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Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Optimization 2023 (Strategies & Examples)

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Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Optimization 2023 (Strategies & Examples)

Email marketing optimization and staying ahead of the marketing trends in 2023 are more important than ever. Despite the rise of new marketing channels, email remains a powerful tool for reaching your customers.

With over 4 billion email users worldwide and a return on investment of $44 for every $1 spent, it’s no surprise that email marketing continues to be a top priority for businesses. But as more and more emails clutter consumers’ inboxes, it’s important to make sure your campaigns stand out and stay ahead of the curve.

This guide will cover the latest strategies and techniques for optimizing your email campaigns, including examples and best practices to help you achieve your goals.

By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of the best practices and strategies for email marketing optimization and an eye for the latest trends. Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing professional, this guide will help you improve your email marketing strategy and ultimately drive more conversions and revenue.

So, let’s dive in and take your email marketing to the next level.

What Is Email Marketing & Does It Work?

Email marketing optimization is all about tweaking and improving your email campaigns to boost their performance and get better results. In other words, it’s about making sure your emails are hitting the mark and resonating with your audience.

Think about it, have you ever received an email that caught your eye because of an intriguing subject line or because it was personalized in a way that made it relevant to you? That’s email marketing optimization in action. By testing and refining different elements of your email campaigns, you can increase the chances of your emails getting seen, opened, and acted upon.

And the good news is, it can definitely work. In fact, a well-optimized email marketing strategy can help you achieve higher open and click-through rates, generate more conversions and ultimately reach your marketing goals.

By following some tried-and-true best practices and being willing to test and experiment, you can optimize your email campaigns and see real results. So, keep reading to find out the best practices and how you can improve your email campaigns today.

8 Ways To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns

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Email optimization is crucial to achieving success and maximizing results. From crafting compelling subject lines and eye-catching email designs to segmenting your list and personalizing your messages, you can use various tactics to optimize your campaigns.

With that, here are 8 email campaign optimization strategies you can use to drive conversions:

1. Create An Email Marketing Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with email marketing is not having a strategy. Without it, you’re just shooting emails out into the ether, hoping they land somewhere interesting. But let’s be real, that’s not a great approach.

That is why a well-thought-out email marketing strategy is foremost to ensure that every email you send serves a specific purpose and resonates with your target audience.

When your emails are relevant and interesting, your audience will be more likely to engage with them, which means better open rates and, ultimately, better results for your business.

In addition, having a well-defined email program that aligns with your overall marketing strategy and the sales funnel is important. This involves setting clear goals for your email campaigns, defining your target audience, and creating a content plan that supports your marketing objectives.

Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in creating an email marketing strategy:

  • Define your goals: What do you want to achieve with your email marketing campaigns?
  • Know your audience: Who are you trying to reach, what are their needs, interests, and pain points?
  • Build your email list: Develop a plan to grow and maintain your email address list using tactics like lead magnets, landing pages, and opt-in forms.
  • Choose your tactics: Based on your goals and target audience, decide which tactics will be most effective for your campaigns, such as segmentation, personalization, and A/B testing.
  • Choose your email campaign types: Decide on the email campaigns you want to run, such as newsletters, promotional emails, welcome emails, etc.
  • Analyze and adjust: Continuously review your results and adjust your tactics as needed. This can involve A/B testing different elements of your emails, analyzing your email metrics, and adjusting your strategy based on your results.

This helps reduce your bounce rate, a metric that indicates the percentage of emails that were undeliverable because of an incorrect or inactive email address. By following these steps and continuously refining your strategy, you can ensure that your email marketing campaigns are well-targeted and impactful.

Moreover, another essential component of a successful email program is avoiding the spam folder. Spam filters are designed to protect users from unwanted or irrelevant emails, but they can also impact the success of your email campaigns.

To avoid the spam folder, it’s important to follow best practices for email marketing, like avoiding spam trigger words and phrases, using a recognizable sender name, and providing a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link.

2. Use Personalization

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Personalizing your emails is an important step in maximizing the effectiveness of your email campaigns. By making emails feel more relevant and targeted to each recipient, you can build stronger customer relationships and increase conversion rates.

To achieve this, you should make the email feel personal by using the recipient’s name in the greeting. A simple “Hello [Name]” instead of a generic “Hello” can make a big difference in creating a more personal connection.

Moreover, you can utilize data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system or marketing automation software to personalize emails based on what you already know about the recipient. For instance, if they recently bought a product from you, you can offer them complementary products or suggest other items they may be interested in.

Here’s a good example to get an idea of how you could personalize an email for an eCommerce store selling different KN95 face masks:

Subject Line: “Stay Safe with Our KN95 Masks, [Name]”

Greeting: “Hello [Name],”

“We understand the importance of safety and offer top-notch KN95 masks to help. Choose from various colors, sizes, and styles to fit your needs. Our masks are comfortable and breathable so you can wear them all day.

As a valued customer, enjoy [X% discount] on your first purchase with promo code [promo code].

Stay safe,

[Your Name]”

This short and sweet email uses personalization by including the recipient’s name in the subject line and greeting. It also highlights the benefits of the KN95 masks and offers a discount for being a valued customer, increasing the chances of conversion.

3. Pay Special Attention To The Subject Line

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The subject line is one of the most important elements of an email, as it’s the recipient’s first impression. It can determine whether an email gets opened, which is why it’s critical for email marketing optimization. A good subject line should be attention-grabbing, concise, and relevant to the recipient’s interests.

Subject lines are also important because they set the tone for the rest of the email. One that is too long can come across as spammy and turn recipients away. On the other hand, a subject line that is too short or generic may not provide enough information to compel the recipient to open the email.

Hence, when optimizing your subject lines, understand your audience and what they are looking for in an email. For example, you can use the data on your Microsoft ads campaign to gain insights into which ads and emails are driving the most conversions and use that information to optimize your approach over time.

Once you’ve identified the most effective ad themes, you can use that information to inform your email subject lines.

Here are a few examples of great subject lines for an email promoting dog training services:

  • “Get [X% Off] Our Dog Training Services for a Limited Time Only”
  • “Your Best Friend Deserves the Best: Invest in Professional Dog Training”
  • “Transform Your Dog’s Behavior in Just [X] Weeks with Our Expert Training”
  • “Say Goodbye to Barking, Chewing, and Jumping: Get Started with Our Training Today”

These subject lines use attention-grabbing language and personalization to appeal to dog owners. They highlight the benefits of the dog training services like improved behavior and use a sense of urgency (limited-time discount) to encourage the recipient to act. By including relevant keywords, these subject lines also clarify what the email is about and what the recipient can expect to receive.

4. Segment Your Users

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Segmenting your email list is a crucial aspect of email marketing optimization because it allows you to send targeted and relevant messages to specific groups of people. By dividing your email list into segments based on shared characteristics, you can personalize your emails and increase their relevance to each recipient.

Moreover, high unsubscribe rates can signify that your email content is not resonating with your audience or that your email frequency is too high. Hence, segmenting your email list and sending targeted messages to specific groups of subscribers based on their interests and behaviors is important.

There are many ways to segment your email list. Here’s an example of how to segment your email list for a cleaning business academy:

  • Demographic Information: You can segment your email list based on subscriber demographics, such as location, age, and gender. For example, you can create a segment for subscribers in a specific region, such as the Midwest, and send them targeted messages about cleaning hacks that are relevant to their area.
  • Behavioral Data: Website activity, email open rates, and click-through rates. You can use this information to send targeted messages to people who frequently open and engage with your emails and send them exclusive content or early access to new cleaning ideas.
  • Interests: Based on the topics they have subscribed to and articles they have shown interest in, you can use this to send them targeted messages about environmentally friendly cleaning tips and services.

To segment your email list, you’ll need to collect data on your subscribers and organize it into categories that make sense for your business. You can automate this process using an email marketing platform or customer relationship management (CRM) system.

5. Mobile Optimization

Have you ever opened an email on your smartphone only to be greeted with a jumbled mess of text and images? It’s frustrating, right? And it’s not just a one-time thing; with more and more people checking their emails on their mobile devices, making sure that your emails are optimized for mobile viewing is becoming increasingly important.

That’s where mobile optimization comes in; it ensures that your emails look great and are easy to engage with, no matter what device they are viewed on.

Moreover, with more mobile users shopping online, many eCommerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba are making sure to optimize their emails for mobile devices and stay ahead of the competition.

Whether through personalized product recommendations, timely follow-up emails, or offering helpful advice and resources, Alibaba’s email marketing campaigns reflect its reliability and dedication to its customers by providing them with a seamless experience, evidence of this success can be seen in the company’s financial results, which have shown consistent growth over the years.

Additionally, customer feedback and reviews have shown that Alibaba’s email marketing campaigns have been well-received and have driven results for the company.

This shows that mobile optimization is a crucial aspect of email marketing for eCommerce sites, and it is a trend that is here to stay. By optimizing their emails for mobile devices, these sites can reach a wider audience, provide a better user experience and increase conversions.

Here’s how you can optimize your emails for mobile devices, including some of Alibaba’s strategies:

  • Optimize images for faster load times on mobile devices.
  • Use a responsive design for easy viewing on any screen.
  • Keep content simple, with large fonts and clear calls to action.
  • Test emails on various devices and email clients to ensure correct display.

By following these best email-design practices, you can ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile viewing and that your subscribers have a great experience, no matter their device. This will help improve open rates and engagement and build trust with your subscribers, showing them that you are committed to delivering high-quality content conveniently.

6. Automate Email Campaigns When Possible

Automating your email campaigns can be a game-changer for your business. Imagine streamlining your email marketing efforts, improving the efficiency of your campaigns, and saving time and resources in the process. With the right tools and strategies, you can achieve this.

As an example, to optimize your email marketing efforts through automation, here are some key steps to follow in automating podcast publishing campaigns:  

  • Define target audience and segment mailing list
  • Choose an email marketing platform that integrates with podcast hosting service
  • Plan email series to showcase episodes, highlight popular ones, and provide behind-the-scenes insights
  • Set up triggers based on subscriber behavior
  • Design emails with links to podcast episode pages and calls-to-action
  • Test and refine your strategy to optimize its performance and build a strong relationship with your audience
  • Launch and monitor performance with data and analytics

This way, by automating your email campaigns for podcast publishing, you can reach your audience more efficiently, promote your content, and drive growth for your podcast.

7. Include Strong CTAs

Creating an effective call-to-action (CTA) in your email marketing campaigns is essential to drive conversions and improve your email marketing success. But let’s face it, crafting a strong one can be challenging.

A CTA is a message or button encouraging the recipient to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, downloading an eBook, or visiting a website. Essentially, they are a key marketing component because they drive the email recipient to take a desired action, which can ultimately lead to increased conversions and improved ROI.

So, how can you create effective CTAs in your marketing campaign?

  • Be clear and concise: It should be short, simple, and to the point. Use action-oriented language, such as “Sign up now,” “Buy today,” or “Learn more.”
  • Make it noticeable: Make sure your call-to-action stands out visually from the rest of the content in the email. Consider using contrasting colors, bold text, and clear, large fonts to draw the recipient’s eye.
  • Make it Prominent: Place it near the top of the email or “above the fold” so it’s visible without having to scroll.

To help you get  excellent ideas, consider how CTAs for a company that provides information on the best VPNs in its email marketing campaign:

  • “Protect My Privacy Now”
  • “Unlock My Discount”
  • “Secure My Connection”
  • “Get the VPN App”
  • “Find My Perfect VPN

These CTAs use more dynamic and action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency and excitement around the offer. Hence, by using powerful verbs and phrases that speak to the subscriber’s motivations and fears, these CTAs can be more engaging and more likely to prompt a response.

Remember to test different ones to determine the most effective for your audience and continuously optimize your campaigns for the best results.

8. Produce High-Quality Content

Creating a strong connection with your audience through your email marketing content is what it’s all about. After all, who doesn’t love receiving an email that speaks directly to them and offers value? That’s why it’s essential to understand your audience and deliver content that they’ll find valuable.

Here are some things you can include for effective email content:

  • Expert advice
  • Customer success stories
  • Relevant and informative articles
  • Product updates and promotions
  • Entertaining content like humor or memes
  • Interactive content like quizzes or surveys
  • Behind-the-scenes content like company news or culture

It’s important to note that high-quality content is not just about the type of content but also how it’s presented. The content should be well-written, visually appealing, and optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.

Including content writing services as part of your email marketing strategy can help you make the most of your content and achieve your ultimate goal. This is because a professional writer can create content that is well-written and easy to read, which can help increase the chances that your audience will read your emails and engage with your content.

Moreover, by creating engaging email content, you can improve your open and click-through rates, which are key metrics that indicate how many of your email readers are engaging with your content.

Conclusion

We have covered the ultimate guide to email marketing optimization, and I hope you’ve found it helpful. Email marketing is crucial to any digital marketing strategy, and optimizing your email campaigns can boost engagement and revenue.

In addition to the key strategies mentioned, it’s important to pay attention to other key metrics like customer interaction and sender reputation. Your sender reputation is a critical factor that impacts your email deliverability and the success of your email campaigns, so make sure to send relevant content.

Overall, email marketing optimization is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and refinement. But don’t worry if you need help, and we’re here.

If you’re looking for digital marketing tools to help you optimize your email campaigns, or if you want expert assistance with your email marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experienced digital marketing professionals can help you create more effective email campaigns that drive engagement, conversions, and revenue.

So contact us to learn more about our digital marketing tools and email marketing services. We’re here to help you achieve your marketing goals and take your efforts to the next level.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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!

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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.

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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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