Business Sales Leads, Email Sales Lead Lists, Sales Lead Database
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Are there problems with your email campaigns?

If you have been investing a lot into email campaigns and sending them quite often, and aren’t noticing any increase in sales, leads, or business, then here are some things to look into to turn that around.

First,  some common signs of a problem with email campaigns are; spam complaints, significant unsubscribes, low open and click through rates, and a lack of site traffic. All these things are red flags that it is time to look into what you are doing and prepare to make changes. Now in recent years more and more people are checking their emails on mobile devices, so you need to make your emails optimized for mobile. This means making sure they load quickly, that the font is readable and that your subscribers don’t have to do any significant scrolling. If a large chunk of your list can’t even read your email then your click through rate will suffer and you won’t be getting your message across.

To help with open rates, subjects lines are key. It is good practice to keep them short, around 25 to 35 character is best. Try to avoid using words such as buy, sale, prize, cheap, free, as these get picked up by spam filters very easily. Instead use words like exclusive, or chosen. Also every now and then make your subject line a question, it gets people thinking and likely to open to see what the “answer” is. It is also very important to make it clear who the email is from.

Ensuring subscribers stay can be done through segmenting your email lists. Segmenting will allow you to send targeted emails that will have an overall higher engagement rate. This will mean grouping them according to demographics, industry, job position, or anything that will help you better determine what kind of emails your subscribers are more likely to desire and look at. During this it is also good to check for emails that are inactive, or those that never open or click, and either remove them or put them all in a separate list and then at some point run a re-engagement campaign with that list. Be careful not to send out emails too frequently though, as that can annoy subscribers, nobody wants their inbox to be inundated with emails from one company.

At the end of it all there is always one thing that can’t be forgotten, and that is proofreading/testing. Making sure your email has correct grammar and spelling goes a long way in showing professionalism and care for your business. Along with this comes the checking of any links to make sure they all go to where they are suppose to. If your email is full of misspellings and broken links, it makes it seem as if you don’t take it seriously, as if you don’t really care, and if the company doesn’t care why would anyone else.

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Don’t miss these opportunities to grow leads.

If you are starting to feel as if you have been running dry on new leads coming in, it may be a sign that you need to invest in new avenues of lead generation. Here are some ways you can kick start your business.

Webinars – Hosting a webinar, or online seminar, for your customers and clients is a great way to educate and show them what your business is about and your knowledge of the field. You can use these as opportunities to explain any new technology, programs, and products you may have come up with. Getting into a schedule is also a good idea, even if it’s just one day of each month, consistency is key to growing a following, and an educated customer will be more likely to make a purchase.

Youtube – This avenue will vary depending on your target market as younger people spend a larger percentage of time on Youtube compared to other age groups, so if the content you produce isn’t really something that appeals to younger people the effectiveness may vary. Still, a lot of leads, contacts, and exposure can come from it. Now, there are two ways you can approach Youtube, you can of course make videos for your channel, these can consist of detailing your business and products, perhaps giving tutorials for software that might be complex. The other approach is to advertise on Youtube; look into getting your ads onto Youtube, there are a couple of different style of ads so find what works best for you. You can even target your ads based on age, gender, and location if you are willing to spend a bit more.

Networking Events/Trade Shows –In a world where a lot is done digitally and it is therefore very easy to be drowned out if you solely focus on digital communication, trade shows are a great place to physically interact with customers as well as other businesses. It is also an opportunity to put a face and personality to your business, instead of just being text on a screen. It can help your business appear more relatable and human. With this also comes the building of your network, you will start to get more and more contacts and relationships, as has always been said, it’s not what you know but who you know. Having strong relations with other businesses will help solidify your place in the market. You can exchange technology, products, refer customers to each other and all this will help produce trust in your own business.

As with all things trial and error is needed to really see what will work best for your target market, time and budget.

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Your most important employee, your website.

A fundamental key to any business in this day and age is their website. It is in many instances the first time anyone will interact with your business, your website is your online storefront, and just like a physical storefront, how it looks will have large impact on customers. But a website is also the first “employee” your customer interacts with, think about it, someone goes to your website to learn about your business, to seek information, to browse, and then your website speaks back, ideally with whatever the customer was looking for. And just like any employee, the website needs to be “dressed” well, and not waste the customers time or annoy them. This is why devoting time to the design of your website is so important, so let’s rundown some tips to make your website the perfect storefront and employee to get you those sales leads.

  1. Keep it simple. This in itself is simple, don’t go overboard with anything fancy, graphics and images are fine, but too much can cause load problems for you site. Any user who has to wait an excessive amount of time loading one page to another is very likely to get annoyed and leave. You don’t want to frustrate the user with pointless things.
  2. Make it look professional. Now even though you want to keep it simple, you don’t want it to look cheap or amateurish, as if it was made for a school project. This means using the appropriate sized font and colors, make sure everything is easy on the eyes, and isn’t difficult to read.
  3. Don’t use obtrusive pop ups or ads. Nothing is more annoying than constantly being interrupted by things you have no interest in, and then trying to figure out how to close the popup to get back to doing what you originally were doing on the website. It would be like if you were in a store an employee just kept asking you things while you were trying to browse and shop, you can imagine how annoying that would be. Also it is very important to “vet” any third party advertisements you may have, as many of them can cause slowdowns for users, and in some cases even give viruses.
  4. Learn what attracts people’s attentions. When designing your site figure out what people are more likely to click on and make those things bigger! So if you have a check out button, don’t make it small, make it stand out. This can be done by making it bigger, or using a color that brings attention to it.
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Automating the Future.

When looking to nurture your leads, to get messages or info to them, one of the most efficient strategies is marketing automation, specifically the drip email/autoresponder aspect of it. Once you start getting an abundance of leads you may not have the resources to manually tailor and send messages to each and every one of them. This is when the power of computers and machines come in. They are able to 24/7, monitor and do tasks that would be crazy for any human.

Drip email marketing amounts to sending automated emails to your leads after a specified amount of time or after specific actions they take. This works quite well in tandem with lead scoring, as was talked about in our previous blog post. Now you can make this as complex as you like, but to start off, let’s say someone fills out a form on your website, from their you can set up emails that will go out to them after a specified time, so after 3 days email “B” goes out, then after 7 days email “C” goes out. These emails should be designed to push them through your conversion funnel.

Now that example is drip marketing in its simplest form, but there are much more creative things you can do. If your website has a shopping cart feature and someone has put items into it but haven’t completed the purchase, you can send an email telling them that they still have items in their cart in an attempt to lead them into a sale. This perhaps will spark a few ideas you can implement that will fit your particular business. Every way in which a lead interacts with your business is a potential opportunity for drip marketing. Which is why if you have set up any lead scoring, you can have the drip emails tailored to the leads engagement level, and will also help to determine the necessary tone of the emails.

The tailoring of the emails is important as you don’t want to annoy your leads. This can happen if you are sending them too many messages or even just messages they deem to have no interest in. Whether they clicked on a link or video about a specific subject will give insight into their interests, drip emails should be created based upon actions like that. If someone asks for a whitepaper, whether they open to read it or not is a condition to determine if any further emails should be sent. Try to implement automation tactics in your email marketing and see how it can improve your efficiency.

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Rate your leads and find your customers.

Once leads start coming in, it may be difficult to sift through them all to find which ones are quality leads. Spending time with leads that don’t have a high conversion rate will be a detriment to your business, as they say, time is money. This is where the idea of lead scoring comes in, and it is an important finish to any lead generation strategy. Lead scoring essentially amounts to rating the leads that come in based upon certain information about them to determine how much value that lead has to your company. There are various approaches one can take when it comes to this, so we will discuss what we ourselves have found to be useful and effective.

A good thing to start with is determining what your ideal customer is. Who exactly do you think is most likely to do business with you? This can amount to all sorts of things, from age, country, job title, as well as specific things about how they behave. This would mean gathering information about their interests in your company by examining what they are doing on your site and what pages they are visiting. From there, you should come up with what kind of scale you will use for your rating, assigning points to all the things listed above, for instance if they just visited the home page you may assign 10 points but if they visited a check out page you may assign 30 points. Based upon how many points someone has will determine the “quality.”

Some things to be aware of is that not everyone who visits your site is looking to buy, they may be there for other reasons. For instance they may be looking for a job position, they may be doing research, or they being may be looking for partners for their own business. Because of this you may want to assign less points to behavior that signifies they are just looking for a job, as well possibly subtracting points for various behaviors, such as if they haven’t shown activity in awhile.

As was mentioned this is important so you know when someone is ready to be sent to your sales team, and so that they aren’t wasting time with people who have no interest with buying. Not only that, but you will also be wasting the time of whomever your sales team is in contact with, which can lead to issues, such as that person getting annoyed. These issues may then lead to a decrease in productivity for your business. Knowing the value of your sales leads will make everyone’s experience at your company better.

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What do I look for in email advertisements?

We have been discussing various ways for a business to improve their marketing strategies, from getting traffic to your website to nurturing leads. For this post I would like to examine email marketing in particular, but in a bit of a different way. Instead of looking at statistics, and research data, let’s just look at our own habits. This is something that may be forgotten very often, but a lot can be learned by just looking at ourselves. How do you peruse your inbox, what emails do you open, how often are you enticed to click, or buy due to the emails. Try this strategy out and see what you find, is how you are creating your emails in line with your own habits, or do they conflict?

Now I found out some interesting things in regards to my own habits. Personally I look through both the main inbox as well as my spam folder when it comes to emails, in other words whether I see the email isn’t really affected by whether it is in spam or not. The only issue here is that my spam folder deletes messages after a certain time while my main inbox doesn’t. So this most certainly can affect whether I see a message from my inbox or not, though of course emails that are old can lose their value anyway, such as out of date promo codes, or limited time discounts and such. So how much of an impact that makes will depend on the type of email.

In regards to what emails I open, it’s usually emails from companies or businesses I expect to possibly buy something from. This is often businesses I know of, or businesses I have bought something from in the past. In other words, brand name is important, I open emails from names I know. Now more specifically, I glance over most emails if they seem to not be from someone I know, be it a person or business, though sometimes they are opened. Now whether I open emails depends on certain factors, obviously a big factor is my mood, or what I’m interested in at that moment. This will vary and isn’t really something an email marketer can’t really know, they might be able to look at buying habits, but not the “in the present mood” of every person for everyday.

So my mood is important, do I want clothes, do I want games, food? This will affect what type of emails I’m opening more often. Even if, let’s just say, I’m not particularly looking for clothes I will sometimes open emails that appear to be for clothes, this happens usually if it seems like a particular special deal is available where I can save a lot of money, so even if I don’t really need clothes now, I most likely will in the future and if I can save a lot now, it would be better to just buy them now. Now this will depend on the product as different products have different “expiration dates.” For instance clothes usually don’t go bad unless you wear them often, or your size changes.

Another thing that is important is curiosity, even if I don’t care to buy anything some emails still catch my eye, in the sense that they make me go “what is this all about?” This happened recently in regards to an email whose subject line was  along the lines of “Warning: Graphic Content Ahead.” Now this was for a website that sold clothes, so I kind of expected it to be something related to graphics on clothing, but none the less the email stood out and I just had to see what was going on with it. Sure enough it was just about different graphics they had on their t-shirts.

Now of course everyone is different, so it definitely is important to look at a wider spectrum of people. But that doesn’t mean nothing can be learned by just looking at one’s own habits, you may be able to learn new strategies for your own email marketing.

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Garnering traffic to your website, the ins and outs.

In the last blog post we went over how to nurture leads, but what about getting the leads in the first place? What is the optimal way to attract customers, and get your name out there? For the purposes of this post we will mainly be focusing on what you can do through the internet to garner traffic to your website and therefore business.

Even though there are other avenues open, such as through television, radio, and newspapers, the internet has become the most popular and efficient way out of all of them. This is because advertising and marketing through the internet is relatively cheap compared to the others, you can share information at speeds unfathomable as well as update that information in a moment’s notice.  This will allow you to alter your strategy very quickly if you find out your current strategy is lacking, something that would be much more difficult to do with the other avenues. Of course, because of the power of the internet, many people have become inundated with information and advertisements now, information overload. This may make any attempt to attract them futile, as your name could be drowned out in a sea of a million others. To counter this, you either need to be unique or have a certain charm that draws people to you over everyone else.

Regardless of that there are still some fundamental things that must be done. To truly benefit from any advertising and to take advantage of the unique properties of the internet, you need to gather data and analytics on your efforts. How well are your adverts working? Is there a specific time, or demographic for which they work best? Where are you getting incoming traffic? These are all things you need to track if you want to continually update your strategies and to not have them become stagnant. A very useful tool for this is “Google Analytics.” It will allow you to see where visitors to your site are coming from among a myriad of other things. Another useful tool for this is our very own Mega Tracker tool. This tool exclusively targets businesses, and will help with all your business leads needs. It allows you to see what businesses have visited your site, pages viewed, what keywords led them to your site, and email addresses of business executives, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Another very important thing to do, and this may sound obvious, but it’s often forgotten, is to just stay active on the internet. This means having Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, WordPress, and etc accounts, and remaining active on them. This allows your name to grow as well as allows places for referrals to your website. This also coincides with a very underused strategy, called customer referral programs. This essentially is a program where customers you have get certain “rewards” for referring other people to your business. These rewards are up to you, and are dependent upon your business, but an example would be let’s say you sell clothes, customers that refer others could get a free t-shirt. Now the word free is what probably turns off many businesses from using this strategy, but in the long run the new customers should offset whatever is being given away.

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Getting the most out of your conversion funnel: Lead Nurturing

Attracting customers to your site and engaging them in your business is key to creating a strong loyal customer base. Once you build up your customer base you will begin to have a steady income as well as a means to grow that income even more. But first things first is making sure when someone visits your website they feel informed and intrigued. They should know what you are selling and be compelled to make a purchase right then and there or to learn more. A good way to ensure this is to make the information on your home page clear, concise, and simple, as well as make clear any lines of communication for the visitor if they would like to get into contact with your business. It is also important to have a signup form for them to fill out that offers them something, this could be something free from your business, or a whitepaper, really anything you think will interest them. In our case for example, we offer free business leads with a test drive of our service when you fill out our form, this allows people to conduct 5 free searches with our service.

Now once visitors get in contact with you whether that be by email or phone. A quick follow up is important, if you don’t reach back in time, it is likely they will move on to someone else. Depending on the reason for the contact, will alter what you say, but somethings to keep in my mind when relevant is to ask where they heard of you. This will help you learn some information about them as well as learn about where you should focus your attention when advertising. Many times you will also be in a situation where you have to deliver your pitch, this is where you need to sell your business. What you need to do is focus on your “value,” and inform them why you have the best value on the market. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as “price.” You need to let them know what makes your business unique, as well as how you take care of your business and customers.

After all this you need to continue to engage them in your business with follow up emails and phone calls, this is where they turn into loyal customers and not just a quick sale. There are a couple of ways to do this, one effective way is marketing automation. Which is the use of specific software to automate certain repetitive marketing procedures. This is vital in the current age where you have so many leads whom need to be nurtured.


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Your Business, and Internet Reputation.

One of the most important aspects of a business is your reputation among consumers, with the advent of the internet information travels faster than ever, regardless of whether that information is correct or not. This not only leads to you being able to communicate with your customers more readily, it also leads to your customers being able to communicate with one another more readily. In the end it is a double edged sword, and knowing how to navigate it is important. In our make marketing work videos we go over reputation management, which is the last component under distribution tactics in the blueprint. For those worried about how they are perceived on the internet, let’s go over some of the things you need to know and do.

First is knowing where people will be talking about your business. Essentially, there will be talk all over, on social media sites, video sites, and forums, even when these sites may not have anything to do with your business. But the most commonplace people will look to learn about your reputation is on review sites dedicated to informing the consumer. These sites will vary depending on your business but some popular ones would be Yelp, and Google reviews. Now, once a review is posted, for the most part it is there forever, that may be daunting to deal with but it is the reality of the internet that must be accepted. Negative reviews can impact current customers through peer pressure, prospective customers and even B2B relationships, as one business may not want to tarnish their own reputation through association, so it is imperative that this is dealt with caution and care.

Even though bad reviews may not be removable, they can be dealt with through engaging in a dialogue. Many review sites allow the business to respond to claims, this is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, as well as show the public the character of your business. Try to leave out any emotions in your response, never insult the customer or make any snide remarks, stay on point and remain professional, just state the facts of the situation. If it was all the result of a misunderstanding and the wounds heal, the whole ordeal may be a positive for your business, as other customers will see how you handle things, and if they like it, it will bring them into your conversion funnel. In other words, both positive and even negative reviews can be an opportunity for sales.

Explore the Make Marketing Work blueprint on your own, and start lead generation like a champion.

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Keys to Success in Email Campaigns

When creating your email campaigns there are a few things to be aware of that will help make your email marketing a success.

The most important is knowing your customers, who exactly are the emails going to? What age demographic, gender, location. Knowing this information will be important when creating your “theme” for the campaign. For instance, the theme would involve whether you want the email to be serious or lighthearted, it would therefore also influence any kind of images you put in the email. A good example to illustrate this is let’s say you wanted to insert a joke into the email, and let’s also say this joke is a part of a TV show. Now adding this joke may be a good idea, but what if the majority of the people you are sending it to have never heard or seen the show before? More than likely the joke just won’t carry the same weight and will be lost on most of them. This will either cause them to not open the email (or subsequent emails) or to lose interest and close the email.

Another good piece of information to know is at what time your customers are likely to check their emails. This of course will determine when during the day is best to send the campaign. On average Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 3pm will produce best results. Of course it’s best to test your own lists and see when you get the most opens and clicks.

Business Leads Online, Sales Lead Lists, Data Sales Leads, Sales Lead Spreadsheet, Sales Database, Email Lead Lists