On my previous blog, I talked about how to convert your visitors into leads with successful landing pages. Now that you have leads, you need to build a relationship with them and nurture them until they are ready to be a customer.
Email campaigns are the fundamental method to nurture a lead. “But I thought email marketing is dead?” Nope, they are not dead. The Direct Marketing Association’s “Power of Direct” Report in 2011 states that the average ROI of email is $1 to $40.56. According to a survey conducted by Message Systems, 63% of marketers cite email as the channel that offers the best ROI.
Many consumers have a negative connotation when they hear the words, ‘email marketing’, so you have to be especially careful when creating your emails to ensure that they are not considered as spam. “How do I do that,” you ask? Make sure they are relevant and provide valuable information to your buyer personas! Also do not overload your leads. When implemented successfully, emails build relationships, brand awareness, and trust. They generate leads, boost social interaction, nurture relationships, and drive sales.
Now that you’re convinced, here are the highlights from the Inbound Certification program:
Part III – Close
- In my previous blog, I talked about the three stages of the buyer process. Determine what stage your leads are by looking at which landing pages they converted from and which additional offers they downloaded (refer to HubSpot’s Lifecycle Stages chart on the right as a guide). Tailor your emails depending on what stage the lead is in.
- Segment your contacts list – by location, industry, job title or role, content, etc.
- Email Best Practices
- Identify a specific goal.
- Segment your list.
- Personalize when possible.
- Create consistency between from name and email address.
- Use actionable language.
- Create clear, compelling subject lines & email copy.
- Write mostly in the second person.
- Focus on the benefits, not on the features.
- Be brief (less than 200 words).
- Have a concise signature/footer.
- Test and measure bounce rate, delivery rate, list growth, click-through rate (CTR), email sharing, conversion rate, revenue/email sent, open rate, and unsubscribe rate.
- One of the biggest challenges is to get marketing and sales to work with each other. According to a Corporate Executive Board survey, 87% of the terms sales & marketing use to describe each other are negative.
- Marketing and sales are really two halves of the same team. Smarketing is the alignment of sales and marketing around goals and personas.
- Five steps to integrate Smarketing
- Speak the same language. It all comes down to revenue. Work backwards from the revenue goal, average deal size, customers needed, and average conversion rate to determine the number of leads needed. Define (1) what the stages of the funnel are, (2) what a sales-ready lead is, (3) where in the funnel the lead is ready to be handed off to the sales team, and (4) who your buyer persona is.
- Set up closed-loop reporting. Traditional marketing is one-direction. Marketing hands off leads to sales but receive no feedback or ROI measurement from sales. There needs to be a closed loop-process to gather effective lead intelligence.
- Implement a service level agreement (SLA). Define what each team commits to accomplishing in order to support the other. For example, marketing needs to give x number of leads of y quality to sales rep in order to make quota. Sales need to make z amount of call/email attempts to engage every lead to not waste leads. Track SLA progress daily.
- Maintain open communication. Weekly smarketing meetings, monthly management meetings, outside of meetings. Communication on campaigns, products, news, solutions, etc.
- Rely on data. User dashboards to visualize data. Track leads by source, leads by campaign, number of MQLs, sales by day, sales activity. When things go wrong, rely on the data, not on emotions, to see what is not working properly and what needs to be changed.
After you take a lead through the entire nurturing process and successfully closed him/her into a customer, you are done, right? WRONG! Customers are your greatest asset, so maintain a relationship and keep them delighted.
Unhappy customers are more likely to share their experiences with others than satisfied customers. According to Harvard Business Review, “48% of customers who had negative experiences told 10 or more others, while only 23% of customers who had a positive service interaction told 10 or more people about it.”
Delight your customers. The benefits include upsells, retention, customer success, word of mouth referrals, and happy customers.
Part IV – Delight
- Know who your audience is and what their values are. Is it quality, price, results, convenience, etc.?
- Make it all about your customers. Solve their problems, provide recommendations, and be enthusiastic. Under promise, over deliver. Be proactive.
- Don’t hard sell your customers. Always resolve ALL of their problems. Provide a couple of options, but don’t overwhelm them with too many. Just pick 2-3 of the best solutions.
- Create content just for them. Educate them with webinars, videos, blogs, emails, and exclusive content. Leverage smart content and send personalized emails. Put them in a drip marketing campaigns to keep them up to date with relevant information.
- Be active on social media.
- Measure and track everything. Send customer satisfaction surveys.
- It’s the small interactions that make a big difference.”
You have finally gone through the entire inbound marketing process. This is a comprehensive holistic approach. Give yourself a giant pat on the back. You definitely deserve it.
Follow the best practices. Always, always track and measure everything. Make changes and keep testing. Check out more on what HubSpot offers here.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, feedbacks, or critiques, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
I truly hope that you got something valuable out of this 3-part blog series on inbound marketing. Keep calm and market on.