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EMAIL MARKETING

Here’s how to expand business leads, increase revenue

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Question: I know that sales are the driver of my business. Any thoughts on lead generation in today’s environment?

Answer: Sales mean revenue and that is, in fact, the driver of all businesses, small and large. There are basically two sources of revenue with your current line of offerings: Selling to existing customers — either more of the same or different products or services than they are currently buying. And selling to new customers, where you have to generate the opportunity to sell them, which starts with a lead. In order to achieve both you have to have very specific but different strategies and accompanying tactics. The one commonality is that your offer to potential buyers has to have added value for your customers and prospects.

The byword for lead generation during the pandemic is “creative.” What worked in the past may not in this period of changing consumer patterns and behaviors. Check out these ideas that you can customize to your business and the unique seasonal environment in which we all live and work.

Review your website’s call to action and SEO (search engine optimization). Do a Google search on your business to see where you rank in the search results. If you are not 1, 2 or 3 then you might have your webmaster or whoever is responsible for the maintenance of your website check out the SEO, the links and keywords — the words people type into a search engine to find what they are looking for. McKinsey calls the top search results (1,2,3) the “initial consideration set,” which will lead a buyer on a journey of investigation and learning. Having high value “keywords” also guides leads to you. Keywords should describe who you are, what you do and what you offer. The one big mistake small businesses make is that they create a website or have one created and don’t maintain it.

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If you are not encouraging buyers to leave reviews on sites with links back to your website, you are missing opportunities.

Become a knowledge leader. Buyers are thirsty for knowledge. They want to know the details behind the “headlines.” They want answers to their questions, like “why does the food on the top shelf of my refrigerator freeze?” Your website can be the FAQ center for buyers or prospects. When their questions are answered, the value of your business increases incrementally, since you are providing a service beyond the product you have sold them. You might feature experts in the field with blogs contributed by them. You might find some YouTube videos to post that answer frequently asked questions posed to you. You might post articles by major manufacturers or links to major manufacturers’ websites that have articles, posts or blogs that might be of interest to your customers and prospects. Remember, always have a call to action button so they can contact you.

Offer something of value for free that connects you to them. You might offer a handy checklist on springtime lawn prep or fertilizing or tips on watering different flowers, shrubs and grasses. When you offer prospects and even customers something of value that helps them address their “pain points” they may not even consciously know exist, you are creating a value proposition for them and a link to you. This value-added connection might be a quiz that tests their knowledge about soil preparation. At the end, you might offer them a checklist to help them prepare garden soil for planting in exchange for their contact information. That becomes a lead to the next sale.

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Measure what’s working and do more of it. As a marketer you have a number of tools, both traditional and digital, to generate leads. Make a list of all those vehicles you are using. The Sunday Cape Cod Times, The Register, postcard campaign, local event sponsorship, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, online promotions, or an email campaign. Then, keep track of results. Tom Watson, of IBM, said to manage it, you need to measure it.

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Give something of value to generate a lead. The key is “something of value.” If you offer junk, you get junk leads in return. The biggest issue with giveaways is that they are over-attracting and nonselective. However, if you create a white paper or a checklist that applies to solving customer problems, you will find those who take advantage of the promotion will be those who are qualifiable. Not qualified, but qualifiable. You can also offer a free trial of your product or service, which gives you the opportunity to demonstrate and prove the value of your offering. That exchange may result in a qualifiable sales lead.

Offer a challenge or quiz. If you offer a quiz to your website visitors it gives you an opportunity in a creative way to learn more about them and obtain contact information. When done right, you can give and get at the same time by giving them information while you collect lead data.

What digital tools are available to small businesses to generate leads? HubSpot Marketing starts as a free tool that offers forms, pop-up forms, live chat and chat box that will aid in capturing, storing and nurturing leads. And it will plug into HubSpot’s CRM or can be connected to your CRM, email tool or data platform in place.

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Intercom is an on-site messaging and chat feature to engage on-site visitors and collect their data. Once in the system, their behavior can be analyzed so you can create “trigger messages” to accelerate their onboarding as a viable lead.

Mailshake is an effective tool for outreach marketing. It helps automate, personalize and optimize your emails for sales development, content promotion, link building, PR and even fundraising for nonprofits. It offers ready-to-use templates that can be used with modest customization. Qualaroo is an on-site polling tool, which can no only collect user feedback that can be used to improve the customer buying experience but also to collect lead qualification data using a pop-up form.

Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, certified mentor. Sourced: “16 Creative Lead Generation Ideas,” Allie Decker. Hubspot Marketing, “The 15 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2020,” Alex Birkett. For free and confidential mentoring to jump-start your lead generation, contact SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands, capecod.score.org, capecodscore@verizon.net, 508-775-4884. We go where you are!

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EMAIL MARKETING

Best Email Marketing Practices to Generate Leads

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Have you implemented email marketing in your digital strategy? If you answered no, now is the time to do so.

There are many new and innovative ways to market to your target audience, however, email marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective ways to generate leads. With the right strategy in place, you will be able to convert prospects into paying customers who truly value your brand. 

In this guide, our expert digital team at Bold x Collective discusses everything you need to know about email marketing, as well as some of the best practices that will help your business generate leads!

To preface, you always need to ensure that you do not buy into email lists. Doing so will result in prospects moving your content into the trash or ending up in their spam folders.

This also eliminates prospects’ free will of being able to opt in to emails. This starts the brand-to-customer relationship on a bad note and will result in a higher rate of opt-outs for emails. And not to mention… it is illegal!

Once you have a curated list of prospects that were gained organically through website traffic and membership sign up’s, you can move on to the next step of optimizing your email list by lead scoring. This tactic will filter which prospects are opening your emails, and which ones are worth putting more effort into.

By putting together this new refined list of prospects, your brand will be able to obtain higher conversion rates and a greater return on investment as your efforts are being focused on where it matters most. 

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Now that you’ve organized an optimized list of prospects, it’s time to create the actual email. There are many tactics you can use when drafting an email, but these are some of my favorites that will really allow your email to stand out in your prospect’s inbox. 

  • Name the offer in the subject line, in a fun, intriguing way that will make your viewer interested!
  • Keep the main message and call to action above the fold.
  • Include a personalized touch by adding your name and having a sign-off; viewers love it.
  • Have a clean and concise email – no one likes too much content at one time!
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First off, having your offer, promotion or main announcement in the subject line is more likely to grab the attention of the reader as it gets straight to the point and gives them an immediate reason to look for more details. For example, when the subject line states “25% off the ENTIRE site”.

This line introduces an incentive that will be received if you choose to purchase with them, ultimately decreasing their opportunity cost. This will create the feeling of “FOMO”. Fear of missing out and entice readers to browse your website and shop. 

Along with this strategy, it is also beneficial to keep the main message of the email and call to action so that readers can see it at first glance. This means the information they first receive upon viewing the email and upon opening it without having to scroll down.

Not everyone opens every email they get and will often only view the text that shows above the fold. If that text is intriguing enough, they will seek to learn more. So now you have your readers’ attention, the contents of the email above the fold are what is going to keep their attention and be the driving source of whether they become paying customers.

This study was done on users’ scrolling and attention spans tell them that nearly 57% of users’ page-viewing time is above the fold (information that is visible without scrolling).

Therefore, they can use this information to their advantage by making sure the most important details are included above this fold. 

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Now that you’ve figured out where to put the most relevant information, let’s get into elements to include in your email content that makes it effective. My personal recommendation would be to include personalized touches such as a personalized greeting and signature sign-off.

A greeting with the contact’s name helps to grab their attention right away as they are being addressed personally. In addition to a personalized greeting, having a signature sign-off that shows the reader that there is a real person on the other end, adds to the level of authenticity that it comes across.

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The more of a connection the customer creates with the brand, the more purchasing power they will have. How do they create a connection? With authenticity! 

My last tip, a very simple one, but crucial… is to keep your email clean and concise. No one wants to spend longer than they must, to read an email.

It’s important to keep things looking visually appealing, straight to the point, and summarized in an intriguing and digestible way.

By doing this, you are allowing prospects to gather just what they need to move forward with the buying process. So don’t overthink it, quality is always better than quantity!

To start your journey with email marketing, here are some of their favorite email marketing apps at Bold x Collective:

  1. Privy
  2. Mailchimp
  3. Klaviyo
  4. Active campaign

And while you’re at it, check out Bold x Collective’s blog on how you can get email marketing started for your business! Need some extra guidance and assistance with your email marketing channels? Contact their team to receive a complimentary consultation!


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