Best practices on lead generation

5 Creative Ways to Generate Leads You’ve Probably Never Tried Before

When your company needs to generate leads, your goals should be to find creative methods that allow you to communicate and network better with other businesses as well as untapped customers and, simultaneously, establish yourself and your company as an authority figure. You need to cut through the noise and get in front of people. When you show up, you need to be remarkable so that people see you as an expert and want to work with you. Here is a look at five ways to generate leads by getting in front of your prospects, where they are. 

1. Slack Channels

Slack channels are tight-knit communities and, typically, you need an invitation to join them. However, once you get access to a channel, you can begin one-to-one communication with channel members or send broadcast messages to everyone. Slack channels are usually active, so you’re able to get in front of people passionate about a specific topic. By joining Slack channels, you can grow your brand within that community, and then help the other people in exchange. By helping others consistently, you can grow your status and authority within the group. Remember to bring value always and don’t spam.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is an effective way to improve your company’s reach. Websites require content to attract new visitors and nurture their existing audience. When you provide blog posts for other sites, you gain exposure, and they benefit as well because they get to publish great content. Guest blogging positions you as an authority figure because a website is endorsing your work by publishing it. Guest blogging also helps you build backlinks, enhance your search placement and drive relevant traffic to your site.

3. Answering Quora Questions

Quora is a wonderful way for you to answer important questions relevant to your industry and build your credibility. Make no mistake that answering Quora questions has a similar effect to that of guest blogging. Quora is an adult version of Yahoo Answers where people are actively asking for help and looking for specific answers. At the time of this writing, the website recently reached 100 million monthly unique visitors. Quora allows people to answer questions and establish themselves as an authority figure.

Answer questions that come from members of your community and industry. Doing so will help you target users who fit the profile of your ideal customer. When you use this website, you can create a company profile and then answer the questions that are related not just to your company but your industry as well. You can handle reputation management by searching for questions that people are asking related to whatever service or products you provide and then answer those questions. You can even set it up so that each member of your team creates a unique profile and team members can answer questions in conjunction with one another based on different levels of expertise.

4. Syndicate Your Content

Syndicating your content gets more mileage out of a regular blog. There are so many online platforms that have many visitors, and they often need quality content. Blogs, community websites, social media sites, forums and question-and-answer sites are an ideal solution. Syndicating content is a terrific way to enhance your lead generation because it amplifies the reach of your content, allowing you to tap into an audience you might not have otherwise been able to access. All of this optimizes your returns and puts your content in front of a demographic with a high potential for sales.

You aren’t just restricted to publishing your content to your immediate audience of current customers. When you put effort into making high-quality content, you should be rewarded by expanding your reach, so prospects get to see what it is you offer. Sharing your content through syndication also improves search engine ranking with enhanced credibility and relevant backlinks. This puts you in a place of authority as a leader in your industry, which generates more traffic and potentially more qualified leads.

With content syndication, you can collaborate with another company to co-market your promotional efforts where you both promote a single piece of content. You can also swap content with another brand where you both agree to promote one another’s content on your respective social media channels.

5. Public Speaking

Public speaking is a superb way to gain a captive audience. In today’s world, as things become increasingly more internet-based, people are trusting the face-to-face selling method much more. Known as the podium effect, being a public speaker will position you as an expert in the industry, which is what each of these methods helps to do. Focus when you start at small, intimate events. This will help you figure out what your audience wants to hear and help you fine-tune your selling methods. The right strategy is important in setting your business up. You can begin at small events with just 10 people at a time put on personal company events where you make an offer at the end for your attendees. When you start out, you want to create your own events so you can craft your signature talk and gain experience with your audience. Libraries or community centers make ideal places for these local events. You can book area venues and market it to local residents. Once you become more comfortable with it, you can host bigger events. Just remember that, at the end of each public speaking event, you need to give your attendees something like a free consultation or the opportunity to try a product for free. Give them an offer they can’t refuse. On the topic of syndication, if you know other people are having events, and they are looking for speakers like at expositions, conferences or trade shows, offer yourself as a speaker. Even if it’s just a few minutes, this could be a low-cost opportunity with a lot of return.

Overall, the purpose for each of these five creative methods is to allow you a way to generate leads by establishing yourself as an authority figure. You want to expand your reach and make sure that people see you as a leader in your industry — someone they can trust to whom they can turn for answers.

To learn how to properly manage those leads, once you have them, contact us here.

Bio

Morgan Williams is a Sales Professional and B2B Lead Gen Consultant based in Chicago, IL  For a case study on how to use automated cold email marketing to spend $166.70 and make $3,435.30 in profit (2,061% ROI – email templates included), head over to his blog.

What Are Email Gates and How to Use Them to Convert

What Are Email Gates and How to Use Them to ConvertAre you giving away all of your content? Learn what are email gates to convert more visitors. Today, such a large amount of content is available and given away for free that many business owners believe their leads will turn to their competition if they do not give away content. While this line of thinking has become commonplace, it does not take a number of factors into consideration. Certainly not all content should be gated, but your highly valuable content should always be gated.

What Is Gated Content?

What exactly is gated content? What are email gates? Gated content refers to any content that a visitor must provide an email address in order to receive something valuable in exchange. The key to using gated content is to encourage visitors to enter an email address to receive the content they want the most. Different types of content can be gated, including case studies, testimonials, datasheets, brochures, and more. Basically, anything you can convert into a word document or PDF. Videos can also be gated, when using providers like Wistia and their turnstyle feature. Web pages can also be gated by using engagement popups with solutions like Lead Liaison’s SiteEngage™. Your marketing automation provider will help you gate all of your valuable content. First, start by creating a marketing content map to take inventory on what’s valuable, which you’ll inevitably gate.

When Should You Use Gated Content?

Not all content should be gated. It is particularly important to make certain the content at the top of your sales funnel remains open. You want people to find your business and your products/services to be interesting. This content often serves as an effective icebreaker to encourage visitors to take the next step. There is a time and place to use email gates, and you must ascertain the correct time to position those gates based on what is best for your business.

Throwing up email gates on all of your content will usually have the exact opposite effect that you desire. While you might get a lead by having a visitor enter his or her email, if the customer is not yet ready to buy, you still won’t get the sale. The last thing you want is to bombard leads with emails they do not want. This is why it is essential to determine the best time and place to use email gates. The goal is to make the determination between those leads that are ready to receive your emails and those leads that would be alienated by your emails. Doing so can help you achieve the desired balance between whetting the appetite of a lead and converting those leads that are ready to buy.

Too Many Website Visitors Leaving Your Site? Show an Offer

Too Many Exiting Customers - Show an Offer

Stop those Visitors Leaving Your Site!

Do you have too many visitors leaving your site before you even have a chance to convert them? It’s a common phenomenon that most website owners have no idea how to correct. They simply notice a trend when reviewing their analytics, but feel powerless to do anything to correct the problem. When visitors lose interest in what they see on your website, whether they are simply closing the browser tab, typing in another URL, or hitting the back button, you need to take action right away. Showing an offer, also known as presenting an engagement window, can help you to do that.

Pop-Ups versus Engagement Windows

You might be thinking…”hey, this sounds like a pop-up”. While a pop-up has a negative connotation and can be intrusive to the user’s experience, an engagement window is not intrusive. Engagement windows are designed to show the right message to the right user, at the right time. This is accomplished through the use of personalized content, such as the user’s name, his or her location, etc. These engaging tactics can absolutely stop visitors leaving your site.

The key to making this system work for you is to ensure you have the right marketing automation provider. Unfortunately, not all marketing automation providers offer this type of service. To be effective, you need to be able to detect user behavior at the right time in order to determine when a user is about to exit your website and provide a compelling offer to capture the visitor’s attention and interests. Without this type of behavior-detection system in place, you run the risk of alienating visitors by displaying an offer at the wrong time. The goal is to capture a visitor’s attention and encourage him or her to stick around and take you up on your offer rather than leaving.

Your offer should also be carefully crafted to be enticing enough that the visitor is encouraged to take action right then. Oftentimes, this means presenting a limited-time offer that the visitor must take action on right away in order to avoid losing.

Disappointed with LeadLander®?

Disappointed with LeadLanderAre you disappointed with LeadLander®? LeadLander® sells its product with a simple premise: throw some tracking code on your website and wait for the magic to happen.

Then you wait….and wait….and where is all of this magic?

The reality is that you need a strategy with any visitor tracking product that you use.  Your strategy should include four basic questions and include capabilities to achieve the answers to these questions:

  1. How do you draw active/interested buyers of your product to your site?
  2. Can your program filter buyers based on their likelihood of buying at any given time?
  3. Does your strategy allow you to distinguish between which products/services that an individual buyer is most likely to be interested in?
  4. Once a buyer is identified, what happens next in your sales process? Does your technology support execution of this strategy?

We used the solution for about two years. We started to call it LostLander. It sent us off on a wild goose chase the majority of the time. We ended up spending more money than we did without it. Instead of turning into a revenue driver, it was a cost center. – Lance Boyd, Former VP of Sales at Arxan Technologies.

The good news is that a few simple strategies are likely to raise your sales results, and help you maximize the value of many of the sales and marketing efforts that you are presently engaged in.   If you are interested in a free consultation on marketing strategies; I highly recommend contacting us and asking for a free 30 minute consultation.

Disclaimers:

  • (1) Lead Liaison is not affiliated in any way with LeadLander®, does not provide LeadLander®’s services, and does not own the LeadLander® Service Mark. Lead Liaison provides its own unique visitor tracking solution as shown here.
  • Reference our Blog Disclaimer.

How Can I Generate More Leads?

How Can I Generate More Leads?When it comes to the best ways to generate sales leads, we all know that social media is a well-used platform.  However, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook usually generate few sales leads.  Let’s take a look at how we can utilize marketing automation in our goal to generate more leads and answer the question, how can I generate more leads?

Leveraging your Marketing Automation Program

Marketing automation has been shown to increase lead conversion and provide focused information on scheduling, tracking, and defining marketing programs and processes.  A marketing automation program gives you all the tools needed to generate leads and track them as they move through the sales funnel.  Real time analytics give you insight into where your leads are in the buying process and an average timeline on when you can expect them to buy.  This gives you the opportunity to personalize your messages to your leads depending upon their needs, instead of sending out generic messages that will often be ignored or deleted.

Marketing automation can also make capturing lead information easy and effective.  With a landing page, leads are able to quickly and easily enter their contact information or request your product catalog or a call about your services.  Using marketing automation effectively means that you will be able to track the success of landing pages and make adjustments where you see fit.

Another crucial area where marketing automation is effective lies in the content you’re posting on your blog.  Marketing automation is able to track the effectiveness of the information you’re posting – including how appealing it is to your leads and audience.  Figuring out the proper number of communications for your prospects will ensure your posts don’t wind up being overlooked or worse, deleted before they’re noticed or read.

Marketing Automation Helps Qualify Leads

Often, we make the mistake of including ALL leads in our communications.  This only causes good, qualified leads to fall among the wayside, lost in a crowd of leads that aren’t worth the time investment.  Marketing automation helps you qualify your leads by giving your marketers precision in all of their marketing processes.  By monitoring leads and gathering useful information, including what search terms they’ve used and what content they’ve viewed, marketing automation makes it easier to understand where the consumer is in the buying process.

It also makes it easier to score leads.  Lead scoring is a simple process of assigning number values to certain behaviors and attributes so you can measure the value of a lead.  This numerical value will help you determine whether the lead is to be passed onto the sales team or if the lead needs more information, content, or research.  Marketing automation will also score company demographics such as location, company size, and other criteria to ensure that the correct types of leads are being funneled to your company.

The marketing automation sector is expected to increase from $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion in 2015 – this is a significant increase and indicates the tremendous impact of marketing automation.  Adding marketing automation to your repertoire will add increased value to your business process and marketing department as a whole.

Ready to take the next step?  Let’s help you with adding marketing automation to your business repertoire!

Is Visitor Tracking Violating Your Privacy Statement?

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy Statement

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy StatementDo you have a privacy statement?  If so, you might be violating it with many visitor tracking programs. It’s important to ask your self, is visitor tracking violating your privacy statement? Make sure you know what you’re getting into and who you’re dealing with.

Here is how it works.  Company A has a strong marketing effort.   They get 1,000,000 people to “opt-in” by submitting a form.  Visitor ID Company drops a cookie on the machine as part of the transaction, and tracks the behaviors of that party including visits so that it can create a better experience between Company A and the visitor.

Nothing wrong so far.

The trouble begins when Visitor ID Company wants to attract Company B.  They offer Company B a 7 or 14 day trial and use Company A’s database to correlate unique visitor IPs to their database.   Some have even been known to throw in “sample data” from a competitor’s traffic to show what could be achieved while the trial period is in progress.

Here are the problems:

  • Company A has just helped its competitor
  • Company A has breached its moral and legal obligations (in some cases) to its clients to protect their relationship
  • Company B is wasting sales time pursuing fake leads or bad data entered by company A
  • Visitor ID Company has mislead a prospect into buying results that are a representation of what could happen… under the guise that it just happened.

Long story short, you have just breached your customer’s data by working with a visitor tracking solution that shares data.   The good news is that there are a limited number of companies that DO NOT share data.   Those companies actually pull superior data for your sales team in the long term; because they don’t add the other company’s garbage (such as false records).

The downside, is that during a “trial” the company that is using gray-hat techniques will often seem to be a superior/easier to use solution.    So, be careful when conducting your trial and make sure that the vendors you look at are willing to sign a privacy policy that matches the ones you give to your prospects and customers.

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor Tracking

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor TrackingPeople often ask me ‘What should I look for in a visitor tracking solution’?  Here are five things to consider when buying visitor tracking that will help you eliminate inadequate providers:

  1. Does the program have active or passive visitor tracking capabilities (or both).  Active visitor tracking will allow your sales and marketing teams to directly engage high value targets and identify their visits nearly 100% of the time.   Passive visitor tracking relies on people wandering onto your website and someone being identified (more on that later). Active visitor tracking offers the following advantages over passive visitor tracking:
    • Track prospects that you met outside of the website
    • View ongoing interest of existing customers
    • Understand the potential buyer’s true timing (as opposed to what they told you) and availability
  2. Is the program relationship based vs event based?  That means that someone that returns to your site 3 times in a week will appear to be three different people.   I don’t know about your sales strategy, but a client that comes to my “store” on a regular basis warrants a lot more attention than three lurkers that show no further interest. You should always select a program that gives you relationship based data.  Event based systems are way behind the curve, and will cost your company sales.
  3. Is the individual/company that visited your site provided?  It seems unbelievable, but there are still visitor tracking companies that won’t give you names (or company names) of your visitors.   If your goal is just to track generic traffic, use Google Analytics.  If your goal is to learn about individuals whom you hope to cultivate a business relationship with then use a platform like Lead Liaison.
  4. Will your data be shared?  The majority of visitor tracking companies use your data to help your competitors build a correlation between IP addresses and names.  We think that this is a dirty practice that results in errors and potential legal problems, let alone losing business that your company might be entitled to, to your competitor.   It’s a lazy approach to visitor tracking and we would never recommend using a company that shares data.
  5. Integration and reports:   Daily reports are a basic necessity of every company.  Real-time alerts are important to companies with high value sales opportunities.  I would also survey potential vendors to learn about how they can help you interface with your CRM and marketing automation visions. 

It also doesn’t hurt to explore what other solutions the vendor has to offer. If you go with their solution just for visitor tracking will you be “trapped” and not have a broader-based solution offering marketing automation that you can grow into? We’ve seen several companies spend thousands of dollars on visitor tracking to find out they still need marketing automation; then they find themselves investing in two disparate platforms. Costs sky rocket as companies pay for two separate solutions and have higher total cost of ownership managing two separate platforms. Why not have both visitor tracking and marketing automation tightly integrated into a single software platform?

The bottom line:  Visitor tracking programs can be an incredible asset for your sales efforts.  These tools are affordable, super easy to use, produce results day one, and show the most rapid ROI of any marketing investment that I’ve seen.  Make sure to remember these things to consider when buying visitor tracking and be sure your vendor gives you the right answer to all five topics above. If you do, then you are on your way to making one of the best sales & marketing investments in your company’s history.

Why Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Should Use Marketing Automation for Prospecting

I Love Prospecting with Lead LiaisonProspecting is a headache for most sales reps. Sales people get pressure from leadership to sell faster and meet the demands of the current quarter. As the day-to-day pressure mounts salespeople get distracted and lose focus on prospecting as they concentrate more on closing existing deals in late pipeline stages. What salespeople wind up with is more business at the bottom of the funnel but a very non-existent top and middle of the funnel. For small to mid-sized businesses these issues compound as smaller companies have less resources to work with.

It’s vital salespeople close deals and prospect at the same time. However, it’s unrealistic to think most salespeople will be consistent with their prospecting efforts. Using sales automation, salespeople can be ultra-efficient, almost like an assembly line, with a systematic and scalable way to prospect. Marketing automation software for small to mid-sized businesses helps salespeople use automated workflows to “chase” prospects once they’ve identified their targets. Prospect communication happens in the background using multiple touch points, something that’s imperative when prospecting, to connect with your prospect. Executing such a process looks like this:

  1. Add the contact to your CRM
  2. Add the contact to a Lead Liaison Workflow
  3. Boom! A series of 2-week communication automagically chases your prospect by sending them personalized communication
  4. When prospects engage, you’ll know about it in real-time and remove them from the Workflow

The flow chart below depicts a sample Chase Workflow that a small to mid-sized company might build to automate sales prospecting. I promise, we can make you love sales prospecting!

Let us know if we can help you build this awesome process into your sales organization.

Marketing Automation for Prospecting

2 Week Chase Workflow

Business Intelligence and Visitor Tracking Solutions

Visitor Tracking IntelligenceBusiness intelligence can benefit a business at any size or level, and visitor tracking is an important part of that intelligence. Many small businesses look past marketing automation as a viable option due to size, not enough staff on hand, etc. However, with the right marketing automation tools in place, small businesses can utilize the same type of visitor tracking and business intelligence tools that larger businesses use.

Lead Follow-Up

Small businesses won’t become larger without figuring out how to sell more and how best to utilize leads. Smaller businesses may be using tools that weren’t necessarily meant to track leads just to keep all their data straight. For example, Google Docs is a powerful, flexible tool, but isn’t necessarily best used to classify the movement of leads through your funnel or different buyer stages.

The right CRM can do that – but paying for an enterprise level CRM plus all the other tools you need can be a waste of money when your relevant business leads and successful advertising information can be funneled through one solid backend.

Marketing automation tools aren’t just about keeping track of lead flow – they’re about managing information in one easily organized place. With the right visitor tracking systems in place, any member of your team should be able to check in, get an idea of what ‘s happening and use that business intelligence information to better determine how to sell to clients.

Visitor Tracking and Onboarding

Ease of use is one of the most important components of using any marketing automation dashboard. A smaller company that can best care for the individual needs of a small business is best. Within that smaller company is housed various team members who need the right training to use whatever business intelligence or visitor tracking systems are in place. Training is crucial – you don’t want to pay for a tool that you or your staff members are never going to use.

It’s important to take your time making the right choice for a marketing automation company. The marketing automation giants out there offer plenty of solutions with built-in visitor tracking – but are they going to take the time to train employees and get everyone on-boarded? Working with a smaller marketing automation company can be better because every client counts – so every function that’s utilized, every staff member that’s trained and every tick in your “sold” column keeps the machine running.

Talk to Lead Liaison specialists today about how marketing automation can take your small business to the next level!

You’ve Got Visitor Tracking Going – Now What?

Visitor Tracking - Now What?So you’ve been using marketing automation tools to engage in visitor tracking for your business and you have all the data you could ever hope for. What’s next?

Visitor tracking isn’t something all businesses are doing, but they should be. The in-depth information provided by the knowledge of who is visiting your site, how long they stick around and what they’re clicking on can provide advanced intelligence data you never thought possible. We’ve already established how great it is to have this info – but what do you do once the data starts coming in? How can you make the right decisions for your business based on the data you’re seeing?

All the Articles

When users engage with business websites, many of them determine the service value of the company they’re researching based on what kind of content or information the business provides. You may look at visitor tracking data and find that users are clicking on or paying attention to certain blogs as opposed to other areas of content. Maybe more visitors are finding your blog entries or other content via entry from Google. What does this tell us about the way you can use this information in future marketing efforts?

First, if users tend to engage with certain content and you don’t have a sign up box somewhere on your page, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to get users into your information funnel. Promising similar content to the kind that’s really engaging users is a great way to grab email addresses and get your customers that much closer to a sale.

You can also use this as an opportunity to get users further engaged with your website. Info blocks that promise similar content if a user clicks on a story can be really helpful in getting users to spend a fair amount of time on your website, therefore seeing you as a trusted content source. 

What About Advanced Visitor Tracking?

When you’re able to log individual users based on identifying information such as an IP address, you can use this information to tailor your content to what that user wants to see – or to have an agent chat with them in a way that can better capture a sale. There’s no shame in preventing your value proposition in a way that gets you closer to a sale, specifically if you know which individual user your sales staff is talking to.

Lead Liaison offers advanced visitor tracking via its marketing automation services. Talk to us today and discover which marketing automation opportunities will best serve your business!