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Percentage of leads that convert to opportunities

How to Nurture Leads Based on Website Behavior

Percentage of leads that convert to opportunities

Research from Salesforce on lead to opportunity conversion rates

In putting together lead conversion research for one of our clients recently, we ran into some interesting performance data. According to Salesforce, only 13% of captured leads ever progress to become a sales opportunity.

With lead nurturing being a fairly common practice, this means that the typical nurturing campaign is leaving significant opportunity on the table. In our opinion, much of this lost engagement is due to a lack of timeliness in email marketing. So today, we’re going to discuss how to rapidly respond to your lead’s behavior on your website.

What You’ll Need to Monitor Lead Behavior on Your Website

First thing’s first – you’re going to need to invest in marketing software that will give you the ability to capture leads and identify those leads when they return to your site. Because this software works by adding a cookie to your visitors’ browsers, you’ll also need to update your privacy policy and make sure that you have appropriate GDPR compliance policies in place.

A few of the tools we see most often are below, but these are by no means the only options available:

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an affordable marketing automation and lead nurturing solution.

Pardot

Pardot integrates well with Salesforce, but comes at a price

HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the most commonly used marketing automation tools for mid-sized businesses.

 

 

 

 

How to Trigger Your Website Nurturing Campaign

Once you’ve got your tool in place, you’ll need to add its tracking code to your site and connect your CRM to your lead capture form. Then it’s time to decide which of your visitors’ actions you’ll want to use to trigger a nurturing activity.

Our recommendation is to focus on visits to pages that are closest to a purchase or sales qualification. These triggers might include:

An example of Google's Page Value stats

An example of Google’s Page Value stats

  • Pricing pages: sending a discount offer to a known lead who returns to the pricing page
  • Shopping cart pages: sending a special offer to anyone who abandons their shopping cart
  • Product comparison pages: emailing with a personal introduction to a sales rep who can offer a demo
  • Views of qualifying content: B2B organizations without e-commerce may want to trigger a sales outreach based on a visit to a particular service page

If you’re not sure which pages to focus on, try using Google’s Page Value data as your guide in Google Analytics. This calculation is available once you have e-commerce tracking added in Analytics, and attempts to show you which pages drive the most profitable traffic.

Building Your Nurturing Automation

An example of a nurturing automation flow

An example of a nurturing automation flowchart

Once you’ve identified your triggers, the next step is to set up your email flow and automation criteria to ensure that your leads are receiving consistently relevant calls to action. This is more easily said than done, as a visitor’s current place in their purchase journey is not always knowable via data.

The best nurturing advice here is to keep each visitor on a single automation sequence, and make sure that you’re trimming those sequences such that it’s not possible to receive repetitive communications or irrelevant offers. We recommend flow-charting out your process to make sure you’ll avoid these scenarios, and testing thoroughly to double-check your logic.

You’ll also want to create “exits” for your automation to accommodate scenarios where your lead has either moved further toward purchase or disqualified themselves from further nurturing. Doing so will

Monitoring Performance

Finally, it’s time to monitor your nurturing program’s performance. We typically use the following metrics to evaluate a lead nurturing campaign:

  • Email performance (deliveries, opens and clicks compared to email marketing benchmarks)
  • Percentage of leads engaged
  • Percentage of leads qualified
  • Revenue generated

A common scenario is needing to adjust your email volume or frequency based on performance.

Conclusion

We hope this tutorial has gotten you thinking about the opportunities to nurture your website visitors. If you’d like to discuss potential lead nurturing projects, please contact Young Marketing Consulting.

How to Market When You Don’t Have Time for Marketing, Part 2

Welcome to the third and final post in our series on maximizing the time you spend on marketing. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

Now, it’s time to get tactical. Your goal during this stage is to structure your marketing channels so that you can “set and forget” them. In other words, build your marketing platform so that it’s always working for you in the background while you tend to sales and operations. To do that, let’s dive into the four tactics that will help you maximize the time you spend on marketing:

  1. Implement the Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Establish a Digital Advertising/Search Engine Marketing Presence
  3. Set up Your Marketing Automation System
  4. Prepare for Inbound Lead Generation

 

1. Implement the Basics of Search Engine Optimization

“SEO is like breathing. You just need to do it, every day.”

This quote is from Frank, our head of Digital Marketing, and it sums up the essence of search engine optimization. So many SEO books have been written, and so many more blogs have been posted on various SEO tips and recommendations, that the core of SEO can be obscure for the layman. But SEO’s three pillars are much simpler than they seem:

The three phases of SEO

The three phases of SEO

  1. Optimize your website “under the hood” so that your pages have the strongest density of key terms you want to be known for in the right places in your site’s code (your URLs, your page titles, etc.)
  2. Publish regular content that includes your keywords, which will keep your site fresh in search results
  3. Get people to share your content and link to your website (ideally using your keywords in their links)

We recommend using Google’s excellent Keyword Planner tool to identify the target keywords you’ll use as the cornerstone of your search engine optimization strategy. Once you’ve got your SEO terms, review your website and make sure that those terms are reflected in the areas of your site such as your URLs, header tags, and internal links. After you’ve taken care of the basic nuts and bolts, it’s time to start creating new content. Set aside a day, write four blog posts that feature your target keywords, and then set them to publish weekly for four weeks. Repeat this process each month, track your progress using Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools, and adjust your content as necessary.

 

2. Establish a Digital Advertising/Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Presence

Search engine marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO. But whereas SEO is a more passive, “organic” channel, digital/PPC advertising lets you jump to the front of the search engine results page (SERP) line. Because of that efficacy, your pay-per-click advertising strategy should be different than your SEO strategy in one significant way:

Use SEM to target new audiences, rather than the existing terms where you rank well organically.

For example, if Young Marketing Consulting was ranking highly for, well, marketing consulting, but not as highly as a digital marketing agency, we would want to invest in PPC advertising campaign to put us in the top results for Washington DC digital marketing agencies.

SEM/PPC Ad Best Practice from Google

How do you write good PPC ad copy? Look no further than Google!

The next thing you want to do in a strong digital marketing campaign is to create an experience that will reward your leads for giving you their information. What offer will draw their interest enough to click on your ad, and once they land on your page what will give them that extra nudge to sign up?

Finally, you want to think about where (and when) your audience will be. If you’re selling breakfast food, there’s little point in advertising after 10 am or so. And if you’re only operating in the Washington DC metro area, for example, you’ll want to limit your ads as appropriate.

Once you’ve established the areas above, you’ll just need to set your budget, turn on your campaign, and let the software do the work.

 

3. Set up Your Marketing Automation System

Marketing Automation is one of our favorite aspects of digital marketing. Ultimately, what we all want is to make the process of generating and nurturing leads as pain-free as possible, which is the promise of marketing automation. There’s only one problem: setting up an automation platform requires you to invest a lot of upfront work to get up and running. Luckily, you’re working with a marketing firm with a lot of marketing automation experience.

The most important key to success for any marketing automation effort is to have your business rules clearly defined ahead of time. Think of your business rules as a series of IF/THEN statements. If a lead does X, what should happen? Keep building out these statements until you reach the end of the line. Take your ideal workflow to everyone who will be affected by your marketing automation and see if there are any outliers you aren’t covering. Once you’ve got your business rules blessed, it’s time to build your system.

One of the most common questions we get asked as a marketing consultant is to recommend a particular software suite for marketing automation. There are roughly four thousand possible choices, and the real answer is that most of them are exactly the same. They all allow you to customize your fields and workflows, create autoresponders, group and track leads and contacts, etc., so the tool you use will come down to personal taste. Pick the tool that best fits how you’d like to work and you’re off to the races.

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic

4. Drive Inbound Lead Generation through Offers

Finally, now that you’ve got your marketing automation infrastructure in place, the last step is to continually put out offers to your audience that will entice them to take action and either give you their contact information or make a purchase. These are the “carrots” that will draw potential leads to you, and there are a few tips for making them valuable. The ideal inbound lead generation content is:

  • Time-Sensitive – it’s hitting your lead at the right time, driving them to take an action within a certain window
  • Unique – it separates your offer from the others out there
  • Valuable – what you’re offering is valuable enough to drive action on your potential lead’s part
  • Personalized – something that speaks to your individual lead’s core
  • Repetitive – you’re not just doing it once and seeing what happens. You’re putting the offer out over a long enough period of time to see if it truly performs

With the above set up, you’ll be in great shape to maximize your inbound lead generation in no time!

Thanks very much for reading our series. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything related to SEO, SEM, marketing automation and inbound lead generation, please contact Young Marketing Consulting today!

 

 

How to Market When You Don’t Have Time for Marketing, Part 1

What’s the most valuable asset in your business?

I recently posed this question to a room full of business owners, and received the usual answers: people, process, intellectual property, and more. And while these suggestions weren’t necessarily wrong, I was surprised at how long it took until a member of the group volunteered what I consider to be the correct answer: time.

Time is the only resource your business can never make or buy more of, and there’s never enough.

So how can we invest in areas that maximize our time? The answer, as we’ll see, lies in harnessing the potential of modern digital marketing and automation. But we’re getting ahead ourselves.

If you’re in charge of marketing a small business, experiencing significant growth at any size organization, or maturing your marketing function, you’re probably facing a scenario where immediate operational concerns regularly overwhelm the time you feel you can devote to more long-term investments such as marketing. Last week we tackled the question of how much time you should be spending on marketing. This week, we’re going to assume you’ve referenced our handy marketing spend benchmark guide and know how much time and money you can invest in advertising and promotions. In both cases it’s probably less than you’d like, so its time to get strategic about how you’re invest.

A Four-Step Marketing Strategy When You Don’t Have Time for Marketing

Any good digital marketing effort begins with a solid strategy. Building that foundation by following the four steps below will help you maximize the effectiveness of your time spent on marketing.

 

1. Identify your target audience

Every marketing agency and consultant will trot out this chestnut, but it’s never been more true than in today’s digital marketing world. You’re about to start making decisions about where to invest your limited resources, and the easiest way to do so is by narrowing your focus on a core market. That’s why we’ve defined a target audience as follows:

Your target audience = defined demographic or psychographic segments that allow you to narrow your promotional efforts to fit your resources and generate a positive return

Demographics are the measurable areas such as income or revenue that dictate whether your customer can buy from you, while psychographics are the values and attitudes that determine whether they will. Defining both in as granular detail as possible is the starting point of any solid marketing strategy.

 

2. Build your channel strategy

Your marketing channels are those advertising paths you’ll take to reach your target audience. And while the internet gives today’s digital marketer a nearly infinite number of advertising platforms, your channel strategy should be based on those efforts that will scale with as little effort on your end as possible and are in heaviest use by your target audience. We’ll be addressing those channels more in the second part of this series, but for now here are some teasers for those who like to work ahead:

  • Searching Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM/PPC Advertising)
  • Marketing Automation
  • Inbound Lead Generation

 

3. Create your business logic

Solidifying your business logic is THE critical step to saving time in your marketing efforts, but very few companies spend time in this area. Why? Because business logic looks like this:

Marketing Automation Flowchart Example

 

It’s a tedious exercise to go through every scenario and permutation of how, for example, your organization captures and nurtures a lead, but doing so is a critical step in order to create a replicable marketing process. To ease the pain, try thinking like a computer: if X happens, then Y happens. For example, if a lead submits a web form and asks for a quote, then they’ll be routed to your sales team.

The more you codify your business logic, the more you’ll recognize inflection points and set yourself up for a strong marketing automation function when it comes time to build your system (which we’ll cover next week).

 

4. Prepare your carrots

The last element of our time-saving marketing strategy concerns your offers. At its core, digital marketing is about information exchange: your goal is to provide your target audience with something that they consider valuable enough to give you either their money or some piece of information that you can use to market to them in the future. So what are those carrots that you’ll dangle in front of your audience?

Carrots can range from discounts and special offers to exclusive deals to well-researched guides and tutorials, but you won’t necessarily know what works until you try them. So what you want to do at this stage is to sit down and develop your offers. Plan them out over the course of your campaign, and then incorporate them into your marketing channels.

What’s that you say? We haven’t gotten into the marketing channels yet? Patience, gentle reader. Part 2 of How to Market When You Don’t Have Time for Marketing is coming next week.

 

 

Upcoming Marketing Strategy Speaking Engagements

Looking to learn more about marketing strategy? You can hear from Young Marketing Consulting at these upcoming events:

 

How to Market a Startup Business (in partnership with the Libre Institute)

October 24th, 2015 | Registration by RSVP to Sandra Benitez, 757.694.5745 or sbenitez@belibre.org

During this panel discussion, we’ll be covering how to market your business effectively when faced with limited time and resources. We’ll be discussing the basics of marketing planning and lead generation, as well as taking questions from the audience.

Marketing SWOT Analysis (at the Signature CEO Conference)

November 16th and 17th, 2015 | Register 

We’ll be presenting on how to perform and leverage a marketing SWOT analysis at this conference, which is geared toward event companies and professionals. Attendees will learn how to perform an in-depth business evaluation that will give them a clear understanding of how to leverage their business’s strengths and opportunities while responding to your weaknesses and threats.

 

How to Market Your Business When You Don’t Have Time for Marketing (in partnership with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce)

February 24th, 2016 | Registration information coming soon

Time is the most precious resource any of our businesses have, and the last thing we want to do is waste it on failed marketing efforts. During this session, we’ll cover how to set up a marketing campaign that virtually runs itself by focusing on tactics such as easily replicable lead generation activities, marketing automation, and search engine optimization.

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Marketing Strategy Bootcamp (in partnership with Capital One and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund)

September 29th, 12 noon to 4 pm | Registration closed

Small business owners understand the importance of branding and marketing for their business, but it still often remains at the bottom of their to-do list. In our final Small Business Boot Camp presented by Capital One we’ll cover tried and true marketing tactics and customer engagement to grow your business sales. You will learn how to develop and implement your marketing plan in a way that maximizes your time and success.

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