Any business that wants to grow and scale need to have a good sales and marketing strategy in place. A solid marketing strategy usually involves such activities as increasing leads, lead conversions and retention. In this article, we will try to figure out the best practices applied to achieve positive results from such activities.
Tactics to generate more leads
If you already have a customer database, it is time to pay more attention and take care of your leads. When your customers are satisfied, they can bring you more than basic feedback. They can become your advocates and share word-of-mouth among their colleagues and friends. That is why you should develop a customer referral strategy because a good customer referral marketing program can do the following:
- Increase customer engagement
- Improve the quality of leads
- Establish new relationships and enhance existing ones
- Shorten sales cycles
- Ensure significant growth
But what can you do to inspire customers to share positive feedback about your product? Most likely, you need to create a reward system. The hard part is that such a system is not about the money. If you have no idea how to reward your customers, you can simply ask them about it. They will be pleased to get your attention, and you may even be surprised with their low-cost requests.
Once you have completed your reward campaign development, you should promote it via social channels. Thus, your followers can leave a reference everywhere they connect. Also, it would be a good idea to provide some automation practices that can help you measure the ROI on different social networks, invite new customers to join your referral program, increase brand loyalty, etc. Here are some apps you can use for your product:
- Ambassador — this app provides easy referral automation, rewarding the best with points and cash to increase your conversion;
- Amplifinity — a powerful platform with various suites of referral solutions for businesses;
- Campaigned — created to increase sales and customer loyalty. This app will help you build powerful campaigns and promotions. No credit card required;
- Expect Referrals — sharing everywhere is now possible with this web app;
- ReferralCandy — helps find new customers and keep your current ones as advocates. Application is easy to integrate, use and monitor for more sales and richer customer insight;
- SocialTwist — nice solution for enterprise business. SocialTwist has enabled more than 194 million customer referrals.
Provide valuable content
Did you know that companies that provide educational or informative content can generate more leads in the buying process faster? Producing useful and valuable content is a way to spread it across the web and get plenty of links back to your website. Also, it is a nice way to increase traffic and boost your SEO.
You may wonder how to turn a content marketing strategy into a lead-generating machine. First of all, you need to know your ideal buyer personas. Once you know them, pick one and build a separate lead-generation content strategy around that buyer persona.
Try to identify the persona’s needs, their pains and then scratch the surface. What can you offer them? What do they lack? Which kind of questions would they ask when they begin researching? Try to figure out these issues, because this would be the core of your content strategy. Once you identified their problems, provide the solution by writing blog posts, e-books, video tutorials or webinars.
A potential buyer needs to be able to find answers to his or her questions on your website quickly and easily. A blog can be a good source to help find the right information. E-books, videos or infographics should be gated. Ask your visitors to leave their email address to access this type of content. The more valuable the content, the more information you can require, including the phone number, address, age or other demographic information.
The most useful content can be collected and compiled into an eBook. EBooks are considered to be more valuable, and readers are willing to leave more information about them for an eBook. This approach helps marketers gather more data on their leads for further targeting.
Nowadays social media channels offer great ways to engage with your both potential and exciting customers. Social networks allow you build trust with followers and focus on their needs. The hardest part here is to make it through all the noise and identify quality leads.
Social media is a good opportunity to stay connected with your current contacts. One more big benefit it offers is the ability to find leads that you do not even know about. With a few simple search queries and an hour of maintenance a week, you will have access to an unlimited source of potential leads for your business.
By using social networks search, you can look for long-tail keywords that are relevant to your product. You just need to think about a few customized searches that describe your business, industry and the problems that you solve.
Don’t forget about your competitors and try to track their mentions. There will also be opportunities to engage people who are still at the top of the funnel and do research for different solutions or customers who are unhappy with the solutions of your competitors. However, you need to act carefully and ethically. You should not steal customers from competitors; instead, show them you know their problems and you are there to assist them. In other words, earn their trust.
I know you might be busy, you might be a lack of resources to spend quite a lot of time with all of these issues. Thus, you might be interested in special services, which provide hot leads, especially for your product. In this case, you should check 1000leads.co. This service produces an individual research for your business. In the end, based on your buyer persona, you are receiving a list of leads, who are really interested in your product. Each contact consists with personal data including name, verified e-mail and social accounts. In this way, you have an ability to save your time and to receive exactly what you need.
Tactics to increase conversion
If you cannot “convert” leads to sales, you will not be able to grow your user base and profit. Conversion is an extremely important part in your business and here are some important quick tips on how to increase it.
- Create a powerful FAQ page on your website
Maybe you will be surprised, but many customers have questions that need to be answered. Develop a list of possible frequently asked questions with your sales team. You may also conduct research and watch some examples on websites equal to your topic.
- Ask a question
Now it is your turn. You may ask your leads a question and approximately 80% will reply, “It has been a while since we have heard from you. Have you had a chance to go over the offer and make a decision?” This is a nice kick to start a dialogue or discover more information about your potential buyer.
- Simple follow-up
Be patient with your leads: send them a quick follow-up email or a call to ask if they have any additional questions. Such simple steps will often get them back into purchasing mode. This is one of the most effective ways for quick lead conversion into sales.
- Ask for a purchase
It is quite common to ask your customers if they are ready to purchase. Strange thing, but not many people do this trick. You will be surprised how many leads may reply “yes”. They became leads because they were interested in your product. So what are you waiting for?
- Offer an incentive
Try to offer a free gift, a special time-sensitive discount. People love it, and it is a great way to push leads to conversions. It is not important to make the offer expensive or outrageous; it does not have to have a high monetary value. The average consumer simply cannot pass up a free offer or a limited-time discount.
- Do not overlook the power of email marketing
Today, it has become even more difficult to stand out amog all the emails and spam that are likely to be flooding users’ inboxes. To ensure a successful email campaign, make your letters different, light, fun and also be engaging. Do A/B testing of your email and subjects in order to identify what works better and what does not. A good email does sell.
- Set a time limit
It is a little bit sad, but you should estimate a deadline to remove unresponsive leads from your strategy. You may try to connect them with a message such as, “We have not heard from you within the last 30 days. Even though this will be our final communication, please feel free to reach out to us in the future if you have any questions.” If this step fails to cause a reaction, it will keep your sales team from wasting time on inactive leads.
Tactics to increase retention
We have talked enough about leads and their conversion, so now it is time to discover another important marketing activity — retention. You may not believe, but retaining customers are your most valuable customers. Just look through the numbers! The probability of selling a product or service to an existing client is 60–70 percent while the probability of selling to a new client is only 5–20 percent.
Customer retention depends on understanding the needs of your clients and addressing them before they have an opportunity to leave. To avoid such things, you should listen to them effectively. If you are not carefully capturing customer feedback about your product, then it is nearly impossible to retain them in a cost-effective manner.
So, what are the main ‘must-do’ actions for quality and effective retention? First of all, determine your value proposition and brand strategy. They should drive your retention plan. Try to put as much effort into your current customer campaigns as you put into the rest of your programs. Grab the attention of your audience, focus on the offer, measure your results and pay attention to customer feedback.
Do not relax if your customers are satisfied, because this does not necessarily mean they intend to keep buying. Instead, create a dialogue with your clients: Ask if they are interested in making a new purchase and why or why not. Ask what you can improve upon and whether they will provide referrals. These questions provide more actionable insight than “satisfaction.”
How can you run all this communication? Email is one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach both your prospects and your current customer base. These emails can range anywhere from “what’s next” links, “thank you” content, auto-responder emails etc.
Your retention emails should express an understanding of your customer’s pain points, offering a solution to their problem, their ability to trust your brand, the advantages of taking your offer etc. Things you can send over email to keep your customers engaged in the long run:
- Product/service review request
- Order confirmations, shipping confirmations, discount offers and thank you messages
- Service satisfaction survey
- Cross-sell/recommendation product related to their recent purchase
- Review posted notification email
- Bounceback offers
- Anniversary for purchase date of product/service
If you do not have personal relationships with your customers, you may look through the data to identify customers who have not made purchases within the normal timeframe. They may be at risk of leaving; thus, launching retention campaigns will be just in time to encourage them to stay.
Afterward, continue refining and improving your customer retention strategy and execution — it may deliver the highest marketing ROI of all your marketing programs. And it is definitely worth it.