of your HubSpot site.

On the other hand, migrating between WordPress themes is easy! All of your data is stored in the same database. Changing the themes is as easy as making a few button clicks in the UI. The ability to choose between 1,000s of different themes is great. There’s no doubt your website will need a facelift every 5 to 10 years. Are you ready to easily make the change?

The Bottom Line

You definitely have a choice. If you want to have a sense of ownership of your website, go with an open source system. To quote Snyxius.com about WordPress vs. HubSpot:

The interface of the WordPress is so simple that you don’t have to rely on other to make changes or fix a tiny error for you. You can do it on your own this way. You are in full control of your site and your wallet.

I’m sure you’d be devastated if you went down the path of using the HubSpot CMS and didn’t like it. What would you do then? Probably not much, because HubSpot would own your entire site. It’s kind of like owning your own storefront, or leasing from someone else. If you had the chance to own your store front, you could do whatever you want. If you don’t, the landlord has complete control. Let’s just hope they don’t kick you out. In summary, make sure you set yourself up for maximum flexibility. Have a little diversity with your marketing, don’t put all of your eggs in a single basket, and make a good decision for the long run.

Ten Things Marketing Should Review with Sales When using Marketing Automation

marketing and salesMarketing automation software is a necessary solution that all viable businesses should use. I’ve said many times that marketing automation is like CRM 20 years ago. Companies that are not using marketing automation risk losing ground to their competitors, who likely are using marketing automation. Unfortunately though, companies seem to think that marketing automation is just for marketers – when it’s not! Salespeople can realize a number of gains from marketing automation software, such as better, more qualified leads, key alerts, reports that identify new leads, and more. Marketers are the main buyers of marketing automation software. However, they’re not always clear on what they should tell their sales team once they bring the software in-house. Here’s a list of ten things marketing should review with sales when using marketing automation:

  1. Ask them if they want to get a daily alert via email that sends them a list of businesses checking out your company’s website in the area they are responsible for. For example, a rep covering Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska might only want to see companies visiting your website only in these states. Also, it’s possible to see the people that visit your website, but limit that to only people with whom the sales rep is the “lead owner” of. Ask them if they prefer to filter out what’s on the daily report. For example, only see leads they own, etc.
  2. The Automated Lead Flow Management guide would be a good document to read through to see what’s possible: http://www.leadliaison.com/resources/library-of-resources/. Can your sales team agree on a flow for all inbound leads that help your company establish a process for managing, distributing, and nurturing inbound leads?
  3. Try to better understand from them how they segment clients, so the marketing automation provider can help you build dynamic segmentations from your database. In other words, what “groups” of people do they want to communicate with frequently and why?
  4. Do they ever want emails to be sent by marketing on their behalf? Most marketing automation platforms can send emails from the Lead or Contact owner.
  5. Better define lead distribution processes with them. Most marketing automation systems can help you set up a rock solid lead distribution process.
  6. Get a feel for the buyer’s journey. The Marketing Content Map, http://www.leadliaison.com/resources/library-of-resources/, can help you map out the buyer’s journey. Make sure you build nurturing around each of these journey’s to build the relationship as prospects move through the sales cycle.
  7. Ask if they want to nurture customers (up sell, cross sell ops, birthday wishes, contract anniversary reminders, etc). Marketing automation is not just for top of the funnel activities, but also for bottom of the funnel relationship building.
  8. You could ask them what activities make a qualified lead in their mind, and start building a scoring model with them (what activities to score, what points, etc.). If you’re really digging in, we have a guide that kind of acts like a contract between marketing and sales, called the service level agreement between sales/marketing. You can download it here: http://www.leadliaison.com/resources/library-of-resources/.
  9. Ask them if they want to add a plug-in into their email client (Google Mail, Outlook, etc.) to send trackable 1:1 email. Most marketing automation providers offer plugins to email clients. We do this with our Send & Track plugin.
  10. Ask them if they could use help nurturing trade shows leads (if you attend trade shows). This last one is sort of specific to Lead Liaison. We have a mobile app to simplify the process from lead capture, to transcription, to nurture! It’s a pretty slick end-to-end process.

Marketing Guru Covers: What to Post on Social Media

social media

It seems like some people have it all figured out when it comes to social media and others are sitting on the sidelines, wishing they could get some “likes” and “shares”. There is a good chance you’re one of the people on the sidelines, but that can change. You just need to know what to post on social media, and you can move up the ranks and become a power user.

Use Images

Visual content is all the rage right now. In fact, social media posts with images have an engagement rate that is 650 percent higher than posts without images. Any kind of image is great, but infographics are the best. There are tons of online resources for creating infographics. Use a resource like Piktochart to build your infographic and then post it on your social media accounts.

Use Videos

Videos are another great way to boost your engagement across the board. Video resonates in a way that the written word doesn’t, so you need to add some video to your social media campaign to make it memorable. There are many ways to do this. Tie your YouTube channel into your social media profiles and use Facebook video. Also, consider adding a Vine account to your Twitter profile. Twitter owns Vine, so it is easy to integrate the two. Then, you can create some short video loops that resonate with users.

Now that you know what to post, let’s look at what you should avoid.

What to Avoid

Constant promotion is the number one mistake that brands make on social media. People want some kind of value from your page. If you can’t provide it, they will go elsewhere and perhaps even unfollow you. You can plug your brand every once in awhile, but only after you provide a lot of value.

You also need to avoid providing the same type of content over and over again. As you know, images and videos are great for your social media strategy. However, don’t post 10 infographics in a row. You have to mix it up.

Your social media presence is very important for your brand. Keep these tips in mind when posting to your accounts. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or one of the other networks. You need a solid strategy if you’re going to move ahead.

See how Lead Liaison’s software helps you manage and track your social media efforts here.