Content works for us as a lead generation strategy, for a few very specific reasons. If you’re going all in on using content marketing as a primary lead generation tactic, you’ll need to put just as much time to content promotion as you will to the actual creation of it—because if none of your prospects every see your content, it’s not doing anything for your business.
“By far and away, our two best unique leave-behinds are when we had placed an American Flag on each lawn just prior to the 4th of July and when we place a pumpkin on each doorstep around Halloween. The response is incredible and the connection to the community is even better. In fact, over the years the neighbors have come to expect it and often refer to us as ‘The Pumpkin Guys’ or ‘The Flag Guys.’”
Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.
Automation is the hot topic of 2018. Most ESPs enable some level of email automation such as autoresponders. Autoresponders can be set to send a customized, tailored email to individual contacts when they carry out a specific action. For example, you can set autoresponders to send an email when your contact celebrates a birthday, or when someone subscribes for the first time, or even when someone buys an item from your website. Autoresponders save you time while delivering a personalized email service at scale.
3. The “sliced bread” approach: LeadPages’ head of marketing automation, Chris Davis, coined this term after thinking about a very simple kind of marketing: grocery store samples, in which shoppers are given a taste of something (like a slice from a loaf of bread) to inspire them to buy the whole product. The first chapter of an e-book, a mini consultation, or, if you’re in software, a free limited-functionality app account could serve as your first slice of bread.
Many email newsletter software vendors offer transactional email support, which gives companies the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. There are also software vendors that offer specialized transactional email marketing services, which include providing targeted and personalized transactional email messages and running specific marketing campaigns (such as customer referral programs).
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was passed by Congress as a direct response to the growing number of complaints over spam emails. Congress determined that the US government was showing an increased interest in the regulation of commercial electronic mail nationally, that those who send commercial emails should not mislead recipients over the source or content of them, and that all recipients of such emails have a right to decline them. The act authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. However, it does not ban spam emailing outright, but imposes laws on using deceptive marketing methods through headings which are "materially false or misleading". In addition there are conditions which email marketers must meet in terms of their format, their content and labeling. As a result, many commercial email marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the act. A variety of older systems exist that do not ensure compliance with the act. To comply with the act's regulation of commercial email, services also typically require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses that may not have given valid permission.
Clearly, there has been a huge change in the traditional buying process. In fact, according to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they even reach the vendor. The reason this is happening more and more is because buyers have so much access to information that they can delay talking to sales until they are experts themselves.
Being able to target your audience solves all the inherent problems of non-targeted marketing. Gone are the days of placing an advertisement on television, on a diner placemat, or in a periodical with no control of who will see it. With email marketing, you have more control who sees it by segmenting your contacts list based on their lead status, demographics, location, or other data points. Targeting emails ensure that your audience receives content suited specifically to his/her needs. Customers and business owners benefit because you can customize a message for each customer depending on a segment to foster a higher conversion rate.
Bonus: As one related mini-lead generation tactic to add onto the process of collecting leads from free downloadable materials on your blog—try leveraging exit-intent popups that detect when a visitor is about to navigate away from your opt-in page, and they'll quickly surface the reader a reminder offer to grab your download before leaving. I've tested this and seen a meaningful lift in new subscribers that otherwise would've left the page.
It's Automated: Once you set up lead nurturing, emails are sent out automatically according to your schedule as new leads come in. This leads to a high return on a low investment. You might launch the campaigns and forget about them, but the emails will be doing the work for you, helping you qualify leads and push them down the sales funnel faster.
Email is an “owned” digital marketing channel—that is, the sender fully controls the content and distribution—and typically works best when used to send personal, relevant messages to segmented lists of recipients. Email is an especially important tool in relation to ecommerce, where it’s used for sending transactional, promotional, and lifecycle messages (which we’ll cover in more detail below).
This consistent outreach translates into people more easily thinking of your business when they need your services. The key word here being, “consistent,” not, “irregular.” If you email your network once or twice a year and it’s only ever to promote your business, you’ll likely see very low engagement. There’s not much in it for them, only for you.
Brand Awareness: Similar to newspapers, newsletters create a certain anticipation in readers. Whether it is a daily newsletter or a weekend communication, you get into the habit of receiving it. If you enjoy the content, you will most likely stay subscribed to the newsletter and look forward to getting the next email. By building a habit in your email subscribers, you enable them to recognize your brand and associate it with a positive sentiment.
According to Clutch, even though 90 percent of marketers say it's important to optimize emails for mobile devices, just 59 percent of companies say optimization is part of their email marketing efforts. Yet in 2016, more than 50 percent of email opens took place on a mobile device, and that number is only going to grow with time. Moreover, if an email is difficult to read or just doesn’t look good on their device, 71 percent of people will delete it, and 16 percent will hit unsubscribe. While it’s great to see marketers focusing on personalization and segmentation (both extremely important tactics in an email strategy), it’s surprising that more aren’t looking at mobile. It doesn’t matter how great the content in your email is, if it’s not mobile optimized, most people won’t even bother to read it, and some will opt out altogether – not the results you’re looking to get from your email strategy.
Most other marketing channels present ambiguous statistics and analysis, but email marketing campaigns are relatively straight forward. By tying your campaigns into your Google Analytics, it is also possible to observe the behavior that occurs on your website as the result of the email marketing campaign. Understanding these numbers will lead to more effective targeting and higher conversions.
Review platforms generally have a strong presence in organic search, making them a great opportunity to expand your brand presence and get noticed by the right people. When you encourage users to leave reviews on a third-party platform with strong SEO, you increase the chances of being found by qualified prospects in search -- without paying a dime.
Gmail contact groups are great for sending a single email message to a specific set of people, but what if you want to give each email a personal touch, such as with a newsletter or promotional offer? Unlike Microsoft Office, Google’s productivity suite doesn’t have a native mail-merge feature you can leverage to do this. But don’t sweat it: With a little help from Google Sheets and a free downloadable script, you can personalize bulk email messages in Gmail in minutes.
Using Leadberry is a cost-effective way to find out who is visiting your website. Leadberry is recommended by Google Analytics and can provide you with the names of the organizations visiting your site as well as the email addresses of the key contacts that you target. Knowing who has visited your website in real-time via email alerts, allows you not only to identify new leads visiting your site for the first time, but also existing prospects as they revisit during later stages of the sales process.
Make sure you have a diverse program mix in your inbound marketing plans. You should be engaging in both organic and paid campaigns to drive traffic to your website to generate leads. Think about audience building and lead generation on social media, and consider engaging in paid programs like paid email marketing sends, content syndication, paid webinars, and more to drive leads into your funnel.
This should go without saying, but having an optimized website is among the most effective lead generation strategies you can employ. It’s important to understand your website and landing pages are the central hub where most of your sales will take place. Because website optimization is such a robust topic, we’ve picked five best practices that can help your website become a lead generating machine.
When you send emails, the customers are directly exposed to your business and brand. The strategically designed email templates and targeted content help in creating brand value. This helps in keeping your brand top of the customers’ mind. Hence, if they want to buy a specific product or service. They can easily recall your brand and your business have better chances of converting those leads into paying customers.
After 90 days of inactivity, the outlook is not good. If someone goes three months without purchasing, the odds of them returning to purchase are not great. Though, this is definitely dependent upon your store and industry. Some stores simply have a long sales cycle. Just be aware that you will probably start experiencing diminishing returns at 90 days.
As we have already begun our journey in 2019, email marketing trends are thought to rock a simpler design and more segmentation. Marketers are to leverage on storytelling to bag more positive impressions. Considered one of the ancient forms of digital marketing emails are still very effective and has the power to help your small business break the glass ceiling.
No matter what type of email you’re sending, the bottom line for every type is value. Every email should provide something valuable to your audience, whether that’s a perfectly timed offer, a lead-nurturing message tailored to where the user is in your funnel, or a newsletter packed with interesting, relevant content. And because user experience matters, it should be easy for users to see that value quickly through simple, easy-to-read and mobile-optimized messages.