Optimize at Every Size: Scalable Lead Gen Solutions

Optimize at Every Size: Scalable Lead Gen Solutions

Leads are fundamental to your organization’s growth, but it isn’t enough to have one successful approach to lead gen. As you grow, you need new ways to guarantee a steady flow of leads, and you need to be able to spot the most promising prospects among them. A start-up benefits from different strategies than an established firm, which also uses different techniques than a company that’s just undergone a quantum leap in scale – going from regional to national prominence, for instance. Your lead generation goal is to keep a consistent, reliable stream of prospects flowing into your sales funnel.

Scalable lead gen comes from a thorough understanding of where your leads come from, how you qualify them, how you nurture them, and what produces conversions. Let’s take a look at each of these steps in greater detail to see how you can optimize your lead generation strategy with marketing automation.

Automating Understanding

Who constitutes your target audience? Where can you find them? What offers resonate with them? You may have some ideas about these questions already, but with marketing automation technology, you get far more precise answers to them. Tracking site traffic and movement gives you a deeper understanding of what your leads are looking for and where they’re headed. Add in demographic and firmographic details collected from data capture and data append services, and you’ll start to get a far more nuanced picture of your audience.

Turning Data into Insight

Not all leads are created equal. To find your most promising prospects, you need to learn more about which channels produce your highest conversion rates and which of the digital signals your leads send are most closely correlated with buying decisions. Putting that puzzle together takes significant computational power – the power that only marketing automation can give you. Most B2B companies find their highest sales rate comes from referrals, but what’s next on your organization’s list? Know where your buyers come from, and you can optimize your marketing campaigns around it.

Making the Most of Referrals

Referrals deserve more than a passing mention because they’re so closely correlated with sales, yet earning more referrals is an ongoing challenge for businesses. We’ve written recently about getting referrals from your best customers, and it’s worth reviewing the tips there to get a more complete picture of how they fit into your lead gen strategy. You need a plan in place to nurture leads who come into your sales funnel via referral, and here’s where automation can help by defining distinct nurture programs aimed at these high-impact leads.

Scaling for Growth

A start-up may get most of its quality leads from referrals, but businesses that are reaching their prime or well-established need a more consistent influx of leads. Here’s where mapping the lead lifecycle with your marketing automation system can give you the guidance needed to target high-yield leads with the right offer at the right time. Automation is scalable by nature; it lends itself to growth and allows you to adapt at every phase of your organization’s evolution.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for optimizing lead generation, but with a talented marketing automation consultant working with you, you’ll be able to develop the plan that’s right for you.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved.

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Going Beyond Deliverability in Your Email Marketing Program

Going Beyond Deliverability in Your Email Marketing Program

Deliverability is a prime statistic when assessing the success of your email marketing program. High deliverability rates are a must to ensure your message gets to the right audience, but deliverability is just the minimum standard of excellence your email marketing strategy should be geared to achieve. Think in terms of send optimization – not just reaching the right in-box, but finding it at the proper time with the most compelling message.

Defining Your Audience

Who are your most interested prospects? With send optimization, you’ll learn more about the segments of your email marketing list that produce the largest share of buyers so you can aim the lion’s share of your efforts at them. Let’s say your analytics show that leads who have opened email messages within the last 90 days are the likeliest candidates for a future buy. How do these figures compare with the statistics on recipients who have opened email within the last 180 days?

You may discover there’s not much of a drop-off, which would suggest a longer sales cycle and a need to step up efforts to connect with leads who weren’t a prominent feature in your campaigns. Conversely, you might find a steep decline that would tell you where you could scale back contact to focus your energy on the higher-yield segment.

Establishing Economic Value

When we covered the fundamentals of lead scoring, we discussed the time-sensitive nature of lead development. It does no good to contact a lead who’s just made a purchase with a discount offer or email white paper offers to a prospect who’s only begun to show casual interest. Ranking leads by expected economic value helps you optimize your email marketing program by calibrating your approach to each segment of leads.

Those who are close to sales readiness get in-depth information designed to bring them the rest of the way to making a purchase. Those who aren’t quite there yet go through customized lead nurture programs designed to get them to that point. Segmenting your email marketing audience this way will let you test frequency, ideal mailing times, and other elements of your email program to discover the optimal formulas for sending.

Testing, Testing

Optimization is very much a moving target when it comes to email deliverability. Your business email list decays at a rate of 3 percent per month, on average; in other words, at the end of a year, more than a third of your prospect data could be invalid without email hygiene and data enhancement processes to keep your list up to date. Send optimization includes regular, thorough list cleansing using rule-sets that meet your company’s specific needs.

Another reason to test: The same marketing approach won’t have the same effect in successive campaigns. What worked for audiences a year ago may feel outmoded today. You’ll need to keep up with the pace of change to keep your audience’s attention.

The capabilities of your marketing automation platform’s email marketing system far exceed what most users will ever ask of it. With send optimization, you’re able to get more from the technology, outpacing the competition and earning more business.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved.

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Creating High-Performance Nurture Programs with Marketing Automation

Creating High-Performance Nurture Programs with Marketing Automation

Nurture programs serve a dual purpose. From a customer’s perspective, they’re a vital service for leads who need more information to make pivotal buying decisions. By supplying prospects with details about their professional challenges and the steps they can take to solve them, you’re giving them the knowledge they need to convince other decision-makers in their organization.

From your perspective, nurture programs are more than pure altruism. They’re essential to optimizing your ROI on every lead. Through a well-designed nurture process, you can convert 10 to 20 percent more leads, on average. A little back-of-the-envelope math will show you the effect that has on your cost per lead and your company’s bottom line.

How do you build a better nurture program? It starts with an intelligently implemented and managed marketing automation process that fully supports account-based marketing. It also depends on smart segmentation and nurture program design. We believe strongly in custom solutions rather than one-size-fits-all options, but here are some general guidelines to develop nurture programs.

Welcoming New Leads

First impressions matter, and your first impression on new prospects is your introductory lead nurture program. Your first contact should be brief but informative and ask for a few baseline details to ensure that all contact information is correct.

Welcome nurture streams are typically designed to lead into more subject-specific nurture programs. Our programs, for example, address our prospects’ areas of interest in marketing automation, lead generation, data enhancement, and database management, among other subjects.

Reactivating Dormant Accounts

On average, developing a new lead costs seven times as much as re-engaging an existing lead. Given that huge disparity in cost, it’s clear to see why it’s well worth your time to get dormant accounts active again. A typical nurture stream for leads who have gone quiet might include a “don’t miss out” message offering a significant discount or sample.

Leads who become active after this offer move to a standard nurture track; prospects who don’t respond get a follow-up reminding them that time is running out on the offer. If there’s still no response, the next message might ask them to update preference pages to reflect how often they’d like to be contacted.

Thanking Loyal Customers

Your customers have been good to you, and with loyalty programs, you can be good to them too. Nurture programs for existing customers can be geared to upselling and cross-selling as well as offering service and replenishment for existing products they’ve bought. Make survey requests part of a customer loyalty nurture program. You can learn so much from your customers that it would be a waste to miss this opportunity to gain insight from them.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Attribution

Why Marketing Operations Is Taking Center Stage

Why Marketing Operations Is Taking Center Stage

There’s no longer any argument that marketing automation provides the best toolset for building long-term sustainability, but the technology involved is only part of what makes it tick. Choosing the right marketing automation platform is just the first step in the process of optimizing your revenue-based marketing strategy. You also need a strategic partner – a marketing automation consultant.

Defining the Playbook

One of the prime benefits of marketing automation is that it uses a cohesive, consistent set of rules to manage an increasingly complex universe of data. Who makes the rules that govern how your MAP handles incoming data? That’s where your marketing automation consultant comes in. The analytics your system generates only matter if you have a knowledgeable analyst going over them and deciding where they lead.

Your marketing automation team puts data in context using a keen awareness of the marketplace and a deep familiarity with the technology you’re using. As your marketing automation consultant develops a blueprint for operations, you also get real-time feedback from the system to point you in the right direction, improving results with each campaign and the analytics it generates.

A Not-So-Odd Couple: Data Science and Marketing

There’s a tendency to think of marketing as a creative, people-oriented aspect of business. That’s certainly part of the picture, but as marketing has gone digital, there’s also an increasing emphasis on data science. The art of marketing and the science of data aren’t in conflict; on the contrary, they work together beautifully. Your marketing automation team can use data to derive insights that guide you in the most promising directions, optimizing your efforts and ensuring the best possible return on your investments of time and creative energy.

Rethinking Processes, Defining Outcomes

Re-engineering the steps you take to achieve success can be a daunting challenge if you’re trying to go it alone. Your marketing automation consultant will help you to identify the guideposts that allow you to create paths to success through the unique terrain that defines your organization’s landscape. With a better understanding of benchmarks to meet along the way, you’re able to optimize key processes within your workflow, eliminating wasted effort and focusing on the channels and marketing activities that make the greatest difference to your bottom line.

Speaking of your bottom line: How do you define a successful launch of a campaign? Is it based on total number of responses, conversions, sales, or other metrics? That’s part of what your marketing automation consultant will help you define. With a clearer understanding of what constitutes success, you can work toward achieving it consistently.

Your competition may have started to invest in marketing automation, but technology alone doesn’t make the difference. Finding the right strategic partner to optimize its use is where you’ll see lasting results.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Data Management

Keeping the Leads You’ve Earned

Keeping the Leads You've Earned

Much of marketing automation is geared to lead gen: lead scoring algorithms, nurture programs, and email marketing management are just a few of the tools that make customer acquisition easier. The technology’s just as effective for customer retention, but relatively few B2B companies use automation to manage customer loyalty programs.
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Getting Referrals the Easy Way

Getting Referrals the Easy Way

Marketers sometimes feel as though they’re doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to lead gen, but there’s a way to lighten the load and convince others to help. It doesn’t involve hiring a vast new staff of eager interns or working 12-hour days. The people who are just waiting for a reason to help you out and become your brand ambassadors are happy to do it for free. Who are they? Continue reading

Turn Down the Churn with Database Management

Turn Down the Churn with Database Management

Even businesses with robust lead gen programs often fall short when it comes to retention. That’s painful in any business, but in the B2B sector, it’s especially unhappy news. On average, it costs seven times as much of a marketing investment to convert a new lead to a buyer than it is to earn repeat business from existing buyers. While some customer churn is inevitable, some of it is a product of spotty database management. Customer contact information that becomes unavailable or isolated in a dysfunctional database could lose you a valued client. Continue reading

The ABC’s of Sales and Marketing Integration

The ABC’s of Sales and Marketing Integration

Everyone in your organization is working toward the same goals overall, but the specific paths you take to reach them are often different. That can cause challenges with demand generation, customer care, and the hand-off between teams. Having a road map to alignment helps you bring everyone together, mapping the quickest routes to success with your database services manager and ensuring total customer care the whole way. Continue reading

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