On line presence of business has totally changed the marketing and selling strategies. Business are now required to fully support their on line customers, enhance their experience and provide them with quality on line support.
WOM has been there since ages!
People around the globe have been dependent on the recommendations of their friends, relatives, colleagues and so on for the purchase of a thing as small as a toothpaste. With time WOM has grown as an inevitable aspect of a business’s growth. Hence, every business that wishes to taste success looks for strategies to garner more and more of WOM.
Firstly, what exactly is meant by customer acquisition management?
Well, the term refers to a set of techniques and systems to manage customer prospects and inquiries resulting from a variety of marketing methodologies. Marketing techniques such as customer referrals, customer loyalty programs, and participating in charitable events are quite effective at customer acquisition.
Relationship marketing is a form of marketing that emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a focus on sales transactions. It is an arrangement where both the buyer and seller have an interest in providing a more satisfying exchange. Using this process, businesses aim at making a comfort zone with a client that doesn’t aim at one-off sales. This, in turn, provides them a number of benefits:
Lead generation refers to the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline. It is very important to have qualified leads so as to have qualified leads.
Lead generation is all about brand awareness, pulling down leads and making sales. Therefore, employing the best lead generation strategies can prove to be beneficial for any business in the long run. Here we have piled up the best lead generation strategies that you can leverage to boost your lead generation:
1. Content Marketing:
Content marketing refers to the marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content to online targeted audience.It is a crucial element for B2B lead generation. It is often used by businesses in order to attract attention, generate leads, expand their customer base, generate online sales, increase brand awareness or engage an online community of users. While pursuing content marketing, the main focus of the businesses should be the needs of the prospect or customer.
Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video,white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. The appropriate type of content for any business will depend on the business’ goals and target customer.
2. Search engine marketing:
Search engine marketing includes both paid search results (using tools like Google Adwords or Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft ad-center) and organic search results (SEO) and plays a crucial rule in B2B lead generation. It includes the following steps:
- Keyword research and analysis: It involves ensuring the site can be indexed in the search engines, finding the most relevant and popular keywords for the site and its products, and using those keywords on the site in a way that will generate and convert traffic.
- Website saturation and popularity: It means how much presence a website has on search engines, can be analyzed through the number of pages of the site that are indexed by search engines (saturation) and how many back links the site has (popularity).
- Back end tools: These include Web analytic tools and HTML validators which provide data on a website and its visitors and allow the success of a website to be measured.
- Whois tools: They reveal the owners of various websites and can provide valuable information relating to copyright and trademark issues.
- Google Mobile-Friendly Website Checker: This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
B2B lead generation refers to the process of finding new business customers. It includes various stages such as determining suitable target companies, approaching new prospects and eventual conversion from lead to customers. However, you need to know that generating leads isn’t easy and trying to acquire leads in the B2B space makes it all that much more difficult. B2B lead generation inculcates the following terms:
Prospects: It is a marketing term used for describing a potential customer. In case of B2B a prospect is a company interested in your product, service or brand. A prospect may not necessarily be familiar with your company.
It refers to a company which meets the criteria you define as being valuable to generate new business. Leads can be:
i) inbound – generated e.g. through form fills or direct calls made to inquiry about products.
ii) outbound – leads can be classified as ones which sales teams may categorize based on certain conversations they had.
A customer is a lead that now uses your products or services.
Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services with the help of content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization. Inbound marketing provides detailed information, an improved customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value through company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms.
Outbound marketing is a form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Rather than taking a passive approach, companies actively push their message to potential leads, whether or not these potential leads are actually looking for them at that time. Telemarketing is one such method whereby companies pro-actively call customers to offer their products or services.
Web syndication is one of the many, highly effective outbound marketing strategies. It involves a website providing content to an arbitrary number of subscribing websites in order to redistribute it. In case of subscribing sites, syndication is an effective way of adding greater depth and immediacy of information to their pages, making them more enticing and knowledgeable to users. On the other hand, for the providing site, syndication widens exposure, thus, generating new traffic for the providing site. It further makes syndication an easy and reasonable form of advertisement. Web syndication is a highly efficacious outbound marketing tactic for promoting your product. as the prospective buyers won’t necessarily arrive at your website at the beginning of their buying journey.
2. Display advertising:
Display advertising refers to advertising on websites. This outbound marketing strategy involves many different formats and contains items such as text, images, flash, video, and audio. It can be leveraged to deliver general advertisements and brand messages to site visitors. When you want to target different demographic or behavioral actions, display advertising can prove to be extremely helpful. All you have to do is, select where you want the ads to be seen by identifying and selecting an online publication where your leads spend time. They are also effective at every stage of the funnel.
3. Re- targeting ads:
Outbound marketing is a marketing methodology that tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Outbound marketing can be carried out in the form of TV advertising, face-to-face meetings, or cold- calling. Through each of these outbound methods, sales leads are generated and then followed up by internal sales representatives.
Some of the best outbound marketing strategies to grow your business are:
1. PPC ad campaigns:
PPC is a short form for pay per click that further refers to a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of driving traffic and buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. Your ads will appear as sponsored results at side or top of organic search rankings with PPC on search engines. PPC is the most efficacious way of drawing attention to the latest content or service offerings. Moreover, PPC ads are highly targeted, so, they can generate very high-quality leads.
2. Direct mail:
Direct mail consists of a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters and sales letters. Direct-mail advertising is one of the most effective and profitable ways to reach out to new and existing clients. Direct mail is very effective when it comes to growing a business because it aims at targeted communications. You can actually grab the attention of your desired prospects by leveraging your creativity and the power of your message and presentation. Thus, direct mail is a very direct and powerful way to share your content asset.
3. Tradeshows and webinars:
Events such as tradeshows and webinars provide an opportunity to introduce and define your brand, clarify the solutions you provide and make personal connections with participants. Whether it’s an international trade show or an executive-level webinar, the two-way channel of interaction between customers, prospects, and your company is knowledgeable to them and beneficial for the businesses.
In case of marketing, a product demonstration refers to a promotion where a product is demonstrated to potential customers. The sole purpose of such a demonstration is to introduce customers to the product to make them familiar with it in hopes of getting them to purchase that item. The products offered as samples during these demonstrations may be new products, new versions of existing products or products that have been recently introduced to a new commercial marketplace. Basically, the idea is to introduce your offerings, utilize them as lead magnets and demonstrate their capabilities.
2. Creative contact forms:
Creative contact forms are a better version of contact forms that you offer to customers. They are used to enhance the effectiveness of simple contact forms by using them to showcase your company’s personality. You need to be conversational and inviting to your audience.
3. Out of the box deals:
You may offer free two-day shipping or deals such as buy-one, get-one-free and much more in order to lessen the purchase anxiety that every customer experiences while purchasing. Since, it adds value to the transaction so it is an effective lead magnet.
4. Forms gating charges:
Consider gating price and other information if your goal is to target hot leads. Hiding your pricing behind a form can be an effective tactic as this particular form will help filter out unqualified leads, and capturing their information will help you follow up with targeted prospects.
Tests or quizzes encourage prospects to measure themselves against your expertise or industry standards. This will give you an opportunity to give feedback and ideas. Also, the prospects will determine their need for your product or service.
6. Limited-time free trial:
Give prospects the opportunity to experience the benefits of your product or service, including a deadline to the offer at the same time. This will make them realize they can’t go another day without it.
7. Cheat sheets:
They are generally very short and cut straight to an ultra-specific point and can be delivered as checklists, mind maps, or blueprints. Mostly, they are just a page long in length.
8. Resource list:
A toolkit or a resource list is an easy to consume lead magnet. Depending on your niche, toolkits can be a good introduction for your target audience making them familiar with your products and in most favorable cases increasing sales and building long-term relationships.
1. Coupons and offers:
Discounts on the existing prices can prove to be the most effective lead magnets because consumers can easily price-shop for products. You can offer coupons and enticing discounts on your products and services so as to generate leads.
2. Loyalty programs:
Loyalty programs are structured marketing strategies designed by merchants to encourage customers to become long term customers and to continue using the services of businesses associated with each program. These programs cover most types of business, each one having varying features and rewards schemes. In marketing a loyalty card, rewards card, points card, advantage card, or club card is a plastic or paper card, visually similar to a credit card, debit card, or digital card that identifies the card holder as a member in a loyalty program.
3. Free reports:
Free reports include whitepapers, e-books, articles, and guides in the form of lead magnets. Your aim should be to provide compelling information to make a valid value exchange between your prospect and your business.
Webinars are educational, informative or instructional presentations that are made available online, usually as either videos or audios with slides. Since webinar attendees connect online, they can use Internet-based technologies to like communicating through instant messaging, file sharing, using a whiteboard collaboratively and interacting through social media sites in order to enhance the experience.
Podcast refers to an episodic series of digital media files which a user can set up so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web partnership to the user’s local computer or portable media player. The distributor of a podcast maintains a central list of the files on a server in the form of a web feed that can be accessed through the Internet. Files are stored locally on the user’s device such that it can be used even if he/she is offline.
As mentioned in our earlier posts, a lead magnet is an incentive in the form of free e-books, webinars, whitepapers or something of that sort given away to someone in exchange for their email address. It can even be considered as a bribe that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address, or other contact information.
There are a number of lead magnets that you can employ to capture traffic and convert efficiently. Some of them have been mentioned below:
1. Drip marketing:
Drip marketing refers to a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. Drip marketing is carried out in various forms such as:
i) email: This the most commonly used form of drip marketing is email marketing due to its low cost and high efficiency.
ii) direct mail: This technology relies on digital printing, where low-volume print runs are cost efficient and the variable data can be merged to personalize each drip message.
iii) social media: Various social media marketing tools employ the principle of drip marketing to schedule a series of updates.
2. RSS feed:
RSS refers to rich site summary and uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information like blog entries, news headlines, audio, video and much more. An RSS document includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author’s name. Once a user subscribes to a website, RSS removes the need for the him/her to manually check the website for fresh, updated content. This is because the browser constantly monitors the site, informs the user of any updates and can also download the new data for the user.
People loved to be treated specially. So, all you need to do is invite them into your VIP group, and give them free information so they feel a part of your club. You need to know that loyal fans and followers have the power to convert others as well.
1. Sales and marketing alignment:
For sales and marketing alignment, the shared expectations, responsibilities and goals for this collaboration between sales and marketing should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating a formal sales and marketing SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers in the long run.
2. Multiple touches:
According to a research, on average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they’re a closed won customers. The most successful lead nurturing strategies deliver content that helps prospects progress through the buyer’s journey by addressing common questions and concerns such that they are contented.
3. Maintain permission to keep prospect updated:
Maintaining permission to keep a prospect updated is important because if a prospect loses interest in your messages, they’ll disengage by unsubscribing, marking your messages as spam, or emotionally unsubscribing – reflexively ignoring or deleting your messages.
4. Guide your prospects efficaciously:
There is a possibility that a potential buyer who you’re nurturing may not enter a buying process for a long time. But during the lead nurturing phase, if you can educate prospects and guide their thinking to incorporate specific requirements and ways of thinking about the market, your company and solutions will be much better positioned in their minds when they finally decide to make purchases.
5. Study the Digital Body Language:
Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual. Each email that is opened or clicked, each web visit, each form, each search on Google, each referral from a social media property, and each webinar attended are part of the prospect’s digital body language.Just like the body language is read by a sales person managing a deal, digital body language is an amalgamation of all the digital touchpoints. Digital Body Language can help you understand where your prospects are in their buying process. As they progress through the process, they’ll reach a point at which your lead scoring system tells you they’re ready to engage with the sales process.
1. Build a retargeting audience:
Retargeting is a paid medium. A retargeting audience may be built in any of the 4 following ways
i) Select marketing content – this is what will be displayed to your audience.
iii) Contact list segments – this audience is defined by a segmented contact list you already have in your database
iv) “look alike” contacts – these are outside contacts who are similar to those who have engaged with you, offering a way to exponentially increase the numbers of impressions made.
2. Make timely, well-researched calls:
The best way to convert inbound leads into qualified sales opportunities is a timely followup email or a phone call. When you make a timely, well-researched call to an inbound lead, you know exactly what the prospect is researching based on his/her recent browsing behaviour and you also have enough information about the prospect to initialize a research about the organization they work for and their specific role within the company.
3. Personalized email marketing:
You can further improve your lead nurturing strategy by personalizing your emails. You can send triggered emails when someone downloads your gated content, clicks on links in your emails, visits certain pages on your website, or when they demonstrate a high level of engagement in order to be in touch.
4. Offline marketing:
Offline marketing refers to strategies that utilize offline media channels to create awareness of a company’s products and services. These campaigns may include radio and print advertising – including billboards, signs and pamphlets,telemarketing, and television ads.
5. Lead scoring:
Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is utilized to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, tele-prospecting) will engage, as per the set priority. Lead Scoring allows a business to customize a prospect’s experience based on his or her buying stage and interest level
Increasing your company’s customer lifetime value means:
i) increasing customer loyalty
ii) general profitability
iii) marketing allowance
In order to increase customer lifetime value:
1. Always strive for making your product better:
When you want to build your business on loyal customers and brand evangelists, you have to do something that is beyond mass consumer expectations. As a matter of fact, people love to feel like they have the best thing, no matter what that thing is. Once they feel like it’s the best, they’ll do way more than talk about it.
2. Try upselling and cross-selling:
Upselling means persuading a customer to buy something more expensive or an advanced version of a product. You sell a more expensive model, additional features or upgraded version of something. This adds value to the product.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, means selling a new or a different product/service to an existing customer. In other words, you’re selling additional products to the customer.
Both these strategies are highly effective and profitable when trying to boost the customer lifetime value (CLV) for your business, no matter, what scale or size.
3. Differentiate yourself from your competitors:
You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors in terms of features, services, resources, or whatever else your customers will place some value on.
4. Be careful when choosing incentive schemes:
As a matter of fact, choosing the right incentive structure means your customers won’t be the only ones leveraging the rewards. Utilize your rewards system to increase customer retention, and boost your customer lifetime value without compromising your bottom line. Instead of discounts, offer exclusive products or value-added services. This will further increase your CLV by promoting customer loyalty and increasing profitability in the long-term.
5. Resolve customers’ queries:
Make it quicker and easier for your customers to get their questions answered. Go above and beyond your actual product and give them something that makes their life easier on a regular basis. In other words, you need to understand your customers, figure out what would make their life easier, and build it.
Customer retention is termed as a process of inculcating those techniques by the companies that help in the exemption of customer defections. The sole purpose of customer retention programs is to help companies retain as many customers as possible through customer loyalty and brand loyalty initiatives.
As a matter of fact, customer retention begins with the first contact a customer has with a company and continues throughout the entire lifetime of the relationship.
According to a research an average business loses around 20 percent of its customers annually due to customer dissatisfaction. In some industries, this leakage is astoundingly 80 percent. However, following some preventive measures can help curb this loss.
Here we have mentioned some of the best customer retention techniques that will enhance your customer retention significantly once implemented and will have a gigantic impact on your business.
1. Build relationships online and develop trust:
In today’s era majority of people are glued to their computer screens for hours due to those enticing social media platforms. so, connecting with your clients through these mediums can benefit you to a large extent. Majority of your clients will have active profiles on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. So, it makes sense to connect with your potential customers through such sites. Moreover, trust is crucial in business, and building relationships with clients will cumulate that trust for you.
A study by the African Journal of Business Management found that commitment tends to grow along with trust. So you should take an interest in your clients and their business. Simply providing a service is not long enough. You further need to start building shared values with clients and showing you take an interest in them and their success.
￼2. Let your interest in the leads be consistent:
Though every business loses some customers virtually, not all of them measure or recognize how many of their customers become inactive. Ironically, many businesses spend lavishly on building that initial customer relationship. Then they leave that relationship unattended, in some cases even losing interest as soon as the sale is made. The easiest way to grow your business is to avoid losing your customers. Once you stop the emanation, it’s often possible to increase your growth rate quite efficaciously.
3. Identify customer expectations:
Set expectations early and lower than you can provide, so that you can eradicate uncertainty as to the level of service you need to offer to ensure your clients’ satisfaction. This technique enables your company to ensure you are always over delivering.
Since clients tend to remember negative experiences, so, your client will no doubt cite a negative experience as a reason to cancel his or her contract with you.
4. Use a rolling calendar of communication:
Building relationships with your customers are not enough! You need to be in touch using a rolling calendar of communications. This is a programmed series of emails, events, phone calls, “thank you’s”, special offers, follow-ups, magic moments, and cards or notes with a personal touch etc. that ensure constantly and automatically at pre-decided points in the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales process.
People not only respond to this in a positive manner, they really appreciate it because they feel valued. It acknowledges them, keeps them updated, offsets customer remorse, augments the reason they’re doing business with you and makes them feel part of your business and that too an important one!
5. Implement a monthly email marketing campaign and start a blog:
Email your existing customers once every month. Touch base with them, keep them updated with your services and share a couple of great articles you believe will help them profit from their business. You should also link to your articles as a way to drive your customers to your blog.
Write a weekly article on something interesting, say, an accomplishment you feel your customers would value. However, you need to be consistent with your blog. You need to start using it as a medium to build relationships with your customers.
1. Corporate literature:
You should know how to create efficacious professional brochures and fliers that effortlessly sell for you by educating your prospects about the benefits you offer. These brochures and fliers should be capable of addressing their questions and their needs for your product or service. Basically, your brochures and fliers should help boost lead generation and bring in as much profit as possible.
Podcasting is a concoction of ‘broadcasting’ and ‘i-pod’. It is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. The reason it became linked with the iPod in the name was that people download the broadcasts (audio shows) to listen to mostly on their iPods.
It is a medium for businesses to globally distribute their ideas and create a following of like-minded fans. It is beneficial for industries such as journalism, education, and entertainment allowing anyone to freely create and distribute news and media as it helps in an enormous lead generation in the long run.
3. Premiums, gifts and offers:
The Lead generation offers, gifts and premiums are irresistible bribes that give a piece of valuable information to the sales prospects in exchange for their contact information. These are positioned on the landing pages of websites.
4. Profits on the back end:
If most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should make it a point that you are doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and enticing for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at break-even or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business.
5. Experiential marketing:
This is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in brand development. Experiential marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs.
These are the major lead generation strategies that will boost up your sales in the long run.
1. Display and sell your wares at trade shows:
Trade shows, exhibitions, and fairs are such events where many serious prospects will be present. Such events are great opportunitues to strengthen you lead generation efforts. But there is an art to successful exhibiting which, if learned, generates immense rewards. There are few other sales forums where prospects and clients come to you. Also, you can use this opportunity to get valuable opinions on your products and services.
Besides attracting new business, exhibitions can be used to introduce existing customers to additional products.Trade shows
2. Database marketing:
Database marketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, fortification, and processing of consumer data (both for customers and potential customers) that is maintained in a company’s databases. With the aid of database marketing, much more consumer data is maintained, and that the data is processed and used in more sophisticated ways.
Among other things, marketers utilize the data to:
i) learn more about customers
ii) identify and focus on target markets for specific campaigns (through customer segmentation process)
iii) compare customers’ value to the company and
iv) provide more dedicated offerings for customers to live up to their expectations.
Since database marketing provides an extended access to potential customers so lead generation becomes much efficient.
3. Target marketing:
Sweepstakes and contests with large grand prizes tend to attract more entries regardless of the odds of winning. Therefore, the value of smaller prizes usually totals much less than that of the top prize. Firms that incorporate target marketing such as Publishers Clearing House and Reader’s Digest, have also found that the more involved the entry process, the more entrants. Businesses often obtain marketing information about a customer from sweepstakes entries which leads to an active participation further leading to a boost in sales.
4. Card deck offers and inserts:
A card deck offer is a product description on an individual card. The card is about the size of a postcard generally placed within a pack along with 50 or more other cards. It’s a quick and enticing way for many busy people to “shop” through a variety of product offers. You can normally target and send your offer to a large number of carefully selected prospective customers.
This method is less costly as compared to other marketing techniques. On the other hand, inserts give you a direct approach to both homes and businesses in the desired geographical area, giving you the flexibility to drop any number at any time.
5. Social media visibility / Viral marketing:
Social media makes the process even easier because of all of the information that people readily share, and also because of the large number of users on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more! 40% of people spend more time socializing on social media than face to face in today’s era. So needless to say, social media makes for the perfect place to identify your target audience and turn them into new sales leads benefiting your business.