drip email marketing

Drip Email Marketing vs. Lead Nurturing Campaigns; When To Use Each

Many marketing tools seem similar and are often mistaken for one another. Two tactics that are often confused are drip email marketing and lead nurturing campaign. It’s true that there are similarities in the way they work. However, they are two distinct tactics that serve different purposes. You should have both in your marketer’s toolbox to use when appropriate, especially with attraction marketing. Let’s learn a bit about each tactic and when they should be used.

Email Drip Marketing

Emails are a huge part of modern marketing. One email marketing option is email drip marketing. Named after drip coffee makers, this marketing tactic sends out emails at specific timed intervals. Time is the only factor used to indicate when an email is sent. Nothing else.

When should you use email drip marketing?

  • Educating prospects on all the products and services in your company’s portfolio.
  • Keeping your brand in front of your customers while they are contemplating a purchase.
  • Announcing new products or services for your business.
  • Showcasing best sellers in your portfolio.

A well-crafted drip email campaign can educate and inform your audience. However, done too frequently, or used only to pitch products or services, your audience may perceive these emails as spam.

[Read About Interactive Email Marketing Trends Here]

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

A lead nurturing campaign is not based on timed emails. It is based on the lead’s behavior. When a lead performs a specific behavior, it triggers an email with targeted information to be sent to your audience. These emails are designed to guide the lead through the buying process.

This type of campaign depends on gathered information about the lead’s behavior. Specific behaviors that can trigger an email include:

  • Which whitepapers grab the lead’s attention
  • How many times they visit a specific page on your website
  • Which webinar they attend
  • Which of blog post category they spend the most time in

The goal of the emails sent during a lead nurturing campaign is to deliver useful information at critical points in the sales cycle.

A marketing automation system is ideal for lead nurturing. You can build full campaigns within the system that automates almost everything in the process. The power of marketing automation systems is their ability to capture key data. This then triggers the specific emails that nurture leads.

They Complement Each Other Very Well

Drip email campaigns and lead nurturing campaigns, if well designed, will do their jobs well. They both help leads engage with your brand and give leads the information needed to make an informed decision about your products and services.

They are each powerful tools in the marketer’s toolbox on their own, but working together, they are even more powerful. Coordinated campaigns can help close deals faster and keep your brand ahead of the pack.

email marketing program

marketing automation software

Benefits of Marketing Automation vs. Email Marketing

It is a common misconception that marketing automation and email marketing are essentially the same thing. In email marketing, you build an email list and then start sending out emails to market your business. You get statistics back showing how many people opened the email and which ones clicked through to your offer. While the information that email marketing is important, it pales in comparison to the features and benefits of marketing automation.

How Marketing Automation Benefits Your Business

Email marketing systems have a very limited scope when compared to marketing automation systems. The email systems allow you to send mass emails out to your marketing list. Then, you get reports on how well the emails worked. But, that’s really all there is to it.

A marketing automation system gives you those same features and so much more.

With an email marketing system, you have to build your landing pages and web forms in a completely different system. In contrast, you can build both within a marketing automation system. This built-in integration makes building your marketing campaign much simpler. Plus, it gives you automatic reporting that is not available with an email marketing system.

Automatic marketing systems allow you to directly integrate your email marketing with other types of marketing for your business such as direct mail and social media. This streamlines your marketing efforts and allows you to do much more without the need to replicate efforts in multiple systems.

 [Read About the Benefits of Marketing Automation For Senior Living Communities]

A powerful benefit of marketing automation is the power it gives you over your lead information. The software helps you avoid duplication of leads. It also helps normalize the data, making your marketing even easier. The software allows you to score leads based on any number of criteria. You can also recycle and nurture leads throughout the sales process.

The marketing automation software provides reporting on the impact of each marketing effort on your company’s revenue. It allows you to monitor website activity and even tracks IP addresses from anonymous website traffic. It can integrate various data directories to help fill in contact information.

With the data gathered and synthesized in the marketing automation system, you can provide your sales team with qualified leads who are ready to make the purchase decision. This will drastically reduce the amount of time spent talking to leads who are not at that critical point. It will also simultaneously focus your sales team’s efforts and improve your sales numbers.

Using the information provided by the marketing automation system, you can build multi-stage marketing campaigns across any number of channels with ease, . You no longer need multiple tools to get the job done. This means you can get things done faster and make adjustments as needed.

These are not benefits you can get with limited email marketing software.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Marketing Automation

If you are ready to bring your business to the next level of marketing, you need to bring the benefits of marketing automation into your company. Give us a call here at the Stevens-Tate team.

Free Marketing Consultation

media mix

How To Use Media Mix When Marketing To Your Audience’s Buyer’s Journeys

Some marketers make the mistake of trying to reach as many people as possible with their content. The problem with this is that your pushing information to people who are either not ready to receive it or not interested all together. Without tailoring your content to your specific audience at their buying stage and delivering it to the platforms where they actually consume messages you’re missing out on a huge conversion opportunity.

Why Use Mix Media Marketing

Mix media marketing is the process of utilizing niche marketing to get granular with your messaging. Depending on your audience and their buying stage different platforms and messages will reach better than others. Email typically converts those at the middle or bottom of the funnel while social media is great to reach those at the top of the funnel. Let’s take a closer look at the different stages in the buyer’s journey and which mix media marketing strategies work best.

[Read About Using the Buyer’s Journey to Create Great Content]

Awareness Stage

The awareness stage is at the very top of the funnel and is a great time to just put your brand out there. At this point the buyer has a problem that needs to be solved but they might not even be fully aware of the problem or that there is a solution. During this stage educational content and strong SEO is key. You want to be found when users are searching and use keywords that resonate with their pain points.

Best types of mix media marketing at this stage:

  • Blogs- with keywords focused on relevant topics to your audience
  • PPC and SEO to drive traffic to your site
  • Mass Media- TV, Radio, to get your brand name out there

Consideration

During this stage the buyer is aware they have a problem and is actively looking for a solution. You need to show your target audience that you can deliver the solutions they need and are a trusted source. You’ll want to get more granular at this stage and really tailor your messages to their needs. You can use segmented email messages that push buyers through the funnel.

Best types of mix media marketing at this stage:

  • Targeted emails that trigger actions such as signing up for a webinar, downloading content, or reading a case study

Decision Making Stage

If your audience has made it this far in the buyers journey than you are one of the companies they are considering. Now is the time to really drive home why you’re better than the competition and develop an emotional connection.

Best types of mix media marketing at this stage:

  • Retargeting- reconnect with those who have visited your site to keep your brand fresh in their mind using retargeting ads or email
  • One to one connections- this is the why us part. Demos, personal emails, phone calls, and other follow-ups that show your audience you’re there for them will go far to push your buyers through the last step before converting

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

website redesign process

20 Tips To Improve Your Website Redesign Process

Your website is your audience’s first impression of your business and what you have to offer. Today more than ever you only get one time to make a first impression. With so much competition out there and so many advancements in technology your website needs to keep up with the technology changes and deliver fresh new content. An essential part of attraction marketing is drawing in the target consumer.

Time to Redesign

The website redesign process may seem to be a daunting task however a redesign doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your site. A website redesign can just be changing graphics, rearranging page layouts, or other small design functions.

Before you start your website redesign process you need to come up a strategy first. Without a strategic plan your redesign could end up costing you more and contain elements that are not consistent what what you audience wants to see. Your website is your single most valuable piece of marketing so spending time strategically planning out the redesign is extremely important to the overall success of your sales. Begin your website redesign process with a thorough evaluation of your business KPIs as a whole and take them to the next level.

[Read About Growth-Driven Web Design- Is It Right For Your Company?]

20 Redesign Tips

1. Start with user testing to see what elements work for your users and which don’t.

2. Define the top three things you want to accomplish with your site.

3. Sketch out the new layout.

4. Go though the sales funnel of your site to see if it’s easy for a user to navigate.

5. Keep your conversion funnel as simple as possible.

6. Implement multiple lead capturing opportunities to grab your visitor’s email as much as possible.

7. Implement social media buttons prominently.

8. Have contact information be the easiest information to find on the site.

9. Select a color theme and typography that flows well together and maintain consistency on every page.

10. Keep call to actions limited to one to two per page.

11. Utilize motion in terms of layout and videos or image carousels.

12. Build a prototype of the new layout and have user testings performed before going live.

13. Think outside of the box by using disruptive imagery or bold colors.

14. Double check spelling and grammar- actually triple check.

15. Test all links and make sure they point people where they want them to go to.

16. Test site and mobile speed.

17. Make sure mobile site is user friendly and design elements maintain aspect ratios.

18. Optimize all of your pages for SEO and implement target keywords in page title, meta description, meta keywords, and page content.

19. Include some extra or fun pages. Users are expecting the standard contact, about us, and product/services pages. Make your website stand out with some fun or unique pages such as an FAQ page, a quiz page to match users to products/services, or industry pages that are directly relevant to users.

20. Incorporate testimonials.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

call to action phrases

How To Use Targeted CTAs To Increase Lead Conversion

Lead conversion can prove a tricky mistress, but inbound software has changed the way marketers interact with their prospective clients. They now reach customers through clever virtual workflows and smart targeting. Specifically, targeted CTAs can help convert the visitors to leads 42% more often than standard CTAs. A good CTA is a part of attraction marketing. Let’s look at how to use targeted CTAs to increase lead conversion.

What is a “Smart” CTA?

Targeted or smart CTAs convert visitors to leads by tailoring the content to a specific user. They’re based on segmented lists and what stage of the customer lifecycle they’re in. Basically, based on the data your lead generation software is provided, a smart CTA changes dynamically enabling your pages and calls-to-action to be more effective and targeted.

[Here Are 3 Helpful Tips To Improve Your CTAs To Generate More Leads]

Slice Up Your Contacts: Use Segmented Lists

If you’re not already using segmented lists, you may as well be throwing darts at an indiscriminate and undefined dart board. In other words, if your contacts occupy one single list or a small handful, then you’re really not leveraging your lead conversion software to the max.

Start by creating filters that help define your buyer personas. For example, you may want to create a filter to put “C” level managers with 100-300 employees in a 3-state area in a specific list or perhaps you want to simply create a list where follow-up emails can be generated. In either case, making your lists and your leads more specific will definitely increase the effectiveness of targeted CTAs.

Get Personal: Design and Copy

Finally, let’s talk about getting personal with your leads’ CTAs. Not in a weird way, but in a way that can actually close some sales! Smart CTAs have the ability to change the copy on a CTA button or change the design based on the end user.

If you’re selling chocolate candy bars to a potential customer, perhaps you want them to click the “Get a Free Sample Here” CTA at which point they become a lead and potentially a sale. On the other hand, however, your website may be entertaining an existing chocolate buyer who already loves your product. As a result, giving them a sample won’t necessarily get the job done nor further the value of your expertise as a chocolateer.

This is where smart CTAs show their beauty. Instead of offering a sample, a smart CTA would show your existing customer the “There’s S’more to Chocolate” CTA. Here, they can learn about how to use your product to their advantage. While the example may seem silly, the fact of the matter is that both the design and copy can be altered based on the input of your CRM.

MAXIMIZING YOUR MARKETING BUDGET

brand development process

Five Inbound Marketing Resources Every Marketer Should Know About

If you’re tuned in to inbound, you’ve surely found some valuable resources on the internet. There are some failsafe, go-to websites out there that can help you hone your marketing skills. They can also help you develop better content, and drive traffic more effectively. Here are some of our favorite inbound marketing resources:

HubSpot

Arguably the world’s leader in inbound marketing software, HubSpot has more than changed the game of online marketing. As a matter of fact, they practically wrote, broke, and authored the rules of inbound as we know it.

From HubSpot’s comprehensive blog covering everything from marketing to sales and everything in between to the highly lauded HubSpot Academy, there’s something for every marketer. For instance, HubSpot has an interactive course dedicated to content marketing that can provide you with a big picture view of everything you need for a successful content marketing strategy. Subscribe to their updates, and you’ll have access to free webinars, marketing kits, and endless tools as they evolve.

One of HubSpot’s most valuable tools is it’s Website Grader. Enter your website and email, and the Grader will score your website in four categories: performance, mobile, SEO, and security. Use this as a starting point to improve your site’s visitor experience.

Content Marketing Institute

Great content is the cornerstone to any inbound marketing strategy, and the Content Marketing Institute is a must-visit for any inbound marketer looking to pump out quality work. The CMI has pooled together many industry experts to create a comprehensive white paper and ebook library. These are full of techniques for how to engage readers, keep them connected, and tell better stories.

[Read About 8 Important Questions To Ask When Hiring Inbound Marketing Agencies]

Moz

Creating excellent content is a great start to establishing expertise in your field and against your competition; however, attracting folks to your page is a whole different idea all together. Moz is the SEO-focused expert on the internet and their endless SEO learning library has comprehensive information, data, and research for how to improve your SEO game.

Canva

Canva is a free website which allows you to design visually appealing cover photos, social media posts, and presentations. It is used throughout the industry by some of the biggest names in inbound. Canvas also holds a complete library of how-to’s for all things Canva and design related.

The resources available through Canva can help you generate infographics, Facebook cover photos, posters, and more without guessing what dimensions you should work with. Canva’s pre-sized canvases optimize your content for the end digital user without skewing graphics or pixelating fonts.

Social Media Examiner

Once you’ve published your content, created some stylish Canva graphics, and SEO’d your blog posts, turn to Social Media Examiner for helpful tips on how to get your content in front of your social media followers.

As SEO trends and Google’s algorithms constantly change, social media has updated its algorithms. If you’re doing it alone, you’re taking shots in the dark, but thanks to Social Media Examiner, you can stay ahead of the constantly changing world of social media.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

inbound marketing benefits

Top 3 Ways to Maximize Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Do you have a favorite sport? Maybe it’s something popular like football or hockey. Perhaps a more dignified pastime such as golf or horseracing better suits your style. Whatever your preference may be, do you ever wonder how your favorite athletes (hopefully!) win more than they lose? Most likely they are playing with a strategy. It may seem obvious, but strategy – even in a sport like racing – is essential to victory.

The same is true for your business website. Without a strategy, your website will fall behind the competition. Don’t let this happen! Many companies fall into the trap of creating a website for nothing more than an “online presence.” With inbound marketing, websites can do so much more than they could 20 years ago. With inbound marketing, businesses are seeing more online traffic that results in more customers and sales. But without a strategy, even inbound marketing has its limits.

Inbound marketing benefits from a well-developed strategy. There are three aspects to creating a well-developed inbound marketing strategy.

1. Create website goals

What do you want your website to do for your customer? That’s the main question that should be asked before a website is developed. Without a clear goal, a website could be published without having any significant benefit to the owner or the visitor. If a website generates most of its sales after visitors view a product information page, the goal of the website should be to create more product information pages, increase traffic to these pages, and streamline the ability to go from product information to product purchase. Inbound marketing benefits from having a website with clearly defined goals. If you are wondering about your website, try having a friend or colleague take a look at it. Ask them if they felt your website had clearly defined goals. Once you’ve determined you have the right goals in mind, it’s time you ask yourself if you have the right person in mind.

2. Create a Persona

Creating a persona is a powerful way for a business to better understand its customers. Without a persona, businesses have an incomplete idea of who to market to. So what is a persona? A Persona is the ‘ideal’ customer that a business wants to reach out to. Personas are defined by many things – ethnicity, location, motivation – but what they all have in common is that they help shape the strategy used by a company to achieve its goal.

Read more on Why Buyer Personas Are So Important

By creating a strategy with a specific end-user in mind, we are better able to understand what their problems are and how we can help make their lives easier. Don’t get too attached to your persona though! You will likely find that you may need to update them as you gain more insights on your customers. You may even considering adding an additional persona. Once you have your persona or personas created, you can move on to the next step.

 3. Get to know your persona

Now that you have a persona, ask yourself, how well do you know him or her? It may seem like knowing a pretend person’s upbringing and background is a little silly, but it can go a long way with customer satisfaction. By constructing your persona’s life story, you are better able to understand their motivation, needs, and desired outcome in life. If your persona is looking for a product that satisfies a long-term need but your business only sells products for immediate use, you’ve just gained valuable insight. You’ve recognized a need your typical customer has as well as an opportunity for your company to grow. By using information gathered from our personas, we can update and adapt our company strategy to best fit our customer needs.

Download A Free Template For Developing Personas

Just like in all sports, strategies continue to adapt as they encounter new problems and opportunities. You will likely find that a strategy created today might not work for you a year from now. That’s okay! Revisiting your goals, updating your persona’s attributes, changing their background and desired outcomes; these are all essential to a successful business. Just remember, inbound marketing benefits strongly from a well thought out strategy. How do you think your company’s online strategy is? If you’d like a free consultation, please check out the link below.

Want more resources on how to redesign your website? Click here!

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

creative marketing solutions

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for Creative Marketing Solutions

Imagine yourself coming home after a long day of work only to find your kitchen completely flooded. You run to the sink and quickly realize that you have no idea what the problem is. Time to call the plumber! Now, imagine that plumber shows up and the only thing in his tool bag is a screwdriver. You’d probably be pretty upset, right? That’s because you know that a screwdriver isn’t the right tool for a leaky pipe. Digital marketing is no different; without the right tool for the job you will not be able to accomplish your goals.

Choosing the right tool is essential for a company’s approach to creative marketing solutions. Without the right tools, you may overlook valuable information, miss out on new customers, or fail to recognize a new opportunity in your industry or business. So how do we choose the right tool for the job? Here are four things to consider when you ask yourself that question. 

1. What are my goals?

Goal creation is often the first step in any business decision. Why should choosing your tools be any different? Lets take a look at the plumber again. If his goal was to fix a pipe then he should have known that a screwdriver is not the best tool to achieve this goal. We know that a wrench is much more useful for this kind of problem. Obviously, we are not saying that screwdrivers are a useless tool. Our point is that different tools should be used for different tasks. If instead the goal were to install a door into a doorframe then a screwdriver would be the perfect tool to use. By laying out your goals, you are better able to decide which tool fits best.

2. Will these tools accomplish those goals?

Lets say the problem with the plumber wasn’t that he had one tool, but far too many! You watch him fix the sink, but feel frustrated as he wastes time digging into his bag, leaves tools all over your floor, and goes back and forth from your kitchen to his truck outside as he tries to find what he’s looking for. You feel upset because, though job gets done, the amount of time it took was much longer than what you were anticipating. The problem of having too many tools for a task is problematic in two ways.

First, having too many tools can make even simple tasks complicated. By having multiple software applications that have overlapping features, your employees may become overwhelmed with how much they are expected to understand. Software should be easy for your employees to learn, whether they’ve been with you for 20 years or 20 days. This will minimize the number of hours it takes to learn how to use the tools and maximize the number of hours they spend actually using them.

Second, any money that is used to buy tools for your company is money that could be used in areas that have a proven ROI. If you buy tools that are unneeded or overprice, you are essentially wasting money for your business. By buying tools only when you need them, you are ensuring that your company uses its resources efficiently.

By making sure you have the right number of tools you minimize your company’s spending and maximize its growth!

[Read About 8 Great Case Study Questions To Ask Yourself When Attracting Prospects]

3. How much is too much?

Do you know someone who has to have everything brand new? They buy the newest smartphone and the fastest computer only to play Angry Birds and browse the internet. If you’re anything like me, you probably get frustrated with this person. You might think to yourself, “why are you spending so much money when you don’t need to?” Some businesses are the same way. They spend too much money on the best software when they really don’t need to. We see the same two problems here as we did in the example above – unneeded upfront costs and wasted hours of employee training. Make sure the tools you’re considering will accomplish your goals, but won’t do more than you need them to. 

4. Do my tools work together?

One of the most frustrating things in business can be working on a team project. Maybe there is someone who works remotely and everything has to be accomplished online. For others, it may be that their available hours don’t mesh well with your schedule. Every company has a vested interest in minimizing the number of obstacles their employees encounter on a daily basis. By using software that integrates between users, a company is better able to track of the progress of their employees and employees are better able to focus on their work. GoogleDocs is a great example of integrated technology.

For many years, even just changing a text document could be very frustrating. One of the main ways people would update documents was through email. A frustrating experience when working with multiple people who make multiple revisions. Who’s changes do you go with? Did they change the most recent version of the document or do you need to backtrack to an earlier copy? Who’s revisions does your team ultimately to go with?

This was one of the main problems Google aimed to address with their release of GoogleDocs. By using GoogleDocs, we are now able to collaborate and make changes to the document in real time. Coworkers can track who made revisions to the document, at what time, and leave comments to one another. And the best part? No endless chain of emails filling your inbox! Finding the best software for your company may take time, but truly integrated technologies can make a significant difference to your everyday workload.

Creative marketing solutions can be complex, but they don’t have to be difficult. By optimizing the tools you and your company uses, you will find that working together will become much easier. Remember, you can’t fix a sink with a screwdriver. Go out and find the tools you need! If you’d like some advice on where to start, please follow the link below for more information

Search Engine Optimization Techniques