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Granted, direct mail is difficult to track and the printing and postage costs are less attractive than email campaigns and social media activities. But for some companies looking to engage with potential new prospects, direct mail may still have some gas left in the tank.
The Custom Letter
Now I'm not talking about the coupon flyers or credit card junk mail that sits on your kitchen table until you decide to shred it or toss it in the trash. I'm talking about the personal touch that a well written letter can still provide to potential clients or customers - especially those in the B2B space.
- Ideal customer profiles: 5 steps to ensure your lead generation stays on target
- Popcorn is for the movies, not marketing
- Common landing page mistakes & making social actionable
- Mobile email opens increase 123% in 18 months
For those of us on the east coast bracing for Hurricane Sandy, let's hope for the best!
Have a great weekend.
I thought I'd share some key takeaways:
State of B2B Demand Generation
Jay Gaines from SiriusDecisions keynoted the conference with some interesting thoughts about the state of demand generation. Over the past few years, demand generation techniques have improved vastly - it's now a well-oiled machine, but the training wheels are still on.
- Tools and technology are on the rise, and marketers are doubling their investment in business intelligence and marketing automation/CRM software. But less than 25% of businesses are leveraging these tools to their fullest (especially marketing automation).
- And though marketers have many more tools at their disposal -- allowing for targeting, segmenting, lead scoring, nurturing and the like, many are still resorting to the tried and true tactics of "spray and pray" -- sending generic email blasts hoping to drive leads.
- The balance of inbound lead channels versus outbound lead channels is still skewing towards inbound. Inbound leads are always a good thing (especially when factoring in cost), but you still need a balance of the two, which we talk about at length in our recent whitepaper.
- As we all know, not all leads will close. According to Jay, 80% of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) don't close. Thus, there is an immense amount of "lead waste" if you aren't prepared to turn those "wasted" leads into future opportunities with lead nurturing. The key is to manage the waste with smart but not overly complex lead nurturing campaigns. Campaigns that address the reason for non-closure, for instance, and not just a one-size-fits-all maze of emails that are unlikely to turn a prospect back into your pipeline.
You know you need to be "social," but what you may not know is how social you need to be. For instance, do you need to be updating your Facebook page daily? Do you need to be tweeting hourly? And do you really need to create an infographic every month just so you can "pin it"?
No, you do not.
Social media is important for lead gen, but not all social networks are created equal. The following are my own personal thoughts on which social media channels to use for various lead gen efforts. These tips are based on my own experiences running BuyerZone's social networks and from great articles I've read along the way.
Getting your brand out there
If you had to create one social account, choose Facebook. Businesses love Facebook, and 92% even say it's their favorite social media tool. Why? Because everyone is already on it.
Facebook is great for sharing your latest blog posts, announcing discounts and deals, and it's even great for collecting poll and survey data. But what I love most about using Facebook for businesses is it gives businesses a chance to show the people behind the company. By inviting your potential clients into your "office" and letting them get to know you, you're building a stronger foundation for a lasting relationship.
For instance, one of BuyerZone's photo albums is titled "Celebrating our MVPs." If clients click through the album, they'll be able to see a few of our sales and customer service reps they've probably spoken to. Giving a face to a name can really strengthen a business relationship.
Watch the video (it's just under 50 minutes) and learn for yourself how these simple, yet vital steps can ensure success for your lead generation campaigns:
And if you missed the whitepaper, you can download a free copy here.
Do you have tips for success for online lead generation? Share them in the comments below!
The mobile OS landscape
Even if you don't follow tech, many of you know that the two dominant players in the mobile OS space are Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system. According to the latest reports Android and iOS combine for more than 85% of smartphone market share. When we optimize for mobile, we are doing so to enhance the user experience largely for people accessing our sites via one of these two mobile operating systems.
Up until now, businesses haven't really had to optimize for either platform because the way one uses an iPhone or an Android phone have been pretty much the same (much to the dismay of the folks in Cupertino). Things like pinch-to-zoom and double tap-to-zoom when viewing a website site have become as common as a mouse click. But, that functionality and others we all know could change if Apple takes this victory to the next level.
The entire time I was watching this webinar, I was thinking in my head of something Jeff and Jeremy mentioned in their recent web radio podcast: "When it comes to lead follow-up, response time is CRITICAL".
Well, the same goes for customer service. Potential customers with problems want their issues dealt with fast - and by someone who doesn't sound like a robot. Same goes for lead generation: prospects want to know that they didn't just fill out a form and send it off to space. They want to know that someone got it and are handling it right away.
That's where social can help: it's a great way to improve your follow-up time. I've taken a few highlights from the webinar and transformed them to apply to lead gen practices, with a focus on improving your results.
1) Be aware of when interactions go well, and say THANK YOU.
Does your company have a video to help educate or drive leads? Feel free to share your thoughts on using video to enhance conversion and transparency about your product or service in the comments section below.
While many companies buy banner ad space on websites to generate clicks (and, hopefully, leads), increasingly, companies are turning to banner ad retargeting to stay in touch with prospects who've already been to their website.
It works like this: you attract a visitor to your site through a number of different online advertising methods (paid search, a piece of content, an email). The visitor browses around your site and may or may not take an action (such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form), but in the meantime you've dropped a cookie on their browser. When the visitor goes to another website - in the same session or even a few weeks later - you'll be able to serve ads to them as they browse other websites. This way, you can hope to capture their attention again, since they should know who you are.
Image courtesy of Fulfilltopia.com.
If that explanation didn't make any sense, think of it like this: when you're looking for a pair of new running sneakers on Zappos, but don't make a purchase, that banner ad for Zappos you see on CNN.com a few minutes later isn't a coincidence. That's retargeting, in a nutshell.
Retargeting can be a great way to re-capture potential leads that did not convert on your site. You've likely spent money to attract them to your site in the first place, and retargeting can be a cost-effective way to "re-convert" a significant percentage of them, even if it's not right away.
According to retargeting company, Fetchback, 98% of website visitors don't convert. Maybe it's time you looked into retargeting strategies for your business? If so, here's a brief primer on four of the leading players. And, of course, Google also offers retargeting services to its advertisers as well.
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