sales qualified leads

How To Nurture Marketing Qualified Leads Into Sales Qualified Leads

Inbound marketing consistently helps organizations generate qualified leads. But if your company cannot convert these leads into customers, the leads you generated will go to waste. This can be frustrating, so here are some strategies you should add to marketing plan to convert your leads into sales:

1. Define your qualified lead

Develop criteria for what you consider a qualified lead. By definition, a marketing qualified lead (MQL) is the lead with the highest probability of being a customer compared to the rest. Identify those that are more qualified than others for conversion. Qualification criteria can include: titles, responsibilities, urgency, etc. Using analytics and intelligence, here is how to narrow your leads down:

  • Define your buyer profile:
    • Ask yourself who is most likely to buy your product.
  • Identify actions that indicate interest:
    • Analyze patterns in the kind of actions visitors demonstrate when on your site
  • Revisit your criteria periodically to reflect market dynamics for better focus and effectiveness

[Read How Closed-Loop Marketing Helps Convert Leads To Customers]

2. Gather information to qualify your leads

At this point, assign your team responsibilities accordingly to nurture marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads. Consider the following questions:

  • What’s the company size and industry of your lead?
    • Knowing the name of your lead’s company isn’t enough
  • What problem is your lead trying to solve?
    • If you know this, you can provide them with the solution they’re looking for
  • Do your leads have the authority and power/budget to buy?
    • Focus on those with ability and authority to generate more sales conversions.
  • When are they likely to buy?
    • By using analytical tools, you can tell whether a visitor to your site has a history of buying. You can also determine their consistency by calculating the time interval between their purchases
  • What are your lead’s other buying decision influencers?
    • This is information yoru lead need before they commit to buy.

To gather all this information, you will need the help of sales people or telemarketers in what is known as human-to-human lead qualification

3. Use the information effectively

Your marketing department should use the information obtained to nurture and close sales qualified leads. If you succeed in maximizing on the information you gathered, you will not only have sales and revenue but also reduced operational costs, as you will use less resources to obtain customers. The most effective way to nurture is to get as personal as possible with the help of tools like email marketing, telephone calls, one-on-one conversations, etc. Segment your target by their interests to generate results.

Now that your sales qualified leads have matured into sales, you can choose to close the sales over the phone or personally, depending on how complicated your product or service is. Set up all relevant appointments if necessary, and ensure your customers feel appreciated.

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

Mobile Market

Ten Ways to Use Google Trends to Increase SEO

Most people love free SEO tools. Google Trends is one of the most underused free tools; it is a place marketers can use to get their finger on the global pulse. Increase SEO using Google Trends in the following ten ways.

1.    Start Big and Narrow Down

The latest Google Trends dashboard is much simpler and allows you to explore various topics before narrowing down. Therefore, begin by entering a broad or all-encompassing keyword and then drill down. For example, the Worldwide feature allows you to focus on a certain market geographically. The word umbrella will peak at different times depending on the location. You can also filter your search by time selection and category, enabling you to increase SEO by targeting a wider region.

2.    Use Specific Search Options

Get advanced insights using options like image search, Google Shopping or news search. Digging deeper into your queries can increase your chances of identifying a new trend. You can also click Rising to see the top keywords.

3.    Context is Key

Google Trends operates in a relativistic manner. Today’s results are not compared with popular trends; rather, with the prior keywords you entered, meaning results vary according to various factors like timeframe. Therefore, never overlook the context and avoid personal blind spots when trying to increase SEO.

4.    Target by Location

A cursory use of the tool usually focuses exclusively on keywords. To get the most relevant results, incorporate location into your mix. Focus on specific and relevant regions and sub-regions.

Check out this similar article about SEO

5.    Trend Predictions

It is easy to identify trends that leave a trail, but that is not very helpful as most marketers are using that data. Predict trends to gain additional insights. Identify potential trends by filtering according to specific countries or categories. Today’s  health story may not be a headline on Google Trends; however, it may help you spot topics to watch out for.

6.    Use Long-Tail Phrases

It may be difficult to rank high on the SERPs for a phrase like “Caribbean Cruise”, but you can make it to the top of the search results using a long-tail variation of this phrase.

7.    Use Top Chartsincrease SEO

Click on the Top Charts icon on the upper left to view Google’s version of Billboard Top 100. Do not confuse it with the trends most individuals are seeing. You can sort between Most Searched and Trending to glean more relevant information.

8.    Video Optimization Data

For example, if you posted a video on YouTube about how to avail discounts on Caribbean cruises, you can switch from web to YouTube search to explore related topics and queries. You can also sort by Rising or Top to capture more YouTube traffic.

If you are optimizing your wedding boutique, even a simple search will reveal that most weddings do not compete with holidays. With some aforementioned strategies, you can determine a few additional keywords to carefully direct your future posts to better handle each cyclical trend.

10.    Avoid Misreading the Trends

Advanced and sophisticated use of Google Trends allows you to move a step or two beyond your current insight to determine if there are any blind spots. For example, never trust one snapshot to tell you the whole story; instead, get a broad view of different timelines to figure out what else is happening.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

Future of email

The Future of Email: What To Expect

Although one of the oldest forms of online marketing, email marketing is consistently one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies there is, and it will continue to be so well into the future. Because of this, it’s worth thinking about the future of email in order to begin adjusting your email marketing strategy accordingly. The following are some of the things you should expect from the future of email:

1. More Visual

While emails used to be more text-based, this is quickly changing even now. Besides the content itself, the email interface will become more visual as well. For example, contact photos will become more prominent, attachments will become previewable without having to open an email, and email apps themselves will be more visually customizable for the user.

2. More Interactive

Smartphones provide users with a lot of interactivity options due to their touchscreens. It won’t be long until users will be able to interact with their inbox by picking up, deleting, and grouping emails within a 3D space.

Interactive Email Marketing Trends

3. More User Control

Every facet of a user’s online experience will be providing users with more control in the future, including their email. They’ll be able to organize their main email interface by choosing to see their favorite contacts first and by customizing their most important folders or labels. Although this could limit the ability of advertisers to reach users, it could also help your emails become more prominent amidst all the spam that recipients once received.

4. Potential Payment Email Models

Consumers get tons of spam on a daily basis because emails barely cost spammers anything to send. As a result, some kind of paid email model may be implemented. Sending emails would only cost cents or fractions of a cent, but it would limit the ability of spammers to send out mass amounts of emails on a regular basis because the cost would add up.

5. Automatic Organization

It was only recently that Gmail introduced their tab-based email system to organize user inboxes into folders. This was a huge change from the basic full view list inbox that all email apps used beforehand. This type of automatic inbox organization system is only going to get smarter and more intuitive in the future.

6. Content Will Be Rated And Analyzed

Email apps will have the ability to rate and analyze the content of a user’s emails. This will allow them to extract important information. For example, if they’ve ordered airplane tickets, then the app will be able to identify flight information from the email and display that.

7. Emails Will Be Read Out Loud

Voice assistants like Alexa are already becoming quite popular. It’s only a matter of time before users can have their emails read out to them – or have them summarized out loud.

These are some of the things that you can expect from the future of email that will no doubt have you rethinking parts of your email marketing strategy in the years to come.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

B2B website

Three Videos Every B2B Website Should Have

Research shows that relevant, compelling content is a key ingredient for making your website stand out. While some websites may have great landing pages, they may lack other types of content. If you want your B2B website to beat the competition and increase sales with an effective video marketing strategy then you should include these 3 video types.

Visual is rapidly becoming the most effective technique in the web marketing mix. Video content can increase your online traffic by more than 40%, as it adds personality, digestibility, and context to your website. Here are three types of video you should include in your website in order to increase search engine visibility.

1. Customer case studies

A great way to market your business is through word-of-mouth from satisfied customers or business associates. Referrals enhance the element of trust that potential clients are looking for in a business. To create a case study video, request some of your satisfied customers to create a case study video, where they can describe the services or products that you offer and express their satisfaction. A case study video could convince your undecided leads that your business is the right fit for them.

[Read about Integrating Story Branding With Your B2B Marketing Strategy]

2. Your team in action

You can increase your prospects by visually portraying how your company performs a service. Potential clients want to know if you have the resources and the expertise to meet their expectations, and you can prove this via video. If you provide manufacturing services, for example, you can capture how specific machinery works. If you’re a marketing agency, you can post a video demonstrating how your team goes from brainstorming ideas to producing your final product. For potential clients, the sight of your employees in action offers a glimpse inside your business.

3. Instructional videos or tutorials

One way to demonstrate your expertise to potential customers is to produce instructional content. Create visual cues on how to carry out a certain service related to what your business does for other businesses. For example, if your company provides home decoration services, you can produce a video explaining the remodeling process. You can demonstrate how your crew handles equipment for the job, as well as “before and after” images of a remodeled house.

 

Every B2B website should include compelling video content to capture the interest of prospective business partners. These days, the majority of online users would rather watch videos than read about a product or service. Capitalize on this powerful but affordable medium in order to drive leads and increase sales.

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

call to action phrases

Why Call To Action Phrases Are So Important In Inbound Marketing?

Call to action phrases seem so innocuous. They are just a few words on a link or a button. Yet, CTAs are some of the most powerful and important elements on your website to support your Inbound Marketing efforts. Without them, your conversion rate is not going to be anywhere close to where it should be. Here’s why.

The Simple Truth About Conversions and CTAs

A conversion happens when you get someone to respond in a desired way. Let’s say you want a website visitor to sign up for a newsletter. When you get an anonymous visitor to provide a name and email address in exchange for the newsletter, you have converted that person into a lead. That person has just entered your sales funnel.

How do you get the anonymous visitor to sign up for the newsletter? With a successful call-to-action, that’s how.

CTAs come in so many different forms. Most are phrases printed on a button that is easy to tap or click. Here are a few call-to-action phrases that might be familiar:

  • “Read More”
  • “Get Our Newsletter”
  • “Share on Twitter”
  • “Add to Cart”
  • “Subscribe”
  • “Download Immediately”

50 Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases

Ensuring Your Calls-to-Action Receive Attention

Calls-to-action are critical for conversion success. But, not every CTA is a success. In fact, many aren’t really that noticeable, so visitors just skim right past them. For your calls-to-action to be successful, they must be noticeable, enticing and well-defined.

Placement is critical for a successful CTA.

  • Put more than one on a page. Putting a single CTA on a page means lost opportunities for conversion. Multiple CTAs offer more chances to get a visitor to convert. But, don’t put too many or the visitor will get choice paralysis.
  • Be sure to have CTAs on every page. Your website is a critical part of your marketing and you need to give visitors as many chances as possible to convert.
  • Make your CTAs count. Most users skim a page from top to bottom. They will glance from left to right at the top and maybe once again about half way down the page. Your CTAs need to be somewhere in this visual path to grab attention.

Design is another item to consider for a successful CTA:

  • Make sure your CTA is recognizable. If it just blends into the background or uses generic language, your visitor will skim right past it. Choosing well-worded call-to-action phrases makes all the difference.
  • Make it jump out visually. You need to have negative space around your CTA. You need to select a color that pops out. Orange and red are popular. But, the real secret is contrast.
  • Make it very clear. Generic call-to-action phrases like “Next” do not give a reader any clue as to what is happening next. “Finish Subscribing to Our Newsletter” gives the reader a clear picture of what clicking on that CTA will actually do.

When you optimize the calls-to-action on your website, you will start to see your conversion rates rise. Keep tweaking and you can get even more.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

buyer personas

Why Are Buyer Personas So Important?

Creating buyer personas is an essential part of an inbound marketing strategy because they help define your target audience and help you tailor your advertising towards that audience. When developing content, consistently referring back to the attributes of the buyer persona will help ensure that the content resonates with that audience. Buyer personas are an important part to attraction marketing.

Establishing a buyer persona can be a creative process as well, as it encourages marketers to think back to their childhood mindset and generate imaginary people. Of course these imaginary thoughts are far more sophisticated now, and are used to create what an individual that represents your target audience.

Read more

b2b branding

B2B Branding Tips For The New Buyer

Over the past few years, B2B business has seen a dramatic shift in the decision makers involved in purchasing. Now more than ever before Millennials are at the forefront of the company decisions especially when it comes to purchasing. According to a survey conducted by Google 2015 was the first year that nearly half of all B2B purchase influencers were Millennials. This shift impacts not only the B2B branding message but where that message is displayed as well since most Millennials spend a majority of their day online.

One of the biggest differences between Millennials and decision makers in the past is how they evaluate and research potential purchases. The same traditional advertising that worked on baby boomers is not going to work on Millennials and chances are they’re much further down in the purchase funnel before they even contact you. Thanks to the Internet and social media, decision makers do their own research on what they need, want, and whom they want to work with.

With more than 87 percent of online Millennials using Facebook and other social media sites, it’s imperative that your business has a strong social media and online presence however it’s not as simple as setting up pages and scheduling out posts. Millennials are looking for brands that are approachable, easy to navigate and as odd as this sounds more human.  Even in this hyper-connected world people still want to be connected with real people, especially in B2B transactions. The most successful B2B companies have utilized their social media pages to reach out directly to their customers and build a sense of community with their brand and customers. It’s extremely important to assure your audience that you or your team of people will be there for them and that you can solve some of their pain points.

Read more on Using Your Brand Story To Reach Millennials In Business.

So, how does a brand convey all of this to their audience? Here are 4 things you should be talking about in your B2B branding:

Have a Purpose

Many argue that this is more geared to B2C businesses but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Showing your company culture and your core values, or the reason why you do what you do is just as important in B2B marketing. Millennials more than any other audience are looking to work with companies that leave a positive impact on the world or those that have a great story about how they started.  Your brand values such as your mission statement and communication style will help create a personality and purpose behind your brand.

Read more on improving your B2B customer experience.

Knowledge

Potential customers are looking to solve a problem and they need to be confident that you will be able to solve it for them. Showing that you’re an authoritative source is one of the most important parts of your B2B branding.

Service

B2B buyers want someone that’s going to still make them feel that they have a 1 to 1 relationship even if they never communicate with you directly. Show them that you’re a company with real people who are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.

Dependability

Showing that you can be depended on will take your brand messaging far. B2B buyers need to know that they can depend on you to get the job done so they can focus on other parts of their business. They don’t want to feel that they need to micromanage your work.

This generation is looking to be proud of who they purchase from. Today’s world is so much more transparent and connected and Millennials are not only used to that they expect you to be as well. It’s important that they are proud of who they buy from. By using ‘story branding’ companies can set a tone and feel for who they are and why they do what they do. With buyers getting inundated with so many screens and messages, stories help keep your B2B branding clear to your audience. The story with the strongest messaging that delivers an authentic feeling will stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are still, in fact, people and people love a good story.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

lead generation content marketing

Different Types Of Content Marketing For Lead Generation

“CONTENT IS KING.” It’s a phrase we have all heard before. But today, especially, it couldn’t be more true. Content, at its core, is what is essentially going to draw prospects to your brand. It is what makes you valuable. What others want to share and recommend. And it is the essence of what Inbound Attraction Marketing is all about. The trick is this: making the experience of your content one that will delight your readers and visitors and keep them coming back for more. Read more