Capturing qualified leads in the B2B world is challenging, but it can be done if you re-examine your approach and optimize your strategy for the best results. You’re capturing email addresses, but do you know how to deliver messages that convert email addresses into customers?
In the last post, we talked about CONVINCE – how to drive engagement with multiple offers (Calls to Action). This was made possible by building a website discovery foundation at the CONNECT step with keywords and search engine optimization (SEO).
In this third and final post of this series, we’re going to look at:
We now want to develop leads into customers with marketing automation tools that customizes the visitor’s experience and prepares them for follow-up from your Sales Team.
Once you’ve got a first name and email address (congrats!), now you want to start nurturing your contacts and move them down the path of actually doing business with you. This is done with outbound email campaigns.
But email marketing by itself is a bit of a blunt instrument in that the emailing may be a “one size fits all” approach that doesn’t take into account the different interests or timeline of the potential buyer. It makes your new relationship with your contact one-sided.
As in the cases with print media and television (where we are being talked to), both are essentially a one-way broadcast with limited customization for individual subscribers. Simple email marketing is like this as well.
Even more importantly, there’s no sense of the overall relationship your email subscriber (and potential customer) is having with all of your content such as:
- What content have they downloaded
- What web pages have they visited
- How many times have they come to the site
Having that kind of information helps you understand what’s important to each prospect. It’s feedback that can help you customize and adjust your content and delivery timing so that you better address their information needs and make other offers and invitations to guide them closer to a human-to-human interaction and/or a sale.
Customizing emails and content for each lead can significantly improve lead conversion. This means your investments in connecting with visitor traffic and convincing them to engage with your website improve your on-line ROI.
The solution that delivers the right messages and information at the right time, and that’s customized to the prospect is called:
Marketing automation is a set of integrated tools that let companies:
- Nurture leads by delivering personalized content that aligns with the buyer’s profile and their stage in their buying process
- Deliver sales ready leads by tracking and scoring a lead’s behavior with company content (webpages, emails, collateral, events)
- Generate more leads by identifying anonymous web visitors through reverse IP tracking
- Access comprehensive ROI for every marketing tactic by tracking the entire sales process from end-to-end.
One of the more value-based vendors that better address the small- and medium-business in-bound marketing needs is SharpSpring that delivers 95% of the enterprise-type marketing features and includes an integrated CRM as well.
Did you know that you have to touch a potential lead 7-10 times before you can move ahead into a potential sales engagement? Using marketing automation, you can set up a workflow that tracks email opens, web page visits, even picking up the anonymous visits from the lead before they even signed up for anything.
One of the great things about workflows is that you can assign weights to each interaction the prospect takes, plus have a complete view of their engagement history. The prospect essentially self-qualifies based on their investment of time in accessing your emails and website content. Here’s an example of content touch points that can help move a lead along their buying path:
Workflows that deliver an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) makes alignment with Sales easy – At the onset of planning you come to an agreement with your Sales Team on what constitutes a qualified lead. Sales is then automatically notified once the lead has reached a certain score. All subsequent Sales activity can be tracked as well (calls, emails, meetings).
The other big benefit of marketing automation is campaign attribution. You can track what marketing activities contributed to and supported the sales effort to close a deal. Knowing this helps you determine what works best, allowing you to optimize and focus on the activities and content that deliver the best results.
Finally, you’ll be looking to continue your lead and opportunity tracking by integrating your Marketing Automation tool with your preferred CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. This is to ensure:
- Continuous activity tracking from lead to prospect to opportunity to customer
- Ongoing customer-centric communications to assist in account management and new opportunity creation
At Profitable Conversions we advocate three key areas (The Three C’s) that need attention to ensure positive ROI with on-line lead and business generation activities. The three C’s are:
- CONNECT – Create opportunities for your target audience to connect with you through SEO.
- CONVINCE – Improve engagement with visitors with web site optimization.
- CONVERT – Nurture leads into customers with marketing automation.
About Profitable Conversions:
We deliver proven growth strategies to digital marketing and lead generation initiatives for B2B technology and professional services companies.
Composed of experts in all areas of on-line business generation success, we generate results-based programs and successful campaigns for our clients.