Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content.

When mastered, demand generation can help transform even an underdog brand into a market leader.

But getting there requires patience. The goal of demand generation isn’t overnight success, but a gradual, methodical shift in perception among your audience.

And content is key to this shift. In fact, you could argue the whole reason demand generation exists is due to the rise of content and inbound marketing.

Sure, people have always advertised their wares, but the traditional approach followed a model we’ve come to know as push, or interruption, marketing. Think telemarketing calls, radio ads, or postal campaigns.

But then we all went online, and everything changed.

Quality over quantity

The internet has leveled the playing field for consumers. They’re no longer dependent on marketers telling them how they should spend their money. Instead, social media allows just about anybody to share their thoughts on a good or service.

We live in an era where opinionated YouTubers and impassioned online influencers can make or break a product—in some cases, before it even launches. This means today’s marketers have their work cut out for them, which is why relevant, strategic content created with your prospects in mind is so vital.

By providing this, marketers can successfully drive brand affinity, capture mindshare, and generate the kind of leads that turn onlookers into lifelong, loyal customers.

There’s always a “but”

As many as 87% of enterprise B2B marketers are using content marketing today, yet only 3% say their application of content is “very effective.” Surprisingly, only 35% of organizations have even documented their content marketing strategy.

But why? First, content marketing is still in its infancy. Many organizations are finding their footing with it. And despite the inexorable link between content and demand generation, many companies manage them separately with little collaboration between their teams.

This misalignment can lead to many missed opportunities. Not only will demand generation teams lack visibility into content ideation, planning, and scheduling, but content teams will lack the insight into the buyer’s journey they need to create relevant, timely content.

One solution is to create a strategic content committee made up of key organizational stakeholders. By holding monthly or quarterly meetings, both teams can:

  • Determine a content road map
  • Support company-wide content requests
  • Ensure consistency of message and voice
  • Streamline content creation for scalability
  • Reduce duplicate efforts and resources

This way, both teams can identify which types of content work best and ensure the content they create always has a purpose.

What content works?

To understand what content resonates when, it’s important to first make the distinction between demand generation and demand capture.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but that leads to confusion about the buyer journey stage as well as misaligned content.

With demand generation, you’re acquiring net new names for your database, nurturing leads, and accelerating their progression to “qualified”—when they can be handed off to sales.

Demand capture does just what its name implies: captures active demand. That means people who are ready to talk about your products and solutions.

And they require different approaches. As you’re drumming up interest among your target audience, demand generation content needs to be clever, creative, funny, unique, eye-catching, and maybe even a little controversial.

This content should rarely be gated, so stick to formats that are shared and consumed, like blog posts, videos, listicles, and infographics.

Demand capture content, on the other hand, can be gated because you’re catering to an audience with active interest. This content can also include lower-funnel pieces—whitepapers, webinars, and solution sheets—that explicitly discuss your products and services.

When people engage with this type of content, it indicates they’re ready to speak with sales.

Mobility comes first

By 2021, the number of global smartphone users is expected to pass 3.8 billion.

And while it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing narrative that only young people expect seamless mobile experiences, it’s safe to say that anyone with a smartphone is familiar with mobile content. In fact, 58% of site visits were made from mobile devices in 2018.

So, what does this mean for your content? At a demand generation level, all content must follow a mobile-first mindset. Think about how it’ll be viewed and shared, and on what devices, and how it’ll appear on various screen sizes. You want it to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so craft it to fit the most common source of consumption.

Of course, once your prospects are further down the funnel, you can begin rolling out whitepapers and more long-form content best enjoyed at a desktop with a cup of coffee.

But for now, think snackable.

Back to basics

Content is the lifeblood of effective demand generation. So, think smart, think exciting, and think mobile. Master your content strategy and you’ll be in the ideal position to raise awareness, draw in prospects, and take them on a powerful, lifelong customer journey.

The post Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content. appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019

Facebook ad coupons provide free credits that businesses can redeem for use on its social advertising platform. It’s a great way for those new to Facebook advertising to try the platform without a financial investment. Free Facebook ad coupons are not easy to find, but can be acquired through Facebook promotions, events, and partnerships. Before…

The post How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How businesses can build their own mobile solution for less: Part 1

For most businesses, investing thousands of pounds in a mobile solution that gives them everything they and their customers want is just not possible. But with the huge increase in the popularity and usage of mobile phones, it is almost becoming an integral part of any successful business to have a mobile solution, which for small businesses can be a real headache.

Thankfully having a mobile solution doesn’t have to break the bank and you can build your own mobile solution with all the tools and products that we provide for you here at Text Marketer. No need to spend thousands of pounds on a fancy solution, just use good old SMS.

What you need to do
A mobile solution needs to allow businesses to communicate with their customers, allow customers to easily connect with the business, quickly collect feedback and multiple ways to collect customers information.

To do this there are 4 key areas below that you will need to select at least one way of using SMS from each. Once this is done, you can start planning on how you are going to use your new mobile solution in part 2 (coming soon).

1. Communication with customers
With 75% of people wanting to have offers sent to them via SMS (Source: Digital Marketing Magazine) the perfect way to communicate with customers is through SMS. But offers aren’t the only thing that customers want to receive via SMS.

Marketing and sales messages – Yes probably the most effective way to communicate with your customers is to send them a marketing or sales message. Promoting your sale or new service in a simple SMS message can really boost sales.

Updates and info – Update customers by sending them a text message, whether it is an update about an event, items that are now back in stock, digital receipt, or even just providing them with information on closing times are just a few ways you can use SMS to update customers.

Reminders – SMS can be used as a reminding service, and because 98% of all messages are read you know your reminder message will be seen. You can remind customers of late payments, renewal dates, or their appointments.

2. Customers connecting with you
Not only do customers want to hear from you, they want to be able to connect with you in an easy method that’s fits around their busy days.

SMS chat – An SMS chat service is a great way to do this, you can simply allow customers to text you using a virtual mobile number and you can either reply using Email2SMS or through our online platform. From there you can have a full conversation through text messages, meaning the consumer can reply when it suits them best.

Keyword – A keyword can be used in multiple scenarios to allow customers to get in contact with you. You can use a keyword for competitions, allow customers to text it for out of stock updates, or a support service where a customer texts your keyword and a support agent can get back to them.

3. Collect feedback
The third step to a successful mobile solution is to be able to collect your customers feedback, a daunting task for many but an imperative one.

SMS Survey – The best way to collect feedback is with an SMS Survey, simply send an SMS Survey to customers after they have purchased, interacted with you, or at the end of the month and with a higher response rate than email, watch the feedback come rolling in.

Keyword – Sending a survey to customers is good, but you need to give them an option to leave feedback in their own time. By using a keyword and asking customers to text your keyword followed by their thoughts gives customers that easy option to leave feedback.

4. Collect customer data
The final part of any successful mobile solution is to collect your customers and potential customers information. This will then allow you to send them a message, surveys and communicate with them better.

Form2SMS – Using our Form2SMS feature you simply add the pre-made code to your website, which will generate a sign-up box where users can enter their details to receive SMS messages from you.

Keyword – Again a keyword can be used to collect mobile numbers, email addresses or any personal information you need. Ask customers to text your keyword followed by their email address or any other information you require, with it all being sent to your SMS account.

 

Once you have read up on everything and decided with areas you are going to use in your mobile solution, you can move onto part 2 (coming soon).

7 Ad Design Tips to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise

Before your copy can persuade an audience to buy your product, your design must persuade them to buy your copy. In advertising, your design catches your audience’s eye and points their attention to your copy. Then, it’s your copy’s job to hold your audience’s attention.

To help grab people’s attention in your advertisements, we’ve put together a list of seven ad tips, supported by examples, that’ll help your brand cut through the noise. Read on to learn how to craft creatively refreshing ads that will convert your audience into customers.

7 Ad Design Tips to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise

1. Stand Out From The Crowd

Estee Lauder Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

In a world where countless brands fight for a limited amount of attention, the only way your advertisement can grab people’s attention is by being original.

As a marketer, though, it can be tempting to leap onto the latest trend that all your competitors have already pounced on. If everyone else is implementing the latest tip or trick, it must work, right? To captivate an audience, though, you must resist this urge.

Cliches repel attention. They sap your advertisement’s creativity and can’t activate the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for experiencing emotions. But how exactly do you create an original advertisement? Consider one of Estee Lauder’s print campaigns from the 1960s.

Back then, Estee Lauder’s main competitors like L’Oreal, Revion, and Helena Rubinstein all ran vibrant, colorful ads in magazines. Every makeup ad was beautiful and rich. But even though they seemed eye-popping at first glance, audiences became accustomed to these types of ads — they all looked the same. They started blending in with each other.

Realizing that no one could differentiate between the brands running full-color makeup ads flooding magazines during that time period anymore, Estee Lauder did something so controversial it was deemed “radical”, “stupid”, and even “ugly”: they ran their ads in sepia.

Estee Lauder’s print advertising move received its fair share of criticism, but they’re ability to be original helped them immediately stand out from the crowd and rake in 25% more responses than their previous color print campaigns.

2. Turn Your Ad Into a Game

Fisher-Price Ad

Image Credit: AdWeek

The brain is wired to predict things. It’s an evolutionary trait that allows us to anticipate what’s going to happen next and quickly react to it. That said, advertisements that are predictable only require a shred of thought to understand, so they’re too easy to grasp and, in turn, too boring to engage anyone.

With this in mind, if you can scrap predictability from your advertisements, you force your audience into a deeper level of thinking to digest your message, compelling them to pay more attention to it.

One of the best ways to ensnare your audience attention and get them to interact with your advertisement is by turning it into a game. By framing your advertisement like a game that can be beat, just like Fisher-Price’s ad above, your audience has the opportunity to earn an intellectual reward if they spend just the right amount of mental energy playing your brand’s game and grasping your advertisement’s message, which is something most people won’t ever pass up.

3. Convey One Message — And One Message Only

Citizen Eco-Drive Watch Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

Sometimes, marketers think the more benefits and features they include in their ads, the higher their conversion rate will be. But trying to read a jumbled ad requires a lot of thought and energy, so cramming an ad with a bricks of copy doesn’t actually grab people’s attention. It repels it.

To immediately hook people and persuade them to read the rest of your ad, consider conveying one message per ad. Spotlighting your product or service’s main benefit or feature will make it easy for your audience to understand its value and increase the likelihood of doing business with you because they’ll leave your ad remembering only one message: your product’s or service’s main feature will benefit their lives somehow, someway.

For example, in Citizen’s ad for their Eco-Drive watch, they only use a single line of copy and a simple image to convey their product’s value to their audience — the watch is powered by light.

4. Make It Visual

Lego Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

When we were babies, we relied on vision to associate objects with behaviors, like a ball meaning play time. Vision was the only way to learn about the world.

That’s why you can understand visual information in 250 milliseconds and why your visual system activates over 50% of your brain. Visual storytelling is the best way for people to grasp concepts and data easily.

For instance, in LEGO’s ad, they only use two images, a simple lego creation and a shadow of a dinosaur, but you can instantly form a concrete understanding of its core idea — with Legos, you can create anything.

5. Leverage Hyperbole

Nikol Paper Towels Ads

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Exaggerating your product’s benefits, in a clever and obvious way, is one of the best methods for slipping some humor into your advertisement, which can capture your audience’s attention and trigger an emotional response from them.

For instance, Nikol’s paper towels obviously can’t turn grapes into raisins, but this ad highlights the product’s absorbent powers in such a clear and artful way, they didn’t need to write a single line of copy.

6. Show, Don’t Tell

Siemens Ad

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Showing your audience something is much more engaging and interesting than telling them it. Relying on implication to convey a message is mysterious, making it more fun for your audience to figure out.

For example, in Siemens’ creative ad, they show the benefits of their product by unexpectedly placing their washers and dryers in a library to show you that they’re so quiet, even a librarian wouldn’t need to shush them.

7. Swap Connotations

Heinz AdImage Credit: Brilliant Ads

In relation to food, the word “hot” has multiple meanings: having a high temperature and being spicy. Heinz brilliantly used the connotation of high temperature to highlight the spiciness of their ketchup, and their creative method of communicating the value of their product helped them instantly attract people’s attention.

New Call-to-action

 
New Call-to-action

7 Social Media Activities You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes

Success with content on social media can be simple if you’re organized and focus on efficiency. Of course, you know that you need to cater content directly to your audience’s needs or challenges and that you need to provide a variety of content to keep your audience engaged. But how can you create efficiency in an increasingly frenetic digital space?

In this blog, I’ll describe seven simple actions that each takes no more than 15 minutes to complete to keep your social posts engaging throughout the year. Follow them, and soon you’ll build a full-blown social media content calendar to drive traffic and growth.

Activity #1: Set up and maintain a calendar

Why?

We all know that consistent posting is key. By specifying the publication times, you eliminate the need to decide on the posting frequency manually each time. What’s more, you optimize the amount of information you’ll share each day, ensuring you’ll never overload the audience with updates.

How does it work?

To set up a posting plan, you first need to analyze when your audience hangs out online most often. Based on this information, you should choose the best times to post your social updates, and set up a posting schedule in your scheduling software.

It also helps if your scheduling tool has content categories to tag the types of content you routinely share to create a robust posting schedule. However, setting up a posting plan is not something that should be done once and forgotten. I always review my posting schedule for the upcoming month to make the necessary adjustments.

Make sure you are mindful of opportunities like holidays and current events to ensure you are staying relevant for your audience.

I also recommend analyzing your posts’ performance to see if you notice any patterns. You may notice that your posts tend to perform best on certain days, so try scheduling your most important updates on those days.

Activity #2: Break your feed’s monotony with curated content

Now that your posting plan is set up, you can start filling those slots with valuable content.

Why?

Not only does curated content break the monotony of your feed, but it also communicates your desire to help the audience and not just self-promote. That’s a critical factor in determining whether they’ll follow your updates at all. The problem? Finding content to share can be time-consuming. Luckily, you can automate much of this process.

How does it work?

Look for scheduling software with content curation features. This means you will be able to add RSS feeds of your favorite blogs and media. Once you add those, it will take you five minutes a day to scroll through the list and select articles that you want to post along with your own content.

Activity #3: Post as you browse the web

Why?

It saves you a whole load of time. Whenever you come across something interesting you’d like to share with your audience, you just click on it to schedule or send it to your posting queue.

How does it work?

Some scheduling tools will allow you to schedule content while browsing the web with their Chrome extensions. As you read new content, share it use a posting extension. Here’s how it works with the Social Media Poster Chrome extension:

Activity #4: Upcycle your evergreen content

Why?

There will always be relevant content that will provide your audience with consistent value.  This can be anything from your cornerstone content to an industry influencer list of your own.

How does it work?

There are two solutions here. One, you can automate the process by setting your piece to go live at regular intervals. Most scheduling tools will provide you with this option. It’s also great for advertising your upcoming events, like webinars or any other updates inviting your followers to sign up or avail of time-sensitive information.

Another way to upcycle your old content is by repurposing. This can mean recycling a quote from your old blog post and overlaying it on an image that you can circulate on your social channels, or simply asking a question about that blog post to really keep the topic going.

Activity #5: Draft seasonal posts

Why?

Holidays tend to creep up on us, leaving no time to prepare for full-scale marketing campaigns. Think about all the events and occasions you could have used to promote your business, but you haven’t because it was just too late.

How does it work?

Thankfully, many scheduling tools provide you with the option of creating drafts of the articles and promotions you have in mind and setting a reminder for the time you should come back to them. You can plan ahead and compose your updates for the whole year, or even schedule and draft them right from the calendar.

Activity #6: Use routine automation

Why?

Social media marketing involves more than just scheduling updates. You also need to set up tracking of your content, shorten links to make your posts visually appealing, edit images to fit the size allowances of social networks, etc. So why use automated posting and scheduling if you still have to switch tabs to create a UTM, edit an image or shorten a URL for an easy retweet?

How does it work?

Many scheduling tools offer a variety of time-saving features that can help you automate those routine tasks. The same goes for link shortening. Long URLs can be shortened automatically while creating a new update. And then there’s the matter of engagement. At times, you may want to break the monotony of a typical update with animations or by tweaking whatever image you want to use in it.

Activity #7: Generate new content ideas by reviewing top-performing content

Social media marketing can fuel your content strategy by more than driving traffic. It could also help you discover new topics or audience problems to target, both in your articles and on the social media itself. Okay, but isn’t that something you do while flicking through the news feed anyway?

I’d argue that no, you don’t. When viewing updates from others, you’re typically seeking information for yourself. To find new content ideas, you must look at those articles from the audience’s perspective.  Reviewing what content engaged your competitors’ social media audience is a great opportunity to understand the digital landscape in your industry or field.

How? I have two options for you:

  • Set up tracking of your competitors’ social media feeds using tools like Rival IQ or BrandWatch and review those regularly, looking for updates and topics with the highest engagement rate.
  • Dive deep into your core topic to uncover what specific information customers typically look for online. Tools like Topic Research and BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer are great for this.

It’s that simple!

With these seven simple actions that each takes no more than 15 minutes to complete, you can create a social media content promotion strategy that’s going to drive traffic and increase engagement, while letting you focus on other aspects of your work first.

The post 7 Social Media Activities You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

6 Best Dedicated Server Hosting Services 2019

Dedicated server hosting allows businesses to rent entire servers to host website files without having to share space with other businesses, providing optimal security and website speed. We reviewed 30+ dedicated hosting providers to find the top six — including the best overall — based on price, features, customer support, ease of use, and reviews….

The post 6 Best Dedicated Server Hosting Services 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

One year on from GDPR and how it has affected businesses

It felt like only yesterday that the GDPR apocalypse had hit and businesses were running around like headless chickens, scared that if they sent an email or SMS message they would be hit with a 20 million pound fine. We now know that isn’t the case and even just a few months after GDPR, businesses needn’t have worried so much and they just needed to “keep calm and carry on sending”.

In fact, now the fallout from GDPR has settled down, consumers actually think it is a good thing.

So, with all this fuss around GDPR, what has the actual impact been? Well in a nutshell, more pop ups on website asking you if they could store your data to improve the service they offer you.

Of course, that wasn’t the only thing, but it did feel like the stress was all for nothing. It seemed like for businesses who were keeping customer data safe and were not sending unsolicited messages, they were only required to make a few minor tweaks to their current processes to be in line with the new rules.

We have however identified 2 key areas that we believe have been the biggest areas for businesses in terms of both GDPR as a whole, and more specifically SMS marketing. We would like to note that the below information is not legal advice and if you require more information on GDPR please visit the ico website where you can read up more about GDPR.

Opted in data and legitimate interest

Being able to send customers marketing messages, promoting your products or services, and informing them of sales is pivotal for businesses to be able to sell. With GDPR this became an issue, both because businesses didn’t have opted in data and because the legitimate interest area was a bit confusing.

Opted in data
This was the biggest area that affected businesses, they did not have proof that their customers were opted in and happy to receive messages from them, which caused panic which saw a flourish of emails and text messages being sent out asking consumers to opt it. After these messages were sent out, because many decided to not opt in, businesses would have lost a large chunk of the data, which seemed bad, but in truth was actually good for them.

All this meant was that when a customer replied and opted in, they were truly engaged with that business and were very receptive to the messages they were receiving. For all those who didn’t opt in, they were probably never engaged with your brand in the first place and were ignoring your messages anyway.

Remember quality is better than quantity. So sending fewer messages to a smaller, more engaged group, will save you time and money in the long run, whilst giving you the same outcome.

Legitimate interest
For a lot of businesses, they thought the opt in rule was a bit harsh, many had long standing customers that they had no proof of an opt in form, businesses still need to be able to sell their products and services and this seemed very strict that they could no longer send these customers messages.

This is why with GDPR there was a ‘legitimate interest’ section. This allowed businesses to communicate with consumers who had not opted in, but believed they had a genuine reason to connect with them.

This area is still a grey area and is purely down to the business to decide if the consumer fits into their legitimate interests’ assessment (LIA). There are 3 areas to consider when working out if a consumer fits into your legitimate interest assessment.

Identify the legitimate interest and keep a record – You must first identify where the legitimate interest comes from and then keep a record of this. A good reason of legitimate interest would be if a new customer has purchased from you, the interest is that they may want to know about more of you products or services.

Show that the processing is necessary – By this we mean, is sending them an email or SMS message the only way of communicating with them, or is there another way to achieve the same result in a less intrusive way?

Balance it against the individual’s interests – You must balance your interests against the individuals and you should not send them a message that they would not reasonably expect to receive from you. Therefore, if someone hasn’t purchased or heard from you in 5 years, then they would probably not expect to receive a message from you.

We strongly suggest that you include an opt out on every marketing message you send, this way if the recipient doesn’t want to hear from you, they can easily opt out. This will also help if you ever receive a complaint, because every time you sent them a marketing message you included a free opt out, if they really were annoyed and wanted you to stop sending them messages, why didn’t they opt out?

For more information on this have a read of the legitimate interests section on the ico website.

Processing personal data

The second area, where all those cookie pop ups on websites have come from, was that businesses were now required to tell consumers what information they were storing on them, and if they are happy with them to do so.

For your business to keep information on an individual, you need to:

Ask for approval – You need to tell the consumer what information you are keeping on them and ask them if it is ok for you to keep that information.

Keep safe – Store the data in a secure place and not share it with anyone.

Correct data – Ensure that personal information is kept up to date.

Provide information – If the individual asks for the information you have on them, you must be able provide them with it.

Don’t keep information – Don’t keep information on consumers for longer than required.

Think about it this way, would you like a business to keep information on you, that you never gave them permission for, in an insecure location, and 10 years after you bought from them? Probably not.

You need to remember that individuals have the right; to be informed, of access, to rectification, to erasure, to restrict processing, to data portability, to object, in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

For more information on this have a read of the individual rights section on the ico website.

What can your business take from this?

To summarise, you should not worry about GDPR and just make sure you;
– Can prove an opt-in or have legitimate interest
– Inform and ask for data to be kept
– Keep that data safe
– Provide the information when asked

Then there is nothing to worry about.

 

We would advise that if you are still unsure about GDPR to read the ico website on their Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation.

The Non-Programmer's Guide to Using APIS

Even if you don’t know what an API is, you’ve undoubtedly interacted with one.

Today, we take connectivity between technology largely for granted. For instance, we don’t question when we use OpenTable to make a reservation at a nearby restaurant.

Alternatively, if you use Kayak.com to book flights, you’ve probably never wondered, Wait a minute … how does Kayak know JetBlue has an open seat in 27A?

Ultimately, any time you need applications to communicate with one another, you need an API, or application programming interface.

Here, we’re going to explore what an API is, and why you’d need to use one. Even if you’re not a programmer and don’t need to know extensive technical jargon, you should still understand the basics, since nowadays, integrations between technology are often critical components of anyone’s job.

What is an API?

At its most basic definition, an API lets one piece of software talk to another piece of software.

To understand an API in action, let’s consider a real-life example — HubSpot’s integration with Typeform. Typeform, a tool that supplies mobile-ready quizzes, contact forms, and signup forms, needs to integrate with HubSpot’s Forms API to to interact with the forms tool and seamlessly send submissions from Typeform forms into the HubSpot CRM.

To do this, Typeform’s API and HubSpot’s API need to talk. An integration can act as a translator, ensuring each API’s information is correctly translated for the other application — in this case, the integration may ensure that Typeform form fields are correctly mapped to the corresponding HubSpot fields.

Isaac Takushi, a HubSpot Developer Support Specialist, explains — “You can think of APIs and the ‘endpoints’ they comprise as access points for different information. Each API endpoint may only have one specific job. When combined, however, different endpoints can support powerful, multifaceted integrations.”

Kayak.com, for instance, needs some API to communicate with JetBlue’s systems. When you search “Boston to Charlotte” in Kayak, JetBlue’s booking API will essentially receive this request from Kayak, pull up information related to that request, and send it back. However, Kayak will need its own API or code to understand and act on the information the JetBlue API returned.

To use an API, you’ll want to check out the API’s documentation for access requirements. For instance, HubSpot’s Contacts API requires authentication:

Similarly, you’ll need an API key to access Google’s API, Facebook’s API, and Twitter’s API.

Once you have access requirements, you can use a tool like Postman or Runscope to manually interact with an API. These third-party tools, or “REST clients,” allow you to make one-off requests to API endpoints without coding. They’re great for getting a feel for what your backend systems may do automatically. Check out this resource on how to make your very first API request with Postman.

If you’re not quite ready to jump in on the deep end with a REST client, try punching the following into your browser:

https://restcountries.eu/rest/v2/name/united

This is a public API endpoint from the free REST Countries service. Specifically, we’re using the “Name” endpoint, which accepts country names as search queries. A successful search will return potential country matches, along with key information about each nation. In this case, we’re searching for countries with names that contain the word “united.”

You should see following block of JSON data returned:

Congratulations! You just made an API request from your browser!

The endpoint returned raw data (formatted in JSON) on countries with “united” in the name.

It may not look pretty, but remember that APIs are designed for applications, which don’t require the styling humans expect on an HTML web page. While you can easily Google “countries that begin with ‘united’,” applications cannot. They might have to rely on services like REST Countries to look up that information.

If you’re unsure whether you should use your in-house developers to create APIs or look externally, check out First vs. Third-Party APIs: What You Need to Know.

Improve your website with effective technical SEO. Start by conducting this  audit.  

Lead Generation: A Beginner's Guide to Generating Business Leads the Inbound Way

We’ve all been through it. You know, the moment you’re about to dig into the best darn pile of spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever seen.

Just as you twist your fork in the pasta, spear a mouth-watering meatball, and go in for the first savory bite … the phone rings. “May I speak to Lindsay Kow-low-witch?” asks the telemarketer on the other end. “This is an important message regarding your oven preferences.”

This frustrating interruption is exactly why we’re here to discuss inbound lead generation. What is inbound lead generation? It’s a solution that can save your business or organization from being that annoying, disruptive cold caller who is ruining spaghetti nights for pasta lovers all over the world.

Let’s start with defining a lead, and then we’ll cover what online lead generation is, why you need lead generation, how you qualify someone as a lead, how you generate leads, and why inbound lead generation is much more effective than simply buying leads.

What Is a Lead?

A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.

As a lead, you’d hear from a business or organization with which you’ve already opened communication … instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased your contact information.

For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. If you got an email from the auto company that hosted the survey on their website about how they could help you take care of your car, it’d be far less intrusive and irrelevant than if they’d just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right?

And from a business perspective, the information the auto company collected about you from your survey responses helps them personalize that opening communication to address your existing problems.

Whenever someone outside the marketing world asks me what I do, I can’t simply say, “I create content for lead generation.” It’d be totally lost on them, and I’d get some really confused looks.

So instead, I say, “I work on finding unique ways to attract people to my business. I want to provide them with enough goodies to get them naturally interested in my company so they eventually warm up to the brand enough to want to hear from us!”

That usually resonates better, and that’s exactly what lead generation is: It’s a way of warming up potential customers to your business and getting them on the path to eventually buying.

Why Do You Need Lead Generation?

When a stranger initiates a relationship with you by showing an organic interest in your business, the transition from stranger to customer is much more natural.

Lead generation falls within the second stage of the inbound marketing methodology. It occurs after you’ve attracted an audience and are ready to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team (namely sales-qualified leads). As you can see in the diagram below, generating leads is a fundamental point in an individual’s journey to becoming a delighted customer.

lead-generation-1

How to Generate Leads

Now that we understand how lead generation fits into the whole inbound marketing methodology, let’s walk through the steps of the lead generation process.

First, a visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media page.

That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action.

The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.

An offer is the content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page, like an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.

The form on your landing page consists of a series of fields (like in our example above) that collect information in exchange for the offer. Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site. Once a visitor fills this out — voila! — you have a new lead! (That is, as long as you’re following lead-capture form best practices.)

See how everything fits together?

To sum it up: Visitor clicks a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead.

By the way, you should check out our free lead generation tool. It helps you create lead capture forms directly on your website. Plus, it’s really easy to set up.

Lead Generation Marketing

Once you put all of these elements together, you can use your various promotional channels to drive traffic to your landing page to start generating leads.

But what channels should you use to promote your landing page? Let’s talk about the front-end of lead generation — lead gen marketing.

If you’re a visual learner, this chart shows the flow from promotional marketing channels to a generated lead.

lead-generation-2

There are even more channels you can use to get visitors to become leads. Let’s go into depth on these and talk about a few others.

Content

Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.

Featured Resource

Email

Email is a great place to reach the people who already know your brand and product or service. It’s much easier to ask them to take an action since they’ve previously subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit cluttered, so use CTAs that have compelling copy and an eye-catching design to grab your subscriber’s attention.  

Featured Resource

Ads and Retargeting

The sole purpose of an ad is to get people to take an action. Otherwise, why spend the money? If you want people to convert, be sure that your landing page and offer match exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.

Blog

The great thing about using your blog posts to promote an offer is that you can tailor the entire piece to the end goal. So, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, then you can write a blog post about how to select your marketing metrics … which would make your CTA highly relevant and easy to click.

Featured Resource

Social Media

Social media platforms make it easy to guide your followers to take action, from the swipe up option on Instagram stories to Facebook bio links to bitly URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include a call-to-action in your caption. Learn more about social media campaigns in this post.

Product Trials

You can break down a lot of barriers to a sale by offering trials of your product or service. Once a prospect is using your product, you can entice them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good practice is to include your branding in your free versions so you can capture other potential customers, too.

Referral Marketing

Referral, or word-of-mouth, marketing is useful for lead generation in a different way. That is, it gets your brand in front of more people, which, in turn, increases your chances of generating more leads.

Whatever channel you use to generate leads, you’ll want to guide users to your landing page. As long as you’ve built a landing page that converts, the rest will handle itself.

Why Not Just Buy Leads?

Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their sales funnel — and they want to fill it quickly. Enter: The temptation to buy leads.

Buying leads, as opposed to organically generating them, is much easier and takes far less time and effort, despite being more expensive. But, you might be paying for advertising anyway … so, why not just buy leads?

First and foremost, any leads you’ve purchased don’t actually know you. Typically, they’ve “opted in” at some other site when signing up for something, and didn’t actually opt in to receiving anything from your company.

The messages you send them are therefore unwanted messages, and sending unwanted messages is intrusive. (Remember that disruptive call I got when I was trying to eat my spaghetti? That’s how people feel when they receive emails and other messages from people they didn’t ask to hear from.)

If the prospect has never been to your website and indicated an interest in your, products or services, then you’re interrupting them … plain and simple.

If they never opted in to receive messages specifically from you, then there’s a high chance they could flag your messages as spam, which is quite dangerous for you. Not only does this train to filter out emails from you, but it also indicates to their email provider which emails to filter out.

Once enough people flag your messages as spam, you go on a “blacklist,” which is then shared with other email providers. Once you get on the blacklist, it’s really, really hard to get back off of it. In addition, your email deliverability and IP reputation will likely be harmed.

It’s always, always, always better to generate leads organically rather than buy them. Read this blog post to learn how to grow an opt-in email list instead of buying one.

How to Qualify a Lead

As we covered in the first section, a lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Now, let’s talk about the ways in which someone can actually show that interest.

Essentially, a sales lead is generated through information collection. That information collection could come as the result of a job seeker showing interest in a position by completing an application, a shopper sharing contact information in exchange for a coupon, or a person filling out a form to download an educational piece of content.

Gauging a Lead’s Level of Interest

Below are just a few of the many ways in which you could qualify someone as a lead. Each of these examples shows that the amount of collected information used to qualify a lead, as well as the that lead level of interest, can vary. Let’s assess each scenario:

  • Job Application: An individual that fills out an application form is willing to share a lot of personal information because he/she wants to be considered for a position. Filling out that application shows their true interest in the job, therefore qualifying the person as a lead for the company’s recruiting team — not marketing or sales teams.
  • Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has stumbled upon one of your online coupons. But if they find the coupon valuable enough, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in exchange for it. Although it’s not a lot of information, it’s enough for a business to know that someone has interest in their company.
  • Content: While the download of a coupon shows an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person’s interest in your business, you’ll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they’re a good fit.

These three general examples highlight how lead generation differs from company to company, and from person to person. You’ll need to collect enough information to gauge whether someone has a true, valid interest in your product or service — how much information is enough information will vary depending on your business.

Let’s look at Episerver, for example. They use web content reports for lead generation, collecting six pieces of information from prospective leads.

lead-generation-3

Episerver provides a great example for what to ask for in a lead gen form:

  • Full Name: The most fundamental information needed to personalize your communication with each lead.
  • Email: This serves as a unique identifier and is how you will contact your lead.
  • Company: This will give you the ability to research your lead’s industry and company and how the lead might benefit from your product or service (mainly for B2B).
  • Role: Understanding an individual’s role will help you understand how to communicate with them. Every brand stakeholder will have a different take and perspective on your offering (mainly for B2B).
  • Country: Location information can help you segment your contact by region and time zone, and help you qualify the lead depending on your service.
  • State: The more detailed information you can obtain without sacrificing conversions, the better. Knowing your leads state can help you further qualify them.

If you’d like to learn more intermediate-level tips on information collection and what you should ask for on your lead gen forms, read our post about it here.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a way to qualify leads quantitatively. Using this technique, leads are assigned a numerical value (or score) to determine where they fall on the scale from “interested” to “ready for a sale”. The criteria for these actions is completely up to you, but it must be uniform across your marketing and sales department so that everyone is working on the same scale.

A lead’s score can be based on actions they’ve taken, information they’ve provided, their level of engagement with your brand, or other criteria that your sales team determines. For instance, you may score someone higher if they regularly engage with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience.

Borrowing from the examples above, you might give a lead a higher score if they used one of your coupons — an action that would signify this person is interested in your product.

The higher a lead’s score, the closer they are to becoming a sales-qualified lead (SQL), which is only a step away from becoming a customer. The score and criteria is something you may need to tweak along the way until you find the formula that works, but once you do, you’ll transform your lead generation into customer generation.

Lead Generation Trends & Benchmarks

So … you’re getting web traffic and generating leads. But how are you doing compared to other companies in your industry? How many leads should you really be generating?

It’s tough to figure out if your lead generation strategy is working if you aren’t looking at industry data. That’s why we partnered with Qualtrics to survey more than 900 marketers from all different industries in North America and Europe to create a demand generation report with data on website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers, and revenue.

Did you know that 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals didn’t know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities numbers? How about that over 70% of companies not achieving their revenue goals generate fewer than 100 leads per month, and only 5% generate more than 2,500 leads per month? These are just a few examples of what you’ll find in the report.

For in-depth reports, download our Demand Generation Benchmarks Report. Below are some useful highlights.

Cost per Lead, by Industry

The media and publishing industries report the lowest cost per lead at $11 to $25. Software, information technology and services, marketing agencies, and financial services companies all report the highest average cost per lead at $51 to $100.

lead-generation-4

Leads Generated per Month, by Annual Revenue

Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they generate. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest end of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month, whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.

lead-generation-5

Leads per Month

We found that 58% of companies generated 500 leads per month or fewer, and 71% generated 1,000 or fewer. However, as we saw previously, the companies having the most success are also the ones generating the most leads.

Here’s how the data broke down by company size:

lead-generation-6

Lead Generation Software

We found that the most successful teams use a formal system to organize and store leads: 46% use Google Docs, 41% use marketing automation software, and 37% use CRM software. (Hint for HubSpot customers: Google Drive integrates with both HubSpot Marketing Hub and HubSpot CRM.)

lead-generation-7

Lead Generation Strategies

Online lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on the platform on which you wish to capture leads. We talked about lead capture best practices once you have a visitor on your site … but how can you get them there in the first place?

Let’s dive into lead generation strategies for a few popular platforms.

Facebook Lead Generation

Facebook has been a method for lead generation since its inception. Originally, companies could use outbound links in their posts and information in their bios to attract strangers to their websites. However, when Facebook Ads was launched in 2007, and its algorithm began to favor accounts that used paid advertising, there was a major shift in how businesses used the platform to capture leads. Facebook created Lead Ads for this purpose. Facebook also has a feature that lets you put a simple call-to-action button at the top of your Facebook Page, helping you send Facebook followers directly to your website.

Get some lead generation tips for Facebook.

Featured Resource

Twitter Lead Generation

Twitter has Twitter Lead Gen Cards, which let you generate leads directly within a tweet without having to leave the site. A user’s name, email address, and Twitter username are automatically pulled into the card, and all they have to do is click “Submit” to become a lead. (Hint for HubSpot users: You can connect Twitter Lead Gen Cards to your HubSpot Forms. Learn how to do that here).

Learn some lead generation tips for Twitter.

Featured Resource

LinkedIn Lead Generation

LinkedIn has been increasing its stake in the advertising space since its early days. When it comes to lead generation, LinkedIn created Lead Gen Forms, which auto populate with a users profile data when they click a CTA, making it easy to capture information.

Get tips from our experience using LinkedIn ads.

PPC Lead Generation

When we say pay-per-click (PPC), we’re referring to ads on search engine result pages (SERPs). Google gets 3.5 billion searches a day, making it prime real estate for any ad campaign, especially lead gen. The effectiveness of your PPC campaign relies heavily on a seamless user flow, as well as your budget, target keywords, and a few other factors.

Learn more about how to setup successful PPC ads.

B2B Lead Generation

B2B is a particular business model that requires a particular approach to lead generation. HubSpot found that SEO is the top resource for capturing business leads, followed closely by email marketing and social media. Not to mention, effectiveness varies by channel.

Learn the B2B lead gen techniques for every channel.

Tips for Lead Generation Campaigns

In any given lead generation campaign, there can be a lot of moving parts. It can be difficult to tell which parts of your campaign are working and which need some fine-tuning. What exactly goes into a best-in-class lead generation engine? Here are a few tips when building lead gen campaigns.

Use the right lead generation tools.

As you saw in our data, the most successful marketing teams use a formal system to organize and store their leads. That’s where lead generation tools and lead generation software come into play.

How much do you know about the people visiting your website? Do you know their names or their email addresses? How about which pages they visited, how they’re navigating around, and what they do before and after filling out a lead conversion form?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, chances are you’re having a hard time connecting with the people who are visiting your site. These are questions you should be able to answer — and you can with the right lead generation tools.

There are a few different tools and templates out there that’ll help you create different lead gen assets to use on your site:

  • CTA Templates: 50+ free, customizable call-to-action (CTA) templates in PowerPoint that you can use to create clickable CTA buttons to use on your blog, landing pages, and elsewhere on your site.
  • Lead Generation Software Tools: This free tool from HubSpot includes lead capture and contact insights features, which will scrape any pre-existing forms you have on your website and add those contacts to your existing contact database. It also lets you create pop-ups, hello bars, or slide-ins — called “lead flows” — that’ll help you turn website visitors into leads immediately.

lead-generation-8

Example of a slide-in lead flow.

  • Visitor Tracking: Hotjar has a heatmap tool — a virtual tool which creates a color-coded representation of how a user navigates your site — that helps you understand what users want, care about, and do on your site. It records visitors and tells you where they spend the most time on your site. You can use it to gather information on your lead generation forms, feedback forms and surveys, and more.
  • Form-Scraping Tool: A form scraping tool that collects submissions on your website’s existing forms helps you automatically consolidate all your leads into your contact database, regardless of which form visitors submitted on your website. HubSpot customers can create and embed forms using HubSpot, which automatically populate into your CMS. Non-HubSpot customers can use a form creation tool like Contact Form 7, JetPack, or Google Forms, and then use HubSpot’s free collected forms feature to automatically capture form submissions and input them to a contact database.

Create amazing offers for all different stages of the buying cycle.

Not all of your site visitors are ready to talk to your sales team or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer’s journey might be interested in an informational piece like an ebook or a guide, whereas someone who’s more familiar with your company and near the bottom of the journey might be more interested in a free trial or demo.

Make sure you’re creating offers for each phase and offering CTAs for these offers throughout your site.

Yes, it takes time to create valuable content that teaches and nurtures your leads down the funnel, but if you don’t offer anything for visitors who aren’t ready to buy, then they may never come back to your website. From checklists to templates to free tools, here are 23 ideas for lead generation content to get you started.

If you want to take personalization a step further — which will help boost your conversion rate — try using smart CTAs. Smart CTAs detect where a person is in the buyer’s journey, whether they’re a new visitor, a lead, or a customer, and display CTAs accordingly. Personalized CTAs convert a whopping 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action.

Keep your messaging consistent and deliver on your promise.

The highest-converting lead gen campaigns are the ones that deliver on what they promise and create a seamless transition from ad copy and design to the deliverable itself. Make sure that you’re presenting a consistent message throughout the process and providing value to everyone that engages with your lead capture.

The aspects of your lead gen campaign should mirror everything else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than just obtaining an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.

Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page.

This may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many marketers don’t create dedicated landing pages for their offers. CTAs are meant to send visitors to a landing page where they can receive a specific offer.

Don’t use CTAs to drive people to your homepage, for instance. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), you should still be sending them to a targeted landing page that’s relevant to what they are looking for and includes an opt-in form. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.

If you want to learn more about how to build and promote high-converting landing pages, then download our ebook on optimizing landing pages for conversions.

Get your sales team involved.

Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.

Also, be open to evolving your relationship with sales and how you guide leads along your funnel. Your definitions will likely need to be refined over time; just make sure to keep everyone involved up-to-date.

Use social media strategically.

While marketers typically think of social media as best for top-of-the-funnel marketing, it can still be a helpful and low-cost source for lead generation as shared in the lead gen strategies above. The key is using social media strategically for lead generation.

Start by adding links directly to the landing pages of high-performing offers within your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media posts. Tell visitors that you’re sending them to a landing page. That way, you’re setting expectations. Here’s an example from one of our Facebook posts:

You can also do a lead generation analysis of your blog to figure out which posts generate the most leads, and then make a point of regularly linking social media posts to them.

Another way to generate leads from social media is to run a contest. Contests are fun and engaging for your followers, and they can also teach you a ton about your audience. It’s a win-win. Read our step-by-step guide for growing your email list using social media contests, which covers everything from choosing a platform, to picking a winner, all the way to analyzing your results.

Remain flexible and constantly iterate.

Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends change, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks. Now that you know more about how to generate leads for your business, we recommend you try HubSpot’s free lead generation tool. Use it to add simple conversion assets to your site (or scrape your existing forms) to help you learn more about your site visitors and what content prompts them to convert.

The basics we’ve gone over in this blog post are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms — and promote them in multi-channel environments. Be in close touch with your sales team to make sure you’re handing off high-quality leads on a regular basis. Last but not least, never stop testing. The more you tweak and test every step of your inbound lead generation process, the more you’ll improve lead quality and increase revenue.

New Call-to-action

5 Strategies to Combat Cart Abandonment Using Push Notifications

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest pet peeves for ecommerce brands. The average cart abandonment rate ranges from 69% to 81% across different industries, according to SalesCycle.

Irrespective of exciting deals and great products, customers have a tendency to research multiple options before making a purchase. As a result, they end up window shopping and adding products to their cart. You can’t stop them from doing this.

The good news is that you can set up a cart recovering program to bring people back. Push notification is an effective strategy brands use to re-engage with customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.

What is a push notification?

A web push notification is a pop-up message a subscriber receives on their desktop or mobile browser. This notification allows the brand to interact with the customer even when the user is not on your website.

Apart from sending personalized reminders about abandoned carts, push notifications are used to deliver promotions, purchase confirmation, and order delivery.

Combined with the right offers and sent at the time when your users are the most active, push notifications can compel your customer to go back to the cart and finish the purchase.

Here are 5 actionable tricks to combat cart abandonment with the help of web push notifications.

1. Send timely push notifications

Push notifications are sent real-time and land directly in the notification bar of the web or the mobile browser. The success of your campaign will depend on the time at which the subscribers receive the push notification. If your users are located in different time zones, schedule the notifications according to their location.

Well-timed push notification can make the difference between an effective and obstructive experience.

For example, a “Happy Hour” discount notification should reach the user’s desktop or mobile browser in the second half of the day and not at 8 am on a Sunday morning.

2. Create a sense of urgency

“We, humans, are more motivated by the idea of potential loss than of potential gain,” observes Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Creating a sense of urgency taps into the “fear of missing out” among the customer to make an impulsive purchase without missing out on the deal.

If you have a sale coming up, messages that convey urgency can help you bank on this psychological principle. Consider phrases like “stock running low” or “X hours left to purchase.”

You can create urgency even by showing the recent purchases done by another customer. Let the customer know the stock is running low. This shows that the product is already popular among users. The user is relieved of any apprehension about making the purchase and builds confidence.

Such notifications result in conversions from users who have genuinely liked your product.

3. Segmenting your users

A user may subscribe to your push notification for multiple reasons, ranging from product updates to getting discount codes. Your subscribers would have different preferences, so sending all the users the same web push notifications could lead to a high unsubscribe rate.

In one of the PushEngage studies, we found the click-through rates for web push notifications to increase by 2X with segmentation. Simultaneously, we observed a decrease in push notification subscription rate when the notification is sent to a targeted segment.

Segment users and place them in different buckets. For instance, this helps you identify your most loyal customers whom you could send personalized discounts. Here you could encounter higher engagement and a lower bounce rate. To the most unengaged visitors, you could send follow-up campaigns.

You can segment the subscribers on the basis of:

  • Browser language and browser type
  • Region and time-zone
  • New vs. old visitor
  • Frequency of purchase
  • Actions performed like pages visited, products searched for, previous purchases, and cart or browser abandonment

4. The impact of copy and images in web push notifications

You have a limited space ranging from 40 to 120 characters to fit the title and description of your push notification.

It’s vital to decide on the most important value proposition and create clear and concise copy that reflects that value proposition. Don’t forget to add a CTA to guide the user to the next step they should take in the customer journey.

Be sure to consider:

  • Adding an image to the push notification. The image makes your push notification stand out, thereby increasing the conversion rate and customer engagement. At PushEngage, we analyzed the impact of large images on web push notifications, industry-wise. The results are summed up in the chart:
  • Localize the content of the push notification. According to a 2017 Statista report, English users represent only 25.3% of the global internet users. Based on the geography or country you’re targeting, localize the copy of the push notification to increase the engagement. Nothing excites a user more than receiving a notification in their native language. This is the best way to build a loyal customer base while globalizing your brand.

5. Send a series of push notifications

Send a series of push notifications instead of a single one. The first notification can be a simple reminder about the product abandoned. The next notification promotes the limited-time discount offer and creates urgency. The last notification will instill FOMO by informing the user about the offer expiring soon.

Push Notifications on Google Chrome Example

If the customer purchases the product, make sure you close the campaign for that user.

Wrapping Up

With intense competition in the digital marketplace, you cannot afford to lose out on valuable customers. It is imperative for marketers to build cart recovery programs with effective push notifications.

What kind of push notifications have worked for your business? Share in the comments below.

The post 5 Strategies to Combat Cart Abandonment Using Push Notifications appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Facebook Advertising: The Ultimate Guide with Examples

Facebook advertising targets Facebook users with various ad types and placements based on interests, web activity, psychographics, and demographics. Effective ads deliver eye-catching photos, valuable content, and calls to action (CTAs) aimed at converting your target audience into customers. To optimize ads, use content that captures Facebook users’ attention, trust, and loyalty. Most small businesses…

The post Facebook Advertising: The Ultimate Guide with Examples appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Free Beer!!!!!! SEO Contest!!!!!!

Hey friends! I’m way over-invested in rare beer and underinvested in giving back to the SEO community (aren’t we all?). There has been a lot of tweetin’ and discussin’ about forum/comment links lately. Do they have zero value for SEO, or is the devil in the details?

Anyway, enough talk. If you can create a resource online showing how you used forum/comment links to boost the rankings of a site that averages over 1k visits a month from organic search traffic I will send you one of these two rare beers from my collection:

A little background on the beers, these are from two fine SoCal breweries.

First on the left is Parables of Red from Casa Agria. Casa is a craft brewery located in Thousand Oaks, and are known for their fantastic hazy hops and robust wild program. They even did a mutual collab with DeGarde, so they are the real deal. This beer is from their club program and was not released to the public.

On the right is a 2014 Black Tuesday from Orange County’s own The Bruery. The Bruery has been around since 2008 and has helped pioneer the high ABV pastry stout game and mainstreaming of wilds. This 2014 BT should be drinking spectacularly right now.

Any questions hit me up @danleibson on Twitter, or leave a comment.

Must be 21 years of age or older.

Twitter Marketing in 2019: The Ultimate Guide

Whether pop-culture, local or global news, work, or the brands I use and wear, Twitter is a powerful social networking tool and search engine in which I can typically find the latest information about virtually any topic. This also includes updates from the companies and businesses I care about.

Businesses, like HubSpot, are able to market on Twitter to engage users and followers, increase brand awareness, boost conversions, and more (we’ll discuss the “more” shortly). Twitter makes it easy to distribute content. And, there are over 326 million average monthly Twitter users globally for you to share that content with.

The thought of reaching hundreds of millions of leads through a free social media platform sounds intriguing, right? But how do you actually ensure you’re generating fantastic content those people will want to interact with?

In this guide, we’ll answer that question along with some others including what a Twitter marketing strategy is, how you can use Twitter for your business, and what tips and tricks you can implement to help you improve your marketing efforts on the platform.

Let’s get started.

What is a Twitter marketing strategy?

A Twitter marketing strategy is a plan centered around creating, publishing, and distributing content for your buyer personas, audience, and followers through the social media platform. The goal of this type of strategy is to attract new followers and leads, boost conversions, improve brand recognition, and increase sales.

Creating a Twitter marketing strategy will require you to follow the same steps you would if you were creating any other social media marketing strategy.

  1. Research your buyer personas and audience
  2. Create unique and engaging content
  3. Organize a schedule for your posts
  4. Analyze your impact and results

So, you might be wondering what makes Twitter unique. Why would you want to actually invest the time in creating a profile and content for the platform?

What makes Twitter unique?

Twitter is a great marketing tool for a number of reasons. The platform …

… is free to use.

… allows you to share and promote branded content in seconds.

… expands your reach.

… allows you to provide quick customer service and support.

… works as a search engine tool for you to search for your competitors and their marketing content to see which tactics they’re using.

… can be used as a search engine tool for prospects to find and learn about your company.

… allows you to converse with your followers, share the latest updates about your company, and address your audience.

Now that we’ve reviewed what a Twitter marketing strategy is and what makes the platform unique, let’s cover the ways in which you can use Twitter for your business. These tips will help you boost conversions, create lasting relationships with your followers, and improve your brand awareness.

As you begin using Twitter for your business, there are some steps you’ll want to take to ensure you reach your target audience. Depending on your goals, company size, and industry, you may or may not choose to work through each of the following steps (or you may have already completed some of them), so tailor them to your needs.

Learn how to use Twitter for business to better share, engage, and market on the platform.

1. Customize and brand your profile.

When someone looks at your company’s Twitter profile, you want them to automatically know it’s yours. Meaning you should customize and brand your Twitter profile with your logo, colors, and any other recognizable and memorable details you want to incorporate. There are a few locations in which you can customize your profile.

  • Handle: Your Twitter handle is your username (for example, our handle is @hubspot) — this should include your company’s name so your followers, customers, and fans can easily search and find you on the platform. You create your Twitter handle when you sign up for an account.
  • Header: The header on your Twitter profile is your background image. You might choose to create a unique image for your header, use your logo, or another branded image.
  • Profile picture: Your Twitter profile picture represents your company’s every move, interaction, post, and tweet on the platform. It’s the image that sits above your bio and might include a picture of your logo, company’s initials, or CEO.
  • Bio: A Twitter bio provides everyone who visits your profile with a brief synopsis of what they’re about to see in 160 characters or less. It might include your mission statement, a blurb about what your company does, or something humorous and engaging.
  • Website URL: Beneath your profile picture and bio, there’s a location where you can include your URL to direct traffic straight to your website.
  • Birthday: In the same location as your URL, you can insert your company’s birthday — or the day when the company was founded — so your audience gets to know your business on a more personal level.

Twitter-profileSource

2. Create Twitter Lists.

A Twitter List — which any user has the ability to create and view — is an organized group of Twitter accounts you’ve selected and put together in specific categories. For example, at HubSpot, lists include Leadership Experts, Top Marketing Experts, Top Business Podcasters, and more. When you open a Twitter List, you only see tweets posted by the accounts on the list.

Twitter Lists are great if you want to follow only specific accounts. You might segment your lists into groups such as business inspiration, competitors, and target audience so you’re able to easily review their posts, interactions, and content.

Twitter-lists

Source

3. Host a Twitter Chat.

You can schedule and host a Twitter chat to engage your followers, discuss a topic, create a sense of community, and ask your audience for their opinions or input on something you’re working on.

To host a Twitter Chat (or TweetChat), you’ll need to choose a topic, set a time and date for the chat to occur, and create a hashtag for the chat. You can share this information with your followers in a tweet, on your website, in your Twitter bio, and wherever else you choose.

Everyone who wants to participate in the Twitter Chat should then be able to view all responses, questions, and comments regarding your topic of choice by searching your unique hashtag, as well as sharing their own comments and thoughts by adding the hashtag to their tweets.

Twitter Chats promote interaction and engagement on your profile and get people talking about your brand. It also creates a more personal experience between your audience members and your business.

Twitter-chat

Source

4. Advertise on Twitter.

Advertising through Twitter is a great way to reach your audience. This will make your tweets easily discoverable by thousands of people, helping you increase your influence and following. You can do this through promoted tweets or Twitter Ads.

Promoted Tweets

Promoted tweets make your tweets appear in the Twitter streams or Twitter search results of specific users. This is a great option for anyone looking to get more people on a specific webpage. Your business will pay a monthly fee as long as you’re promoting a tweet.

Twitter will put your promoted tweets in a daily campaign targeting the type of audience you want to reach as previously indicated in your settings. All Twitter users have the ability to interact and engage with Twitter Ads the same way they would with your organic content.

Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads is a great option if you’re using different types of tweets to achieve one goal for your business. It’s ideal if you’re looking to grow your base of followers and brand awareness significantly through the platform.

Your business can decide between different objectives when it comes to your Twitter ads including app installs, video views, and website conversions, as well as audience targeting for your campaigns. This decision will impact the price you’ll need to pay to run your ad.

5. Drive traffic to your website.

Twitter can help you direct traffic to your website — there are a number of ways to include your website’s URL on your profile as well as add links to your web pages and blogs in your tweets. Here are some ways you can use the platform to direct traffic to your website to help you increase your conversions and sales.

  • Add your website URL beneath your bio on your Twitter profile.
  • Incorporate links to your website in your tweets.
  • Retweet any content that includes direct links to your website and/ or blogs other people have shared.  
  • Embed tweets on your website with a Twitter Timeline.
  • Set up Twitter Ads to drive users to a specific landing page on your site.

6. Use Twitter Moments.

Twitter Moments are collections of tweets about a specific topic or event. They’re like a “best of” collection of tweets regarding your topic of choice. For example, Twitter’s Moments section includes “Today”, “News”, “Entertainment”, and “Fun.”

Twitter-moments

Source

You can also create your own section of Moments for your followers to view on your profile.  

Hubspot-twitter-moments

Source

You might organize your Twitter Moments into groups of tweets to help you market your business’ events and campaigns or related industry news. They also help with your marketing tactics by providing your business with an engaging way to promote the discussion of specific topics and/ or events that matter to your company to help you share your brand image with audience members.   

7. Get verified on Twitter.

You might choose to apply to get your Twitter profile verified depending on the size of your company and your industry. Twitter states they typically only accept requests for account verification if you’re in “music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.” If Twitter accepts your application and verifies your profile, a badge with a blue checkmark inside of it will appear next to your handle. This symbolizes an authentic account.

get-verified-on-twitter

Source

Being verified prevents your audience members from following and being confused by impersonator accounts or accounts with similar content, usernames, and handles to yours. A verified account also makes your business look more legitimate and trustworthy.

8. Focus on building your follower count.

Needless to say, the more Twitter followers you have, the more people there are looking at and interacting with your content. You’ll have a better chance to improve brand awareness and direct more traffic to your website when you build your follower count on Twitter.

Learn how to get more Twitter followers, fast.

There are a number of ways you can increase your follower count on Twitter — here are some to get you started:

  • Ensure your content is shareable.
  • Use unique hashtags.
  • Create engaging content (giveaways, contests, questions, surveys).
  • Enlist the help of Twitter (social media) influencers.
  • Include links to your Twitter profile on your website.
  • Interact with your current followers and retweet their content so they’re more likely to do the same for you.

Now that we’ve reviewed how to use Twitter for business, let’s cover some tips and tricks you can apply to your profile to improve your marketing efforts on the platform.

The following Twitter marketing tips are universal, meaning they’re applicable to any type of business, in every industry..

1.  Use keyword targeting in your Twitter Ads.

Keyword targeting on Twitter is component of Twitter Ads. Keyword targeting allows you to engage Twitter users through the different words and phrases you’ve included in your content and they’ve searched for on the platform. This means you’re able to reach your target audience at the exact time your business, content, and services are most relevant to them.

On Twitter, there are two types of keyword targeting you can use including search and timeline.

Search Keyword Targeting

Search keyword targeting allows you to make your tweets show up for users who are searching for the topics that you determined relate to your business. For example, if you sell gluten free cookies, you can target users searching for tweets about baking, cookies, gluten intolerance, or Celiac Disease.

Timeline Keyword Targeting

Timeline keyword targeting allows you to act on users’ specific feelings, thoughts, actions, and emotions they’ve tweeted about. For example, if you’re a running gear company, you might target keywords and phrases users tweet about such as, “running a race”, “race day tips”, or “training for a marathon”.

2. Implement hashtags.

Did you know tweets with hashtags receive two-times as much engagement as tweets without them?

Adding hashtags to your tweets is a great way to expand your influence on Twitter. However, there are some guidelines you’ll want to stick to when using hashtags to ensure that you reach the largest number of people possible.

  • Create a hashtag that’s unique to your business so your followers and target audience can easily find you and your content.
  • Create relevant and memorable hashtags for other groups of tweets such as ones related to a specific campaign you’re running.
  • Use Twitter Analytics to review your most successful hashtags so you can ensure their use in future tweets.
  • Don’t overuse hashtags — this may feel and look spammy to your audience (not to mention it isn’t aesthetically pleasing). Also, tweets with more than two hashtags see a 17% decrease in engagement than those with one or two hashtags.

3. Organize a content sharing schedule.

As you grow your base of followers, you’ll need to post on a regular basis to ensure they stay engaged with your business and content. Not only do you want to tweet regularly, but you also want to tweet at the right times of the day. Here are some details about the best times (on average) for businesses to share their Twitter content:

  • Between 8–10 AM and 6–9 PM (in correlation with commuter schedules) on weekdays
  • Around noon or between 5–6 PM on any day of the week
  • For B2C companies, the best days to tweet are weekends
  • For B2B companies, the best days to tweet are weekdays

In terms of how often you should post your content on Twitter, there’s no real rule — it’s more about ensuring the content you’re sharing has a purpose and meaning. You can also review Twitter Analytics to take a deep dive into what your engagement looks like on the days you post more or less content to determine what’s working well for your specific audience.

Once you’ve determined when and how often you’re going to post your content, you can enlist the help of a social media management tool. This will allow you to both create your tweets and schedule them in advance so you can focus on other tasks you have to complete.

Here are a few examples of popular social media scheduling tools you can use for your Twitter marketing strategy:

  • Sprout Social provides you with a range of features to help you reach your target audience and buyer personas through Twitter including platform analytics, engagement tools, scheduling capabilities, and details about the type of content your audience wants.
  • Twitter Analytics allows you to analyze your tweets, understand which content is helping your business grow, and learn about your followers.
  • HubSpot has a social tool which allows you to schedule posts in advance, connect directly with your audience, and understand how your Twitter interactions are helping your business’ bottom line.

4. Create a Twitter campaign.

Social media marketing campaigns of any kind are a great way to reach your audience, drive sales, and increase your website traffic. You can create a social media marketing campaign specifically for Twitter to target users and increase your base of followers all while raising your brand awareness through the platform.

To create a Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll want to follow the same steps you would with any type of social media marketing campaign.

  1. Research your competition
  2. Determine how you’ll appeal to your target audience
  3. Choose the type of content you’ll create
  4. Share and promote your content
  5. Analyze your results

5. Write a strong profile bio.

Writing a strong and memorable bio for your Twitter profile is crucial. This is because your Twitter bio is the first thing a profile visitor will read about your company — it’s your written introduction and should briefly explain what visitors can expect from your page and content. You only have 160 characters to do this, so choose your words wisely to ensure your bio successfully represents your brand and reflects who you are as a company.

6. Use images and videos.

When possible, try to include quality videos and photos in your tweets. It’s been proven that tweets with images outperform tweets strictly made of text. Photos and images provide an eye-catching and engaging element in your content as Twitter users scroll through their feeds. Videos are proven to actually outperform tweets with images as well. In fact, tweets with videos are likely to get an average of six times the amount of engagement than tweets without them.

Videos and images are a great way to show your audience your product line or how to use an item you sell as well as make your content feel more personal. Plus, images and videos in tweets are proven to help you increase your engagement — and who wouldn’t want that?

7. Interact with your followers.

Remembering to engage with your followers as your business grows and Twitter follower count increases is crucial. This will help you create experiences for your followers and audience members that feel personal and keep them coming back to your profile all while fostering a sense of brand loyalty. For example, if someone retweets your post or comments on your tweet, you can “Like” that person’s interaction or even tweet back to them with a response.

8. Share media mentions.

If your business is mentioned in the media, share the article, video, URL, or image on Twitter. It’ll make your business feel more legitimate to anyone checking out your profile as well as show prospective followers how many other people already know about your company and are enjoying your products and services.

This is an exciting way to broadcast your success to your audience. It also provides you with a way to incorporate backlinks in your tweets which, when clicked, take your audience members to the original source of the mention. Meaning you’ll also drive traffic to the website of the media outlet that mentioned you, likely boosting their follower count and/ or brand recognition. This could potentially help you become mentioned, shared, or featured in one of their pieces of content again in the future.

9. Keep an eye on your competitors’ Twitter accounts.

Twitter is a great way to keep an eye on your competitors’ marketing efforts. You can follow them or simply search them to see what they’re posting. You can also view basic details about their engagement such as their number of retweets, comments, and responses. This is a simple way to see some of the Twitter marketing strategies your competitors are implementing and whether or not they’re working.

10. Focus on followers’ interests and needs when creating content.

If you want to reach your audience members and ensure your content resonates with them, you’ll need to focus on their interests and needs— whether that’s in relation to the way you share content, what you share, or how you present it.

When you meet the needs of your target audience and buyer personas, they’ll be more likely to continue to follow and interact with your company. As you study your buyer personas and target audience, you’ll be able to determine the type of content they’re likely looking for you to share. Additionally, you can always tweet questions, send out surveys, ask for feedback, or even create a Twitter Chat to get more ideas about the type of content your audience is looking for from your business and Twitter profile.

11. Promote your events.

Twitter is a great way to promote your business’ events. Similar to the way you might for a Twitter campaign, you can create a unique hashtag for various events (such as launch parties, giveaways, and contests) or schedule a variety of tweets (using one of your social media management tools) to promote any special occasion your company is hosting. This way, audience members — whether or not they’re your followers — will have the opportunity to learn about your event and get all of the details they need to sign up, be in attendance, or participate.

12. Check your direct messages regularly.

Like other social media platforms, Twitter provides users with a Direct Message inbox where they can contact you in a private message regarding any questions, concerns, or comments they have. So, be sure to check your inbox regularly as this can contribute to the type of customer service and support your business is known for, as well as the type of care you provide your followers and customers.

twitter-direct-messages

Source

13. Keep track of your analytics.

With all of the work you’re putting into your business’ Twitter marketing, you’ll want to ensure your efforts are successful in reaching your goals whether they’re related to directing more traffic to your website, increasing conversions, or improving brand awareness.

You can determine your Twitter marketing success in these areas (and many more) by analyzing your work. To do this, you’ll want to consider which metrics matter to you and then determine how you’re going to track them.

Which Metrics to Track on Twitter

Due to every business being unique and having different goals, you might not be interested in tracking all of the following Twitter metrics (or you might be looking to track additional metrics). However, we’ve compiled the following list of possible metrics for you to consider to get you started.

  • Engagement: Look at the number of retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and click-throughs your tweets get (including all hashtags and links they include).
  • Impressions: Review the number of times your tweets appeared on one of your audience members’ timelines (whether or not they’re actually following you).
  • Hashtags: Look at which of your hashtags are being used most frequently by your audience and followers.
  • Top tweets: Review your tweets with the most engagement.
  • Contributors: Keep up with the level of success each of your contributors — the people you give admin access to on your account — are having with their tweets so you can implement some of their tactics more regularly or remove them completely.

How to Track Twitter Analytics

There are a number of social media management tools, such as Sprout Social, HubSpot, and Hootsuite, with analytics features automatically built in. This is convenient for those of you who were already planning on choosing a management tool to assist with the scheduling of your posts. However, one of the most common analytics tools for Twitter is the one created specifically for the platform: Twitter Analytics.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics helps you understand how your content impacts your audience and the ways in which your activity on the platform can help you grow your business. The tool is free, accessible to all users, and includes information about your Twitter engagement rate, impressions, tweet activity, and information about your followers.

Depending on your business’ needs, you have the ability to incorporate Twitter Ads (if you pay for the option) data in Twitter Analytics as well. Lastly, there are a number of other third-party resources and apps you can download and use along with Twitter Analytics to take a deeper look at specific types of data such as detailed hashtag performance information or how other Twitter handles in your industry are doing.

Start Marketing on Twitter

Twitter is a powerful marketing tool and social media platform any business can take advantage of. It has the ability to help you direct more traffic to your website, improve brand awareness, engage your audience, create personal relationships with your followers and customers, boost conversions, and increase your sales. So, consider the Twitter for business tactics as well as the marketing tips and tricks mentioned above and get started sharing content on Twitter to help you grow your business today.

New Call-to-action

Business Strategy: What It Is & How to Build an Effective One

In the business world, professionals are obsessed with tactics because they can help them meet their short-term goals. But if all you do is focus on the short-term, you won’t spend enough time or energy figuring out how you can succeed in the long-term.

Fortunately, building a strategy can help you achieve both your short-term and long-term goals. Strategy focuses on principles, which help you think, instead of tactics, which help you execute, so it allows you to concentrate on why your business does certain activities, not just how you do them or what you do. Read on to learn exactly what a business strategy is and how you can build an effective one today.

1. Identify your business’ aspirations and set goals to measure your progress toward achieving those aspirations.

In business, traditional goal setting lets you measure what you do, but it doesn’t lend itself to gauging how you do it or why. And if you only focus on the results, it can sometimes incentivize you to take a course of action that prioritizes your organization’s needs over your customers’ needs.

To help you focus more on your purpose and process instead of just your results, consider setting and anchoring to an aspiration, or your vision for your business in the future, when building your business strategy — it’ll inspire you to do work that better serves your customers. Once you set and anchor to an aspiration, you can add your goal to the equation, which will help you simultaneously produce customer-centric work and hit your numbers.

2. Pinpoint which segments of your market you want to capture.

Your product or service most likely isn’t the best fit for your entire market, so it’s crucial to pinpoint the segment or segments of your market that benefit the most from your product or service.

Customers who genuinely need and want your product or service are also the customers who retain the longest and are least likely to churn, boosting your customer lifetime value and lowering your customer acquisition costs.

3. Determine how you’ll beat your competition.

Ricky Bobby’s legendary saying that “If you ain’t first, you’re last” doesn’t necessarily apply to the business world, but it does have some bearing on it. Your customers won’t buy two of the same products or services, so if you want to capture as much of your segment of the market as possible, you need to place first in the majority of your target customers’ minds.

Some of the best ways to stay top-of-mind are crafting a creatively refreshing brand, differentiating your product or service from the rest of the crowd, and pricing your product relative to its perceived value.

4. Figure out which competencies are needed to beat your competition and sustain your business’ success.

Unfortunately, passion isn’t enough to beat your competition and rocket to the top of your industry. Talent and skill are just as crucial. Depending on your aspirations, goals, and market, you need to figure out which types of teams and employees you need to develop and recruit to not only beat your competition, but to also sustain your success.

5. Decide which management systems are needed to hone these competencies.

If your business is a team, then your managers are the coaches. They’re responsible for developing, supporting, and inspiring your employees to do their best work possible. Because no matter how much raw talent your employees have, they’ll never reach their potential and, in turn, help the business reach its potential if they don’t refine the skills and discipline necessary to compete and succeed.

Principles Over Tactics

We live in a day and age where the internet is overloaded with advice. You have access to countless amounts of tips and tricks that could potentially help you build a successful business. But without the ability to think critically about whether these tips and tricks actually apply to your specific situation, you’ll never reach long-term success.

That’s why strategy is so important nowadays. It grounds your business in principles that can apply to almost situation and, in turn, help your business achieve both its short-term and long-term goals.

Business Plan Template

How to Use Surveys at Every Stage of the Funnel to Drive a Better Customer Experience

You know that pleasant feeling when you walk into your local cafe and the waiter greets you as if he’d just seen a dear friend, leads you to your favorite table, and asks you if you’d like “the usual”? Personalization is not a new concept, though only recently has it become the standard customers expect from digital services.

There’s no doubt about the ROI of personalizing lead and customer communication. Amazon, which paved the way for one-on-one digital marketing, has recently reported that 35% of its sales come from product recommendations. The numbers on customer expectations look even more promising, with 56% willing to return to a website that offers a personal approach.

It’s only natural that the marketing world is now craving a slice of that cake.

So how can we effectively guide leads through the funnel and cater to their individual needs at each step of the buyer’s journey?

In this blog, we’re going to focus on one very effective method: Creating a cohesive survey strategy that will first help you understand your leads better, and, as a result, guide them towards a purchase in a natural, unobtrusive manner.

We’ll share survey personalization examples for all three steps of the buyer’s journey (so, the process in which a lead becomes aware of a need, and eventually purchases our product as a solution). We’ll also cover how we, at Survicate, recommend surveying leads that are either hard to qualify or have stopped returning to your website.

The pros of running surveys

Let’s start off with reviewing how surveys can exponentially support your lead and customer communication goals.

Surveys help you:

  • Increase communication relevance & quality: If you ask your website visitors about the reason behind their visit, you’ll be able to give them exactly what they’re looking for. In simple terms—if you provide value, they’ll want to return. Simple as that. We’ll show you how it’s done with surveys further on in the post.
  • Speed up lead qualification: A simple question about your visitors’ goals can help you understand whether they’re in the awareness, consideration, or decision stage. Here’s where a marketing automation tool with separate flows for each scenario will work wonders!
  • Make sure your sales team doesn’t get engaged too early or too late: Nothing hurts as much as a lost sale opportunity. If you notice a lead starts visiting pricing pages and answers surveys in a way that indicates they’re considering a purchase, it’s time to start acting. Which brings us to…
  • Drive conversion with customized follow-ups from sales and support: For SaaS companies, this might mean inviting your lead to a product demo or launching chat with a customer success team member. This can also take on the form of an automated email from one of your sales team members with pdf or article links relevant to the stage a given lead is in.

Another huge advantage of running pre-sales surveys? If you’re a user of other marketing tools such as CRM, customer feedback management software, and communicators, you won’t need to start with zero-to-none insights on your leads ( a.k.a. the cold start problem).

Using data from other marketing tools

If you’ve never used surveys on your website before (or have, but all responses were anonymous), then you’ll likely find integrating your survey tool with other marketing software invaluable. If you’ve been using a CRM, you may be able to not only segment your leads in your survey tool but also identify anonymous survey responses and assign them to the right lead account.

You might also benefit in checking your analytics tool, heatmaps, and user session recordings for anything that might shed more light on how your leads behave, and where they look for specific information.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from your website visitors at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and what are the best ways to initiate contact.

Awareness stage

To put it simply, leads in the awareness stage are, well…unaware of being a lead, so to say. It’s an early stage when your potential client doesn’t even look for solutions to a problem your product might solve. So what lead them to your website in the first place? To use the medical analogy, a patient sees symptoms, and so he/she goes to a doctor for a diagnosis. Similarly, your website visitor might be looking for educational content on the ‘symptoms’, or pain points, they are experiencing.

Not a great time to display a pop-up with a Black Friday deal for a yearly subscription, right?

When you create surveys for leads in the awareness stage, make sure the content and goals focus on the key takeaways your respondent expects from interacting with your company. Not the other way around, no pitching involved. Your role here is to make sure your website visitor knows they’ve come to the right place and thinks you’re an absolute expert in the field they’re researching.

Here are some ideas on where you can embed your survey, how you can ask, and what you can do to make your lead aware of the problem (so, moving them to the consideration phase):

Touchpoints for surveys: Educational content on the blog, free downloadables, downloadable expert reports, checklists, newsletters.

Question examples:

  • “What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to…?”
  • “What information are you most interested in?”
  • “What topic would you like to read about the most?”

Action plan: Use survey results to create content that speaks to your audience’s most important challenges to keep them hooked. Build brand awareness and establish yourself as a knowledgeable source.

Consideration stage

At this point, your lead has already put a name to the problem or need at hand and is starting to research solutions (which also means your competition). As far as blog content is concerned, articles that focus on product features are more and more relatable. Most importantly, your lead is becoming ready to speak to your sales team so it might be time to take action. And so, your surveys should focus on underlining what makes you stand out on the market and why you’re the perfect solution.

Touchpoints for surveys: Landing pages of your services/products, product features, product content on the blog, comparison pages (your product vs. competition).

Question examples:

  • “Is there a feature you’d like to hear more about?”
  • “Would you like to participate in a free demo with our sales team?”
  • “Which service providers, apart from us, are you also currently looking at?“

Action plan: Use survey insights to deliver content that shows your advantages against the competition. Personalize sales team communication with your leads to highlight your services’ strong suits. Do thorough research of all the companies the lead has mentioned considering.

Decision stage

Similarly to the consideration phase, your lead might be open to scheduling a demo call. Although, this time the decision can be expected much sooner—right after or during the call. As our experience shows at Survicate, some leads become convinced you’re a good choice and become your customers even before the scheduled demo.

The point being, in the decision stage, things happen fast—it’s either you or your competition, so make sure you invest in your marketing and sales efforts till the very end!

Touchpoints for surveys: Pricing pages, product landing pages, registration page, as well as free user accounts for users who are on an unpaid or trial plan.

Question examples:

  • “Would you like to participate in a free demo call with our sales team?”
  • “Is there anything you would like us to focus on during the demo?”
  • “Which other service providers, apart from us, are you currently considering?”

Action plan: Display a contact form with a demo proposal. If the lead agrees to the call, send him/her a pre-demo survey similar to the one described above for the consideration phase leads.

Make it super easy to schedule the call—automatically redirect the respondent to your sales team’s calendar. Alternatively, launch a chat with a sales team member if the respondent is still online. Your sales team should personalize their demo plan by reviewing the pre-demo survey responses. It’s also worth checking information in other channels, such as your CRM, and view previous survey history to get the full picture.

Now, what about leads who are hard to qualify? Let’s assume there’s a group of site visitors, who haven’t returned to your site for a while, or abandoned the registration process? How can surveys take them further down the journey (if they’re still in awareness or consideration phases) or regain their interest in your business (if they’d decided not to purchase, or had gone with a solution from your competition)?

Getting leads back on track—a novel approach

Here’s a personalized survey example we’re huge fans of at Survicate. Each answer has a separate logic and provides solutions that align with the exact reasons why your lead stopped moving down the funnel.

To make use of this approach, you’ll need to derive a list of email addresses of the leads you’d like to reactivate.

Here’s a question to identify why your leads have gone missing and a breakdown of each response path: 

What’s stopping you from purchasing from us?

  1. I’m just looking around. Encourage your lead to subscribe to your newsletter, or provide links to your finest content at the end of the survey
  2. Too expensive. Arrange a call with a sales team member. Your lead might think you’re too expensive because they are unaware of how extensive your tool is. Alternatively, you might be able to negotiate a custom service and/or planning solution. Perhaps you run a startup or NGO discount program?
  3. I chose your competition. Ask whom they purchased from. Send a non-expirable discount code for your services. Follow-up in six months to see if your ex-lead is still happy with the competitive solution. Encourage them to sign up to your newsletter to keep some form of contact and maintain brand awareness.
  4. I don’t have the authority to make this decision. You can send your respondent an info pack they can forward to the decision maker.
  5. Still making the decision. Send links to comparison-to-competition pages on your site, offer a demo call.

Your sales and marketing teams should be kept in the loop for each answer that falls into this category and brainstorm a custom method.

What this survey does is:

  • Provides an immediate reaction to the problem/need declared by your lead
  • Lets you immediately qualify the lead to an appropriate segment, enrich your CRM data, not to mention drive your company towards a customer-centric direction.

Survey personalization at it’s finest! Wouldn’t you agree? And it’s just one of the many practical examples you can inspire yourself with!

Personalized surveys for improved customer experience

As you’ve seen in the examples above, a personalized survey approach will take your brand a long way. Surveys can be both the driving force of your lead generation efforts, as well as your go-to method for future personalization of services for paying customers. Like no other customer-centric approach, deciding on personalizing your feedback collection strategy brings everyone at your company to the table—your sales, customer success, and marketing teams. The result? A cohesive communication strategy and brand experience clients love and share.

The post How to Use Surveys at Every Stage of the Funnel to Drive a Better Customer Experience appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

6 Best Email Finders for 2019

Email finders search for and identify email addresses by scraping addresses from websites or finding them based on known emails with a similar domain. We looked at 20 email address finders on the market and compared them based on accuracy, price, and additional features and narrowed it down to six and the best overall systems….

The post 6 Best Email Finders for 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

eCourseworks com-How Can I Find Coursework Topics Fast

Career, Financial And Life Goals All Made Possible By Online Learning

Cheap Coursework Masters

It boils right down to the basics of internet marketing. And it’s the basics quite a few people get wrong, mainly because they purchase into the hype of the instant wealth stories how the scam artists sell you every period. Or at least they try and pass it on to you.

First, devote time understanding precisely genuine prefer. The actual top article writers won’t manage to offer you what you’ll need in case you do not know genuine happen become trying unearth. So, take some time on paper an content project. Just how many content articles do you would? What’s the length of every single day every written content? What’s their indication? What reaction do you anticipate to obtain out of the readers? What SEO tactics and writing theme to utilize? When an individual may require articles? Would you expect to produce your companies to revise the articles and other content right right up until you occur to be completely pleased? The amount of funds have you eager to commit on every short article? It really is ideal if you can do offer sample articles your freelancers will use of as their tutorials.

Purchase of articles previously published articles or cheap alternative is sort the SEO Marketplace solutions. However, these items do not communicate directly with all the reader. Don’t encourage people take action and create any kind of coursework help foundation. You could also group “Articles spinning” and generic items in this family. If you can not directly communicate to your reader, you are unable to make product sales.

Coursework & Projects – When listing relevant coursework on the varsity resume, avoid repeating the subject names. Listing both English “I” & English “II” really means nothing towards the recruiter. Eliminate “I” & “II” and check out “English, 2 years” relatively. It saves space offers a a feeling of advanced education. Include non-trivial projects and coursework that relate your best coursework planner best coursework questions capability to work with teams or practically apply your comprehending.

If the having troubles writing out of papers anyone are ability as a copywriter seem regarding lacking. Anyone need to heed that running barefoot can take a struggling span for in order to get bigger. And if include really get to the brink of submission deadline then interacting by using a term paper buy coursework online may be wise. A reputed company that’s professional in term papers writing has bunch of highly competent and educated writers. Understands exactly a person are wrong and in order to do maintain to right it. Is definitely very easy to place your orders for online school assignment buy coursework online. They regard the deadline of your papers carefully and do not let you embarrass ahead of of your teachers and peers.

The executive CV buy coursework online is widely available today. What you’ve done is still more important than in essay writing looking for ideas where you have done it. Many companies have come forward recognize the demand of the people looking for work. They have added advanced ways develop the quality of one’s resume therefore it comes out with the ideal match. You as a seeker must be sure that the company provides you with three strategy. Yes, three essential factors are being kept notion before short listing a green lifestyle. to establish your CV.

But it’s not only website articles and other content. A professional writing company may produce a series of articles a good auto-responder campaign. If you want to launch a cool product buy coursework online, an individual also want individuals to sign to a maximum of receive a few marketing emails by auto-responder, you can employ a wedding specialist writing company to write 10, 20, 50 or even 100 auto-responder emails.

Start your own business article advertising – Make an entire page specifically for the sale of your goods and services offer article writing for small businesses. Offer to write and submit articles to sell their product and websites, writing promotional material to formulate your website or start weblog for firm. Companies are within Internet advertising, more than these days.

Jindal said whoever’s responsible for BP in order to own just about their responsibility, and function enables you to taking action beyond just utilizing the company’s checkbook.

.

10 fun SMS facts

At Text Marketer we talk a lot about SMS, we have blogs on how it works wonders for all different types of businesses, how to get the most out of SMS, along with loads of more blogs all around the subject of SMS and how it helps businesses grow.

We have had great response to these blogs, from businesses emailing us thanking us for helping them, but we also know that sometimes you just want to relax and have a bit of fun.

And that is exactly what we have done – below is a list of 10 fun SMS facts that we hope you enjoy.

1. The very first message sent was in the UK in 1992 and read “Merry Christmas”. The receiver didn’t even reply, well he couldn’t because his phone didn’t have any way of inputting text – talk about a great reason to not reply. (The Week)

2. Texting has now become so popular that a whopping 90% of adults aged between 26-35 would prefer to send text messages to friends than meet up and have a conversation. (Mobile Commons)

3. Want to know the number of text messages the average smartphone user between 18 and 24 sends and receives every month? 4,000 – that’s around 8 messages every hour when awake. (MarketingCharts)

4. Do you remember the old Nokia beep? Well that was Morse code for SMS. (Newlaunches)

5. The fastest text message ever typed was done in 18.19 seconds and read – “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.” – how fast can you text that? (Guinness World Records)

6. Text messaging is the most popular form of communication. (Independent)

7. The peak time for sending a text message is between 10.30pm and 11.00pm. (Strange But True)

8. 8.3 trillion text messages are sent worldwide every year, that’s around 23 billion a day, and about 270,000 messages every second. (OneReach)

9. Back in 2002 the first contest to allow voting by text was the Eurovision song contest. (Express)

10. Women spend more time on their mobile phones and send more text messages than men. (Cellular News)

We hope you enjoyed those 10 SMS facts and if you want to know more about SMS please read our post on the history of SMS, it includes a fact about texting cows.

Cloud Integration Explained, and 6 of the Best Cloud Integration Platforms

As marketers, smashing our department’s silos is crucial for truly understanding our customers and catering to their needs. If we understand each team’s challenges and initiatives, we can align our entire department to send the most relevant content to our audience and achieve a common goal.

In regards to your tech stack, the same principle applies. The average small to midsize business has 13 different applications in their stack and they usually don’t integrate with each other. This silos organizations’ data, making it difficult to track their customers’ touch points and understand their true buyer’s journey.

Fortunately, there are cloud integration platforms that can connect your distinct cloud-based applications together, let you manage their data, and even automate your business processes all in one interface.

Read on to learn what exactly cloud integration is and the best cloud integration platforms on the market, according to G2.

1. JitterBit

G2 Rating: 4.7/5.0 (150 Reviews)

As one of the leaders in the iPaaS space, JitterBit lets you fuse thousands of SaaS, cloud, and on-premises applications into one interface. You can also leverage their pre-built templates and workflows to automate your business processes. Additionally, you can create new APIs from your existing enterprise applications or data on their API platform. You can even blend your newly created APIs with external APIs to roll out new business solutions.

2. PieSync

G2 Rating: 4.6/5.0 (216 Reviews)

PieSync leverages their Intelligent 2-Way Sync technology to update any customer’s information in one app after it changes in the other. The cloud integration platform also gives you complete control over the apps you choose to sync, consolidates customer information from multiple apps, and stores and updates all your data in one place so you can access it and make the most accurate data-driven decisions for your business.

3. Zapier

G2 Rating: 4.5/5.0 (371 Reviews)

With the ability to connect to and share data with over 1,000 web apps, like Facebook, QuickBooks, and Google Drive, Zapier can automate almost any type of business process. All you have to do is build a workflow in their editor, pick the apps you want to include in your workflow, and design it.

4. MuleSoft Anypoint Platform

G2 Rating: 4.4/5.0 (479 Reviews)

Trusted by over 1,600 enterprise companies, MuleSoft Anypoint Platform lets you manage all your APIs and integrations on one platform. You can also build and integrate your APIs, integrate with any application, data, or device, deploy on-premises integrations to the cloud without rewriting any code, and protect your data and administer access to employees by leveraging edge gateways and encryption.

5. IBM App Connect

G2 Rating: 4.3/5.0 (193 Reviews)

With IBM App Connect, you can integrate your data between on-premises and cloud-based applications, build APIs on an intuitive, code-free interface, and build workflows that automate your business processes within different apps. You can also deploy IBM App Connect in any cloud or on-premises environment.

6. Dell Boomi

G2 Rating: 4.2/5.0 (170 Reviews)

Trusted by over 8,000 brands, Dell Boomi lets you fuse all your digital platforms into one. By uniting all your data, applications and processes, Boomi essentially stores all of your technology systems and assets in one place. With Boomi, you can also manage your APIs, data quality, and B2B network, build workflows with minimal coding knowledge, and develop applications.

New Call-to-action

3 Strategies to Create Customer Intimacy at Scale

As nice as new leads are, customers are the most important resource your brand has. Customer loyalty is one of the best goals a company can aim for since it not only shows you’re doing your job well but is also a big driver of profits. 61% of customers go out of their way to buy from brands they feel loyal to, and 75% recommend them to others. Not to mention, customers that feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.

In a crowded marketplace, where all your competitors are vying for attention from your target audience, earning customer loyalty is a challenge. You need to find a way to build a unique and personal connection with each of your customers. For smaller businesses, giving each customer individualized attention can create intimacy. But the more your business grows, the harder it becomes to create that individualized connection with every customer you have.

You can still create customer intimacy as a large business, you just have to get creative. Here’s how:

1. Personalize your product offerings

Most of the conversation around personalization is all about marketing. But you can bring personalization to your products as well.

One of the features the messaging platform Intercom offers is custom bots that customers can tailor to the exact needs of their business. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they allow clients to input the categories and answers their customers care about to automate personalized conversations with website visitors. This makes for both a customized solution for Intercom customers and a personalized experience for their website visitors.

 

2. Send creative, personalized direct mail 

A couple of years ago, direct mail may have seemed on its way out, but as online marketing grows more competitive, physical mail has become a way to be noticed. Valassis research shows that including a direct mail component in your marketing leads to an average 6% lift in sales.

However, there’s still a challenge to overcome. People receive so much junk mail, it’s tough to find a way to make anything stand out and become memorable.

Here are three effective strategies for nailing the unique factor:

Personalize your direct mail

Direct mail services now let you personalize mail with variable data printing. Maps4Mail does a clever version of this—you already have the recipient’s address, why not use that to send them a custom map of how to get from their place to your office or event?

Maps4Mail Personalized Mail Example

Send objects rather than paper

We all get a stack of junk mail almost every time they check the mail, but we always notice the 3D objects. Commercial sound production house GGRP memorably sent a cardboard phonograph that actually played the sample record they included as a way to promote their services to ad agencies. You can bet recipients took notice!

Combine the two with a personalized gift

The phonograph was smart, but could it have been made more personal? You can go a step further by sending an object personalized to your customer’s taste. If you have hundreds of customers to reach, that may sound unrealistic, but it’s not anymore!

Paper Magazine turned to Prazely to instantly send over 100 personalized gifts to partners, based on the interests that Prazely’s AI identified from their social media profiles. For instance, clients who shared their love of cocktails online received a glass shaker and bourbon bears.

Prazely personalied gift example

3. Host customer events

Tech tools have done a lot to enable greater personalization, but the most direct path to intimacy is still meeting someone in person. That’s hard for a company with an international audience, but you can still coordinate ways for people from your company to meet with customers directly.

Set up events like lunch and learns or customer appreciation dinners in each city where you have a location, or when your representatives visit a new city for a conference or business trip. Or go big and host a conference that brings hundreds of your customers together.

In-person events provide opportunities to get to know some of the faces and personalities behind the different accounts your company depends on. And just as importantly, lets them get to know the human beings behind your brand.

Most of us can think of brands we have a real, emotional connection with. Even if another brand can offer a lower price or greater convenience, we’re likely to stick with the one we have positive associations with. Creating customer intimacy is how you become that brand for your customers and earn that kind of loyalty.

The post 3 Strategies to Create Customer Intimacy at Scale appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.