Prioritizing Your Incoming Leads

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Although online businesses have all the tools in the world to help them, an inability to prioritize their leads means they fail to meet the targets they set. Latest research suggests that almost 70% of companies struggle with lead generation while over 50% of sales executives interviewed in a recent survey believe that marketing-generated leads lack in quantity and quality. Lack of prioritization is deemed to be one of the biggest reasons for a fall in sales productivity. It is important to note that increasing sales productivity by 15% is the equivalent of increasing revenue by 15% so lead prioritization is essential.

Lead Classification

In order to prioritize your leads, you first have to classify them:

  • Value: Are these leads of low, medium or high value?
  • Product Segmentation: Category of leads. For example, home computing system, home stereo system.
  • Categorization of Campaign: Which lead generation campaign provided the lead?
  • Customer Relationship: Is this an existing customer or customer in progress?
  • Confidence Level: Low, medium or high. You need to use ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ data to come to this conclusion. For instance, if you are selling a product to furnish a home and the customer is in the process of buying a new home, you would be confident that he will purchase your product. If the customer bought his house more than a year ago, you would not be confident because he is likely to have furnished the house already.

Considerations

When thinking about prioritizing your leads, there are a few considerations that need to be made:

  • If a sales campaign has a deadline for customers to meet and the leads come from this particular campaign, priority should be high.
  • Leads that have a combination of high confidence and high value must be prioritized.
  • You need to prioritize leads related to a product line if revenue from it is falling below target.
  • Existing customers of high value must be high priority leads.

When classifying your leads, you will need to run the results through your sales staff as their feedback should help you fine tune the list. For example, your sales team may find that a lead you had down as ‘high value’ is not as valuable as you thought so it would be removed from the high priority list.

If you want success when it comes to lead prioritization, you need to have clearly defined business rules when it comes to classifying leads. Your leads database will have to be excellent and your querying system needs to be effective.

6 Obvious Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Posted on Apr 10, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Did you know that email marketing has been around since the early 1970s? While instant messaging and tweeting seem to be more popular, the ‘old school’ nature of email is still appealing and a huge number of companies rely on email marketing to generate revenue. This form of marketing is cheap and effective but companies that utilize it are guilty of making the same mistakes time and again. Below are 6 of the most frequently made errors made during an email marketing campaign.

1 – Poor Quality Subject Lines

You can spend as much as you like on an email marketing company that guarantees delivery of your email past the spam filter but if you have a dull subject line, forget about people opening it. The ideal subject line is short, snappy and promises intriguing content such as ‘3 ways Twitter can boost your business’.

2 – Irrelevant Content

This involves abusing the low cost of email marketing by sending emails laden with irrelevant content. For example, if you are sending emails about single vacations to bachelors, you should not start including information about family-friendly holiday sites.

3 – No Permission

Sending emails to people who have not agreed to subscribe is the very definition of spamming. Once you start sending emails to people who have not asked for them, there is no way back. They will see you as a spammer and will never deal with you again.

4 – Pointless Marketing

This is when businesses begin an email marketing campaign without a clear goal. They have no idea how to improve the life of the subscriber (which should always be the main goal) and the result is a disaster of a campaign that leads nowhere. Before committing to an email campaign, think about why you are doing it in the first place! Are you looking to educate, inform or begin a dialogue with the consumer for example?

5 – No Analytics

When you send out batches of emails, you simply must know the statistics such as how many were opened and how many bounced. Without statistics, you have no way of knowing if your email marketing campaign is a success. You need metrics to find out what works and what needs tweaking. With statistics, you can find out useful information such as effective subject lines and the best time of day to send the emails.

6 – Not Shareable

You need to create emails that provide value and are worthy of being shared. If your recipients like the emails, they may decide to share them which is great news for you. Imagine having one of your high quality emails shared on Facebook and Twitter. You could almost guarantee a spike in sales.

The above mistakes may be common but they are also easy to avoid so take heed of the advice above and embark on a successful and error-free email marketing campaign.

Salesforce & Email Marketing

Posted on Mar 20, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

 

Effective segmentation, cost effectiveness and the fact you can easily track results are all compelling reasons to use email marketing. Salesforce is a brilliant CRM platform and gives you the ability to send out email campaigns but very limited without the use of a integration partner. Clearly, those whom you send emails to need to be subscribers or else your email will end up unopened in the recipient’s junk bin. When you use Salesforce and choose an integration partner such as Response Wise, you can use automated drip marketing campaigns which is a more thoughtful and complex method or else you can go all-out with mass emails.

The integration between Salesforce and Response Wise allows for more marketing automation. This enables an automated process on moving leads from the top of the marketing funnel through to becoming sales-ready leads at the bottom of the funnel. Prospects are scored, based on their activities, and then presented drip campaign messaging via email and social channels, thus nurturing them from first interest through to sale.

Email Limit

Salesforce is popular because it offers so many ways of managing contacts and your sales opportunity pipeline. Using a CRM like this allows you to really track how marketing efforts are translating into sales. It’s important to note that Salesforce does NOT allow you to launch insanely large email marketing campaigns as you are limited to 1,000 emails per day, maximum. In some cases, Salesforce packages restrict you to 250 emails a day while others keep you at 500 per day.

Flexibility

If you are looking for an email application that allows you more flexibility than that provided by Salesforce and need a greater upper limit, you obviously have a few choices. While Salesforce may not specialize in email marketing, the company is loathe to lose your business. This is why you can use a variety of mass email marketing services that integrate with Salesforce including Response Wise. You need to discover with option suits your company’s needs best, taking into account criteria such as functionality and pricing.

One you have integrated your mass email marketing solution of choice with Salesforce, your sales team will have the ability to determine which email was received by a contact or lead along with a list of detailed analytics. This will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your current campaign. You can also create landing pages within Response Wise for your web site. When those landing pages are filled out, an account record is automatically created in Salesforce those opportunities can then be prioritized appropriately.

Response Wise’s integration with Salesforce allows you to completely manage your campaigns within Salesforce.

Using Email Marketing To Automate Communications Via Lead Scores

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing

All successful businesses know that staying on top involves a combination of keeping existing customers happy while bringing in new consumers on a regular basis. It is a difficult juggling act but no one ever said that attaining success in the field of business was easy! It is estimated that finding new customers is up to 5 times more expensive than keeping existing ones. This news causes businesses to play it safe and their failure to take a risk and expand ultimately leads to their demise. The thing about email marketing is that it’s one of the cheapest and most effective methods of attracting new customers while rewarding existing clients.

Automated Communications

The beauty of email marketing is that it takes so little time to implement. You create your emails, send them to your subscribers and wait for the analytics to tell you where you are going right and what needs improvement. The entire process can be automated so you can schedule emails for the distant future and relax as the emails find their way into the inboxes of your subscribers. But simply creating emails and sending them off is not likely to attract new customers. You need to treat prospects differently than existing customers in order to turn leads into paying consumers.

Lead Scoring

This is the process of assigning a relative value to specific criteria which will usually take the form of any attributes you have identified as being associated with prospects. Essentially, the actions taken by your prospects will be accrued into a score. The higher this score is, the more likely it is that your lead will eventually become a customer. This is a great time saver as your company can focus its attentions on leads that are likely to become customers rather than wasting money on people that have no interest in parting with their money.

When using lead scoring, it is important to start simple. You don’t need extremely complicated categories. Know what each category measures and get to work. The content in each email must be interesting, targeted and relevant. Email marketers find that they achieve their best results when every email has been created with a specific purpose in mind at a specific stage of the purchasing process. It is important not to panic if the lead scores you set up don’t give you the results you desire.

Lead scoring is known to be a process that can take time and those who are patient tend to get the best results. Most companies like to run a lead scoring model for 3 months and review it periodically making the necessary adjustments after this initial period. If you utilize lead scoring correctly, expect your company to enjoy a greater revenue stream than ever before.

3 Ways To Increase Your Social Media Following Via Email

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing, Social Media

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that email marketing and the overall concept of email is a thing of the past. Billions of emails are sent every single day which is hardly the hallmark of a moribund communication channel. One of the great things about email is its versatility. This is proven by the way you can combine it with other marketing efforts such as mobile and social. Today, we will concentrate on social and provide 3 quick and easy tips which will help you use email to increase your social networking profile.

No Begging

One of the single biggest mistakes companies on social networks make is to simply ask users to be their friend or to ‘follow’ them. If you want to get subscribers that could potentially become customers, you need to offer a certain level of value. You need to take part in a discussion, provide some valuable information or offer resources. Basically, you need to show social network users what you can do for them right off the bat. Use the same tactics as you would in your email marketing campaign. That is, be tactful and slowly gain their trust.

Craft Email Messages Dedicated To Social Networking

You need to create an email campaign every single month where you invite customers to become a follower of your social media page. Don’t make the mistake of inviting them to a page that is almost empty. Make sure you have several different discussions underway and connect them to one of the most interesting. Rather than trying to sell them anything at this stage, continue creating excellent and engaging content so that you gain their trust. Get their confidence on the social media site before showing them your wares. Slow but steady wins the Internet sales race!

Be Exclusive, Be Rewarding

You need to show your social media gathering that there is an inherent advantage to being part of the clique. You can do this by providing them with a range of exclusive offers. Give discounts and limited edition products to your social media followers first before asking for their help to spread the message. Instead of revealing your plans via email, do so on your social networking sites first to give your loyal following a heads up.

Instead of focusing on either social media or email marketing, why not get the best of both worlds? Neither option is particularly expensive and when you learn how to work one with the other, you will have a unique marketing strategy that your rivals will find hard to top.

Why Split Testing Email Campaigns Is Important

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Although email marketing is one of the most cost effective and successful methods of marketing, it is a process that is often misunderstood and rarely performed correctly. Companies that carry out email marketing in a mediocre fashion will receive sub-par results. At this stage, email marketing is derided as a failure by these businesses that never look at why they were unsuccessful in the first place. If you try to market without establishing a baseline, you are wasting your time as you will never know what works and why.

Split testing is rarely done at the beginning of an email campaign like it should because companies are too consumed with the process of analyzing metrics. They feel that once the content has been written and the email has been sent to subscribers, their work is almost done. All that remains is to look at the metrics and they have completed one part of their campaign. By neglecting split testing, they are passing up a tremendous opportunity to get inside the mind of recipients and end up with an email marketing campaign that underperforms.

Changing The Way You Send Emails

Many companies make the mistake of believing that split testing is some huge and time consuming operation. In actual fact, you can utilize an A/B split test on a small portion of your emails and still receive great results. Split testing entails sending out two different emails. While each email sells the same thing and ultimately has the same goal, the subject lines, layout and content of each email is completely different. You study the results of each email after they have been sent out and compare and contrast the results.

You should find that one email is more successful than the other. This will help you gain an insight into what your subscriber list wants. Perhaps an email focused on advertising will do the trick or else you may find that your leads prefer an informative message. Failing to split test is a massive mistake because you are missing out on a great opportunity to find out what makes your customer base tick.

In some instances, there may only be a small difference; for example, email A may have a 14% response rate against 12% for email B but even small differences can have a profound impact on a company’s bottom line. On the other hand, you may discover that email A had a 17% response rate against just 8% for email B, a clear indication that the first email is far more effective.

Split testing is likely to be the difference between an email campaign that is successful and one that flounders on the rocks.

5 Ways Customer Surveys Can Create A Communication Loop Between You & Your Consumers

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

In the world of online business, communication is everything. Companies really do need to recognize that the customer is always right online because failure to do so will result in a dramatic loss in sales. Customer reviews are everywhere so if you drop the ball, expect irate customers to let you and the world know exactly what they think of your business. Nothing angers customers more than the feeling that they are not being listened to. Customer surveys are an ideal method of gauging consumer feeling and finding out more about what they want. Below are 5 ways in which these surveys can create that all-important communication loop between you and your consumers.

1 – Measures Loyalty

It is estimated that bringing in new customers costs 400% more than retaining old ones. Clearly, keeping your existing clientele happy must be a priority. With a survey, you can quickly find out how loyal your customers are. If you find that they are not happy, the onus is on you to learn more about why they are dissatisfied. Finding out now could make a huge difference in future.

2 – New Ideas

Adding new products and services is the lifeblood of any company but coming up with new concepts can be difficult. By surveying your consumers, you can find out if there is anything they need and whether there is enough of a demand to produce it. Nothing delights a customer more than to ask for something and find it gets delivered. This shows that you are listening and is a sign of strong communication.

3 – Improving Service

If your customer service is subpar for a long time, you won’t have many customers left! Use the survey to find out how your staff is performing. When you discover what consumers like and dislike about your service, you can quickly fix things to their satisfaction.

4 – Better Existing Products/Services

There is an old saying: ‘If it ain’t broke why fix it?’ But without feedback from your customers, how do you know if your system is working? If you can’t come up with new ideas, at least find ways to improve existing services. Again, ask customers what they would like to see and you can guarantee they will reply in their droves.

5 – Show Commitment

Overall, the process of developing a customer survey shows that you are committed to keeping customers happy. Make sure that you thoroughly study the feedback you receive and make the necessary adjustments.

You can create an effective communication loop through customer surveys. They are cheap and easy to create and the insights you gain from existing consumers could prove to be invaluable.  

Using Image Personalization In Email Campaigns

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

  

The most basic reason to use image personalization in your email campaigns is to make them more appealing to customers. We all receive a huge amount of spam and junk mail in our inboxes and a host of dull and unappealing emails as well. These don’t stand out and even though they may be from genuine companies, we dismiss them as spam too because they are so generic in nature. With image personalization, you not only add a bit of color to emails, you also cater to the individual tastes of each recipient.

Changing Images

It seems strange that the television device of sending messages based on exact times hasn’t really gathered steam when it comes to email marketing. We are of course referring to those adverts which state that there is a sale in 5 days time. The reason why it is not used in emails is because most marketers assume that the message will be opened and read soon after receipt and will then never be read again. However, one set of clever marketers thought otherwise and created an email that displayed a dynamic countdown, in this instance for Christmas. These marketers banked on the fact that the email would be opened repeatedly and recipients saw a different countdown time whenever they open the email.

What happened is that the marketers managed to create an email where the image changed every time the email was opened. If the subscriber opened the email once a day, they would see a new image and a different countdown time on every occasion. It was even possible to change the time displayed in the email depending on where the recipient was viewing it from. For example, if a consumer in Paris and one in New York opened their emails at the same time, they would see a different message. If this seems like a lot of work for a single email, it is worth noting that in our example above, the company enjoyed a sales increase of approximately 40% and each email was opened more than 5 times on average.

What does this prove? That thinking outside the box can be extremely rewarding. While your email campaign does not have to be as innovative as the one we just outlined, you should be using dynamic images in order to get the best results from your email marketing. No one is interested in dull, bland emails that lack a bit of style. Image personalization is clever and breathes new life into each and every email you send.

 

Using Automated Marketing To Track Top Influencers

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Building relationships with so-called ‘influencers’ takes time but it is a worthy endeavor at the end of the day. An influencer is someone who has a large social network following, is well-connected and spends time spreading content. Influencers come in many shapes and sizes and include bloggers, academics, thought leaders, financiers and more. Influencer marketing can become more authentic than normal marketing as it quickly spreads your message and helps your brand gain a positive image. In certain cases, you may get lucky and find that an influencer has helped your message go viral.

Becoming Automated

Automated influence marketing may be a necessity if you are a small operation that has already exhausted much of its resources by managing and executing the other aspects of your marketing campaign. It is important to note that automating influence marketing should be done in support of your strategy rather than as a complete replacement. After all, you cannot replicate the human touch every successful campaign needs via automation.

Although personal attention cannot be completely ignored, automated influence marketing will work in certain cases. For example, it is an excellent way to broadly identify some of the major influencers in your industry before helping you to cut down your list. You can time the distribution of your content so you don’t need to be sat by a computer all day and you can also utilize data extraction to measure and report.

Make Use Of Modern Technological Advances

Tracking influencers via an Excel spreadsheet is time consuming and frustrating. By trying to take care of every aspect of influence marketing manually, you are using up valuable resources. When you use this solution correctly, locating the best influencers by the dozen will be easy and you can quickly reach them on the requisite social media networking sites.

Hopefully, you will know the optimum time for delivering content which may be when you’re asleep if most of your prospective customers are located halfway around the world for example. Automated influence marketing is also excellent at providing accurate readings for the impact of your campaign. Best of all, the entire solution can be initiated in seconds.

In order to successfully use influence marketing to reach out to a new audience, you need to identify the best influencers, measure their influence in your industry, create a content marketing strategy and learn more about your consumers. Most companies don’t have time to go through all of this manually which is why they use an automated influence marketing system to great effect.

5 Easy Ways To Combine Email Marketing & Twitter

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Twitter was created after Facebook and while it does not have as many users, it is estimated that approximately 450 million people have a Twitter account worldwide. A survey conducted recently suggested that almost 70% of business leaders have integrated their email marketing campaigns with social media and Twitter is one of the main choices along with Facebook. As starting up a Twitter account is free and email marketing is extremely inexpensive, combining the two can lead to exceptional results even for companies on a relatively low budget. Below are 5 tips to help you combine Twitter with email marketing for success and sales.

1 – Place Subject Line On Twitter

As you know, Twitter restricts messages to 140 characters. The ideal email subject line should be catchy, compelling and also less than 140 characters which conveniently allows you to post your subject line on Twitter along with a link to your email campaign. There are a number of companies that allow you to automatically integrate Twitter with your email so use it today to reach out to a whole new audience.

2 – Include Twitter Icon In Emails

You really should be doing this with all social networking sites. Always include social icons in the header of your emails. These should be large and obvious so that everyone can see them. There is no point having a Twitter icon if it is buried at the very bottom of the message.

3 – Add Twitter Information To Emails

Another way to combine email marketing with Twitter is to include any comments or queries you have received on your Twitter account relating to your business. This is a great method of answering burning questions and neatly takes care of the issue of providing value with your emails. It is also a fantastic idea to thank those who contributed on your Twitter page as this is an excellent way of improving loyalty.

4 – Add Links For Easy Sign Ups

On your Twitter account, add a link that states ‘sign here to get our emails’. This enables those who see hosted versions of your emails on the social media site to sign up. Make the sign up form as simple as possible by only asking for a name and email address.

5 – Tantalize Readers

Tell your Twitter followers that you have a compelling blog post on a subject of great interest and provide a link to the post. When they click on the link, they will be greeted with a landing page where they are asked for their email address in order to read the post. If they have come this far, they are likely to go one step further and become a subscriber.

Combining Twitter and email marketing is not as difficult as you think and the rewards for successful integration are substantial.

Page 5 of 15« First...34567...10...Last »