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Lead Generation Tips for Start Ups

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Lead Generation Tips for Start UpsStarting a business isn’t easy work. You can have the greatest idea ever and the best product that exists on the market. Still, if you don’t have leads, you won’t sell a single product. And, it’s no secret that without making sales, even the best business won’t survive.

Therefore, generating a steady supply of new leads and building a pipeline is vital in developing a profitable business. Yet, this is by no means an easy process. In fact, generating leads can be especially difficult for startups for various reasons. For instance, startups often have limited resources, including money and time resources. In fact, nearly 61% of B2B marketers put the blame on lack of resources, including staff, funding, and time, as the toughest challenge to successful lead generation.

Also, they have no reputation at all, so no positive word-of-mouth, no referrals, no testimonials, and no social proof. At the same time, they are competing with brands with a well-established customer base.

But that’s not all! As the lead generation experts from Drip Digital explain, “Perhaps the biggest challenge in generating leads is that startups have no experience with it. And, with lead generation, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. A strategy that works great for others won’t necessarily work for you as well. Only by gaining experience, you will be able to look back and identify what works to attract leads for your startup and what doesn’t.”

Now, generating leads includes two main strategies: outbound and inbound. Yet, the point is that both have their own specific strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, your startup will use a little bit of both. However, when you’re just getting started, you might need to prioritize one over the other.

Feel confused yet? Don’t worry! We’re here to explain everything to you and share with you the tips you need to improve your lead generation.

Lead generation explained

First things first, in case this is the first time you ever hear about lead generation, we’ll quickly explain what lead generation is to make sure we’re on the same page as far as terminology goes.

Leads are basically people who have demonstrated interest in your business in some way. Basically, everyone who has given you their contact info, be it to attend your webinar, to download your free guide, or to sign up for your newspaper, is a lead. This person has engaged your business and has given you permission to contact them.

Now that you know exactly what leads are, the name “lead generation” is pretty self-explanatory. It is basically the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads.

So, how do you get leads you need to increase your revenue and exceed your goals?

Outbound lead generation strategies

Outbound strategies are pretty much all about reaching out to your prospective leads in order to engage them and transform them into actual leads. Outbound strategies usually include tactics such as door-to-door sales, cold emailing, and pay-per-click advertising. Outbound strategies include many tactics, both from offline and digital.

Now, outbound strategies generally require a more significant financial investment compared to inbound strategies. Yet, they can often deliver quicker results. So, how do you plan an effective outbound campaign?

Define your leads

What does your potential customer want? Once you’re able to answer this question and tie it to a high-converting landing page, that’s the moment when you’ll consistently generate leads.

It’s no secret that if you want to reach out to customers, you need to know who they are and what they want. In fact, this is one of the most common mistakes made by startups: they believe that what they’re selling is for everyone. So, don’t try to appeal to everyone but rather target a specific audience to tailor your campaign for.

If you already have a base of customers, that’s a great place to start to know them better. If not, don’t worry, you can learn more about your prospective leads by researching your competitors’ customers and analyzing their online activities.

Find your leads

Once you know who your prospective leads are, it is time to find them.

Now, you could buy lists of prospects, but this is not a safe bet because the quality of these lists can vary greatly. You may be paying for out-of-date emails and incorrect information. So, it makes much more sense to build your own list.

Hopefully, you found out enough information about your prospective leads to get an idea of where they might be spending their time. For example, if your target audience is Gen Z, they’re probably spending a lot of time hashtagging on Instagram. So, no need to waste your time and efforts anywhere else.

In other words, based on what you know about your leads, figure out where you can find them online.

Reach out to your leads

Now that you know who they are and where they are, it is time actually to reach out to your leads. You can use tactics such as cold calling, cold emailing, and social selling. Yet, keep in mind that each has its weaknesses and strengths. For example, while cold calls might be interrupting, it can be more effective at getting quick decisions. Social selling might take longer, but can help you build relationships with the prospects before you reach out to them.

Inbound strategies

Alternatively, you can also use inbound strategies that are all about creating value for your leads and offering it to them to attract them. Inbound strategies include forms of content such as blog posts, ebooks, and webinars, and video content. Pretty much all types of content that brings value to your prospective leads.

With Inbound strategies, things are different in terms of how you capture your leads. You don’t reach out to them directly but rather attract them to you. And, to do this, you have to create valuable content, share it, and finally capture your leads.

The most important step for your inbound strategies is creating valuable content. Yet, to create relevant content, you need to know who the ideal customer is. So, knowing your customer and tailoring your inbound strategies is just as important as it is for your outbound strategies.

5 Marketing Emails That Work

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Email Marketing|5 Marketing Emails That WorkCheck your inbox, particularly under the promotions tab, and you’ll no doubt have an absolute deluge of emails from businesses vying for your attention. You’ll likely click on very few of them; after all, they’re usually from companies that you’ve made a one-time purchase from or are repetitive reminders of sales and offers. Bearing in mind how cynical people are about marketing emails, how do you create one that actually converts to a click or sale? It’s tricky, but there are certain types of emails that are more effective than others.

Short term promotions

If you have a big sale or a can’t-be-missed offer, then a short email to potential customers in your database can often increase clicks. While lots of companies send out these e-mails, keeping it short and sweet can make them quite effective. Quote the percentage discount in the subject title and make the email body a well-laid out image that links to the sale. Remember your mobile customers. For every second of mobile page delay, conversions can fall by 20%, so if your email is packed with images and taking ages to load, you’re losing customers.

New products

All consumers like novelty, so although they may not visit your website regularly, they may click on emails about new products and ranges. For example, a new season clothing collection, new vacation destinations or a new service. These emails should link to a relevant page on your website, so when you’re overhauling your web design, think about having a ‘new in’ page or similar to use as a shortcut.

In these emails, images and layout are vital, so make sure you have something that’s visually appealing to maximize clicks.

The welcome email

Whether it’s their first order or signing up for updates, when you get a new email address in your database, it’s essential to make a good first impression. Welcome emails can include:

  • A friendly hello and a reminder how happy you are that they’ve signed up
  • A short list of the benefits of your site
  • Links to key categories on your site
  • A discount code or other incentive to use your site, i.e., free shipping or an upgrade

Product knowledge

Whether it’s how to wear a new trend or the hottest destinations in a vacation spot, these emails offer practical advice while still selling your products and services. The layout often looks like an online guide, which means people don’t feel like they’re being sold to, but there’s plenty of appealing imagery to generate sales and clicks.

Reorder or replenishment emails

If your business sells items that are ordered regularly, from cleaning products to printer cartridges, then reminders to reorder can lead to more sales. Many retailers send out reorder emails, which are timed to coincide with the product running low. The good thing about these emails is that you can recommend similar products and services, offer incentives to sign up for auto-renew and even ask for feedback on how the customer is finding the product. Many consumers like this personalized approach to marketing.

Just because inboxes are full of emails, there’s no reason why your marketing communications can’t stand out. By sending the right types of email at the right times, you can maximize your conversion rates.

Inbound Strategy Vs Outbound Strategy: Which Is Better For Your Business?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Inbound Marketing |Inbound Strategy Vs Outbound Strategy: Which Is Better For Your Business?When it comes to marketing your business, your strategy will depend on so many things, but ultimately it can be separated in to two types of strategies – both of which are great for business, but are implemented in different ways and usually at different times in your business.

These strategies are inbound marketing and outbound marketing, and before we go into the benefits of each strategies, we’re going to explain a little about what each is and and overview of how they work.

An inbound strategy is typically what you’d call a long-game strategy in that it can be implemented right at the beginning of your business, but it can take a while to see results and it’s something that’s going to continue to be implemented throughout the duration of you running your business.

Examples of an inbound marketing strategy in action would include things like content marketing, your website and social media – these are all things you have out there that allow people to come to you by finding your marketing material, so it’s obviously something that takes a little time to build up.

An outbound strategy on the other hand is something that tends to see quicker results and is usually not something that will be implemented consistently in your business, but will be something that you’ll do every once in a while or especially at the beginning of your business.

Examples of outbound strategy in action would be something like you’ve just started a service-based company where you provide professional writing services for the medical industry and since your first priority is to get clients then part of your outbound strategy is to create a cold outreach campaign to places like hospitals, medical credentialing companies, and other medical industry companies that you could write for.

As mentioned above, each strategy works great, but they both have their time and place, and each also is better to implemented depending on how much time you have in your business to spend on marketing. Outbound is going to see faster results over a shorter period, but inbound will see consistent results over a longer period and can be a great way to plan your growth in terms of customers and revenue, so below we’re going to list some of the benefits of each strategy to help you see which one is best suited to your needs right now.

Inbound:

  • Helps you establish trust and credibility with your audience over a longer time;
  • Is usually great for SEO and organic reach since you’ll be creating a lot of content;
  • Can be automated to run over longer periods of time, so it doesn’t require so much attention.

Outboud:

  • Great for getting yourself known quickly;
  • A great way to build confidence when selling;
  • One of the fastest and most effective ways to get new clients fast.

Hopefully this post has provided you with a little clarity on the differences between these two strategies and helped you see which one could potentially be best for you depending on your business needs right now.

What Is Inbound Marketing, and Why Is Everyone Doing It?

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleFinding new customers is one of the primary challenges facing businesses. While many businesses rely on traditional outbound marketing strategies to find new leads, this can be costly and even ineffective. For most businesses, paid advertising and cold calling alone are no longer enough to attract customers. Consumer expectations have changed with the advent of the Internet, and many will need a better reason than a catchy jingle or a slick logo to become your customer.

Inbound marketing has emerged as an attractive complement to traditional advertising strategies. Whereas outbound marketing requires your business to cast a wide net to catch a few good leads, with an inbound strategy, you can lure potential customers who are already actively searching for the services you offer. This can increase the quality of your leads, lowering the customer acquisition cost and increasing the ROI of your marketing efforts.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy in which a business creates high-quality content to attract potential customers and to build its brand. It is a holistic online marketing strategy that nurtures leads at every stage of the “buyer’s journey,” which models the decisions process a buyer persona goes through before making a purchase.

During the Awareness stage, the prospect tries to find out information about a problem they are experiencing. Next comes the Consideration stage, when they begin thinking about possible solutions. By the time the prospect has reached the Decision stage, they are interested in buying a specific product or service, and want to learn more about it.

With an inbound strategy, you can position your website as an attractive destination with useful information that can help potential customers make a purchase decision. The self-selection process this strategy implies means that potential leads are likely to be of relatively high-quality and receptive to your efforts to nurture them into customers. With an effective inbound marketing strategy, you can expand your market and turn new customers into dedicated promoters of your brand.

1. Defining Your Target Audience

Your marketing efforts should be tailored to your business’s buyer persona. This is a research-based model of your typical customer, which may include their information about their socioeconomic status, psychology, and consumption patterns.

To identify your buyer personas, try to find trends in your customer’s careers, buying habits, or the way they found your business. Interview a wide range of customers, including those who were satisfied and dissatisfied with your product. You gain further insight about your company by interviewing current leads, referrals they may have, and people who don’t know about your company.

2. Attracting New Visitors

Once you have your buyer personas, you’ll be able to create content which addresses their pain points and educates them about relevant subject matter. Blogging is one of the best ways to accomplish this, and the more high-quality content you create, the more authority you can have with potential customers.

Use search-engine optimization techniques to make it easy for prospects to find your content. You can promote your blog posts on social media, which can bring in more prospects as they are shared. The more you blog, the more important you can be to your buyer personas, and the more likely they will be to buy your products or services in the future.

3. Converting Visitors to Leads

Once your content starts bringing in visitors, it’s important to collect their contact information to convert them to leads.

An effective way to do this is through relevant content offers and opt-ins. Visitors can gain access to these once they fill out a form that includes their e-mail, phone number, social media account, or any other way you might want to contact them. Once you’re in touch, you can maintain their interest with further content offers and even start a dialogue.

4. Automated Nurturing

Email marketing is important for staying top of mind with your prospects. Once you have their contact information, you can provide them with content and communications that nurture them along the buyer’s journey. This makes it easy for you to communicate with them, and to make offers which appeal to them, such as a webinar or a teleconference.

By keeping track of what other offers they sign up for, you’ll know which content to offer in order to convert them from a lead into a customer.

5. Delighting Customers

Inbound marketing allows you to turn your customers into brand evangelists. You can keep their interest after they have made their purchase by providing them with a steady stream of useful content which addresses their current needs and builds off your previous work. Ultimately, by keeping former customers engaged with your business, you can increase the ROI of your marketing efforts and make it more likely that they will return as a customer. They may even refer others to your business.

Inbound marketing allows you to build your company while advertising it. The content and relationships you create can provide a steady stream of revenue. There’s no better way to use today’s technology to build a strong brand and a loyal customer base.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

ShaDrena Simon in an inbound marketing expert and digital strategist at Yokel Local, an inbound marketing agency that helps businesses grow with confidence.