Many generations of marketers have depended upon traditional marketing methods, even as the underlying technologies of communication evolve—but just as many have worked behind the scenes on more effective, efficient approaches to nurturing leads, such as marketing automation. Unfortunately, it’s often been difficult to leverage these alternative marketing approaches to their fullest potential—but that’s all changed with the growth of the internet. Email marketing, social media marketing and marketing automation are all common tools to see now. How should you use them to generate more leads?
With the growth and maturation of digital marketing technologies undermining the efficiency and efficacy of traditional marketing on the internet with each passing year, it’s more important than ever to understand alternatives such as permission-based marketing and inbound marketing.
Prospect Attention from Strong Buyer Personas
When you take advantage of traditional outbound marketing blasts, you’re sending your message to a lot of people - most of which won't respond appropriately to your . At worst, you have no prior communication with these prospects—risking the chance of interruption, irritation, or being sent directly into spam. Even if you aren’t reaching out completely cold, lukewarm leads will more often than not send your materials straight to the garbage and move on to something more interesting.
You simply don’t have the time to craft messages that slip past the internal filter when you’re blasting out messages in bulk. Prospects and leads are more likely to respond positively to messages that apply to them. If you align your messages with a lead's buyer journey, they're much more likely to react positively to your messaging.
You also run into a common problem with this approach where you’re wasting time and potentially money on people who will never be prospects. This can be especially bad, if they’re not qualified enough as leads to ever make a purchase of goods or services, but are intrigued by your pitch enough to waste bandwidth, sign up for freebies, or waste the time of your sales team. Broad outbound approaches simply aren’t worthwhile for specialized businesses.
Starting with Interest
These two initial problems can most easily be resolved by replacing your outbound marketing approaches with techniques that start in the right place and move forward from there. In other words, you want to start with prospects who are both interested and qualified as potential customers. Inbound marketing content approaches leveraging site content and valuable educational materials and permission-based marketing through opt-in newsletters to allow you to better tailor your marketing strategy. People reaching a site built for inbound marketing arrive with the right mindset, at the right stage of their buyer journey, with the right amount of interest are much more likely to consider purchasing your product than a complete stranger.
This helps you avoid spending resources on people that you do catch the attention of that may not ever be a worthwhile investment of resources; people looking for a different but similar product or service, people looking for features you don’t offer or interested in a price point more budget or premium than anything you’re working to sell or those that may never need your services.
It’s especially important to understand the importance of filtering through permission and interest for businesses which rely upon their inbound marketing content for lead generation and use a sales team to ultimately close the deal. Even companies which don’t operate in this manner may run a loss in reputation or support staff time, if they make sales to customers who are ultimately unsatisfied and make returns or publicize complaints.
Getting away from the question of targeting ‘the right people’ for your products or services, we should look at the power of personalization in increasing the value of each incoming lead. Some marketing automation tools, like Hubspot, allow you to track the behavior of leads that opt-in to your messaging.
By carefully tailoring your site content according to an inbound marketing strategy to maximally appeal to the potential customers you’re looking for, you ensure the best possible success rate with those customers that are most interested in you . The same holds true for permission-based marketing, where you can utilize data gathered alongside the permission to offer up customized marketing efforts.
Why send out a one-size-fits-all marketing blast according to traditional methods? You can use modern technology to identify market segments using your website that's optimized for lead generation, then use that same technology to deliver customized marketing materials for each segment. A well-configured marketing software can go a step further, substituting phrases, images, and offers to most effectively appeal to a given prospect.
This simply isn’t possible with traditional marketing methods, which rely on brute force and luck to gather qualified, interested leads. You’re beginning with qualified, interested people, which in turn helps you understand those people, both as groups and as individual prospects. That puts far more power in your hands as a company.
As a final point, it’s worth remembering that the most successful marketing campaigns don’t sell individual products or services, they nurture long-term relationships and two-way communication with customers. Customers who walk away happy with the entire purchase cycle come back next time, and they often bring friends. Customers who feel even a slight bit of buyers remorse won’t eagerly spread positive word-of-mouth, and they might try a competitor out of sheer curiosity.
Nurture your leads so they feel like you’re treating them as unique individuals, like your company is offering exactly what they need as they need it. It will take your bottom line to a much better place than any application of traditional marketing ever could.
If you're considering implementing an inbound marketing process for your business, considering hiring a specialized inbound marketing team. At 41 Orange, our team members are all expert inbound marketers, specializing in different facets of lead generation. Our inbound marketing services have helped several companies achieve astronomical results. Learn more by downloading our case study: