LeadGen Lesson #5: Close the Deal Quickly with Hatchbuck

Build a Lead Generation Strategy that Works
— in 5 Days —
A Small Business Email Course | Brought to You by Hatchbuck
As a small business owner, you branched out on your own because you were passionate about an idea and knew that you could execute better than anyone else.

At the same time, you can’t chase this dream without making sales – even if you don’t identify as a sales person.

Welcome to the final step, Day 5 of our 5 day course. In our last tutorial, we discussed how personalized email campaigns build relationships with your leads. In today’s tutorial, we’re covering how to identify and convert sales-ready leads. Let’s get started…

Day 5: Turn Leads into Customers
If you’ve been using personalized email campaigns to nurture your leads, it’s going to be simple to identify who is eager do business with you, and who just isn’t ready to make a deal yet.
Identify Who’s Hot
No one likes cold calling – it’s both time consuming and difficult to sort through all of the “no’s” to get to a “yes.” Imagine the valuable time you could save if you could skip the no’s and only speak to leads actually interested in your solution.

That’s the power of Marketing Automation.

As you nurture leads with targeted email campaigns, you drive them back to your website. The actions they take and the pages they visit clue you into which leads you should call on.

Sales Lead Form Submission
This is a no brainer. Leads who fill out sales forms on your website are obviously looking for more information on your product or service, and should be given top priority in your sales pipeline.

High Scorer
A lead that has not reached out to you yet, but has racked up a healthy contact score is a good target for a sales conversation. Reach out to these leads to see if you can help them in any way to get to the next stage of the buying process.

Conversion Page Visit
So close! A lead that visits a conversion page – like your pricing page or sales form – but does not convert is also ripe and ready to buy. Send a promotional email campaign or give them a call to make sure they have all of the information they need to convert.

Old school spreadsheets and CRMs can help you organize your list of contacts, but they can’t tell you who’s important to reach out to, and who needs to be warmed up before you make that call. Marketing automation can flag the most important contacts in your database, so you can spend more time building fruitful relationships with hot prospects.

Anyone in sales will tell you that following up early and often is key to converting leads. But manually tracking follow-up isn’t fool-proof and can result in hot leads slipping through the cracks. With marketing automation technology, you have the tools to follow up with leads instantly and automatically so you never miss a beat.

Email Autoresponders
Email autoresponders can be triggered by a lead’s action, prompting them to take the next steps in the sales process. For example, if a lead fills out a form to schedule a consultation, an autoresponder can be triggered instantly to send them a link to your calendar.

Alerts and Notifications
Alerts and notifications can also be triggered by a lead’s action. For instance, you can have an email alert sent to your inbox if a lead visits your pricing page.

Tasks can be created automatically as well to help you stay organized and track in-person follow-up like phone calls and meetings. Automatically create a task to call leads that fill out a sales form.

Responding quickly to hot leads before their interest subsides is key to converting more prospects into customers. With marketing automation, you can respond automatically and stay organized so that no opportunity passes you by unnoticed.

Is your sales process rock solid, or are opportunities slipping through the cracks? Check out the 5 signs of a broken sales and marketing process.
Continue to Delight
Earning new business takes a lot of resources. After all of your hard work to get a new customer in the door, you might feel ready to take a break! However, staying in touch with customers long after the sale is key to generating the repeat and referral business that has an exponential impact on revenue.

With marketing automation, you can increase sales by delivering amazing customer service, providing up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, asking for referrals and going above and beyond for your customers.

Send Event-Based Campaigns
Automate outreach to your customers on those special days, like their birthday, renewal date, or anniversary of their purchase. Thank them for their business with a special coupon, exclusive discount, or fun freebie.

Cross Sell and Up-Sell
Use your customer’s purchase history to determine what other products and services they might be interested in. Introduce a compatible product or service, or offer an opportunity to upgrade.

Surprise and Delight
Send swag to your most enthusiastic customers. Say thanks by inviting top customers to an exclusive event. Or, unveil a behind-the-scenes look at your latest product or service.

Ask for Referrals
If you continue to nurture, surprise and delight your customers, they’ll be happy to refer their friends and colleagues to your business. While happy customers generate word of mouth sales, don’t be afraid to kick it up a notch by sending a referral campaign. Ask for referrals outright, or offer an incentive to send business your way.

As you nurture your customers with an awesome experience, you’ll be first in line when they refer a friend or make a repeat purchase. Boosting customer sales increases the lifetime value of your customers, decreases the cost to acquire new customers, and makes a big impact on your bottom line.

LeadGen Lesson #4: Turn Emails into Conversations

Build a Lead Generation Strategy that Works
— in 5 Days —
A Small Business Email Course | Brought to You by Hatchbuck
Worried about losing your personal edge when it comes to automating you business? We hear ya.  But the truth is, automation can actually help strengthen relationships by making communication smarter and more efficient.

Welcome to Day 4 of the 5 day course. So far you’ve learned how to captivate an audience of quality leads, add them to your database through lead magnets, and organize them by their interests. In today’s tutorial, we’re sharing how to have one-to-one conversations with individual leads on a grand scale. Let’s get started…

Day 4: Turn Emails into Conversations
Good relationships cultivate sales. But you can’t develop strong relationships with your audience by sending out impersonal, one-size-fits-all emails. Instead, strengthen relationships with your leads by sending them highly targeted emails that match their unique interests.
Personalize Email
In the last tutorial, we talked about using Marketing Automation to tag and score leads.  In today’s lesson, we’re thinking about the individual conversations to have with your leads on a large scale. When leads are tagged and scored, you can easily group them into segments and send highly relevant, personalized emails that get opened and read.

Top of the Funnel – Brand Awareness
What conversation would you have with someone who just walked in your door and wants to know what your business is all about?

You might explain why you’re so passionate about what you do, how you started your business, or geek out and share the latest industry tips and news.

Perfect email fodder for the newest leads in your database.

Mid-Funnel – Educate and Unveil Solutions
Next, think about what you’d tell someone who has shown interest in a specific topic or area of expertise you offer.

You would probably impart your knowledge on the topic and mention the types of solutions you offer that fit in that area of expertise.

That’s an email to send to warmer leads who have been tagged to show interest in a specific solution you offer.

Bottom of the Funnel – Engage in a Sales Conversation
Now, think about someone who’s been in your store a few times. They always go to the same section. You can just tell that they’re contemplating purchasing a particular product.

Think about that conversation and how you would explain the benefits, talk about why they should buy from you – not the other guy – and share your passion for helping your customers.

Put that in an email for those high scoring leads who have indicated that they’re ready to make a buying decision.

When your leads are tagged and segmented, it’s easy to think about the individual conversations you’d have with them and send out highly personalized emails that get opened and read. 

Learn more about personalized email marketing with our ebook, You’ve Got Personalized Mail.
Email Campaigns
You have a lot of information you’d like to share at each stage of the buying process. Email campaigns help you to break down big ideas into digestible chunks delivered over time.

We like to call this email nurturing. Instead of blasting your entire list of leads with a generic email send, you’re nurturing a one-to-one relationship with your leads.

You can create targeted campaigns for each stage of the sales funnel – one for cold leads, one for warm prospects, and one for those hot potential buyers.

Keep Your Business Top of Mind
With email campaigns, you’re staying in touch frequently with personal messages over time. This boost recognition and recall of your business, so that when the time is right to buy, you’re first in mind.

Leads Move Down the Funnel
Email campaigns educate leads and help them down a path to conversion. So instead of sitting stagnant in your database, leads move from learning about your business, to exploring your solutions to finally making a purchase.

Since campaigns are automated, leads are always being nurtured and moving down the funnel until they’re ready buy. In the meantime, you’re free to add value to your business where it counts most for you – whether that’s developing new products, working with customers, or even taking more time for your personal life.

Need help creating campaigns and sending the right email to the right person at the right time? Check out the email marketing content grid infographic.
Day 4 Recap
One-size-fits-all emails just don’t move the needle when it comes to building relationships with your leads. Using personalized emails and campaigns helps you maintain that intimate, one-to-one experience customers expect from a small business.  At the same, automation actually opens up your day so you can focus on the most important business relationships and activities.

In tomorrow’s lesson, we’ll explore how to identify hot leads and close more deals as you nurture the leads in your database. See you in the inbox!

LeadGen Lesson #3: Organize Your Business’s Brain

Build a Lead Generation Strategy that Works
— in 5 Days —
A Small Business Email Course | Brought to You by Hatchbuck
When you’re a busy small business owner, taking tasks off your plate – like cold calling and prospecting for leads – can give you valuable time and flexibility back into your day. We’re back with the next step to building a lead generation engine for your small business.

Welcome to Day 3 of the 5 day course. So far you’ve learned how to captivate an audience of quality leads and add them to your database through lead magnets. In today’s tutorial, we’re sharing how to organize your growing list of leads so you can have better conversations down the road. Let’s get started…

Day 3: Organize Your Business’s Brain
Your database or CRM is the center of operations for your business. As you add more and more leads to your database, keeping contacts organized enables you to have intelligent, personal conversations that result in sales for your business.
Tag and Segment Your Leads
You wouldn’t send the same text message to all your friends. Instead, you might send a message to a few friends at a time.

An inside joke about your industry gets texted to your work buddies. You text shorthand to your high school friends (they’ve known you for so long you don’t have to explain yourself). And text goes out to everyone who lives in town about a local event.

Categorizing your friends makes it simple to reach out to groups at a time while still keep it personal.

Likewise, tagging is a simple way to categorize and segment leads. Tags allow you to pull leads from multiple segments, mixing and matching according to their profile and preferences.

It’s like Garanimals for your database.

For instance, say you own a travel agency. You could tag leads based on where they want to travel – the west coast, Europe, Southeast Asia.

You could also tag based on their peers: Senior Citizens, Families, Recent College Grads.

Now that everyone is tagged, you can easily segment categories like Senior Citizens who want to travel to Europe, or Recent College Grads who want to travel to Southeast Asia.

Now that your leads are tagged for easy segmentation, you gain control in crafting a message that hits home and feels personal for each group.

Score Your Leads
You wouldn’t ask a casual acquaintance to help you move – that’s asking a lot. But you would ask your best bud.

The same is true of your leads.

Asking a cold lead for a sale is being a little too forward. After all, what have you done for them? Instead, focus on selling to the leads who have gotten to know you and are ready to buy.

Lead scoring assigns a value to your leads based on how engaged they are with your business. With lead scoring, you can easily see who is doing casual research, and who is engaged enough to take the next steps to becoming a customer.

When you pair tagging with lead scoring, you have the power to be incredibly specific and persuasive, whether you’re sending an email, mailing a flyer, or calling warm leads.

Get to Know Marketing Automation
Tagging, segmentation and scoring leads sounds great, but how do you pull it off?

This is where marketing automation comes in.

Marketing automation technology tracks your leads’ interaction with the emails you send and tracks their behavior on your website, tagging and scoring them accordingly.

As leads click on links, download lead magnets, and visit pages of your website, they are clueing you into their interests.

Marketing automation can automatically add tags to your contacts, showing you who is interested in what.

Marketing automation weights different activities and scores your contacts accordingly. So a contact who opens an email earns 1 point, while a contact who downloads a lead magnet earns 5 points. As points add up, you can see which contacts are highly engaged, which contacts could use a little more education, and which contacts just aren’t interested.

With all of your contacts automatically tagged and scored, it’s easy to filter your leads by their interests and their interest level. So when you’re making calls or sending an email, your conversation becomes much more relevant and engaging.

Integrating marketing automation with your CRM, or using an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation suite, gives you the insight into what makes your leads tick. Here’s a great list of small business-friendly marketing automation platforms.
If you had to do it manually, you’d have to enlist a small army to find out all of your leads’ preferences and interests. Instead, marketing automation learns about your leads for you so you can reach out in a personal, intelligent way.
Day 3 Recap
Organizing your leads isn’t just about having a tidy database. When leads are tagged and scored, you can segment them to have personal conversations on a large scale. After all, isn’t being personal what small business is all about?

In tomorrow’s lesson, we’ll explore how to use this important data to have better conversations with your leads. See you in the inbox!

LeadGen Lesson #2 – Turn Anonymous Visitors into Known Prospects w/ Hatchbuck

Build a Lead Generation Strategy that Works
— in 5 Days —
A Small Business Email Course | Brought to You by Hatchbuck
We’re helping you tackle a big issue for small business owners – finding new leads and winning more sales.  Our proven lead generation process works – we know because we’re using the same process to grow Hatchbuck, and we’re excited to share with you what we’ve learned.

Welcome to Day 2 of the 5 day course. On Day 1, you learned how to captivate an audience of quality leads and drive them to your website. In today’s tutorial, we’re sharing how to turn your website visitors into valid prospects for your business. Let’s get started…

Day 2: Turn Anonymous Visitors into Known Prospects
Missed connections – they aren’t just personal ads on Craigslist. Missed connections happen every time a quality lead hits your website, only to bounce without a trace.

This often happens because these leads are still early in the buying process. They aren’t ready to make a purchase. They are just researching a topic or trying to solve a problem.

However, if you can connect with leads at this early stage of the buying process, you have an opportunity to earn their trust, giving you a much better chance of winning their business when the time comes for them to buy.

So how do you do it? You can eliminate missed connections and find out who those anonymous prospects are with a great lead magnet or two.

Create a Lead Magnet
Today, marketing is more about helping prospects and less about pushing your agenda with aggressive sales tactics or big budget advertising. That’s great news for smaller businesses that don’t have loads to spend on ad campaigns.

In fact, your small businesses has an edge when it comes to creating high quality content that converts. While big corporations might rely on insights from c-suite executives who are distant from actual customers, small business owners can tap straight into their hard-won expertise. The result is helpful, insightful content that feels authentic to prospects and customers.

Which brings us to lead magnets

A lead magnet is simply a tool used to grow your list of leads by giving away valuable content in exchange for a bit of contact information:

An email list sign up is a common lead magnet you’ll see online (and maybe you already have a way for leads to subscribe to your newsletter).

Lead magnets can also be beefy resources, like white papers or guides that explain a topic or give how-to steps. Or they can be as simple as a checklist, presentation slides or infographic.

Whichever format you prefer, you don’t have to be a marketing guru to create an effective lead magnet. Choose a topic that appeals to your ideal buyer(s) and tap into the expertise you’ve earned in your niche and impart your knowledge to your audience.

Need help creating a lead magnet for your website? Download the Content Marketing Playbook and check out our White Paper Template. Use our lead magnets to create your lead magnet!
Capture Info with Landing Pages
Intention vs. action. I intended to go to the gym today, but I never made it there.

When it comes to getting results, intentions are useless. Actions are key.

Anonymous leads may come to your website and intend to grab your lead magnet, but will they follow-through?

With a little planning and intervention, you can increase the odds that they do.

Landing pages increase conversions and turn visitors’ intentions into actions.

Designed as a standalone page on your website with a lead form, landing pages chart a clear path for visitors to take the action you want. In this case, it’s to fill out a form to download a lead magnet.

A good landing page:

  • Eliminates unnecessary clutter. Sidebars and links that distract from the intended action – be gone!
  • Gives a clear call-to-action. Never assume, always tell visitors what to do in the page copy as well as on forms and buttons. For example, try changing generic “Submit” text on the form button to something more specific, like “Download the Guide”
  • Uses persuasive copy. Why should they download your resource? Tell them how it will change their business or change their life.
  • Asks for minimal contact information. Company name, mobile phone number, industry, birth date, social security number? Whoah! We hardly know each other! Name and email address is usually sufficient information to get in exchange for a resource. The lead magnet is just an entry point into a relationship. You can learn more about new leads as your relationship grows.
You don’t have to be technically inclined to add lead magnet landing pages to your website. Simple, affordable landing page builders can be used to create landing pages for your lead magnets that convert. Check out Unbounce or LeadPages.
With a strong lead magnet or two, you can use landing pages on your website to capture quality leads early in their buying journey. Turn anonymous visitors into known prospects early on so you have time to build a relationship and earn their business when the time comes to buy.
Day 2 Recap
All it takes to turn anonymous visitors into quality prospects is a little trust. By giving away a bit of your hard-earned knowledge, you can earn a visitor’s permission to contact them down the road.

Tomorrow in Day 3’s lesson, we’ll teach you how to effectively organize the new leads you’re capturing from your website landing pages so you can take further steps to earn their trust – and their business. See you in the inbox!

Using Technology To Solve Sales & Marketing Challenges

DIR Incorporated solves Sales Challenges

Why Many Sales Professionals Dislike Their Own Marketers

The most recent State of Inbound Report found one of the biggest challenges facing Sales Professionals is that marketing is not involved in the lead nurturing process, and/or not providing sufficient  information on Marketing Qualified Leads [MQL].

In other words, marketing is relying on technology to capture basic information such as:

  • a name
  • an email address
  • a website
  • a phone number
  • a company address
  • a contact’s title

However, it is not providing insightful information such as,

  • what pages on the website a prospect visits?
  • what referral sources led to prospects finding the company?
  • what are the prospects pain points?

Another interesting finding that correlates as a potential red flag in the lead generation process is that 24% of teams do not use CRM of any kind, and only 22% of sales & marketing individuals who use CRM leverage the technology during the early qualification stages.

Look at this picture:

Sales Gets its own leads

If you ask a Sales Professional “how many leads does marketing provide per month?”, their typical response is “I get my own leads.”

However, in the eyes of a marketer this creates a lack of communication, and causes marketing to be viewed as an expenditure, not a supporting part of the process.

In addition, the lack of communication leads to other issues for marketers.

Such as — a smaller budget to work with.

DIR Incorporated solves Marketing Challenges

Why Many Marketers Dislike Their Own Sales Team

Referencing the same study mentioned earlier, it was found that the companies that have Service Level Agreements [SLA] between sales & marketing teams achieve better results.

Especially, greater return on investment than those without an written process.

Even better for marketing is that greater revenue leads to a larger marketing budget.

So, the natural question every Marketer, Sales Professional, and Business Owner should be asking is — “how do we align sales & marketing using SLA’s?”.

Here’s a hint:

Marketing and Sales Align - Lead Generation Processes

The key to establishing a technology-driven lead generation process with SLA is increasing the click-through rates [CTR] of qualified prospects, reducing lead conversion times, and increasing conversion rates.

On June 28, 2016 I will share several secrets to help transform your sales & marketing, unleash the power of your website, and distinguish your marketing from competitors.

Sign-up to learn today!