4 Lead Nurturing Tips for Increased Revenues

Lead nurturing into your sale funnelAll prospects are not created equal. Not all want to buy right away and move into the qualified status. For these lead types, lead nurturing campaigns give prospects and marketers what they’re looking for – more conversations and higher probability of buying relevant products or services.

If you’re living in the day of interruption marketing to put more prospects into the sales cycle, you’re going down the wrong path. Today, you have more savvy buyers and most don’t want your interruption marketing speak. They want information and lots of it, in most cases. Then, when they are ready to buy, if you’ve stayed in touch, you will get the call.

That’s where lead nurturing comes into play. Staying in touch, while staying the mind of your prospect ensures they call you when they want to buy.

To understand what are some ways to stay in touch with prospects, consider these lead nurturing program options:

4 Ways to Boost Your Lead Nurturing

1) Business blogging – Yes, email and newsletters are one of the most effective ways to spread content for lead nurturing, but business blogging is just as good and sometimes better at nurturing leads. With a blog, you can:

  • Get plenty of search traffic and convert that traffic into leads
  • Share quality content via social and point followers to the blog
  • Publishing content more often and sometimes with less effort

2) Answer offer content through email – If you fulfill requests for content, email is a perfect option to deliver, quickly. That way, you can see things, such as links to white papers, to prospects faster in email.

3) Use goals – For any effective lead nurturing program, you need to create goals first. Without these goals, you’ll see a lack of results and as a result, have no business benefit from your efforts. Want some examples of goals? Try these:

  • Convert software demo downloaders into paying customers
  • Keep in touch with prospects and ensure they call you when they’re ready to buy

4) Test everything – Since you repeat many things in a lead nurturing program, testing is key to learn what works and what doesn’t. Ensure you’re getting your efforts worth, look at these areas to test:

  • Headlines and subject lines in emails
  • Offer variations
  • You copy length, in every communication

Lead nurturing programs are meant to convert prospects that are not ready to buy. By using different platforms and tactics other than just emailing, you will ensure you get more conversions from your lead nurturing efforts.

For a sure way to use business blogging to stay in touch with prospects, consider organizing your content with a editorial calendar.

Download your content editorial calendar now

Landing Pages: 5 Points to Remember for More Conversions

As I’ve said before, landing pages are important to your marketing mix. To truly convert your audience and get them into your funnel, you need to use a landing page. Done right, they will be a primary tool in your conversion toolbox. Now, yes, done right, they convert like crazy and get you more leads, but done wrong, you’re wasting a lot of effort on a little return.

From different clients and others I’ve seen on the web, there are many who understand how landing pages work, but don’t always do it right. Now I’ve been a part of many a project where I’ve built and even improved failing pages. Every time I have a set of questions, a checklist if you will, to go through to ensure the page is optimized correctly.

Let’s take a look at 5 of those points and see why each is important to conversion optimization for landing pages.

  1. Are you focusing on one thing? When it comes to conversion optimization for landing pages, it’s best to focus on one thing. That means removing distractions like navigation, links, etc and only focus your efforts on one thing: converting that person into a lead.
  2. Does your headline include benefits? Now one of the marks of a good headline sometimes includes benefits. Don’t try too hard, but remember why someone will look at your landing page – your headline. 
  3. Do you use bullets to spell out the benefits? When it comes to readability, you need to use bullets to highlight the benefits of your offering. Try to get 3 -4 of them on the page and really bring out the benefits in each one. 
  4. Is your landing page message clear? Think of it this way, if you had only a few seconds to convince someone to convert, would your message do it? If not, it’s time to check your messaging. 
  5. Does your CTA stand out? When it comes to the closer or the punch that’s going to convert your reader, you better make sure it stands out. That means you need to emphasis it with different coloring, bolding, background…basically anything to make it stand out and bring home that conversion.

Again, these are only 5 of the questions I go through when it comes to building out landing pages. It’s a good idea to put together your own checklist to go through when you build out landing pages to improve your conversions.

What would you add to your own landing page checklist?

Photo credit: pnash

B2B Content Marketing: Strategies to Repurpose Business Content For More Leads

B2B companies hear the benefits of blogging, but many don’t go past writing just a few posts a month or create a white paper for lead generation.

For those looking to take advantage of creating great content and using it in a lead generation content marketing campaign, it takes more than an afterthought – it takes planning!

How does this work? How would a B2B company leverage one piece of content into many?

Let’s look at a sample scenario, shall we?

B2B Content Marketing in Action

Ok, so let’s say we have a technology company, let’s call them Acme Enterprise Software.

Yes, I know that name is REALLY original! 

Now, Acme has a white paper created by a B2B copywriter. They take it and post it on their web site. A month goes by and they wonder why no one really downloads it or why leads haven’t increased.

Sure, a great B2B white paper can bring in lots of leads, but what about getting the word out? How would you leverage it to create a wide range of content for a larger reach?

Email Marketing

First, if you have an email list, you better use it. Effective email marketing is still one of the best ways to generate lots of leads. Create a powerful email to your list that gives them reasons to click on the link to your white paper.

By the way, this isn’t anything new. If you don’t use email to promote a white paper, you need to start.

Landing Page

Next, create a high converting landing page for your visitors. Get them to opt-in and download your white paper – make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Again, landing pages are important and they should already be part of your content marketing mix. Not only do they work for email marketing, they work for PPC ads and other conversion-based marketing.

Blog Posts

To leverage that white paper into more content, take small snippets and develop blog posts. Things like “5 critical elements of disaster recovery software,” or other concepts can really reach your prospective audience.

Don’t forget to also have your blog submitted to blog directories, RSS feeds and such, too.

Webinar

Another great element to effective content marketing is using webinars. Create a webinar based on some of the problem solving data in the white paper. Educate the audience and at the end, give them an offer they can’t refuse.

Many prospects will attend more free events before they consider looking at your product or service.

Don’t forget to offer a recording to those who opt-in and don’t’ show up.

Videos and Podcasts

Based on the webinar and even more content from the white paper, pull video and audio from it. Then, post it to YouTube and podcast directories and promote it.

Lots of prospects convert on visual and/or audio content.

Ah, can we say content marketing goodness?

Presentations

Speaking of visual content, there’s another option for that white paper. You do remember that white paper we started with, right?

Create presentations in PowerPoint or your favorite presentation software and post it to places like SlideShare.

It’s one of the overlooked content marketing gems! It works, no really!

Social Media

Are we done yet? Nope.

Don’t just sit on all this great information; promote it! Shout it from the rooftops and let all your followers, friends, fans, etc know about it!

Here’s the thing: don’t just blast it out! Guess what, those social updates also are part of your content marketing campaign.

How?

Do you just write out your blog post title and a link? OR do you write a compelling social update that entices someone to click and enter your lead funnel?

After all, you’re competing with LOTS of others in the online space! Don’t just yell it; make it worth my while to click on your post.

Content Marketing Works

I’ve seen it and talked to B2B clients who get it and those who don’t.

“Content is content. Why wouldn’t just a white paper work?”

Well, would just that white paper I wrote give you more reach, or would what I’ve outlined above give you more opportunities for generating leads?

You decide.

Content Marketing World

Speaking of content marketing, there’s this conference called: Content Marketing World. The who’s who of the content and online marketing world will be there.

Guess what? So will I!

If you’re looking to meet up and talk content marketing or hangout at the other great events scheduled, go check it out!

Then, hit me up on my contact page and join me for a great time!

Photo credit: humblog

Why B2B Copywriters Need Industry Experience

For many companies, finding the right B2B copywriter can be challenging.

Why?

Experience is Key

Depending on the industry, there’s a learning curve. No, I’m not talking about how to write for the B2B audience – that’s something any copywriter throwing their hat into this ring should know.

What I’m talking about is industry experience. If you don’t have ANY experience with the topic, the learning curve will increase dramatically. Sure, most copywriters know how to effectively research something, write it and put up sample portfolios, but most companies would rather have someone who has experience in their industry.

For instance, if you have a technology company specializing in virtualization, most companies will jump at the chance to get a B2B copywriter that’s experienced with virtualization.

I know, I know, many will say any copywriter worth their pay will have the research skills to write about anything. Sure, but if you had the choice of an experienced niche B2B copywriter or a generalized copywriter, which would you choose? From my experience, most companies, especially B2B, look for someone with experience.

B2B Copywriting Experience Comes in Different Forms

Now I’m not saying you need to have been actively working in that field, but even personal experience or non-profit experience can help. Yes, in the field time is best, but a B2B copywriter with the skills and experience, from anywhere, should fit the bill more than a generalist that’s getting their feet wet in your industry.

Case in point, for me, I have different levels of experience in certain industries, including:

Technology

I worked many years in the IT industry. I held many jobs, from web strategist to systems engineer and administrator; I worked with servers, storage area networks and virtualization. I also helped design, plan and write out all the specifications and ROI of said systems. I also did much of the writing and marketing since I was a talented writer with a talent for translating technical information into understandable information for non-technical folks.

Along with this experience, I’ve also written different pieces for technology, such as emails, web pages, blog posts, white papers and other B2B technology content and content marketing planning.

(Note: I also have several AWAI B2B & SEO copywriting training programs under my belt).

Education

One of my clients, Scholastic Book Fairs, is a large player in the education realm. I have experience not only writing copy for them for schools and other audiences, but I also am a Father with unique experiences in parenting.

Within the education realm, I’ve written things from web pages to blog posts and other types of important content supporting educational goals.

Medical & Special Needs

Being a Father of two children, one is also special needs. I have a large knowledge of medical issues and understanding the needs for those with disabilities. I’ve also written different pieces for special needs sites and ghost written medical content pieces.

Experience Matters

See, even though only some of my experience came from working in it, I have different experience that companies would want for technology, education or medical content.

So if you’re a company looking for a B2B copywriter or one starting out, be sure to remember the experience. If there’s experience there, find out what and see how that’s going to help get the work done.

3 Steps to B2B Email Marketing Success

If someone asked you what was an important way to use content to market to their target audience, what would you answer?

Blogging, social media or maybe articles?

All likely answers, but email marketing is still a powerful way to market to your prospective audience. Although it’s not “new,” it still brings in a major ROI when it comes to lead generation.

In fact, in the 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark, Budgets and Trends Report, from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, shows eNewsletters as one of the top five ways marketers use content marketing in their marketing mix.

This means email is still alive and well, but it might not get the attention that others, like social media. With that in mind, there are still mistakes many marketers make when it comes to creating and maintaining effective B2B email marketing campaigns. These mistakes lead to unsubscribes and a lower percentage of prospective leads.

Now, unsubscribes do happen and if you freak out every time someone leaves your list, you need to get over it. With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to reduce your unsubscribe rates, including:

Create Relevant Content

If you sign-up for an email list and you get emails on a different subject or the content isn’t what you expected, you’re going to unsubscribe. That means you need to produce more relevant content for your list.

Look at what you offer on your opt-in page and other links to your email list, and then make sure it’s all related. If it’s not, revisit your B2B content marketing editorial calendar and make it so.

Keep a Consistent B2B Email Marketing Schedule

Business buyers lead a life that’s usually on the go. If you send out emails one week, but wait another month, they will forget who you are and unsubscribe. Yes, I’ve done this and I learned my lesson, too.

Along with consistency, stay true to your initial offering, at the time of opt-in. If you say you send out a newsletter on Tuesdays, send it on Tuesdays. Don’t just say something, actually do it and keep your credibility.

Creating Interesting B2B Email Content

Above all else, if you don’t have interesting content, you will really see a drop in your B2B email subscription list. There are LOTS of email lists out there and if you don’t have anything interesting to read, view, etc., subscribers will go to a list that does have content they look forward to.

It’s simple: create content business buyers want to get. How do you go about that? Here are a few tips:

–       Take content marketing questions and develop emails with that data

–       Subscribe to other B2B email lists and see what they offer – gather ideas

–       Keep a swipe file of ideas in tools like Evernote or even on a notepad

–       Always revisit your analytics and see what content marketing ideas come up

Just like any B2B content marketing endeavor, email is powerful, but only if you do it the right way. Don’t just create something, publish it and expect it to stick to the wall. Do some research, tie your content to business goals and measure what you do. Then, you can reap the rewards from your content efforts.

Your Turn

How do you create B2B email marketing campaigns? What comes first and what works best for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Want to know more about B2B content marketing with email and other content platforms, subscribe to my email list for more ideas!