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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How to Get Your 2017 Marketing Off to a Strong Start

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2017-growth-planningAs 2016 rapidly winds down, we’re all looking forward to 2017 and the opportunities and challenges it brings. Here are some tips to focus your marketing strategy to get the most out of 2017.

  1. Make sense of your numbers.

Over the past year you’ve likely tried several new things with your marketing and kept some of your old tried-and-true tactics. Now, it’s time to look at the data you’ve been collecting and see what is working and what is not. Take a deep dive and calculate your ROI to really get an accurate sense or what’s helping you generate leads and profit. Figure out what you want to stick with, what you need to rework, and what you need to abandon.

2.  Test and retest.

Your 2017 marketing plan will still need to be tested regularly to ensure it is continuing to work. Don’t be afraid to try new things. A layered approach works best. Keep in mind that you have many new resources that work and cost very little. Social media help you reach your target market for very little expense. Lead generation and search marketing are also cost-effective while delivering qualified prospects.

  1. Have a plan for retaining good customers.

Keeping loyal customers is good business. What are you planning to do in 2017 to retain them? Create a plan (discounted rates, referral incentives, etc.) that directly addresses the needs of your loyal customers and encourages them to continue to do business with you.

  1. Develop new content.

Use what you learned in 2016 from your sales people, your customers, your prospects, and the competition to create content that hits the mark in 2017. Keep your website updated with fresh and useful content to make the most out of each visit your prospects make to your site.

  1. Stay connected.

One of the most important parts of your marketing strategy is ongoing maintenance. You have to check in at least once a month to see how things are really going – not necessarily what you’re hearing or what you think. The numbers don’t lie. Set aside one day a month that you are committed to putting the time in to make sure your strategy is on track. If it’s not, make the necessary adjustments.

Happy holidays and a very prosperous new year to everyone!

 

Why Your 2017 Strategy Needs to Address Multi-Channel Marketing

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You’ve likely heard the terms cross-channel marketing, multi-channel marketing, and omni-channel marketing. They all mean the same thing. These terms refer to the process of engaging with your prospects across all traditional and digital channels and devices. I prefer the term multi-channel marketing, so that’s what I’ll use for this post.

While multi-channel marketing sounds good (and it is), the challenge occurs when you go to communicate with your prospects across multiple devices. Often the focus is on the device and how to communicate on the specific device. The focus always has to be on communicating to the prospect first and the device second. It’s always about the right message to the right prospect. We are marketing to people and not smart devices. Smart devices just happen to be really effective tools for getting our relevant and timely messages to our prospects.

Multi-channel marketing is important. To remain competitive you need to ensure you are delivering a seamless, fully connected message across platforms. You need to stay informed on all of the digital changes and new technologies happening to better understand your multi-dimensional prospects. Here’s why:

Consumers (on average) own 7.2 devices per household. They use 3 or more on a daily basis. Marketers typically only see 1. (Source: Adobe Analytics & ADI Device Use Survey)

Nearly 40% of transactions involve multiple devices, and 30% of consumers complete their sale on a mobile device. (Source: Criteo Mobile eCommerce Report)

Over 50% of marketers say that cross-channel measurement and attribution is occupying the most time and resources in 2016. This number is expected to increase in 2017. (Source: Winterberry and IAB)

84% of marketers feel that a comprehensive cross-device strategy is essential for success though only 20% feel very confident that they’re serving the right message on the right device. (Source: Atlas by Facebook)

Marketers need to close the gap between our marketing messages and our marketing devices. To effectively market across multi-channels, we must first pay attention to the prospect and then the device.

 

What’s Coming in 2017 That Will Help You Increase Sales?

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predictions_featuredAs the year begins to wind down, I’m already moving ahead and planning for 2017. Maybe you’re doing the same. Here are some key areas I think will be big game-changers in your 2017 marketing plan.

  1. Look at just about any statistics on the topic of digital marketing and you’ll see that mobile dominates. Consumers are increasingly dependent on their mobile devices, and you have to keep pace. So, make sure your mobile search and optimization are up and running.
  1. Online advertising has revolutionized how we do business. If you’re in business, you’re doing online advertising. Period. This creates a lot of demand for top ad billing on online platforms. As this demand grows with more and more competitors vying for those limited top spots, you can expect the costs for online advertising to react and therefore become more expensive for advertisers.
  1. In 2017 we will see social media play an even bigger role in sales. Social media platforms will be used to not only attract prospects but also to convert leads to sales.
  1. With Google unveiling in-SERP video advertising, you can bet that the prevalence and power of video across all online platforms is going to be amped up like never before. Prepare to get your cameras rolling!
  1. Dedicated mobile apps are entering the market and will only continue to grow in importance. This is because consumers are looking for convenience beyond the traditional website and a more intuitive experience. Stay tuned for more developments on this one.
  1. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers or take any desired action on a web page. CRO is expected to join the common vernacular in 2017 as more businesses implement it on their websites and landing pages to track online prospects’ behavior and see what’s working to drive and convert leads.
  1. Content will continue to be king! (I saved this one for last because you know it’s my favorite!) However, the focus will be on making sure your content is unique, impactful, and interactive. And, greater emphasis will be placed on the quality of the content. It better be good. There will be a growing demand for video production as well as niche-based writers who have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter.

I think 2017 is already promising to be an exciting year in the business world. I suggest you keep these seven areas top of mind as you go about planning your strategy for 2017.

 

2017 Is The Year Of Video Marketing

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mobile-video-marketingVideo is a critical component to any good content strategy. And, when it comes to increasing sales, well, video is a top performer. (According to research conducted by Wyzowl.)

  • 4% of consumers prefer to learn about a new product or service by reading a manual
  • 5% prefer speaking to someone on the phone
  • 44% prefer to watch a video

Why do consumers prefer video? Done right, it’s more engaging and creates a more meaningful experience for the viewer. It seems more personal, and that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to forging that all-important trust relationship that is so beneficial to driving sales.

How To Use Video

Multichannel marketing is a relatively new term that speaks to our ability to market to our prospects using various platforms such as websites, blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, text, Facebook, e-mail, print media, word of mouth, etc. Multichannel marketing is about choice – how, when, and where we communicate to our prospects.

Video is an adaptive medium; it works on multiple platforms. For example, a longer video can be featured on your website to give in-depth information. Clips from that video can be used to communicate a concise message to targeted prospects on LinkedIn. You get the idea. The key with video is the same as with any other form of content: Make sure you’re communicating the right message to the right prospects on the right platform.

You have to make sure your videos (and all of your other content for that matter) are timely, relevant, and targeted. And, please make sure your video quality is good and promotes your brand favorably.

If your 2017 marketing plan doesn’t include video marketing, I recommend you make the necessary adjustments and incorporate this effective sales tool into next year’s strategy.

 

 

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.

Cold Calling Has Finally Been Put On Ice

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Cold Call

I’ve waited a long time to be able to write a headline like that. It feels pretty good. So, if you’re sales people are still cold calling, it’s time they enter the 21st century. Believe me, they’ll thank you. All sales people hate cold calling, and everyone hates being the recipient of a cold call – in short the era of the cold call has come and gone. And, I say, “Good riddance!”

The reason there is no longer a need for cold calling is because we have so much information at our disposal. There’s no reason why you can’t find out beneficial information about your prospects and put that to good use. It’s time to nurture your leads.

How To Nurture Your Leads

A good lead-nurturing program has to have ongoing, relevant communication with targeted prospects. Through lead nurturing you can build a trust relationship that fast tracks your leads to money.

Involve your sales people in your lead-nurturing program. They are the ones interacting with your customers and prospects on a daily basis. Use their knowledge! Have an ongoing dialogue with your sales people. Ask what the most frequent questions they get are, what are the biggest objections they hear, what are prospects telling them they need – you get the idea. Once you have their input, you can develop content that speaks to these issues, creating white papers, articles, targeted e-mail campaigns, etc.

Cold calling has always gotten a bad wrap, and rightfully so because most calls are not beneficial to the person on the other end of the line. Cold calls are intrusive and more often than not miss the mark. Lead nurturing on the other hand allows you to select targeted prospects and deliver customized, useful information to them. Marketing automation can also assist by letting you know your prospects’ habits on your website, e-mail campaigns, and webinars. This is invaluable information that enables you to communicate with your prospects based on their actions and responses, so you can guide their journey along the buying process, feeding them easily digestible information along the way. Combine this with lead scoring, and you’ll know when it’s time to pick up the phone and have a “warm call” with your prospect because you’ll know where they are in the buying process and what their potential concerns are because you’ve nurtured your leads.