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The Amazon Seller’s Ultimate Guide

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The Amazon Seller’s Ultimate Guide

Last year, Prime Day was a huge success with 300 million+ items purchased and over $1.7B saved thanks to stellar Prime Day deals and discounts. Prime Day 2023 has the potential to be even larger with eager shoppers looking to save big. This year is a crucial time to get in front of new customers in the competitive ecommerce market.

The big question is: Are you Prime Day ready?

From an end-to-end channel management approach, the following post will outline what you should do before Prime Day to maximize sales and make this your most successful Prime Day yet.
 

What is Amazon Prime Day?

 
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand why Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping events of the year and how it has evolved.

Amazon launched Prime Day back in 2015 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The first Amazon Prime Day was a one-day retail holiday exclusive to Prime members. Since then, Prime Day has overtaken Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the biggest annual sales event on Amazon, with better deals on more products resulting in increased sales and Prime memberships.

According to eMarketer’s data, the self-made shopping holiday brought in nearly $11.9 billion in 2022 making it Amazon’s biggest Prime Day yet. (Check out our full 2022 Prime Day recap here)

While the ecommerce landscape looks different each and every year, we can expect Prime Day 2023 to be a massive event for Prime members and Amazon sellers alike.
 

How Amazon sellers should prepare for Prime Day 2023

 
Our top ecommerce experts are gathering at Tinuiti’s upcoming Prime Day Panel to share their best-kept secret strategies for prepping brands for guaranteed Prime Day success.

From buttoned-up operations to eye-catching creative and savvy advertising tactics, we’ve compiled the ultimate checklist to ensure you are Prime Day ready. Let’s dive into a preview of what they’ll cover during the upcoming panel.
 

1. Offer shoppers multiple options to save money

 

Prime day shoppers are on the hunt for the best deals, so it’s important to offer them multiple ways to save money on the big day. There are a variety of deals your brand can implement including coupons, lightning deals, BOGO deals, and more. Check out all of your options in Seller Central so you can further incentivize shoppers on Prime Day and make sure you have your deals in by Amazon’s deadline (April 28, 2023). 

 

2. Start optimizing your listings early

 

Optimizing your listings should be one of the top priorities for your brand this Prime Day. When you optimize your listings, you have the opportunity to reach consumers more effectively as your listings will show up when and where shoppers are searching. 

Check out a few of our quick tips for optimizing your listings: 

  • Set budgets to prioritize must-win keyword campaigns
  • Finalize strategy to increase bids on high impression, short tail keywords
  • Audit your listings – making sure they’re accurate and up to date
  • Fix inactive or suppressed listings
  • Add featured video on PDP and ensure all available text and image space is utilized
  • Start A/B testing early to ensure you’re maximizing conversions later

“From an operational standpoint, detail page content for images and copy descriptions are going to differentiate your product from a large selection of heavily discounted products; brands should optimize their detail pages to ensure maximum conversion.”

 Emily Leung, Brand Services Senior Specialist at Tinuiti

 

3. Choose your products wisely

 

To maximize conversions, it’s important to pick the right products to advertise on Prime Day. We recommend highlighting the best-selling or most successful products for optimal ROI. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with this year’s trending items to see how your brand can capitalize on the increased momentum. 

The ideal products for Prime Day deals are ones that:

  • Are in stock and easily replenishable
  • Have at least 15 reviews
  • Have a 3.5-star rating or higher
  • Include optimized images
  • Include branded and keyword-optimized content

 

4. Create an Amazon Store subcategory page devoted to Prime

 
If you have an Amazon Store, consider creating a dedicated Prime Day subcategory. Use it to feature your Prime Day deals and discounts, and treat it as your landing page for all things Prime Day. When you have Prime Day ads on Amazon, pointing users to a specific landing page makes it easier for them to convert into customers. 

example of Prime Day landing page for advil amazon store

 

5. Boost awareness on social media and other sites

 

While there’s always a big buzz around Prime Day, it’s still a great idea to promote the day (as well as the deals you’ll be offering) to potential customers both on and off Amazon. Utilize your social media channels to share the discounts that you’ll be offering on the big day and highlight why consumers should take advantage. Try boosting your social posts with paid spend for additional exposure.

 

6. Check your inventory levels and historical performance

 
We say it every year and we will say it again: Don’t stock out!

Make sure you have enough inventory for your promoted products and best sellers. You can generally expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers to fall in line with Prime Day’s, so if you have data from those sales events, use it to determine your inventory strategy for Prime Day

“Understand what your historical performance is for previous Prime Days. If you notice that you’re not the best player in a certain category [from previous experience] that’s a good indication you should look into a different category to perform. If you don’t have historical performance, then be ready to be competitive. Increase your keyword bids, increase your campaign budgets. Just make sure you are ready.”

Portrait of Ben Gemkow
– Ben Gemkow, Team Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Know that there’s a balance between keeping enough inventory in stock to meet demand and overstocking.
 

7. Set up and test your Amazon advertising campaigns early

 

Brands should leverage the additional traffic coming to Amazon as well as the higher conversion rates by approaching tentpole events like Prime Day with a three-tiered approach. A well-rounded advertising strategy that targets different areas of the advertising funnel during the lead-up period, the promotional period, and the lead-out period will allow you to maximize your reach to meet return and awareness-based goals.

Using Search and Display together to form your Prime Day tactics allows you to not only capture the demand of those who are actively searching on Amazon but also to generate demand by layering in mid and upper-funnel strategies.

You can also use past Prime Day campaigns and metrics to guide you, though keep in mind that the ecommerce landscape and consumer preferences look different this year.

Every brand should prepare for Prime Day by building out and testing all campaign types and betas that Amazon has made available to advertisers. Prime Day is a high-traffic event, so it’s essential to know which campaigns we are especially interested in throttling to make the most out of the increased traffic.

“I specifically recommend building out video in Sponsored Brands. We have found that, on average, we are seeing quadruple the click-through rate (CTR) for our clients versus the original Sponsored Brands ads. It’s a great way to stand out while taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase how to use a product and send traffic back to a storefront to tie everything together.”

Portrait of Meghan Andrade– Meghan Andrade, Director of Business Development, Amazon & Marketplaces at Tinuiti

“When it comes to advertising, don’t just think of Prime Day as a two-day event. Brands should be looking to build product awareness and consideration in advance using the Amazon DSP to get in front of shoppers both on and off Amazon before the event, and should also consider retargeting Prime Day shoppers even after the sale has ended.”

 Andy Taylor, Vice President of Research at Tinuiti

 

8. Set aside additional budget for PPC bids

 

Keep in mind that Prime Day is highly competitive which means ad space will cost more money on the platform. If you set your caps too low, you’ll be outbid and it’s unlikely that consumers will see your ads. If you don’t cap your spend, then you might end up running out of budget quickly. 

Set aside time leading up to and during Prime Day to check on and manage your ad campaigns. Pay close attention to your bids and budget. Make sure you have the budget to capitalize on the full Prime Day opportunity, so you don’t run out in the first few hours.

 

9. Leverage influencers and their platforms

 
90% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective and 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations. Further, statistics show influencers are clearly a valuable tool for brands, as they can influence an entirely new audience of potential customers. Social media users are more likely to buy something their favorite influencer promotes than something they see randomly online so why not use influencers to your advantage for Prime Day promotions?

 

Graphic with phone screen showing two Amazon influencers smiling


Building relationships with influencers who align and resonate with your brand and creating campaigns that speak to that influencer’s followers is virtually a foolproof strategy. Work with these influencers to promote the products you’re selling leading up to Prime Day as well as the deals themselves. 

Using other platforms to advertise your upcoming Prime Day deals is another strategy many companies have adopted. Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads are all ideal choices, as these platforms are massive and full of potential customers. Amazon also offers its own resource of social influencers through the Amazon Influencer Program.

“Influencers are incredibly effective for brands because they are authentic storytellers who emotionally connect with and are trusted by their audiences. But that is just one piece of the Influencer puzzle. Tinuiti understands the magic in omnichannel integration with other digital marketing tactics and the ability to measure Influencer performance beyond vanity metricsーtruly making it a full-funnel driver. The integration across functions including Social, Affiliate, and ecommerce create a larger amplification in a highly competitive space for brands to grow their business.”

Portrait of Crystal Duncan

 Crystal Duncan, SVP, Head of Partnership Marketing

 

10. Activate Amazon Posts and feature priority ASINs

 

If you haven’t explored Amazon Posts, now is the time to get started. Amazon Posts allows brands to duplicate what they’re doing on social media channels like Instagram within the Amazon Marketplace. Its function is similar to that of a social media feed. 

Each brand is allowed to publish a stream of curated posts where you can show your products in action. This helps your products stay top-of-mind to consumers who are shopping on Prime Day. We recommend featuring priority/top-performing ASINs to stir up additional buzz and awareness of your specific product(s).

 

11. Invest in Amazon Direct Fulfillment

 
One way to make the most of Prime Day 2023 is to invest in Amazon Direct Fulfillment. Amazon Direct Fulfillment allows vendors to use EDI (electronic data interchange) to automatically share real-time inventory information for their entire product catalog with Amazon.

If you don’t have Direct Fulfillment set up as a backup to FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon), you might miss out on sales. When Amazon warehouses are out of stock, customers cannot order your product before Amazon receives your inventory. 

Pro-tip: For vendors that are capable of direct fulfillment, we recommend that your Direct Fulfillment connection is set up correctly and you are ready to utilize this program for Prime Day and in Q4. If you are not currently using Amazon’s Direct Fulfillment program, you can get started by following the instructions within your Warehouse Settings in Vendor Central.

Some of the benefits of Direct Fulfillment include:

  • Products are displayed as “Ships and Sold by Amazon”
  • You can make your entire catalog available to customers
  • You don’t have to wait for a purchase order to start selling products. Direct Fulfillment lets Amazon pull in the inventory directly from EDI and show shoppers that your product is available.
  • You’re protected from out-of-stock issues
  • Amazon handles all customer service requests and returns for you
  • Amazon pays all shipping fees

 

 list of amazon direct fulfillment benefits including trusted brand, catalog expansion, instant availability, out of stock protection, no outbound shipping costs, hassle free returns

To set up Direct Fulfillment, go to the Warehouse Settings in your Vendor Central account and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a Direct Fulfillment warehouse.

Now that you know what you need to do before the event, let’s talk about the big day.
 

What to do on Prime Day

 
Visibility is a significant player in Prime Day success. It’s critical to ensure that all of your deals are live and running correctly so take the time to make certain your ads are visible in the wild. You’ll also want to closely monitor your budget and use it correctly. For example, you’ll want to shift budgets across campaigns that are performing well and seeing high delivery rates.

Other day of considerations:

  • Track inventory to reduce OOS by providing backup fulfillment methods such as: Direct
  • Fulfillment
  • Check and adjust CPMs as needed to ensure scale and delivery
  • Cross shop category and competitors for market research
  • Check buy box status and if winning featured offer

“I typically increase my budget campaign caps by 50% on Prime Day, but throughout the day I’ll be monitoring spend and checking in often to make sure that all campaign budgets are still available and running. If you hit your budget cap too early – your ad won’t be served to shoppers and that’s the last thing any brand would want on Prime Day.”

– Ben Gemkow, Team Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Sellers are looking for ways to improve ROI during Prime Day. This includes separating low-converting keywords, tracking conversions, targeting competitive products, and identifying the change in keyword trends and search volumes. Staying on top of this will maximize visibility. In addition, bidding higher will result in a higher rank, and staying on top of your budget allows you to bid higher. 

 

Best Practices for Post-Prime Day

 
Each Prime Day is an opportunity to learn more about your brand and optimize it. Here are a couple of areas to be mindful of… 

 

Analyze outcomes

 

One of the best things a seller can do after Prime Day is pay attention to actions. Dig up analytics and demographics from your Prime Day event and check to see if there was a noticeable increase in things such as new customers or new search items. The goal is to identify your successes and failures and make the changes necessary (or mimic the actions that produced positive results for your brand) to facilitate future growth. 

“Whether your Prime Day sales met, exceeded or underperformed against your goals, it is critical to understand what influenced those results.  Were your Sponsored Ad campaigns consistently visible throughout the event?  Did you have the right onsite/offsite media mix to maximize reach across your key audiences?  Are there any other audiences, or keywords, to consider targeting for your next sales event?  These are just some of the questions that can help you understand what factors influenced your Prime Day performance.  Amazon’s suite of analytics tools, including Amazon Marketing Cloud, can help uncover key insights that will improve your strategic approach for the next major sales event.”

Joe O’Connor, Sr. Director, Strategic Marketplace Services at Tinuiti 

 

Watch your reviews

 

Pay attention to the quality of reviews, not necessarily the quantity. It’s essential to see what people are saying, so you have the opportunity to improve and adapt. After the event, taking a good look at your reviews can affect future strategies and changes, product developments, listing changes, updates, etc. Another good practice is paying attention to competitors’ reviews and seeing what their customers are saying. Doing this can give sellers an upper hand to improve and shine in areas where their competitors may not and win over a more extensive following. 
 

Learn More

 
Want to learn more about preparing for Prime Day? If so, you’ve come to the right place. On May 24th, our team of experts will host our annual Prime Day Panel. They’ll cover everything you need to know to have a successful Prime Day including:

  • What you need to do before, during, and after Prime Day for success on the day itself and a lift afterwards
  • How to adapt your advertising strategy if you are working with a leaner budget this year
  • A comprehensive (and downloadable!) checklist of the steps you need to take to triumph on Prime Day

Click here to register for the upcoming Prime Day Panel and be sure to check out our 2023 Prime Day Checklist. Interested in selling on Amazon or have additional Prime Day questions? Contact us today

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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