Isn’t lead nurturing just a fancy term for email marketing? No, says MarketStar. Here's an infographic on the differences between email marketing and lead nurturing, and how understanding the differences can help marketers have a greater impact.
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LinkedIn is on the top professional networks today and is a treasure trove for lead generation. The site helps you connect and grow your network, which ultimately helps you promote and grow your business. Following these five lead generation best practices can help you leverage the power of LinkedIn to expand your customer base.
Building trust may be the most important way to gain customers. And yet, many companies come across as untrustworthy, without knowing it. From Hubspot, here's a list of 21 ways that companies get in their own way by appearing untrustworthy.
Erratic Website Design
Messy sites are perceived as symptomatic of a messy company. Distracting, cluttered or slow loading sites can also evoke fears of viruses.
No Way to Contact Someone
Not offering contact information gives the impression that you're willing to take a customer's money, but not willing talk to them.
No Pricing Information Available
Give visitors at least a general idea of the cost of your products or services. Otherwise, customers will assume you are only trying to sell to them.
If customers don't understand what you're trying to say, they will assume you are being deliberately evasive.
Spelling and grammar mistakes indicate a lack of professionalism.
Writing for SEO, Not for People
Search terms used in writing need to make sense to actual humans.
Lack of Thought Leadership
Build credibility and authority through quality content.
Bait and Switch
Represent your content and offers fairly and accurately.
Overly Personal Form Fields
Don't ask for personal information from leads unless the reason is apparent.
Let leads and customers know that you won't share their information with third-parties.
No Organizations Vouch for You
E-commerce sites and service businesses need to demonstrate legitimacy via third-party badges like BBB, VeriSign and TRUSTe.
No Customers Promoting You
Customer testimonials can convince leads and prospects that you're safe.
Bad Online Reviews
Monitor and address negative online reviews.
No Social Presence
As social media has become ubiquitous, companies with no presence don't look savvy or organized.
Not Engaging in Social Media Conversations
Maintaining a social media presence means answering questions and having conversations.
Take an apologetic approach to social media disagreements.
Emailing People That Didn't Opt-In
Avoid being seen as a spammer by only emailing leads that have requested emails from you.
Unsubscribing from Email Is Difficult
"Unsubscribe" buttons in emails are a legal requirement. Make them easy to find and make sure they work.
Poorly Targeted Email Content
Poorly targeted email content makes people feel like a sales target.
Emails That Always Trigger SPAM Filters
Make sure you're optimizing your emails for the inbox.
Be Excellent to Others
Build trust by proactively showing customer, fan and employee positive feedback.
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Lead nurturing is defined as consistent and targeted communication to move your leads further down the funnel. Since research also shows that social media and purchase decisions are closely linked, it follows that social media offers a natural opportunity for lead nurturing. From Hubspot, here are eight simple ways to combine your lead nurturing and social media marketing.
"Include social follow widgets in lead nurturing emails."
The more points of contact you can have with your leads, the better. Talking to your leads through both email and social media gives you twice as many opportunities to expose them to content and pull them further down the sales funnel.
"Use social share modules in your emails."
Give your leads the opportunity to share your content with just one click. This can help build your company's social reach while also building a more personal relationship with your leads. Research has also shown that emails with social sharing buttons have a 115% higher click-through rate than emails that don't.
"Add social calls-to-action to thank-you pages."
A landing page should give viewers as many opportunities as possible to further connect with your company.
"Add social widgets in thank-you emails."
The first email a lead receives from you, often a thank you or confirmation email after they've taken advantage of a free offer, is an important point of contact and should include all your social widgets. A lead that follows you on social media is more likely to see other nurturing content that will move them further down the sales funnel.
"Initiate a lead nurturing workflow when a lead mentions your company on Twitter."
Integrated marketing automation can alert you when you're contacted by a lead via social media. This approach ensures leads don't fall through the cracks and utilizes multiple touchpoints.
"Utilize your employee's social media accounts."
Transparency on social media is expected. Prospects want to connect to actual people online. Encourage your employees to be active on social media and share your lead nurturing content to amplify your reach. Give your company a face by making it easy for leads to connect with sales people, and even management, via social media.
"Always respond to social inquiries."
Leads will often turn to social channels for feedback or questions. Unanswered inquiries will result in not only the lead probably not returning to your social channels, but also damage your company's online reputation. Closely monitor your Facebook account, Twitter mentions, LinkedIn comments, etc. to ensure that your leads are getting the attention they deserve.
"Monitor for branded terms that may indicate sales readiness."
Leads use social media to perform their research. Find sales-ready leads by social monitoring for branded terms in your industry.
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Analytics can tell you whether or not your marketing efforts are paying off. But according to Hubspot, the true value of analytics isn't what they tell you about your past marketing initiatives, but instead, what they tell you about how to adapt and improve your marketing efforts. Here are nine ways to make marketing analytics actionable.
Identify Blog Topics
Analytics can tell you what blog topics resonate with your audience. Create more content for your desired marketing personas.
Analytics allow you to determine which keywords have driven the most traffic, leads, and customers for your business. Target other long-tail keyword variations based on high performing keywords.
Prioritize Social Media Sites
Analytics can tell you which social media sites are generating leads and converting leads into customers.
Determine Email Frequency
Analytics can help you determine optimal email sending frequency. Test to see if increased emails result in more conversions or if fewer emails reduce unsubscribers.
Lead Nurturing Content
Analytics can determine which landing pages and marketing offers have the highest conversion rates.
Segment Email Communications
Emails that have been tailored to specific audiences through segmentation get 50% more clicks than their counterparts, according to a MarketingSherpa report. Analytics can help segment your email audience by geography, industry, content, point in the sales cycle, etc.
Analyze the click-through rates of your calls-to-action and the conversion rates of landing pages and tweak both accordingly.
Use analytics to set up a lead scoring program and identify which criteria make for a marketing qualified lead.
Marketing Channel Focus
Use analytics to see which marketing channels (i.e. social media vs. email vs. SEO vs. blogging vs. paid search vs. other channels) are the most effective at generating customers.
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From Hubspot, here's an infographic about how to use technology to move prospects and leads through your sales funnel.