Archive for May, 2016

6 Types Of Email Content For Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns

6 Types Of Email Content For Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Insofar where lead nurturing is concerned, we learned that the process is conducted via an automated email series. For sure, the emails are written in a specific manner, not filled with sales pitches (these can be included but more sparsely and tactically, to be elaborated in point 2 below), but useful, low-commitment information that culminates in a middle-of-the-funnel call-to-action that appeals to the concerns of the sales leads at the next level.

So what type of email content can you write? We present 6 types for your consideration:

1) Educational email content: At least, being educational is fundamental to getting your leads become familiarized with your business. You could start with some general educational emails that feature content demonstrating the value your company can offer. These emails shouldn’t be sales-driven. for example, the messages could offer people links to more whitepapers, blog articles, and videos that you genuinely believe will be helpful to the recipients’ needs and goals.

If you’re a sporting goods manufacturer, for instance, don’t just send emails that sell your equipment. Instead, try to teach people new techniques related to working out.

2) Promotional email content: Why not? You can mix in some promotional emails along with the educational ones. There is something called the “loss leader” strategy in which you price a simple product at entry-level price in the hope of building a customer base and securing future recurring revenue.

Just as the purpose of lead nurturing is to cultivate warm leads who are likely to say ‘yes’, the “loss leader” strategy identifies early-stage buyers who already feel invested in your business so you can target them as a priority in later sales campaigns.

3) Best practices email: A variation of the educational content email. Create a theme around best practices that your readers can apply. For instance, if someone expressed interest in learning about nutritional foods, you can send them an email with best practices to maintain a healthy and nutritional diet.

This not only keeps them engaged and anticipating your next piece of communication, by seeing for themselves the result of applying your tips, they will increase their trust and inclination towards purchasing your products or services when you propose to them.

4) Product/service-related emails: Again, this is not going straight into sales pitches. This email series may be considered second-stage, and is accessible only by leads who have signaled their intent to learn more details about your solution.

The emails may contain:

a) description of solution features and benefits

b) description of problems and scenarios the solution aims to solve

c) case studies of solution being applied/results description

d) testimonials for users

e) a call-to-action for solution demo, free trial or face-to-face meeting

5) Personal email: If a lead has gone through the content map, down the sales funnel, and is getting closer to the bottom, it may be a good idea to send a more personal and targeted email, perhaps from a sales team member. That way, they get a more personal touch, have a chance to ask specific questions, and get to talk to a real person rather than being a part of an email group. Humanizing the brand and giving some extra attention can sometimes be just the ticket to converting a potential customer to an actual customer.

6) A list of resources: Lists are always a good way to attract someone’s attention because they are easy to read. Some of the best blog articles are, in fact, lists of useful content. You should try out this same approach when setting up your lead nurturing emails. Recipients will most likely engage with your content and check out the suggested resources you have curated for them.

How To Write A Great Article For Your Readers

How To Write A Great Article For Your ReadersArticle writing is one of the best ways to get your knowledge out and provide you with great free exposure for your business or your website.

Here are 7 simple tips and some examples that will teach you how to write a great article for your readers:

1) Create a catchy title: Your article’s title can be a make or break for readers. A short, attention-grabbing title will pique reader interest and draw them in. Be sure that your title remains relevant to the topic you are writing about.

2) Keep it short: People are reading your article because they want information on the topic at hand. Get right into the meat of the article after a brief introduction. Effective Internet articles tend to be relatively short as people are turned off by seeing too many words on their screens. An ideal article contains approximately 450-800 words.

3) Keep it simple and straightforward: Keep in mind your main purpose for writing the article to express your points as clearly as possible. Use language that is easy to understand and conversational in tone. Maintain a clear and organized structure throughout the article, and ALWAYS proofread and edit your article before submitting it.

4) Include a beginning, middle, and end: Every good article has a clear beginning, middle, and end. The beginning should be a short introduction about main focus of your article. The middle, or body, should contain the meat of the article: all of the important facts, ideas, instructions, etc. And an article should always end with a conclusion that wraps up or briefly restates your main points.

5) Write what you know: Be sure to pick a topic that you are knowledgeable about. It is much easier to write about something you are familiar and comfortable with, and your expertise will shine through in your writing. Plus, you will enjoy the writing process!

6) Teach something new or at least teach it in a new way: What point is there in sharing information that has already been brought to the table countless times? Teach your readers something new. Your knowledge is unique: Let your readers see this. If it’s a popular topic, try to put a fresh spin on it or explore an area of your topic that is not commonly written about.

7) Include a short bio: Give yourself credit for your work by writing a brief bio. State who you are and what makes you an expert on your topic. You can also use this section to include links back to your website or contact information.

Client Satisfaction: What Should You Do To Keep Your Clients

What Should You Do To Keep Your ClientsHave you ever asked yourself what is the major determinant of client satisfaction? The answer will be added value. In a competitive market, where you will most probably find yourself today, the best and the most valuable tactics you should follow is differentiation. Try and become more than a lawyer—an experienced and reliable adviser, or more than a store—someone’s favorite present store, more than a search engine optimization company—a business that over-delivers beyond the usual services.

Achieving such great reputation is not difficult. It is far easier to focus on solving your customers’ problems than to sell them. You will find many loyal customers in this way. Let’s have a quick overview of the most common value adds:

1) Show your customers you are thinking about them. Start to send them articles, your newsletters and other important info, which they might be interested in.

2) Provide your clients with educational materials. Offer them to partake in interesting seminars or conferences on subjects relevant to their business. It will be highly appreciated.

3) Offer your selected clients some benefits. Let them be first to discover the items from the new collection, invite them to meet the author of a bestseller in your bookstore, etc.

4) Report your clients the status of matters. Periodic reports may serve as your great performance record, or, otherwise, give you notice that something is wrong and need improvement. Another certain advantage is finding ways your client can save his money with your company. For example, let redesigning a website for your client be an inclusive part of the overall SEO or PPC service package.

5) Get your client involved in the process. It plays a great part in client satisfaction. Talk to your clients, chat with them ‘live’, do not hide anything they need to know, try to build trust between you, let them know what exactly needs to be done and how. Don’t hesitate to ask your clients what they think. Let them know you value their business.

6) Assist your clients to network. Recommend other noticeable services or products to your clients. Make it easy for them to ask you for a piece of advice, even if it is not directly connected to your business.

By building a trust between you and your client, by offering value-added services, by managing expectations and over-delivering on results, you will receive long-term relational benefits which will positively influence your business processes and experience in general.

4 Major Benefits Of Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing Process

As an Inbound marketing tactic, lead nurturing via email marketing is all about understanding the nuances of your leads’ timing and needs. By getting these details right, you set yourself up for success.

If it typically takes your leads a month to make a purchasing decision, then make sure you’re spreading out your communications to keep them engaged throughout the month. By taking a systematic approach, you increase efficiency because you educate and qualify each and every lead over time, thus giving them a uniform experience. This is only one of the reasons you should start doing lead nurturing.

These are 4 major benefits of lead nurturing:

1. Establish contact fast: Establishing contact quickly is key to actually connecting with your leads. An InsideSales.com study found that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first to an inquiry. A HubSpot Singapore study supports this data in showing that response rates decline as the age of a lead increases.

Automated lead nurturing is a great way to maintain engagement when a lead has already made the move to interact with you. And if that lead has stopped visiting your site or reviewing your offers, lead nurturing helps to remind them about your business.

Once you set it up, emails are sent out automatically according to your schedule as new leads come in. 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.

In fact, Market2Lead found that nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle. This means that a salesperson spends less time on warming up and qualifying a lead.

2. Stay top of mind: Lead nurturing enables you to build thought leadership. People engage with businesses they know and trust. The first time someone converts on your website, the likelihood that they really know who you are or understand why they should do business with you is pretty slim. Lead nurturing is an opportunity to show that you are an expert in your field.

Lead nurturing also allows you to maintain consistent communication with your leads. 66% of buyers indicate that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations” is a key influence in choosing a solution provider, according to a Genius.com study. Get off on the right foot, and don’t let leads slip through the cracks with an automated lead nurturing campaign.

3. Learn about your leads: Lead nurturing emails are a great way to learn more about your leads. What challenges are they facing? What features or products are they interested in? By presenting different questions or types of content and identifying who responds to what, you can qualify your leads and set yourself up for warmer sales conversations.

Furthermore, you can segment your leads database and design very specific emails for more accurate targeting. MarketingSherpa found that segmented emails get 50% more clicks, so you should take any opportunity you have to segment your leads.

In fact, with HubSpot, you can craft your follow-up emails based on the action a lead has taken on your website (read “The Secrets Of Email Workflows For Lead Conversion“), thus showing that you are aware of their interest in the topic and what they might need next. Based on this information, lead nurturing emails can highlight reconversion opportunities that tie back to leads’ earlier interests.

4. Better click-through rate and higher unsubscribe rate: HubSpot did a statistical analysis of more than 2,400 companies using mass email marketing or lead nurturing and found that the lead nurturing approach enjoys higher click-through rate.

Interestingly enough, lead nurturing emails also had a slightly higher unsubscribe rate than individual email sends. While this can be viewed as a seemingly negative performance, it actually is an indicator that lead nurturing is doing its job of qualifying leads and eliminating people who are not interested in your company. Only the most engaged leads will move down the sales funnel and can potentially turn into new customers.

Is Your Business Making Customers Happier? Here Are 6 Ways…

Is Your Business Making Customers Happier? Here Are 6 Ways...Caring and supporting your customers has never been more crucial in this day of marketing automation. Many times we get so caught up in getting things done and getting them out there that we can forget to add the little touches. It’s those little things that can often mean the difference between good and great. For example, if you run an Internet business, ensure that you have not just an email but also a phone contact. This means that customers can reach a ‘live’ person. Perhaps you also offer several payment options instead of just the usual one or two.

That small touch goes a long way in creating happy customers, the added value being that a happy customer is usually a repeat customer. When you give your customers this top-notch level of customer service, they look to you for more great work, they tell their friends about the great service they received, and above all they grow to trust you and what you’re offering them.

The idea is to deliver customer service that goes beyond just handling problems to exceeding normal standards and expectations. This might sound cliché but in my opinion, “experience is everything.” The experience hinges on the quality of interaction Customer Support can bring to the customers, no matter which angle they are coming from, what emotional state they are in, how difficult their issues are, etc.

The point is the experience can be mastered and applied uniformly. These are 6 major factors that constitute excellent customer service:

1. Listen: “God gives you 2 ears and 1 mouth so you jolly well listen twice as much as you speak.” This statement probably is another cliché but how so true it applies to almost every situation in life, generally speaking. The funny thing is you may provide a specific range of products or services, but the problems customers give feedback on can arise from many different perspectives and situations and contain so many variables.

Being able to listen attentively means the Support person must keep his emotions and judgment in check. By ‘judgment’, I mean that he should not rattle off a solution in a condescending tone while thinking “the customer is so stupid to have thought of something so simple”. Humility and respect for customers are great attitudes that make room for customers to participate by voicing out their problems as they see them, so that Support can gradually turn the conversation around and invite them to see the problems from Support’s perspective.

When both sides can gain clarity and mutual understanding on a common definition of the problem, it makes the subsequent resolution a whole lot easier. Great listening skills come with time and experience, but seriously, if nothing else, point 1 is all that matters in this article.

2. Initiative: Customer service is not just a department’s realm of work, but a collective effort from everyone in the company. It was said that customers don’t deal with staff; they deal with company representatives, and as representatives, everything they do adds on to the overall impact and perception of the company and its branding.

If the spirit of Service is embodied by every worker, they would take it upon themselves to find a solution to every customer problem they come across even if the work does not fall into their job scope. How do you think customers feel from the moment they are assured by someone—whom they don’t necessarily know is from Customer Support or not—that their issues will be taken care of and they will be followed up by the appropriate personnel within 24 hours?

3. Response speed: The best practice is to return call or email to customers within 24 hours. ‘Immediate’ is the ideal case. The reason is you can get hold of them while they are still preoccupied with their issues. It proves to them that you are on top of their situations in terms of service.

4. Valuable content: Provide exclusive, customer-only content to keep them in the loop of consumer changes, trends, product development etc. and to encourage feedback while they stay passive. Add the personal touch by sending them a greeting card on their birthdays and anniversaries.

5. Incentives: Reward your customers for their long-term loyalty by offering reward points, discounts or vouchers for future purchases, free product upgrades, dedicated support etc.

6. CRM system: Invest in a CRM platform to keep customer records organized so that any staff can track each customer’s history of interactions. Such records empower staff to strategically plan for cultivating long-term relationships.

Putting the needs of customers first is what excellent customer service is all about—not only can you retain them, you will also attract new customers solely on the strength of positive word-of-mouth about your service standards. Make customers happy and they will come back to you repeatedly.