Thanks to the numerous inbound and outbound marketing channels that now exist, it has become much easier to get in front of niche audiences and ideal prospects. By implementing technology, many companies are doing well attracting new leads. However, those same companies sometimes struggle to maintain cohesion with their leads.
In many cases, the approach of gathering new leads is disjointed. For example, a single business can generate leads through social media ads, cold calls made by salespeople, trade publication ads, tradeshows and more. While it’s encouraging to have leads coming in from a variety of sources, it’s not uncommon for inconsistencies to show in the ways lead data is collected — if it is collected at all. To create the best prospect list, it’s important to have consistent data regardless of the lead’s source.
There also needs to be consistency in the response prospects receive. They need a singular experience. It’s not good if a lead responds to several different channels and receives a different response from your company from each one. The follow-ups, regardless if they come from a customer service representative, salesperson or someone else, can’t be different.
Further, lead generation is one thing. Conversion is another. According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. They require further engagement before being ready to commit to a purchase. But what happens to them in the meantime? Are your salespeople going to remember or have time to get back to them while dealing with more qualified prospects?
All of these issues can be handled by marketing automation.
No Lead Left Behind
We use technology every day to make our lives easier, so why not use technology to do the same for your marketing? With a marketing automation platform, your company can overcome a lack of time or resources when attracting new leads. There are multiple reasons marketing automation is valuable, but there are two that most businesses find most appealing.
1. The Marketing Automation Platform is the Central Point of Activity for All Marketing
Leads that are not buy-ready advance through the buyer’s journey differently. They find value in different things, and they progress at different speeds. Without a marketing automation platform, it requires a large amount of time and effort to plan for future engagement. It’s simple math that if you’ve got just a handful of salespeople and marketers trying to manage hundreds or even thousands of leads, prospects are going to slip through the cracks.
2. The Marketing Automation Platform Makes It Easier to Get ROI Data
If you’re collecting lead information with multiple platforms, it creates additional work when the time comes to analyze data and measure your ROI. And if the data coming from different places is in different formats, it’s an even bigger problem. Data isn’t stored in separate silos with marketing automation. It’s all combined, and all channels can be analyzed on a single platform. This is beneficial because it enables you to identify the most effective channels.
It also allows for A/B testing, which will improve your marketing in the future. You can try different variables like subject lines, language, offers, etc. When you’re using a marketing automation platform, you can easily compare and contrast the results to find what works best.
Goals When Attracting New Leads
If you’re using a marketing automation platform, you can set the stage for marketing success, whether it’s immediate or long-term. There are a couple of goals you should have when in the process of attracting new leads:
1. Get the Prospect to Respond Immediately
Future engagement is based on the interactions prospects have with your marketing touches. With that in mind, it’s important to get the ball rolling and promote interactions and record that data. The best way to get prospects to immediately respond is by providing a clear call to action. Common calls to action are “Call now” or “Visit our website today.”
You can reasonably expect a 5-10% response rate from leads. The remaining 90-95% will require further engagement. But that doesn’t mean you should consider non-responsive leads dead and cut them loose. They’re still valuable even if they don’t respond right away. And that’s why it’s so nice to use marketing automation. You can set it up to keep working on those leads and get them on the road to conversion.
2. Get Contact Information
Marketing automation allows you to leverage the value of the touches you send out. One of the goals of your calls to action should be to get prospects to give up their contact information, more specifically, complete contact information. Obviously, mailers require addresses and emails require email addresses. But in those cases, that may be the only contact information you have. And with trade publication ads, you won’t have any contact information of targets. Building complete profiles of leads will give your business more options for engagement.
When launching your initial touches, look for small victories. You won’t hit a home run and get a bunch of responses from buy-ready prospects on the first swing. It could take a lot of time to seal deals. With that in mind, it’s important to engage with leads somehow. You can increase your chances of getting them to respond by rewarding them. You can provide them with valuable content or a promotional product. This opens the door for future dialogue.
Build a Marketing Pipeline
Your marketing becomes much more valuable once you have data about your prospects. Sure, you may be able to collect data manually, but it takes much longer. The process is much easier with marketing automation. If harnessed properly, a marketing automation platform can be your “ear to the ground” that keeps track of digital behavior and allows you to learn what your leads are doing. You can use that information to modify your marketing to better appeal to more leads.
Once you’ve got leads in your marketing automation pipeline, it’s just a matter of engaging with them and piquing their interest until they are ready to buy. And salespeople need not worry about burning up the phone lines and keyboards. They can keep their focus on finalizing sales while the marketing automation platform brings everyone else along. Learn about marketing automation’s role in Engagement in our next post…