February 2018 -

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Generating Leads for B2B Companies

Posted on February 23, 2018 by

A lead is a company (or individual) that shows an interest in your products or services. In order to identify your leads, you have to generate them first. So, what are the best methods for generating leads?

There are many different ways B2B companies can generate leads. What works for some companies won’t necessarily work for others, so it’s important to do your research and speak to a marketing expert who can help guide you and your business.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing attracts prospects to your brand naturally without you having to chase them down. Connecting with prospects via search engines, content marketing, newsletters, videos or social media are just a few of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

Inbound marketing consists of many bits and pieces that work together to form a cohesive marketing strategy. What are the key elements of a good inbound marketing strategy?

SEO

Search engine optimisation is a crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy. Many businesses rely on SEO to bring leads straight to their website via organic search. However, with no content SEO won’t work, and SEO isn’t that simple. There are many requirements that need to be met in order to be well optimised for SEO and perform well in Google Search. The key elements include quality content, user experience, site speed, meta descriptions, etc. A lot of work needs to be done on your website before its content becomes visible on search engine result pages.

Content creation

We view loads of content every day – blogs, videos, whitepapers and infographics to name a few types. Content is not only great for interacting with customers, boosting brand awareness or sharing your best practices. It’s also a great way for generating leads and can be made a crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy.

According to HubSpot, “B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3x more traffic than those companies that blogged 0-1 times per month”. B2B buyers now use content to help them with the buying decisions and expect content that is interactive and educational (Demand Gen Report, 2016).

One of the many perks of blogging and creating digital content is that your marketing department doesn’t have to spend a fortune. All it requires is your time and creativity to create a good piece of content.

Social media

As mentioned above, a good content marketing strategy helps boost your SEO ranking and generate leads. However, it’s only the first step of creating a successful inbound marketing strategy. The content you create has to come across as many of your prospects as possible and the easiest way to do this is sharing your content across all of your social media platforms. It also gives you a great overview of what kind of content works well with your audience and what doesn’t. Social media platforms also allow you to boost your posts, so for only a small amount of money, your content can easily reach thousands of people.

B2B companies can use social media for generating leads not only via content. A great social platform for businesses wanting to generate leads is LinkedIn. Upgrading to LinkedIn Premium gives you an option to work with LinkedIn Sales Navigator that helps you to identify prospects, drive leads and increase your sales. You can easily search for people based on the area, qualifications or job roles, save them as a lead and contact them directly.

What other methods B2B companies utilise to generate leads?

Email Marketing

Whether you are a small business or a large company, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with customers. Businesses use email marketing to:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Maintain relationships with new or existing customers
  • Generate leads
  • Increase sales

Whether you want to let your customers know about the new products or services you offer, or simply thank them for shopping with you, it’s important to create targeted emails aimed specifically at them. You don’t need to send out individual emails to each contact to achieve this. We encourage our customers to use a marketing automation tool to help with this process. There are many marketing automation tools available. We use Hatchbuck – small business CRM and sales automation tool.

Hatchbuck allows you to easily add or delete contacts in your database. Tailoring contacts with different tags based on their interests and preferences helps you target right people with the right emails as part of an email marketing campaign. Hatchbuck allows you to access reports to see who opened your email or clicked through to your site helping you to easily generate leads from your email marketing campaigns.

 

Networking

Before the big boom of social media and online marketing, businesses used networking events, conferences and trade shows to build their contact list. They would simply exchange business cards and email each other afterwards. You can still benefit from taking part in networking events. It’s a great way to create face to face relationships with prospects, getting to know those people who will do business with you or will introduce you to people who might do. Organising or taking part in events might be time and money consuming, however it might work for you as your biggest lead generator. Here are some tips on how to be successful at networking events:

  • Do some research on what businesses will be at the event
  • Don’t think about closing sales, think about building relationships with prospects
  • You only have the first few seconds to grab the prospects’ attention – don’t miss the opportunity!
  • Try to listen more and talk less (ask open-ended questions) – this will give you a better understanding of what their business needs are and how your services can benefit them

Use Your Website as a Lead Generator

Businesses should seek ways to generate leads from their website. Individuals or businesses may visit your website for a number of reasons. Perhaps it was your social media or email marketing that led them to your website? Or maybe they accidentally ended up there while they were googling some stuff? Perhaps you’ve got a good piece of content on your website, or they were specifically searching for products or services you offer.

Whatever the reason may be, it’s incredibly useful to know which businesses are looking at your website. You can now use your website to generate leads with lead generation software – ‘Who’s Looking At You’.

 

Who’s Looking At You

Who’s Looking At You (WLAY) is a lead generation software that shows you who has been looking at your website. By tracking the visiting company’s IP address, it gives you all the information your sales team need to follow up that lead!

Not only does it provide you with the company’s contact information – it also shows you exactly what they were searching for, what exact links they clicked on, and how long they stayed on each page, giving you a better insight on how to approach them in order to make a sale. Generating leads through your website has never been easier. WLAY does everything for you, and it’s entirely up to you how often you want to keep an eye on your potential leads.

If you’re interested in finding out who visits your website, make sure you contact us today.


How to Write a Good Subject Line

Posted on February 2, 2018 by

From car insurance companies offering their latest deals, to travel agents tempting you with your next holiday destination, or your favourite retailers offering discounts, you probably receive hundreds of marketing emails every week from companies that have your details. Perhaps you purchased something recently from their site, or signed up to their mailing list to get 15% off your latest purchase. Either way, once a company has your details, the chances are you’ll receive a lot of marketing emails from them!

But do you actually read these emails? Do you even open any of them?

Companies and marketers often test different methods and techniques that would (ideally) result in high open and click-through rates of their email campaigns. However, it’s often really hard to get the recipient’s attention due to a high volume of emails received every day.

According to CMB Consumer Pulse research, 47% people open the email based on a subject line. As the subject line is the first thing recipient sees it plays a huge role in whether your email will be opened or not; therefore, it’s important to take a moment to think of something relevant, clever or witty that will catch the recipient’s attention!

Click a button below to download our free ‘Subject Line’ guide!

The guide includes a checklist, examples of the best subject lines and subject line keywords that are proven to increase email open rates.

download here

How to write a good subject line

Personalise your subject line

Use a recipient’s name in a subject line. Not only will it make them feel special, it will also make them feel they are a valued customer – resulting in a higher open-rate of your campaign. According to Experian Marketing Services research, email subject lines that contained a recipient’s name had 29% higher unique open rate and 41% higher click-through rate than the ones with no personalisation used.

However, before you decide to use a contact’s first name in a subject line, make sure all of your contacts contain a first name, as it’s often the case that your database is missing this information. Some of your data might only contain customers’ surnames or some having only initials, and you don’t want to send an email with a subject line saying ‘Happy Birthday F’. Use a marketing automation tool to help you with segmenting this data.

💡 If you are not very keen on using your contacts’ names in the subject lines, try using ‘you’ instead. This is another great way to make your recipients feel that the email is especially for them.

Keep it relevant

If you are selling an exciting product, the chances are you want your subject line to be exciting too. But if you sell a product that is not so exciting, you still want to create an air of excitement in subject line, simply because it makes people curious about what’s inside your email.

But don’t make any fake promises just to get people to open your emails. This can be very annoying, and all it will lead to is people scrolling down your email for one reason only – to hit unsubscribe.

Use a familiar sender name

People want to communicate with real people and feel valued as customers. Sending an email from a familiar sender name makes the email appear more personal and friendly to the recipient. It can also reinforce a sense of exclusivity, as though the offer inside is personal and just for them. Generally speaking, most people would prefer to see an email from the actual person than the one from noreply@yourcompanyname.co.uk.

Make it look urgent

Subject lines such as ‘50% off TODAY only!’ create a perception in the recipient’s mind that they must act now otherwise they miss out. Email subject lines that suggest a sense of urgency can help marketers increase their open-rates – when executed properly. It’s important not to overuse this type of subject line, as if you make every email urgent, it will lose its value. Customers like to benefit from offers, but they also don’t like to be told what to do and when to do it. We would advise using these kinds of subject lines only when the content of your email is genuinely urgent or time restricted.

Make them feel special

Customers love to be made to feel special. If they receive an email saying ‘an exclusive offer for you’, it will make them want to open the email to see what’s inside for them, even though it was probably sent to another 4000 people.

Offers

Who doesn’t love discounts and offers?! Especially offers on products and services we regularly buy or use!

Whether you are a bakery shop, a fashion retailer, a digital agency or any kind of business, treat your customers from time to time and offer them a discount. Make the offer known in the subject line so your customers don’t miss out on the offer!

Use visuals

If you’re sending an email to your colleague, you’ll probably send a simple plain text email. But when you send newsletters, promotional emails, thank you emails, etc. to your customer, there’s no reason for you to be held back. Get creative – use images or gifs to make reading your emails much more entertaining.

💡 Your customers will be opening emails on different devices (e.g. mobile phones or tablets). Make sure your images are responsive so there won’t be an issue opening it on any device.
💡 Using gifs is great, but use sparingly and think carefully about your audience – a gif that’s funny in the office might not be funny to a customer!

Use A/B testing

Crafting a standard subject line is easy. But coming up with the one that recipients will click on might be a bit harder. How do you find out what will work well with your customers?

A/B test is the answer.

You might think that the subject line you came up with is great, but your audience might not agree. This could result in a low open rate of your emails. Try using an A/B test, which is easy to implement and brings effective results. Send email A to half of your customers and email B to another one. This will then show you what approach to choose so you can meet your audience’s preferences.

Whatever type of email you send out, think about the subject line carefully. It might be a major element in whether your email marketing campaign will be successful or not.


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