E-mail Ideas Sure to Get Your Prospects Clicking

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There’s no denying it’s hard work to create an e-mail that really speaks to your prospects, getting them to open the e-mail and then to take you up on your call to action. Luckily, there are some really good examples we all can learn from. Here are a few I saw that I thought were especially good.

1. Celebrate An Anniversary

Keep track of when prospects enter your sales funnel or sign up for your newsletter or follow your blog – whatever. Then, use that date to send them a personalized anniversary e-mail with a special offer. Here’s an example from Hawaiian Airlines that does this very well.

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2. Reward Active Prospects

Prospects showing a high level of interest ought to be recognized. Send them an e-mail that makes them feel special, like they’re part of an elite group. Phrases like “be the first to know,” or “top customer” work well. This Spotify example shows you how it’s done.

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3. Provide a List of Top Picks

Watch your prospects’ activity. Is there a helpful list you can send them? Keep it relevant to what they have shown you they are interested in. LinkedIn does a really great job with this.

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4. Give Them Additional Ways to Learn More About You

Use prospects’ activity to provide additional information about your business that you think will be of interest to them. Pinterest does an amazing job at this.

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3 Ways You Can Make Your Online Newsletter Better

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E-Mail ImageThere are plenty of tools out there that have made it easier than ever to deliver an electronic newsletter. However, ease of use is not a substitute for good content. The hard work still needs to be done there. Here are three steps you can take to help your newsletter promote your brand and drive sales.

  1. Build a Database of Engaged Prospects

You want your newsletter to go to prospects who actually have an interest in your product or service. Respect their time and their in box. If they decide they no longer want to receive your newsletter, respect that.

  1. Recognize That Your Newsletter is a User Experience

Sending a newsletter via e-mail is a great opportunity to build a relationship with your prospects. Make sure you deliver information that is relevant to your prospects – not necessarily just information you want to share. There has to be a reason why prospects should want to read your newsletter. And, create a schedule and stick to it. Prospects want to know when they are going to receive communication from you. If you promise to reach out to them every week, make sure you do that.

  1. Always Start at the Beginning

Prospects opt-in to your newsletter at different times, so not everyone sees all of the same information. That can cause some confusion. It’s a good idea to catch prospects up by doing a series of e-mails geared directly to doing just that. Here’s where analytics can help you. After sending a welcome e-mail, you will want to follow up with strategic e-mails that highlight important information that may have been missed due to when the prospect entered the buying cycle. Choose past newsletter content that has scored the highest at converting to sales and send them out in a campaign.

Newsletters can be very successful at driving sales if you make sure you approach the opportunity correctly. Follow these three steps to get your newsletter on track.

What You Need To Know To Close Leads Faster

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lead-generation-imgWhile some may think the biggest obstacle is getting the lead, the reality is that the hardest work begins once you have the lead. What do I mean by this? Well, most of the leads you get aren’t ready to buy – yet. They’ll be ready to buy from someone within 24 months. How can you increase your chances that it’s you? Nurture your leads. This keeps you in top-of-mind awareness with the lead, building a valuable relationship through the entirety of the lead’s decision to buy journey.

Facts About Your Leads

  • Only about 27% of your leads will be qualified and ready for sales when they come to you – 73% won’t. {Source: Marketing Survey B2B Benchmark Survey}
  • When sales and marketing are aligned, working synergistically on demand generation, the amount of closes accelerates between 2 to 7 times higher than when these departments function separately.{Source: Sirius Decisions}
  • A/B testing is the most used and most consistent method to improve conversion rates for the last two years. {Source: EConsultancy}

You must learn how to plan and build a nurturing program that really works. Your plan should address the following:

  1. Outline of your lead nurturing approach
  2. A plan to refine and expand your plan
  3. A process to measure the effectiveness of your plan

The value of lead nurturing cannot be overstated. Once your leads come in, get to work nurturing the relationship and see your close rate improve. Later this week I’ll give you more specific tips that will help you create your nurturing program.

4 Steps To A Scientific Approach To Lead Generation

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Each of us has lead generation goals. Digital marketing tactics, pay-per-click, SEO, e-mail, and affiliate and digital advertising drive traffic to the company website.  Google analytics (and other analytic tools) help us determine what is working.  But, what do you do when things are not working?  Do you really have the right plan in place to meet your goals?  Here are some tips that will help you focus and ensure that you are putting your efforts into the best plan to produce the highest return.

1.  Use a traffic and lead generation calculator

Hubspot.com has a pretty good traffic and lead generation calculator you can check out.  It’s an Excel based tool that will help you estimate how much web traffic you’ll need to meet your lead generation goals.  Or just follow these steps:

  • How many units do you plan to sell each month?
  • Translate that into a monthly revenue goal.
  • What is the average revenue per unit sold?
  • How many leads do you need to meet the monthly units sold goal?
  • How many monthly visitors do you need to meet the lead goal?

 2.  Set up a dashboard to track results

If you are not using marketing automation to track your marketing campaigns, set up your own dashboard to track results.  Key performance analytics like traffic source, behavior, clicks, opens, conversion, and cost per campaign should be captured and tracked over time.

3.  Track results by call-to-action

Track individual call-to-action and content campaigns by traffic and lead conversion. Focus on what is working best and work to design new campaigns using the most productive content.

4.  Design an idea generator and call-to-action calendar

Using analytics, identify what is working best.  Then brainstorm related content idea that could generate similar results.  Finally, create a call-to-action calendar to schedule content tests and use your dashboard to help track success.

By being proactive and implementing these four tactics, your lead gen strategy should continue to thrive and deliver results. As with anything, the best plan delivers the best results.

How Digital Body Language Helps You Target Your Prospects

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datawoman-189x300Most of us can remember the day when just about all sales calls were done face to face, but that is no longer the case. With the advent of telesales, web technology, go-to-meetings, and other virtual sales mediums, face-to-face time has taken on a whole new meaning.

The advantage of an actual (as opposed to virtual) face-to-face meeting is that you can more easily read your prospect and judge interest. That’s not so easy these days. Or is it? This whole idea got me thinking: Is there digital body language? The answer is: absolutely! If you pay attention to your analytics, they’ll tell you the story that your face-to-face meetings used to provide you.

If you haven’t convinced your prospect that you can deliver on your promise, then you’re not going to close the deal, right? Right. So, take a look at your data and see what your prospects are doing with the informational content you send them. You are sending them content, right? I hope so because this is your opportunity to build your relationship with prospects while simultaneously educating them on what you can do for them. And, if you take a good look at your data, you’ll see that it’s clearly telling you what each of your prospects wants and needs from you.

Chances are high that once you take a look at your data, your prospects will fall into groups based on their actions or lack thereof. So, how do you gather this digital behavioral data? Marketing automation tools provide you with the ability to weigh and score a prospect’s behavior. Assigning a score to specific page visits, clicks, and actions (like downloading content, for example) will help you segment the hot prospects from the ones that need further nurturing.

Using this valuable information you gather, you can easily see what microsites and content materials need to be created and which groups of prospects you want to direct to each one, effectively creating a metric that will help you see your prospects’ online body language. The next step will be in seeing what further actions your prospects took and steering them accordingly by adapting your message and the content you send them.

How To Increase Clicks From Your Website

bestpractice_longThe way we conduct Internet searches has changed recently. And, in the world of the Internet, you’re only as good as the number of clicks you get. If users don’t click on your site/offer, then the opportunity is lost. So, what’s an effective strategy to gain clicks? Let me introduce you to rich snippets. It kinda sounds like a delicious new cracker, but it’s really something much, much better than that.

Rich snippets are part of what is called a semantic search. Semantic searches deliver detailed listings we never saw before. They do this through predictive technologies from search engines. Semantic searches or rich snippets enable a new and better way to display products and services by including ratings, reviews, availability, price, and much more.

Enhanced search results means your site has been awarded a rich snippet by the search engine. Users are more inclined to respond to search results that have additional information, images, and colors. Rich snippets are your way to embellish your search results with additional information geared toward attracting users. Rich snippets are your way to break through the clutter, get noticed, and increase your clicks.

A Closer Look At How Snippets Work

When you do a search, a list of results pop up on your screen. Snippets are the lines of text that you see at the end of each search result listing. Snippets provide additional information regarding the page’s relevance to the word or phrase that you searched, with the words that match the query shown in bold as shown below.

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In this example, the snippet is the information in the green box. Ratings, pricing, and availability are commonly seen in e-commerce rich snippets, indicating the “value” of the page relevant to the search word or phrase. This additional information enables users to make more educated click decisions.

Including structured data markup in web content helps Google and other search engine algorithms better index and understand the content. Some data can also be used to create and display rich snippets within the search results, including review stars, an aggregate rating value, and vote count, for example. All of these are very useful to anyone searching for information about your product or service.

Rich snippets work for all types of e-commerce sites. If you are selling a product or service, and you have a published price, you can make use of rich snippets. The markup code that helps search engines classify the information for rich snippets can be easily inserted into your page templates so that the code appears on every relevant page on the site. Here’s an example of a rich snippet with the cost added.

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Rich Snippet Options

The goal of rich snippets is to improve a user’s search experience by showing only the highest-quality and most relevant results to a search query. This is done by a process called semantic markup. (A tiny bit more on that in a minute.) Whether your product or service is searched on Google or Bing won’t matter because both support all of the rich snippet types most relevant to e-commerce sites.

To make your pages eligible for rich snippets in search results, add structured data of the appropriate type to your content. Make sure to comply with any policies that each type has regarding rich snippet display. Google supports rich snippets for the following data types:

  • Product – Information about a product, including price, availability, SKU number, and review ratings.
  • Recipe – Recipes that can be displayed in web searches and Recipe View. Recipe rich snippets with photos are widely used in both Google and Bing. They are a highly effective option if your site sells food products or offers unique recipes.
  • Review – A review of an item such as a restaurant, movie, or store. The commonly used properties are Item, Rating, and Count, the last of which identifies the number of reviews submitted. The Reviews markup type also includes the ability to mark up a product photo.
  • Event – An organized event, such as musical concerts or art festivals, that people may attend at a particular time and place.
  • Software Application – Information about a software app, including its URL, review ratings, and price.

Bing offers the additional ability to add a photo of the item to your search results. Here’s an example of that.

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How to Implement Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are the next new thing driving the success of e-commerce. Google and Bing both publish detailed information on how to implement semantic markup for rich snippets and offer support. However, your web developer is your best bet here. They can guide you through the process so you make the best use of the available options.

Already using rich snippets? What kind of results have you experienced? Please let us know.

4 Ways The Producers Network Helps You Grow Your Business

prod_logo_notagI know that most of you reading this blog are in sales and marketing, so you want a quick takeaway of what makes The Producers Network different and how we can help. So, I give you the four products we at The Producers Network have developed to help clients identify and accelerate qualified prospects through the sales funnel – from lead to loan. I think you’ll like what you see, so I’m also including a bit more information on our history to help you get to know us a little better.

1. Proprietary Data: Targeting The Right Market

Need to find restaurant operators who generate $3MM+ in annual sales? Or how about executives in transition? Our 20MM+ B2B and 225MM+ B2C database of e-mail addresses can be segmented and targeted to fit your marketing needs. Then we write and deploy compelling e-mail messages that help identify interest and build relationships over time.

2. Content Creation: Identifying Interest

Putting value in the hands of your prospects helps increase lead conversion, educate your prospects, and move opportunities through the pipeline. Our creative team writes and designs custom e-books, blogging on social media, brochures, white papers, offers, and landing pages that get results.

3. Proprietary Lead Scoring: Prioritizing Leads

The Producers uses a proprietary lead scoring method to help identify, organize, prioritize, and if necessary nurture leads before they are sent onto sales. Our lead scoring model increases the conversion rates in all areas of the sales funnel but prospects-to-qualified lead conversion in particular.

4. The Producers Ad Network

Advertising on our network provides custom messaging, targeting, and lead conversion for unique offers and call-to-action.

A Bit More About Us…

As a lead generation and qualification company, we specialize in assisting franchisors and small businesses with generating and qualifying new and current prospects, interest nurturing, behavioral scoring, and financial qualification.

Founded in 2005, we started by providing the marketing and advertising for the Clockwork Home Services’ brands: One Hour Heating and Air, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister Sparky. During our four-year tenure, the franchise division grew to over 650 franchises. This experience shifted our focus to assisting franchisors with accelerating their growth. My firm was then retained by RME, the leader in financial seminar marketing, to design a similar system to help franchisors with their lead generation. During our time with RME, we worked with 70 franchisors including the Dunkin Brands, Quiznos, Papa Murphy, and 7-Eleven. We’re not only incredibly knowledgeable about what we do, we’re also extremely passionate about it. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help you. To learn more please visit: http://www.producersdigital.com.

The Producers Network happily serves the following franchisors: Hurricane Grill & Wings, TCBY, Mrs. Fields, Pie Five Pizza, Wok Box, and Toyko Joes.

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