How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

Despite some claims that email is dead, it is still a highly effective way for marketers to connect with consumers. It is an integral part of inbound marketing as well as attraction marketing, and is a great way to send nurture leads throughout the buying process. Here are a few email best practices that will help nurture your leads.

Segmentation

The segmentation of your contacts database will help define your audience into categories. If you are unfamiliar with buyer personas, read about them here, as they will be extremely useful in segmenting your contacts. Segmenting be done in terms of geographic location, company type, role within that company, behavior, marketing intelligence, or any other category that could be valuable to your company. Use segmenting to your advantage by targeting those different groups with useful content based on their specific needs.

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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.

Read More: 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

media mix

How To Create Content For Each Sale Funnel Stage

Even though you may not realize it, you go through a process before buying something, unless, of course, you are an impulse buyer. This process is called a sale funnel. It refers to “the buying process that companies lead customers through when they are purchasing products.” But for any company to succeed, its process must have quality content. Having quality content is having leadership, which is a part of attraction marketing. Here is how to create quality content:

Phases of a standard funnel

  1. Top of the funnel (TOFU): awareness stage

At this point, your followers do not know they have a problem or are just now realizing they do. TOFU involves driving traffic to you as well as providing free surface information with “how to”, “improve”, and “prevent” content.

  1. Middle of the funnel (MOFU): consideration stage

When a potential buyer gets here, they graduate to a potential lead. They need the best solution for their problem and are willing to make possible future purchase commitments. For this stage, begin providing deep content with a wide coverage of topics.

  1. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): decision stage

Here, someone is making a final purchase decision. Still, there is no guarantee. A little nudge from the right content and assistanced from a call to action will win the customer over.

[Read to learn about the importance of lead generating content marketing]

Creating sale funnel content for each stage

  1. TOFU

Content can be in the form of an eBook, checklist, podcast, whitepaper, etc. It should be rich with key words, compelling, informational, correctly format, and delivered in a timely manner. Do not attempt to sell at this stage because the potential customer is not yet considered a qualified lead. Make your content both easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Try to obtain the potential customer’s personal contact information at this point through forms and landing pages to use later in the lead qualifying process.

  1. MOFU

As your visitors transition to this stage, your content should transition with them. This content can be in the form of case studies, demonstration videos, trial offers, cost estimates, etc. You should offer expert, in-depth content. For example: “The Complete Checklist for a Refurbished Phone.”

As they look to expand their personal understanding, usher in lead nurturing techniques such as personal engagement and email marketing. This is usually the longest phase because potential customers need to weigh their options and research further. However, an advantage to this wait is that you can take time to filter out unqualified leads and instead focus your resources on marketing qualified leads.

  1. BOFU

When your leads reach the final stage, you will probably be a little anxious, but don’t push too much. Offer content to make them understand why you are the best best option for them. Position yourself as a solution to their problem. Be careful not to sound too much like a sales person, and focus your content on their needs. “Guidelines For Success” or “How to Implement Inbound Marketing Strategies” are some examples of content you should provide in order to convert your leads into sales.

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

buyer persona

How to Drive Website Conversions with the Buyer’s Journey

Before any customer commits to purchasing a product, they will have to go through the sales funnel. The sales funnel is comprised of several stages that the buyer will go through, from identifying the problem they have to making a decision. In online marketing, the sales funnel expands from a prospective buyer to a buyer looking to purchase. Marketers are responsible for guiding prospective clients along the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase. Attraction marketing is what will catch the attention of customers.

Growing social media usage gives marketers a chance to engage their prospective buyers by creating customized content. However, some marketers still find it challenging to identify the most effective content for each step. The following is a guide to creating the right content to drive website conversions at each step of the sales funnel.

Top of the Funnel: Awareness and Research

This is the primary step where prospective customers realize they have a problem or a need to fulfill. Buyers at the top of the funnel are searching for high quality and relevant information to point them towards the solution

Over 80% of buyers research products online before buying. The best way to attract them is by offering exactly what they need: highly optimized content with original research. Additionally, posting explainer videos that contain demonstrations can have a huge impact on your site. Lastly, create attractive landing pages to offer your visitors solutions at the click of a button.

Read More: How To Use The Buyer’s Journey To Create Great Content

Middle of the Funnel: Evaluation

During the second stage of the sales funnel, buyers are trying to sort through their best options that you and your competitors are offering.  It’s the seller’s job to explain why they are the best solution for the customer’s problem. The purpose of this section of the funnel is to highlight your expertise and begin the process of lead nurturing.

The best content for this stage are webinars and live communication features. These give the marketers and customers a space to interact with live questions and discussions. Email marketing is also a great way to offer relevant and consistent content. Don’t forget to include clear calls to action that will convert leads.

Bottom of the Funnel: Purchase

At the final stage, the buyer has decided they are ready to make a purchase, but they have not yet decided the source of their purchase. Providing them with access to the solution as well as some incentives will likely turn a prospective buyer to a customer.

Clear calls to action linked to trial offers, video tutorials, and product information can have a huge impact on prospective customers. Aligning your offers with educational and entertaining testimonials is an effective technique. It’s also wise to creating a purchasable demo based on a free plan that entices customers to access its premium features.

Pay Attention to the Buyer’s Journey

Above all, remember to consider your clients’ needs first. From there, develop your funnel in order to fulfill these needs at each stage. If the sales funnel is implemented correctly and your content is helpful to customers, your lead conversion rate will definitely increase.

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

How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

Despite some claims that email is dead, it is still a highly effective way for marketers to connect with consumers. It is an integral part of inbound marketing as well as attraction marketing, and is a great way to send nurture leads throughout the buying process. Here are a few email best practices that will help nurture your leads.

Segmentation

The segmentation of your contacts database will help define your audience into categories. If you are unfamiliar with buyer personas, read about them here, as they will be extremely useful in segmenting your contacts. Segmenting be done in terms of geographic location, company type, role within that company, behavior, marketing intelligence, or any other category that could be valuable to your company. Use segmenting to your advantage by targeting those different groups with useful content based on their specific needs.

Read more

case study questions

Top Benefits of Using Case Studies For Your Business

Consumers are a lot less susceptible to fancy sales pitches in this day and age, which is why the use of case studies can be very effective in building brand trust. Many consumers will ask friends and family for recommendations or look up online reviews before doing business with a particular brand. They do this because they simply trust other consumers more than they are willing to trust a brand. It’s due to these reasons that you should consider using case studies. We’ve gone over the case study questions you should ask, but the following is some information on what they actually are and how they can benefit your marketing efforts:

What are Case Studies?

Case studies are similar to testimonials in that they provide audiences with an account of previous customer experiences with the brand. However, testimonials are typically basic interviews that function as little more than positive reviews. Case studies are more in-depth and concern the entire process that the customer went through. Basically, it’s a depiction of their buyer journey and how your business helped to fulfill their needs from beginning to end. This allows for an element of storytelling that’s much more engaging

What are the Benefits of Using Case Studies?

Although case studies require a lot more effort to put together than the typical testimonial, it’s well worth the time and resources required. Many businesses will even produce their case studies as video content that their audiences can watch. The following are just a few of the benefits of creating case studies:

Build brand trust

Case studies are extremely effective in building trust because of the very fact that they represent the viewpoint of your previous customers. Instead of you telling your audience how great your brand is and how effective your products or services are, you’re having your customers do it for you. Not only do audiences trust other consumers more than they trust companies, but by allowing your previous customers to tell their stories, they are basically endorsing your brand, which gives your business more credibility.

Engage through storytelling

Simply having customers tell the audience that your product is great is just a basic customer testimonial. It’s not that interesting, nor is it very engaging. Case studies are more concerned with telling the story of the customer. The customer is the hero, their problem is the conflict and your brand’s solution is the resolution. The use of storytelling helps to make a brand much more relatable and will allow your audience to see how you fulfilled that customer’s need at every stage of the buyer journey.

Click here to learn about the differences between storytelling and storybranding.

Identify brand evangelists

To find the subjects of your case studies, you’ll need to speak to several clients or customers and request that they participate. Those that are willing are your brand evangelists. They are offering to tell their story because they believe in your brand. Knowing who your brand evangelists are is helpful because they can help improve your brand reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.

Assist your sales team

Having an assortment of case studies available on your site can be hugely beneficial to your sales team. This is because they can recommend prospects to watch specific case studies of previous customers who may have had similar problems. This, in turn, can help them close deals.

As you can see, case studies can be very beneficial to your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to read up on the important case study questions you should ask, and be sure to take a look at some of the marketing tools that we offer for download at Stevens & Tate.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

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.

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Keys Successful Price Reduction Strategy

There are many reasons why you might be thinking about reducing the prices of a product or service. There are usually two main reasons: the product or service isn’t selling as well as you had hoped, or you’re looking to increase your customer base. A price reduction can help interest potential customers who may not have been interested before. However, if you plan on cutting prices, you need to implement effective price reduction strategy marketing.

Why is Price Reduction Strategy Marketing Important?

There are two critical reasons why you can’t just slash prices without a price reduction marketing strategy in place. First of all, nobody will know about the price change. Secondly, you don’t want those who do know to make the wrong assumptions about why you are changing the price.

Generating Awareness Of Your Price Reduction

If you don’t market the fact that you’re reducing your prices, nobody will know about it. This then defeats the purpose of lowering your prices in the first place. For example, if you are reducing the cost of a product because it isn’t selling well, then it’s still not going to sell well if nobody is aware of the price cut.

Informing Customers Why You Are Reducing Prices

If people don’t know why you cut prices, they will make assumptions. This can hurt your brand image. For instance, some customers might think that you’re discontinuing a product and are trying to get rid of the last of what you have left. Customers don’t want to buy a product if a newer version is coming out soon after.

What Are The Keys To Effective Price Reduction Strategy Marketing?

When you cut the price of a product or service, you should have a goal in mind. After all, why else would you reduce prices? Whatever your goal might be, you’ll want to keep it in mind as you develop your marketing strategy. A good price reduction marketing strategy should include the following:

  • Provide A Reason

If you don’t justify your price cut, your target audience may become skeptical about why you’re doing it. You need to have a good reason. For example, maybe you’re just having a sale to reward your customers. Or maybe it’s an ethical reason (such as temporarily lowering prices during the COVID-19 pandemic). If you’re permanently reducing the price, you should provide an explanation as well.

  • Research Your Competition

If you’re trying to price your product more competitively, then you should do some competitive research. How much are your competitors charging for similar products or services? If you’re temporarily reducing prices, then you might want to make them even lower than your competition. Doing so can help you steal customers who are willing to try your product or service due to the low price.

  • Establish A Timeline

Is your price cut going to be permanent or temporary? If it’s temporary, you should market it as such. You’ll want to note exactly when you plan on reducing the price. You should also mention how long it will remain at that price point. This way, customers who want to take advantage of your price reduction won’t miss out. The last thing you want is for customers to not make the purchase because they didn’t know that your price cut was temporary.

  • Consider Your Buyer Personas

Consider how a price change will affect your buyer personas. You might not realize it, but reducing the price isn’t always the best way to increase sales. This is especially true if your buyer personas are on the wealthier side. These personas are likely looking for a premium product or service. If you lower the cost of your product significantly, it may lose the perception of luxury.

Lesson Learned: Buyer Persona Gone Wrong 

  • Focus On Features

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is to focus solely on the price cut. While the price reduction will attract many customers, it’s not the main reason why they will make the purchase. It’s the features of your product or service. Focus on the features that make your product or service worthwhile. The features are what provide the real value, after all.

Implement A Successful Price Reduction Marketing Strategy Today

Reducing the price of your product or service can help you increase sales and your customer base. If you take the time to develop an effective price reduction marketing strategy, it will result in both a short-term impact and a long-term impact (even if you’re only reducing prices temporarily).

buyer persona guide for business

30 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement & Following

Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever.

Why Instagram?

According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.

Here is a compilation of our 30 best marketing tips for businesses to grow Instagram engagement and following in 2020:

Instagram Profile and Posting Habits

  1. Get to know the Instagram app and master how to use its basic features such as uploading posts and stories.
  2. Write a compelling Instagram bio and integrate it into your brand personality.
  3. Keep posts visually consistent to meet your brand’s style guide and tone.
  4. Incorporate categorized pinned stories on your Instagram page so it is easily navigable and can be used as a resource for sharing your brand identity to consumers.
  5. Optimize captions using brand hashtags and relevant hashtags with high popularity. (Determine if a hashtag is trending by typing the hashtag in the instagram search bar to see how many posts come up with the hashtag.)
  6. Use tools such as Hashtagsforlikes to optimize hashtags to use for your business sector.
  7. Create and promote a specific branded hashtag for a campaign. Encourage others to share the hashtag with it theming around a relevant, trending topic that consumers are passionate about.
  8. Use local hashtags and geotags on posts in order to attract local users on Instagram in a similar way SEO works for the web.
  9. Post consistently with both posts and stories, including videos, polls, and other interactive elements to keep followers engaged and entertained with your content. 
  10. Start conversations using Instagram stories stickers and polls.
  11. Schedule Instagram stories to generate more views.
  12. Keep in mind that 40% of Instagram videos do not have sound on, so ensure you caption relevant verbal content.
  13. Convert instagram followers into email subscribers by making your Instagram a business account and promoting your email subscriptions in your Instagram posts and stories.
  14. Monitor your tagged photos to ensure a good reputation, and un-tag your account on posts that are irrelevant or spam, so they do not appear on your profile.
  15. Add a link to instagram stories in order to generate website traffic.
  16. Use humor through gif’s and memes to execute your brand message through a creative angle.

Increasing your Instagram following

  1. Optimize SEO on instagram by paying vital attention to your Instagram handle and name. It is very important that your handle (@…) reflects your business industry. Try to make it short, sweet, and with relevant words. The account name should reflect the account handle and industry because it is what Instagram checks its searches against when users type a word or emoji in the search bar.
  2. Partner with micro influencers.
  3. Run a contest, giveaway, or raffle entry through your account page.
  4. Invest in Instagram ads, which targets customers with personalization and buyer persona techniques.
  5. Create “savable” content, or posts that are aesthetically pleasing, informationally useful or relevant. This will entice followers to save the content to their library and increases the chances of further brand awareness. Simultaneously, creating desirable content provides people a reason to continue following your page and share your content.
  6. Participate in popular conversations on accounts with high following and public relevance in order to get your instagram handle out there and quickly generate new followers.
  7. Encourage followers to re-share your Instagram stories through incentives of discount promotion codes and/or contests.
  8. Open up about your business with a weekly featured vlog of the day in the life of an employee, an interesting biographical picture and captioned story of the founders, or inspirational quote from the CEO.
  9. Follow relevant accounts and users following competition in your industry to gain followers back.
  10. Promote your Instagram on other social media accounts. Feature your Instagram account in your Twitter and Facebook bios, and make a post promoting your Instagram page with a link.
  11. If your Facebook has many likes or followers already, consider linking your Facebook and Instagram together to boost your Instagram following.

6 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2020

Keeping Track of your Instagram Performance

  1. Ensure your account is in business mode to automatically receive valuable insights and analytics on how your posts are doing.
  2. Regularly test and analyze new content to post to your Instagram.
  3. Use a free follower tracking app to regularly unfollow accounts that do not follow yours back in order to maintain a good follower/following ratio while continuously following new accounts.

We hope these 30 tips with various resources serve you well on your journey to becoming an Instagram lead-generation powerhouse. Happy “gram-ing”!

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buyer persona

Lessons Learned: Buyer Persona Gone Wrong

Before a company can establish a solid marketing plan, it must be aware of the specific target markets or customer profiles it has the best chance to attract to its product or service. Creating a buyer persona is essential to effective attraction marketing.

Market Segmentation

In order to perfect your approach in buyer persona launch, these are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Don’t Forget to Focus on the Buyer Decision

The most common mistake marketers make is solely defining a buyer persona by the buyer profile, rather than putting detailed consideration in what is most useful: the buyer decision.

How to fix this:

Aside from using previous data, we recommend using the research questions provided by 5 Rings of Buying Insight™, which incorporates every aspect you need to know about your buyer persona’s decision making process:

  1. Priority initiatives – What causes certain buyers to invest in solutions like yours? What is different about buyers who are satisfied with the status quo?
  2. Success factors – What operational or personal results do your buyers expect to achieve by purchasing this solution?
  3. Perceived barriers – What concerns cause your buyers to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?
  4. Buyer’s journey – Who and what impacts your buyers as they evaluate their options and make a selection?
  5. Decision criteria – Which aspects of competing products, services, solutions, or companies do your buyers perceive as most critical? What do your buyers expect for each?

Ultimate Guide to the Buyer’s Journey- Find out What Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Entails

  1. Keep Your Research Questions Simple and Sweet

Marketers often stray from insightful target market findings if they use too much detail in their research questions. When conducting research about your buyer persona through surveys or focus groups, avoid questions that are overly personal or technical. This may deviate your campaign away from any productive findings that would help you truly get to know your ideal customer niche.

How to fix this:

When developing questions, it is best to start by establishing what the key problems or questions are that you ultimately want answers for.  You may start with a larger, broader list of questions… however, do not make the mistake of forgetting to shave it down. In the end, all questions should lead to answers that are simple, sweet, and directly related to the problem trying to be solved at hand.

 

  1. Assuming About the Buyer Persona Leads Campaigns Astray

It is important to remember that the most helpful information comes directly from the customers. When researching a potential buyer persona, it is crucial to avoid filling in the blanks, skipping the interview, or assuming anything about the client. A campaign could go in the complete wrong direction if this occurs.

How to fix this:

Rather than making an incorrect assumption based on survey results, in-depth conversations with people can provide the answers you need to bring your brand to the next level. Additionally, a small sample size may lead to incorrect assumptions. Since quality > quantity, and many agencies fixate too much into demographic or other obvious information rather than actually helpful insights, in-depth interviews are again a solution to avoiding this mistake. In order to avoid an over-reliance on anecdotes, always ensure they are backed up by data. You know what they say about assuming… it definitely does not make an accurate buyer persona!

 

  1. Less is More: Master One Buyer Persona First!

It is important to focus on mastering one target market rather than taking on too many to handle. Trying to tackle too many buyer personas at once can overwhelm. This results in a lower quality of target profile insights and vague understanding of individual buyer personas.  Before deciding to take on another buyer persona, it is important to know that this new initiative will bring about sufficient revenue and that your company has the resources necessary to execute.

How to fix this:  

Instead of pondering how many buyer personas to generate, it is important to first focus on establishing how many ways your company needs to market its product or service as the solution for a given buyer persona. Once these are established, it is much easier to gauge if another buyer persona should emerge.

 

  1. One Stock Photo Cannot Fit All

Though stock photos incorporate a creative, personable, and emotion-driven touch to a targeted campaign. However, marketers often forget that one stock photo cannot fit all customers within a buyer persona. Do not make the common mistake of overthinking a stock photo to the point it (mis)leads your campaign into the (wrong) direction.

How to fix this:

In order to solidify your campaign, be sure to start the buyer persona creation process with fleshed out, concrete ideas about who exactly your target market is. Only then should you allow yourself to do the fun part of depicting this persona; stock photos should embellish your envisioned buyer persona- not create it.

More on Buyer Personas:

buyer persona guide for business