Leveraging your campaign inquiry list is an essential best practice to successfully converting leads into sales. Not only does it convey you are interested in quickly satisfying a target prospect’s needs, it positions your team to close more sales-ready prospects who are further along in the decision-making process. Measuring your progress over time can help you focus internal resources toward the core of your marketing efforts, but only if you truly understand what motivated a customer to inquire and how you can maximize the opportunity.
Here are five success factors that can directly increase your campaign lead conversions:
1. The most recent prospect inquiries tend to be the most valuable and viable to lead nurturing campaigns. As time passes, content becomes less valid in general due to changes in prospect responsibilities and demographics. A dialogue that was once important to a prospect may no longer be fitting or a purchase decision may have already been made. Stay on top of who has recently requested information about your brand! Consistently reach out to these prospects during the first three-to-six months after inquiry.
2. Use lead scoring methods to qualify the level of influencer your prospect is. By keeping your best salespeople in front of more customers who are closest to purchase decision, your marketing department will enhance lead conversion potential dramatically. Ask both behavior and demographic questions in your inquiry form and scorecard respondents based on decision-making drivers (e.g. resources, authority, need, and timeframe). Cross measure the mediums that generate the most inquiry activity and analyze your tactics to create an efficient, ROI driven marketing engine.
3. Recognize that messaging relevance directly enhances lead conversion. Are you communicating what problem your brand will solve in the prospect’s life? Many prospects stop listening to your message because they believe you do not understand what their needs are. Create a message map by professional role for email nurturing campaigns! For example, a CEO who responds to your campaign will have a very different company-wide strategic focus than a Marketing Manager entrenched in the day-to-day tactical programs of a specific vertical. If an inquiry hasn’t responded over time, check if your content is properly segmented by audience to provide clear value at first glance.
4. Make sure you effectively promote to the nature and the source of your leads. For example, if a lead came from a trade show where a target prospect realized your brand offering first-hand, consider sending a product sample and a limited time purchase offer in your first lead nurturing campaign. Not only does this re-engage the prospect to what they experienced in your booth, it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your promotional offer across multiple events and test which tactics generated the greatest number of lead conversions.
5. Calibrate your lead generation process so that it closes the feedback loop. Many leads go cold simply because a prospect did not quickly receive the attention necessary to aid in the purchase decision process. Set a predetermined timeframe to reach out to your prospect after the first inquiry to understand how long it took for your team to make contact and if they were satisfied with the service received. Asking follow up questions can make sure your internal team did everything possible to maximize the opportunity while it was in progress.
Finally, using lead management software can directly amplify the success of each campaign. Thin client SaaS platforms like NitroMojo (http://www.nitromojo.com) have real-time dashboards that cross analyze market-based responses to each marketing event. This will allow your management team to understand successes as they happen and make strategic changes much more quickly, keeping your team ahead of the competition searching for the same valuable conversion opportunities.
Customer lifetime value (“CLV”) is critical to sustaining a long-term dialogue and relationship with the audience driving your business. CLV is used as a quantifiable metric, and defines how you measure the “value” of your customer base. Are you currently segmenting your marketing resources into key performance indicators of acquisition, retention and cross-selling?
A solid CLV strategy can help your business in multiple ways. It can help you directly increase the accountability of your marketing programs. Tactics and resources can be properly allocated once the most influential programs that cut churn are discovered through voice-of-the-customer research. Next, consider the critical problem that lack of retention has on generating revenue. Analyze customer deflection for a specific time span and research if your value proposition speaks to the benefits that increase response rates and repeat buying.
Recognize the differences between the “awake” phase of the consumer buying cycle and the “awareness” phase. Someone who is awake to your brand has given you the ability to share in their purchasing power. This profile may need nurturing, and dropout rates segmented by tactic and messaging helps measure churn. Understand your process of customer acquisition by recognizing the marketing influence that drives your “awareness” phase audience closest to the buying decision. E-mail open clicks and landing page conversions can be simple measures to defining the difference between a dialogue that is current and a relationship that is over.
Marketers continue to search for mediums that accelerate the success of business. Email marketing has rapidly become this type of cost-effective, highly productive solution. Email enables the marketer to use a closed-loop feedback process to improve decision-making through digital analytics.
Email can also help you define drivers that justify marketing’s contribution to sales revenue. Make sure to go beyond simple thinking and truly analyze what success means through the medium. Open rate may be an initial metric to show delivery conversion but it does not necessarily measure contribution because the dialogue is not complete. If the user did not click through to a campaign-specific landing page or submit personal data into a contact us form inquiry, a two-way conversation did not occur.
Compare the effectiveness of different offers and contrast the number of inquiries you received with traffic acquisition costs of the promotion. Measure the effectiveness of the incremental value of the promotion against different lists or audiences, and understand how to anticipate one population responding versus another.
Test your email creative by using different imagery, copy content and layouts. Learn from the differences and expect the impact of changes. Testing subject lines is essential to getting the consumer’s attention and building trust from the moment of first impression. Personalization is critical: it is the difference between a call to action that is lifeless and limp and one that builds comfort and confidence in your brand.
Finally, give your inquiries the ability to shop immediately through an e-commerce site and promotional code. It will directly connect the effectiveness of your campaign to contribution to sales revenue.
The landscape of business is intensely challenged during a recession. This process forces marketers to precisely redefine their brands and know exactly what they stand for during tough times. There is a tremendous challenge to interacting with and engaging a nervous recessionary consumer without interrupting their life. Build your brand personality to highlight ease of use and unmistakable experience to encourage your target consumer to spend time learning about your brand, even though they may be holding back on making a purchase in the short-term.
Post recession marketing presents a great opportunity to capitalize on economic growth that will quickly ensue as the consumer reenters the market. Here are a few ideas to help keep you ahead of your competitors during this time.
Research the consumer confidence in your brand offering and expect that your target market has evolved their purchasing behaviors into a “new normal”. Some industries may not recover the trust of the marketplace for years and years to come if they were dramatically effected by the downturn in the eyes of the public. If this is your industry, make sure to test your creative in advance to measure if the copy content and imagery is building solution-oriented comfort in your brand. There is no substitute for a well detailed analysis of your campaign before it goes to market.
Capturing new leads is essential to growing your business in a post recession economy. If your target consumer has been out of the market for some time, there is the potential for pent-up demand to catch fire quickly if many return to the market at the same time. The marketer that satisfies the needs of this demand consistently will position their company to gain market share quickly. Measure the growth of the number of your leads scored against your ideal customer profile as sales-ready on a month-by-month basis. Watch this measurement closely as a key velocity metric that demonstrates the momentum your brand is gaining. Don’t be afraid to spend aggressively as the market finally shows signs of life through an increase in inquiries from campaign-specific landing pages.
Finally, anticipate that the laggard segment of the recession consumer base still believes they have more than they need and can postpone purchasing. Calibrate your value proposition so that it speaks clearly to the problem in their life that your brand can solve. Consider co-branding promotions with “limited time only” offers that are simply too good to pass up to help motivate slow returning consumers back into the market.