Creating leads on your website is a critical skill that all entrepreneurs must know. The first step is to ensure that your website can convert traffic once they are on your website. The second step is to get people to the site to start with. Let us focus on step one for now.
Your website needs to be structured to incorporate specific target content to the specific people searching for it.
For example, if your business is an electrician, then you might build a specific page for each of the things that homeowners could be searching for.
For example, hot water system replacement, light switch installation, electrical box upgrade, emergency electrician.
When people are searching for different things, they are looking for different information and therefore, the content on your page needs to be relevant to the search term.
The page is where your entire marketing flow can pivot around for example your ads and marketing can be relevant to the page that they promote. For example, an emergency electrician ad on Adwords can point to your emergency electrician page on your website.
By ensuring that the content people are searching for is relevant to the ads that had captured them, you ensure that your conversion rate is increased and therefore, the quantity of leads you are going to get for a certain dollar amount spent will increase also.
Once on the page, it is important to engage the visitor with captivating content that leads them to either transact with you or get more information. It is not advisable to simply rely on the client contacting you through a contact form because often times, consumers are not ready to engage you; rather just looking for information. Those customers looking for information are a very good source of leads and you can tap into this by offering a form for them to download information whereby they enter their contact details. Someone looking for that kind of information is probably a perfect lead for you, however, they may not have been ready to contact you.
Now, let us look at how to get people to the page in the first place. There is a number of ways that you can generate traffic to your pages. These include:
Content marketing and search engine optimisation are a great way of capturing people that are naturally searching for your content on the internet using search engines. Essentially, if you sit down and write 2,000 words on each subject matter, then you will have a good chance of ranking on search engines for that particular topic if it is relatively specific.
Search engine advertising is where you pay per click or per impression (as the case may be) for search engines to send traffic to your website. This means that even if you do not have the appropriate content quantity to justify a search engine referring people to you, you can still get traffic from particular search terms that you wish to target. This is a great way for entry level businesses to get traffic fast while they are working in the background to build their natural SEO ranking.
Another way is through direct marketing. Direct marketing is the action of creating a list of people you wish to target that are in your target demographic and creating marketing material to speak with them directly. An example of this might be direct email correspondence. By creating a data base of your particular target market, you have an email address, phone number, first name and last name of your target market, which makes it easy to develop information to serve to them.
Role based marketing
This technique is particularly useful in the business-to-business space as it is quite easy to develop databases around particular job roles or business types. As an example, an electrician may want to target builders in a particular region.
It is important to ensure that the business does not break anti-spam laws and that if you are going to target businesses directly using information for contacts you have found online or through other means, that you serve information to the particular target market in a one-by-one personal contact approach. You may be able to find software that can handle the individual delivery of emails to the individual people on a one-by-one basis from your personal email address, however, you need to be careful that the wording of your email is such that it identifies you and the purpose for your correspondence in a solicited fashion so as not to appear as mass marketing.
Generally a good way to handle this is to ask specific questions and mention their name and business in the email to ensure that the receiver sees your correspondence as a personal attempt to solicit business from them rather than pay mass marketing campaign.
Another great way to source leads is through traditional advertising. Traditional advertising includes television, print media, outdoor advertising and live events such as exhibitions and trade shows. These methods while expensive can offer access to a new demographic of people that are at a different stage in the buying life cycle than those searching on the internet.
It is important, however, if you are going to focus on these types of advertising platforms that you have a strong strategy for acquiring the lead as many of these kinds of formats require a distinct offer or draw card for the customer to engage, whereas online, the customer is looking to engage themselves.
Another great way of generating leads through direct contact is via a call centre or contact centre. This means that either through inbound or outbound, you can speak to consumers based on their individual appetite for your product.
Inbound lead generation can be used once people make contact on your website allowing you to call them and close a sale or describe more complex products in detail.
Outbound contact centres can use the data that you collect or purchase to make initial contact with potential customers to educate them on your offering. The benefit of an outbound contact centre is that you can contact people that would otherwise not be searching for your product.
Over the last couple of decades, outbound contact centres have become synonymous with industries such as telecommunications, electricity, and other high profile utilities-type companies. In many retail industries, outbound contact centres are now less effective due to the influx of businesses using this system to contact retail customers. The do-not-call list has also been established in many countries to prevent people overcalling residential customers. In the business-to-business space, however, outbound contact centres are still very effective in lead generation as businesses tend to be more open to the idea of hearing about products that could potentially help their companies.
No matter which form of lead generation you choose, it is critical that you have a lead generation company engaged to handle the different methods and how they interact with each other in a global lead generation strategy for your business. When you are designing your lead generation strategy, you need to be cautious of how much it costs to secure a lead and then how much it costs to close a lead and the ratio between these items.
There are many lead generation companies that sell leads on a lead-by-lead basis; however, you need to ensure that you are clear about the quality of lead you are getting. There are several different ways that lead generation companies sell leads.
For example, you might be getting raw leads which means there is no lead qualification and therefore, your internal resources will be required to qualify the leads and contact them. This is usually the preferred method of acquiring leads for a business as it ensures that even those colder leads are still being added to the database and is still being educated on a long-term basis using email marketing and other such forms of customer attention.
Some lead companies prefer to sell warm leads or qualified leads. Warm leads are usually suited to industries such as financial services where products can only be sold to those that qualify and meet a certain standard or income threshold.
Warm leads is a terminology that usually describes the stage in the sales life cycle that a customer or potential customer is at that has been called by an outbound contact centre. In other words, people that are contacted from an outbound contact centre were cold when they were first contacted. Therefore the description of warm lead or qualified lead suggests that the consumer has already been through a process with the outbound caller to educate them on the product and has shown serious interest and which is to proceed further down the sales life cycle. Inbound leads on the other hand are generally considered warm leads even though nobody has yet spoken to them as they are contacting the business to transact with them on an inbound basis; therefore, there is already an expectation of warmth being that they have initiated the contact.
Lead generation is a complex part of business that needs a detailed strategy that should be prepared by a highly experienced lead generation strategist or business adviser. It is important that if you are going to engage a company to handle your lead generation, that you do so with great care and you ensure that the company that is going to handle this for you has the time to sit down and explain the process in depth to you.
It is also important that you have a clear understanding of what leads will cost you and you have a clear budget in mind for how many leads you can actually afford. To work this out, simply calculate the amount of new customers you would like each week, then attribute a cost associated with securing each new client.
For example, if you would like 10 new customers a week and the prediction is that they will cost $100 each to secure, then you need to know if you can afford $1,000 each week to obtain these 10 new customers to your business. Most lead generation companies start off very inexpensively with their clients because clients can often not afford to secure the amount of leads they really want initially, however, as the lead generation companies secures more business for their clients, the budget increases therefore allowing the lead generation company to create more leads on an ongoing basis.
The relationship you have with your lead generation company is critical as it is important to ensure your business’ image in the market place is consistent with that of your brand. Often brands are damaged by inappropriate lead generation strategies that thousand marketing teams push on their clients in an effort to sell more leads. Often, lead generation experts are focused more on how many leads they can acquire and how cheap they can acquire them as they are only interested in their own revenue. It is important that you work with the lead generation company that takes great care in maintaining your brand reputation while also creating leads effectively that are going to convert into sales.
Lead generation companies will often require clients to prepare information that is prevalent to the enquiring customers. The more information you have as a business on your products and services, the warmer your leads will be. Many lead generation companies use constant educational content delivered via email as a method of securing clients long term. This means that while many initial enquiries may flow in from different marketing and advertising efforts, there are often those that prefer to wait and be educated over a long period of time before engaging. For these clients, generally, the process starts with an email being entered on an information site where they, for example, subscribe to an ongoing newsletter. The lead generation company then uses these email addresses to deliver relevant content on an ongoing basis sufficient to allow the potential customer to research and do their own due diligence to allow them to become comfortable to contact the business in a more formal manner offering their email, phone number, and name to be contacted by a salesperson.
Another method of securing leads is to offer your visitor a way of helping them without asking them if they want to physically transact with you. For example, in the finance industry, calculators are often used to help the consumer calculate their repayments and other financial metrics. Some calculators ask for an email address before allowing you to access the result. This form of "information gating" allows information to be provided to potential customers on the basis that they provide information to the company or in simple terms, we ask for a lead in return for information. In these instances, it is important that the information or calculations that the business provides to receive a lead is accurate to ensure that the brand is further represented correctly in the market.
As a final note, it is important that you understand that there are many methods of creating leads and that often, lead generation experts take advantage of your lack of knowledge to put the required systems in place to generate new leads effectively thus profiting off your education gap.
There are numerous methods of lead generation and I would suggest that you start focusing on one at a time and getting each one working effectively for you. Many businesses make the mistake of trialling one system only to have failure and then move on to the next. This can be a dangerous road to go down as your own lack of knowledge will provide you with uncertainty as to whether each lead generation method works when in actual fact, all of them work if done correctly.
You are much better off using an experienced lead generation company to test each of the different methods to ensure that you make decisions around lead generation for the future of your company rather than simply short term based on your own experience.
If you have any questions or would like to be introduced to a lead generation expert in your industry and area please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering using Marketing Automation Software then most likely, you are about to set course on a change that will revolutionise the way you do business and ultimately bring growth to your company. But before you start, you are going to need to make one very difficult decision, which is to decide what marketing automation software you are going to use. To compare marketing automation software or marketing automation apps as they are better known, you will either need to spend many hours sifting through the different benefits on each of the marketing automation websites or you can approach an expert marketing automation team to assist you with the correct software selection.
It is important to understand that not all marketing automation softwares are created equal. Depending on the industry you are in and the way you like to do business will depend on the automation software you choose.
Next, you will need to decide on your budget as there are both cheap automation softwares and expensive automation softwares and everything in between. You may also find that there are Freemium software options that allow the user to sign up to basic software automation while they learn how it works and then upgrade to a paid plan later once they are sure they have found the right plan. While this offers some security in terms of spending money, it can still cost you a great deal of your time going from one software to another while you find pitfalls and weaknesses in each.
Being that I have been through this process for several of my clients, I would like to point out here that there are a couple of very good options with respect to automation that I would like to help you find to save you conservable hours sifting through the options.
But before I help you pick the correct software for you, it is important that you realise that even once you have selected the appropriate software for your business that you have an expert on board to help you set the software up. While basic functions are relatively easy to achieve within the software itself for even beginner users, the real benefit of using marketing automation software is in its ability to integrate with several other app types.
App examples include:
The reality is that a good marketing automation software should be the cornerstone to which your entire marketing efforts and technology strategy revolves around. Before you commence planning for your automation software, it is critical that you map out the entire customer flow that you would like both potential customers, existing customers, and past customers to travel through. Imagine your business is simply the perfect company designed to take care of just one client, how would you treat this client, what would you do on a daily basis to take care of them, when would you educate them, how often would you educate them, what would you educate them on, what different options would you give them to interact with you, and how would you allow a transaction to take place?
Once you understand exactly how you wish to use your marketing automation software, then you can begin to select which software meets your needs.
One of the most important things that almost every company should have is a CRM. A CRM or Client Relationship Management software is designed to manage the client details and the history of every client in your business. Therefore, it makes sense that your marketing automation software is also your CRM. While this is true, there are many automation softwares that work independently from your CRM and these may be ideal for those that are already using an existing CRM and are happy with its performance.
Most of my clients, however, prefer to engage with a marketing automation software that is a little more holistic and can offer CRM, marketing communication, sales pipeline management, webpage management, customer service management and ticketing all in one central place.
Myself, I prefer a software that is all encompassing because it gives staff and other stakeholders the ability to have transparency across the entire enterprise at a single glance.
If your business is one that is relatively linear (meaning that every customer travels through a very similar process) then a Kanban system might be ideal for you. A Kanban system allows you to build a customer flow of stages that every client will go through.
For example, the first stage in your Kanban system might be "new lead". Every customer that comes in contact with your brand would appear in the new lead section. From here, your staff can drag the client’s details across the Kanban to the next stage as they progress in the client life cycle. For example, the second stage in the Kanban might be "lead contacted". Once the lead has been contacted, it can be moved here. Each stage in the client life cycle has a different name and marketing automation will allow you to set actions based on what stage in the Kanban the client is up to. For example, you might like to send somebody a reminder about payment when they are at the project completed stage for more than seven days without an invoice being paid. Another example might be that 14 days after an invoice remains unpaid, a director of the company could be notified by SMS to speak to accounts about the unpaid invoice.
Marketing automation is not just about speaking with customers but also about designing actions and reactions to the customer life cycle for all stakeholders to ensure that the company has success from its technology architecture.
So, which automation software can give you a Kanban-type management systems combined with a CRM and a full suite of integratable features that will allow you to do pretty much anything in business? The answer is, there are many that claim they will be able to do this but only a handful that actually can. Only a few of these are actually affordable for small businesses only a few are easy to use and high quality.
Contact me if you would like me to introduce you to the perfect marketing automation software for your industry and save yourself a LOT OF TIME, MONEY AND HEARTACHE, however find below a link to the top 4 marketing automation systems that most owners investigate as part of their due diligence into which system they like.
Why Should I Add A Blog To My Website?
If you're considering adding a blog to your website then chances are you're making a good move however you need to make sure you've got a plan. Simply adding a blog page and getting excited for a month, posting your first five articles and then forgetting about is not what you want.
You need a structure and a system that's going to continuously add content to your site that is relevant to what your customer is a looking for. If you do this correctly you will not only build search engine optimisation ranking but you will also build an information database that your clients will reap the rewards of and in turn your business will prosper.
You see each part of your business requires communication or explanation for your clients to understand, is perfectly suited to a blog and your blog can act as the central resource hub or Information Centre for your business. Think of it like your brain. The blog is your central intelligence system and all of your marketing deliverables and business aspects are your limbs (the parts of your body that create the action). But for your limbs to work you need a central intelligence area to hold all of the information, standard operating procedures, vernacular, approach to selling customers that your business needs to be successful.
As a business owner, your blog is a great place to be constantly contributing to. The easiest way to contribute to your blog without spending hours typing is to dictate your thoughts and have a copy writing team write them up for you properly. If you can dictate different aspects of your company on a regular basis, then have it transcribed online then your team will have resources to grab from to allow them to succeed.
One example of how your transcribed education can be used in your company is though Marketing Automation. Marketing automation is a regular email or SMS series that communicates with people that inquire on your website. Let's take an example; if you were a home building company you might like to tell your clients about the council approval process involved with getting their home approved before they buy their land. You would start by writing a detailed blog on the process of getting Council approval for stuff. This will serve as a great search engine optimisation tool because those that are searching for a full understanding on the council approval process will find your website page. It will also provide a great resource for your customers so that in e-mail correspondence with them you can give them a link to the information on council approval as required. It will also have a great use in recruitment and training so that new sales people to the role also have access to the correct process involved with getting a home approved by council.
So you see that although a blog has the benefits of content which will in turn allow you to rank well on Google and other search engines it is also very valuable in terms of educating your staff, your clients, other stakeholders to the business and importantly, it helps you document your design for your business.
So a blog is valuable as a marketing tool but it is also just as valuable as a business planning tool. Business owners that produce blogs are generally more connected with their business on a daily basis and have an increased involvement in the information architecture of the company.
Good business leaders are those that can contribute to the organisation in a top down approach. Disseminating information from their world and allowing it to reach all sectors of the company via the different mediums that are created within the individual departments that sit beneath them.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of how a blog can be integral in growing a successful company and how having an information resource centre or a business ‘brain’ can make the difference between an average company and a highly effective one. Good luck with creating your blog and I hope it brings you many financial returns.
How do you add a blog to your website.
Well for starters it depends what platform your website is built on and whether or not a blog is something that comes standard out of the box or something that you may need to install as a plugin, or a stand alone blog that your website can link to. Making the decision to add a blog to your website generally Starts as a search engine optimisation function to get you traffic however you need to be careful not to fill your blog full of irrelevant information that sounds and reads like search engine content.
Blogs are very powerful if the content is related to the outcome of your business and if it leads clients on a journey to allow them to purchase on their own. Similar to a salesperson, a blog needs to talk to the consumer in a way that they understand without heavy jargons or industry terminology, and explaining things slowly and precisely to allow people to come to a conclusion on their own without human interaction.
Setting up a blog is best done via speaking to your web developer. If you're happy with your existing website and it's getting you amazing results then get your current web developer to quote on installing a blog for you. Setting up a blog should cost no more than a thousand dollars but probably more like five hundred dollars. If you're not completely happy with your current web team then it is recommended that you get a new web developer before installing your blog. A blog can be difficult to migrate to a new system later. Generally people find that it is difficult to move away later should they become content heavy on their website and they find that migrating information at a later time becomes quite costly. For this reason it is recommended that you seek a web developer that uses a modern web development system and CMS that allows you to move your blog at a later day if required and gives you full control over your website including the ability to edit your website yourself very simply from an admin dashboard.
Editing your blog on the fly from remote locations, while you’re traveling, away from the office, or time poor, is critical to the success of your blog. You need to make sure you position yourself in a realistic frame to provide content to the blog. Without somebody adding content on a regular basis the blog success will ultimately be sacrificed.
To assist clients in getting their blog going, we generally recommend that an initial number of articles are pre written for the client by a copy writing professional and that regular blog posts are scheduled over the course of a couple of years to ensure that the blog remains active. We find that generally while intentions remain good, clients forget to update their blog and the day to day business takes priority leaving the blog to spoil. For this reason, it's important to delegate a regular blog post by someone in your office and take that responsibility off yourself as the business owner.
It can often make sense to give a different staff member in the organisation the role of maintaining the blog each week or month so that a fresh insight and perspective is gained monthly. To ensure that grammar and spelling is maintained to the highest possible standards it is sometimes advisable to have multiple staff check the blog before it is posted live. Some entrepreneurs choose to make this blog writing process and information gathering part of the corporate culture giving team members the role of constantly maintaining the blog as part of their targets and performance criteria.
No matter what system you choose for managing a blog as long as it is consistent, you have the right technology that ensures that search engines can find your blog and that your blog links to the appropriate results pages on your website to ensure that anyone that finds the blog can actively engage your company in its products and services, then your blog should be a success and it should have served the purpose it was created to achieve.
LMNT provides on-the-money resources to those people most passionate about success in every aspect of their life.