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Published on Wednesday 25th of May 2016
Develop a strong, successful marketing strategy by combining lead generation and nurturing
Acquiring new B2B customers is an exciting but challenging process. As you know, demand creation does not happen overnight. Businesses must pinpoint - and analyze - their target market. They must develop an effective marketing strategy. Then, they need to engage with prospects and convert as many as possible into sales. To increase your conversion rate, you must first understand the roles of both B2B lead generation and lead nurturing.
Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Defined
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects who show initial interest. Meanwhile, lead nurturing consists of building relationships with potential clients. They might not be ready to buy your solution, but they could be in the future. This is sometimes called drip marketing.
Lead nurturing serves to increase a prospect’s knowledge and shape his or her perception of a specific solution. Simply put, lead nurturing serves to build trust between your company and the prospect. That way, prospects are more likely to choose your solution when comes time to decide.
Lead Generation Versus Lead Nurturing
We’ve set up a table outlining the difference between these B2B marketing strategies. Lead generation serves to help your sales team find new prospects. This type of generic campaign will help you identify initial interest in your product/service.
Meanwhile, lead nurturing has a different goal: to turn prospects into clients. With this type of marketing tactic, you’re in it for the long haul. You will build a relationship with your prospects throughout the buying cycle. You’ll be creating customized campaigns tailored to their needs.
To find new prospects
To convert a prospect into a client
Until you identify initial interest
Throughout the buying cycle
Source: Direct Objective Consulting
In short, B2B lead generation and lead nurturing are two sides of the same coin. These aspects of B2B marketing complement each other. When performed well, together, they will help you generate more conversions.
Do you need help setting up lead generation or lead nurturing campaigns? Would you like to find out about these B2B marketing strategies? Contact us today!
Published on Tuesday 24th of November 2015
The top 6 questions to ask yourself when performing your company’s website audit
I meet owners of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on a weekly basis and the very first thing I do is look at their company’s website. Websites are indicative of how much focus your company puts into marketing, both online and offline. Nowadays, your company’s site acts as the window to your brand’s soul, so it is worth performing a regular website audit to make sure you are obtaining optimal site ROI.
Let me suggest a few questions to allow you to perform a quick website audit and to determine whether or not your company’s site is “healthy”. Please answer the following questions by saying “yes” or “no”:
- Does your company’s website generate enough weekly or monthly inquiries?
- Would a person who lands for the first time on the site understand in 1 minute what you offer and why they should do business with you?
- Have you changed your web design in the last two years?
- Do you develop new, original content for the site on a regular basis?
- Is your company’s site mobile-friendly?
- Do you track and measure how your site is doing?
If you answered “no” to at least two of the above questions, you should consider investing more in marketing activities to increase your company’s website ROI and to start bringing in additional prospective clients.
If you would like my advice, contact me and I’ll be happy to perform a website audit for you.
Published on Tuesday 6th of October 2015
Tips for successful online lead generation and what it can mean for your business.
Websites have come a long way from the online brochures they once were. Beginning as catalogues, websites quickly evolved into information and knowledge providers. Savvy business owners then began creating e-commerce sites. Social media giants took it a step further by using websites as communication and community building tools. Websites continue to evolve. Through the years, one common theme remains. The most important roles of a website are, and have always been, to further online lead generation and to create demand.
Nowadays, having a website is an essential part of your business’s marketing efforts, but online lead generation should be the ultimate goal of your cyber endeavors. After all, there’s no better way to reach out to potential clients than by having a website that impresses upon first glance. Chances are, you’re already investing in your website’s design and the necessary technology to keep it up-to-date. Although these are essential elements of a good website, they won’t further B2B lead generation on their own.
Read on to learn more about the three main tactics that contribute to increasing leads for your business:
Make your website easy to find through Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Through a targeted SEO strategy, your website will benefit from a higher ranking on search engines like Google and will receive more attention (i.e., visits, reads & clicks). Some of these clicks will turn into leads. Establishing a successful SEO strategy is a complex process. Start by choosing the right keywords for your business. Once you’ve picked your keywords, infuse them naturally into your content. Don’t sweat it if you don’t see results immediately, as it sometimes takes several weeks or months for websites to rank highly on search engines.
Engage your audience with a focused, relevant message which provides value to them
Prospective clients will spend more time on a website that is informative and relevant to their needs. If you have a focused positioning message that flows well and is engaging for your audience, your website will achieve a higher ranking and will attract and convert additional traffic into business inquiries and leads. When creating content for your website, ask yourself what potential clients want to know about your solution and explain it to them in a clear manner. Once prospective customers have gotten to your website, if they find the content to be well-written and well-structured, chances are you will see a surge in online lead generation (i.e., inquiries).
Improve your online B2B lead generation with authentic content
One thing search engines love is authentic content. And if search engines are happy, this means that your website is much more likely to attract more traffic and generate new leads. Show potential clients that your products and services stand out from your competitors’ by offering something new and different when they click through your pages. Use catchy headlines, well-written, original text and offer a fresh perspective on industry trends and challenges. Unique content isn’t limited to the website’s text (though this is essential) but also includes the website’s design, videos, forums, podcasts and infographics. A stylish, original design in line with your company’s branding not only consolidates your business’s image but will enhance your visitors’ experience, ultimately building trust and increasing online lead generation.
Once you have optimized your company’s website for search engines, crafted a focused message and ensured the content you display is authentic, you will be ready for increased unique visitor rates, daily relevant web enquiries and more time spent on your website by potential clients. Online lead generation may take some restructuring of your website but it is well worth the effort.
Ready to get more web enquiries and increase your B2B lead generation? Contact us to see how we can assist you in making it happen today!
Published on Tuesday 28th of July 2015
In our current highly driven social media society (with nearly 2.1 billion active users) marketing is no longer a one-on-one process. It has now become the art of getting approval from the people that are most influencing your market and your targeted clients. One segment that most SMEs neglect is that of technology analysts.
Why are technology analysts so important? They act as a strategic source of information for the entire industry. Technology analysts provide your clients with accurate statistics, targeted recommendations, as well as reviews of innovative products and services within the industry. These reports are used by your industry buyers to strategically shorten the purchasing process.
How can SMEs "grab" technology analysts' attention? Either they make a big splash through an expensive and flashy marketing campaign (though this is not a guaranteed way to draw analysts' attention) or they build analyst relations through vendor briefings. Most SMEs cannot afford a flashy campaign which is why they rely on the latter. During vendor briefings, IT vendors have the opportunity to present their products and services to technology analysts. If they successfully communicate the innovativeness of their solution, technology analysts may choose to include the SME in their industry report.
There are four major benefits to being incorporated in an analyst's industry report:
- Selling more. Analyst recommendations (and industry reports) shape the thinking of technology buyers. Potential clients will be more likely to consider your firm if you have been publicly recognized by an analyst.
- Building and establishing a company's credible reputation. In today's highly competitive market, it is challenging for young companies to compete against those who have 10 or 15 years experience and a long client list. By using technology analysts and vendor briefings, companies may increase their chances of building a solid, reputable name for their business.
- Achieving more positive press coverage. An analyst quote may strengthen and help shape the thinking of journalists. The media plays an important role in influencing the buyer's action towards a certain product or service. If the solution is represented positively by a relevant journalist's coverage, there is a greater chance that a potential customer will be persuaded to purchase it.
- Improving your products and services. An independent perspective on your company's direction and positioning strengthens thinking and go-to-market strategies. Technology analysts are constantly in sync with market trends and thus they can quickly assess the innovativeness of your solutions and sometimes provide feedback.
Many SMEs are reluctant to approach technology analysts due to two major myths behind vendor briefings:
- "Vendor briefings are only for large companies" - in fact, vendor briefings are for any company size whether you have 3 or 300 employees. The best way to get a briefing is to develop an innovative product or service, demonstrate the market need for such a solution, and provide the required resources to bring the solution to market.
- "Vendor briefings are too expensive" - all vendor briefings are FREE. In order to assess solutions in an unbiased manner, technology analysts do not charge for vendor briefings. The only cost that companies may incur is that of conducting a bad vendor briefing when they are not fully prepared, have insufficient understanding of global markets or fail to differentiate their innovation.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Contact us today to leverage the power of technology analysts.
Published on Thursday 18th of September 2014
Picture the world ten years ago. How different was the technology we used then compared to what we use now? The Internet was just starting to become commonplace and smartphones and social media were barely in existence! It is difficult to imagine living in a world like that today. Yet if you had imagined the same thing a hundred years ago, a ten-year difference meant hardly any change in lifestyle due to evolving technology. It is clear that today's technology adoption rates are increasing much more quickly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So, how come so many technology companies fail while overall technology adoption rates are accelerating? What is the differentiating factor that makes some successful and others a total failure? The answer is simple: marketing. How can marketing be used to accelerate new product adoption when technology adoption rates are increasing at an unprecedented speed?
Fortunately, there is an answer to this question thanks to a concept conceived at the turn of the 20th century that still applies today. This concept is Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory.
The diffusion of innovations theory seeks to explain the process behind new concepts and technologies and their spread through cultures. The theory states that there are four main elements that influence the new product adoption rate:
- Innovation: an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual
- Communication channels: the means by which messages get from one individual to another
- Time: the time from which the innovation is first known until it is either accepted or rejected by a potential user and the innovation's adoption rate
- Social system: a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal (an institution, a neighborhood, a nation)
Being aware of these four elements, we can now see how they can relate to technology adoption rates and discuss ways in which we can improve them. Let's examine each element and how technology companies can use marketing to reduce the amount of time it takes for their product to be adopted by their clients.
Innovation: What does your product bring to the table that isn't already there? In order for your innovation to create a buzz, it must present something new worth talking about. This is where a good positioning strategy can make all the difference. Your product must be perceived as new and special, whether it is a breakthrough innovation or not.
Communication channels: As a tech company, you must be able to identify the channels that your target market listens to. What blogs do they visit? Are they a member of a certain social media group? Do they go to a particular professional meeting or conference? You must learn how to use these and other channels to spotlight your innovation effectively if you hope to increase your technology's adoption rate.
Time: Thanks in large part to the Internet, modern communication channels have allowed for faster communication than ever before. To boost your new product's adoption rate, your marketing strategy and execution must be able to communicate your product's value as clearly and concisely as possible or risk being rejected by potential clients who are accustomed to instantaneous communication. Time is money. If clients don't understand your product within 5 seconds, they will move on and not look back.
Social system: Today, a social system encompasses more than just physical examples such as neighborhoods, offices or schools. More and more, there is emphasis on online social systems like review sites, forums, wikis, video/photo sharing sites, social networks and other digital communities. These are very powerful tools that can easily spread messages in a very short amount of time. You must choose your target market appropriately and decide how to incorporate these online communities into your customer acquisition strategy, all without ignoring the potential of traditional social systems.
The bottom line is that for a successful adoption rate of your new technology, you must invest in marketing that addresses all four of these factors. Technology is changing our world and is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. To be a technology manufacturer winner, you must find a way to keep ahead of this pace.
Contact Direct Objective Consulting to discuss your marketing challenges and learn how you can take advantage of the four elements of the diffusion of innovations theory and use them to boost your new product's adoption rate.
Published on Monday 30th of June 2014
July 1st is not only Canada Day but also the day Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes into effect. The law has been described by some as the most stringent anti-spam legislation in the world. The CBC recently reported that according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), most small-medium businesses are still unprepared to apply the new legislation. Prepare for the implementation of CASL by following these 5 steps:
- Verify whether you have received express consent from your Canadian contacts
CASL deals with two types of consent:
- Express consent (expires only when an unsubscribe request is received): a recipient explicitly asks to receive your commercial electronic messages (CEMs);
- Implied consent (expires after 24 months): a relationship exists but the recipient has not explicitly asked to receive CEMs.
- Ensure that all your electronic communications are compliant with CASL
Every CEM you send must:
(1) Be sent with consent of the recipient;
(2) Clearly identify the sender; and
(3) Provide an unsubscribe mechanism.
- Define a plan to gradually build express consent from your Canadian contacts
You have a period of 3 years to ask for express consent from your existing business relationships. Implement a plan to gain their consent to ensure you can continue to send them CEMs.
- Keep a database to monitor express and implied consent
Keep a centralized database to keep track of your contacts and their levels of consent. You must be able to prove consent by providing the following information:
- What type of consent was obtained;
- When it was obtained;
- The context in which it was obtained.
- Educate your team about the DOs and DON'Ts of CASL and enforce new policies
It is critical that your employees be fully aware of the new CASL regulations, their implications and risks. Learn more with our CASL DOs and DON'Ts document.
Published on Tuesday 25th of June 2013
With summer having officially arrived, it’s time to take a look at some of the marketing tactics and trends in B2B lead generation before we all start taking it a little easy at the beach. In a recent survey by Chief Marketer, we can find several insights into how marketers are tackling lead generation and the current trends in attracting new clients.
According to the results, 41.5% of respondents were focusing primarily on finding new customers in 2013, with 43.6% focusing on current customers, but still hoping to build awareness among potential customers. It is clear that in the current market, B2B lead generation is hot. For companies that are planning on staying stagnant with their customer base, with little efforts on creating new leads, there is great potential for them to lose out to companies that are more aggressive in their marketing tactics.
With the importance of lead generation highlighted, the focus then shifts on to the marketing tactics: how are these companies planning to drive customers to their business? The top trend continues to be email marketing, with 86.7% of respondents planning on using email campaigns in 2013, up from 80.3% in 2012. Whether it be newsletters, promos or simple correspondences, email marketing continues to dominate the landscape as one of the most effective methods of generating leads.
The use of social networks in marketing has also continued to be a favourite among companies for B2B lead generation. With 67.5% of marketers intending to use social networks in 2013, up 10% from 2012, companies are turning to sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to increase brand awareness and build new client leads.
The biggest gainer in 2013 was content marketing, with 60.2% of respondents planning on focusing on web copywriting to bring in clients, up 14% from 2012. The importance of strong, search engine friendly content on web pages and blogs is essential in order to get your name out there and generate traffic to your site.
However, while each of these marketing tactics can be effective, there is no comparison to when you combine them together into an integrated B2B lead generation marketing strategy, creating a cohesive voice and plan that is sure to attract clients. A business that employs consistency across their email campaigns, social media feeds and website content, using the same style, layout and content voice among all marketing tactics will always be more successful than those that lack cohesion.
Wondering what marketing tactics will make your B2B lead generation more effective? Don’t hesitate to contact us and see how we suggest to address your marketing challenges.
Published on Monday 14th of February 2011
As we discussed in Direct Objective’s December blog about the Major Shifts of Business-to-Business (B2B) “New Marketing Evolution,” traditional marketing sales processes are becoming less effective. Many companies’ marketing strategies are based on the concept of a controlled sales environment, where actions are driven by a “number game.” Simply put: the more outgoing calls you can make = the more your message is pushed onto potential clients = more clients. In a new world where the Internet is so dominant, this equation is not necessarily true anymore.
The easiest way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing is to shift your fundamental focus; namely, from Push Marketing to Pull Marketing. Why spend enormous resources chasing down clients with constantly changing needs and ways of absorbing information, when you could entice customers to come to you? Not only does it reduce the cost of finding new clients, it also ensures the quality of clients you attract will be exponentially higher, since they’ve already recognized your company as a potential solution provider.
Your next step is to identify the right tools that can help you effectively make the transition from push to Pull Marketing. Some recent examples from our clients include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - One of our clients has been an industry leader for the past 15 years, but potential clients had difficulty finding them on search engines way down on Page 16. They are now located close to the top on the first page, and their Web visitor inquiries, along with their web-generated leads have grown significantly
- Company Blogs & Social Media – In an age where we prefer to rely on friend reviews and not necessarily on slippery salespeople, an open relationship with clients through a blog or social media outlet can build trust. We assisted one of our clients with writing their blog, spreading positive information by social word of mouth, and engaging clients with their solution and as a result, saw their registration levels increase dramatically
- Whitepapers – One company we worked with had an extremely intricate and innovative solution, but it was very difficult for them to explain it to their target market. We wrote a special whitepaper and distributed it to influential industry figures, and their company is now attracting the right clients who have an understanding of how the solution can work for them.
There are a number of other new techniques that can simplify the Pull Marketing strategy process, but it’s most effective to create a marketing strategy which successfully integrates several. Every Pull Marketing strategy should have a unique approach, but it is now clear that Pull Marketing is no longer just advisable; it’s a necessity in a rapidly changing marketing world. Talk to Direct Objective today to discuss your options for Pull Marketing strategies to get ahead of the marketing curve.
Published on Thursday 9th of September 2010
In 2007, Twitter users posted approximately 1.2 million tweets. This year, that number is projected to be over 18 billion. Many large companies now have full-time Twitter social media staff – McDonalds has ten – and Twitter is still dwarfed by others. Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are poised to rival Google as search engine resources. Facebook users send over a billion messages every day. Not to be outdone, YouTube estimates it will serve 365 billion videos this year. In every demographic, social networking is on the rise; according to a new study from Pew Internet, social media usage among internet users over 50 nearly doubled in the past year, from 22% to 42%. More specifically, 47% of 50-to-64-year-old internet users and 26% of seniors ages 65 and up indicate that they now use these sites, with Facebook and LinkedIn being the main beneficiaries of mature traffic. So the question remains: how can B2B social media strategy be crafted to harvest this incredible potential?
Facebook was originally designed to let college students connect and share pictures, but with its users eclipsing 500 million, companies have realized the potential of an effective social media strategy. An estimated 20% of all tweets are related to a product or brand. With the right tools, B2B social media strategy can help:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Increase exposure to your brand/company
- Increase conversation about the brand/company
- Launch new products/services
- Receive feedback and ideas for product or business development
- Establish relationships and connections with potential customers who become your fans or followers
- Be fully integrated with all marketing programs and initiatives
Setting up a Facebook or Twitter account is easy, but creating effective social media strategy is much more complicated. Each firm has unique goals, and thus needs a distinctive social media strategy. Contact us today to work with a social media consultant who can help you build the right B2B social media strategy for your company, and escort you along the process to reach your business social networking goals.
Published on Saturday 16th of January 2010
With the arrival of 2010, here are some B2B marketing trends and best practices which we will continue to see developing in the New Year:
•A focus on B2B marketing content that is matched to buyer profiles: Buyers behave very differently now than in past. Today’s buyer is much less receptive to sales people, but would rather research information independently. Thus, B2B marketing best practices now require the creation of reliable, seemingly unbiased content to provide prospects with the information they seek. Like attracting fish to bait, B2B marketing content has to be targeted to the needs of buyers so that they “bite” into it.
•Increased presence online and focus on online reputation: The Internet has become a dominant source of information. To stay current with B2B marketing trends, a company needs an interactive website, a blog, a profile on different social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, not to mention videos, podcasts, and RSS feeds. It’s crucial to spread the word with many online marketing best practices so that buyers can easily find you.
•Lead nurturing is key: Lead B2B marketing campaigns create demand. But each lead should be thought of as a seed. Not all seeds that are planted will sprout right away. They must be ready. With prospects, it is much the same—they must be nurtured until they are ready to buy what you offer. Online marketing best practices now make it easier to score leads based on their level of interest and readiness to make a decision.
•Online marketing automation practices: No B2B marketing campaign stands alone. Nowadays, B2B marketing campaigns are complex. They require planning and execution in order for campaigns to work smoothly side-by-side. Only a truly integrated online marketing campaign leads to success. For instance, you can integrate social media into email marketing to achieve social marketing automation. There are many existing tools to help you get better results with your online marketing practices.
•Measure, measure, measure!: Last but not least is the bottom line. Branding is very important to a company’s development, yes, but it’s not what satisfies the company’s owners and investors. B2B marketing best practices should be monitored and have results measured over a period of time. This will enable the company to invest wisely in its B2B marketing campaigns to generate better results and a better return on investment.
As we enter into 2010, I wish you all the best for you and your business. Feel free to contact me with any questions on online marketing practices.
Happy New Year!
Published on Friday 18th of December 2009Bulk email marketing campaigns can be one of the best ways to reach prospects. However, bulk email marketing can also be one of the worst ways of promoting a company if it is not done properly. Nobody likes to be bombarded with spam, and your company’s reputation will suffer considerably if you are perceived as a spammer sending unwanted email marketing campaigns. Sometimes clients come to me as they are concerned that their email marketing campaigns will be perceived as spam, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way.
So what are some of the reasons that email recipients would perceive your email marketing campaigns as spam?
1) No Opt-In Program. Because they never opted-in to receive your email marketing campaigns. It is important to get permission before sending bulk email marketing out via email.
2) Content Mismatch. Your newsletter content is completely irrelevant and does not interest the contacts on your bulk email marketing list, or you send emails so often that recipients are overwhelmed and lose interest.
3) Use of Spam Words. Your newsletter content features certain words or terms that set off spam filters. Multiple exclamation points, capitalized words, and terms like “free” in the subject line are a surefire way to get sent straight through to the junk email folder.
4) Unprofessional Look & Feel. You suddenly change your newsletter branding, or use a less-than-professional design for your bulk email marketing campaigns.
5) Poor CAN-SPAM compliance. MOST importantly, you will likely be perceived as a spammer if you do not comply with CAN-SPAM. CAN-SPAM is a law that establishes the requirements for commercial messages and gives recipients the right to unsubscribe to bulk email marketing campaigns. Read more on CAN-SPAM for bulk email marketing campaigns. In the near future, we will see the same in Canada with the proposed electronic commerce protection act. Failing to follow these regulations for bulk email marketing campaigns can incur some tough penalties.
If you have challenges with your bulk email marketing campaigns, contact us to assess why they are perceived as spam.
Published on Wednesday 14th of October 2009
Because the lead generation process is, in fact, very much like fishing. After all, the effectiveness of a strategic marketing plan is just a factor of how much you can get prospects to “bite” at your campaigns. Any good fisherman will tell you it takes more than a glitzy lure and a bit of bait to catch a fish.
The good fisherman starts by deciding just what he is fishing for— lobster? Salmon? Trout? Depending on the catch, the location will be vastly different! The lead generation process is similarly different according to the chosen target market. And a fisherman will not want to crowd close to other boats, where fish may be drawn away. In this way, your strategic marketing plan should delineate how you will compete with other companies and “fish” in areas with less competition. Then there’s the question of equipment. Will you need lobster traps? A fishing rod? Or maybe a net?
To launch an effective lead generation process, you need to take in all of these kinds of considerations, like a fisherman. You need to define your best target market, resolve on where to find the leads, figure out how to get them interested in your product or service. You need to make sure that prospects instantly understand the difference between your offering and your competitor’s, and get them to act and ultimately pay for your offering.
The positioning strategy defines how to project your offering as visibly and attractively as possible, so that your potential client base (i.e., target market) will easily recognize it and will show increased interest in your offering.
Are you ready to fish for new clients? Do you know which segment would be the most profitable for you? Do you have the right positioning strategy in place? If not, it’s time to equip yourself!
Published on Monday 22nd of June 2009
In my last blog, I talked about the difference between blog marketing and email newsletter marketing. While blogs are pretty straightforward once you get the hang of content, it’s worth another post on html email newsletters. Html email newsletters require a mailing list, an attractive design, and a good application for mass emailing, such as Vertical Response. Unlike blogs, you have the ability to review in-depth statistical information from the recipients of your html email newsletter. A mass email application will tell you how many people opened the email newsletter, how many clicked on the newsletter links, which links they clicked on, and how many unsubscribed from the mailing list. This is all very valuable information which can be used to maximize the effectiveness of your email newsletter marketing.
Knowing who opened your last email newsletter, for instance, you may decide to send a follow-up newsletter marketing campaign to interested recipients. Or, if not many recipients opened the html email newsletter, you may choose to modify the subject line next time. If one of your links garnered more clicks than another, that will indicate what is worth honing in on for later email newsletters.
Html email newsletters require a good contact email list. You can get lists from lead generation campaigns, but they must be kept up to date. It helps to personalize newsletters with dynamic content—for instance, an html email newsletter can be coded to address itself to individual recipients. Rather than have a generic newsletter marketing campaign, each email newsletter will be tailored to each recipient. This kind of practice increases response rates and improves the success of each email newsletter campaign. It’s important not to over-send email newsletters or campaigns as this can irritate recipients. In the same vein, it’s best to keep html email newsletters brief—save the content for your business blog instead. You’ll see more recipients clicking the links in your html email newsletter if they don’t have to wade through excessive content to find it.
Successful html email newsletters require commitment and patience, but they will bring results. Email newsletter marketing will increase traffic to your web site and blog. Html email newsletters increase awareness, offer an avenue for branding and promotion, and are a good way to stay on the radar of prospects. To learn more, read my last blog on the difference between business blogs and html email newsletter marketing.
Published on Thursday 21st of May 2009Business blog writing and html email newsletters are great ways to remind prospects of your company’s presence. By staying in the awareness of prospects, you significantly increase the likelihood that they will become clients. So which should you use? Strive to have both, as business blogs and email newsletters marketing can often work in tandem. Business blogs have quite different content from html email newsletters and it is important to understand the difference:
Business Blog Writing
Business blogs are an opportunity to lay out an opinion on a given subject and weigh in on industry news or trends. Business blogs are usually brief, concise and informative, teaching readers about a certain topic. A blog will let you educate readers about new concepts and trends that you would like to introduce to the market. Business blogs are valuable because they reflect the personal attitude and experience of the blog writer. They are a great way to build trust and credibility. With relevant content and well-written blog writing, you can get regular visitors to read your thoughts on your business blog.
Good blog writing is not always easy, and a business blog can be time-consuming and difficult to maintain. For one, blog writers must take into account Seach Engine Optimization practices. By infusing blog writing with relevant keywords, a business blog will rank high on search engines and get a high amount of traffic. It would also have an impact on the traffic going to your Web site, provided the blog is well integrated into your site.
Still, even with good search engine ranking, audiences only read business blogs when they want to. You have to entice them to subscribe to your blog so that they will read it regularly. Writing business blogs is a commitment and thus many companies outsource their business blog writing to a marketing company. Companies will typically come up with the subject, decide their stance, and choose how they would like to present it. The actual write-up is performed by a professional marketing copywriter.
Html Email Newsletter Marketing
Html email newsletter marketing is perfect for a company requiring a long sales cycle. If your buyer needs time and information before deciding to go with your company, it’s important to stay in touch. Html email newsletters shed light on the offering and make decision-makers more knowledgeable over time. Over the long-term, email newsletter marketing will reinforce to decision-makers that yours is the right service/product for them. Otherwise, prospects may visit your site, but never return. If they subscribe to your html email newsletter, they will always be reminded to come back and read your business blog, or look at new web content. The result will cement your credibility and expertise.
Html email newsletters, as opposed to blogs, are not so much about broadcasting personal opinions as they are about keeping contact with clients, distribution channels, and prospects. Email newsletter marketing is an easy way to keep clients abreast of what is going on in your company as well as current industry news. When you update your business blog, make changes to your website, or come out with a new product, a great way to let prospects know is through email newsletter marketing. If you acquire a prestigious client, receive an award, or recruit a new staff member, you can also inform your target audience with email newsletter marketing.
While the content of email newsletter marketing is all about what is newsworthy, it is crucial that an html email newsletter is properly written with an aesthetic appeal. The subject line has to be tantalizing but clear. To avoid having your email intercepted as spam, the body of the email must avoid using certain words which will surely send your html email newsletter straight to the junk mailbox.
Last but not least, if your company intends to send out monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly newsletters, you need to make sure that you are delivering on time. Some companies may outsource their email newsletter marketing along with business blog writing. This way everything is sent out regularly with content that will increase traffic to the business blog.
Business blog writing and html email newsletters build trust. Want to stay in the awareness of prospects? Ask yourself whether it might be worthwhile to start a business blog and/or invest in email newsletter marketing now. Read more about html email newsletters in my next blog.
Published on Sunday 22nd of March 2009
Achieving Top Web Site Ranking: How Search Engine Optimization Services can Boost Web Site Lead GenerationAchieving the top web site ranking for a keyword is often difficult, but it is extremely worthwhile. Subsequent to my last blog posting on web site lead generation, I’ve received some questions about Search Engine Optimization services and how sites can achieve top web site ranking. Here is a breakdown of some of the main elements of Search Engine Optimization services which can help you achieve top web site ranking:
• Keyword research for targeted web site lead generation
Keyword selection is a crucial part of Search Engine Optimization services, and it should never be based solely on intuition. Systematic research ensures that Search Engine Optimization services are not wasted on keywords that are either not searched or too competitive to achieve top web site ranking.
• Readable, keyword-infused copy for top web site ranking
It is difficult to achieve top web site ranking against your competitors when you use similar or industry standard keywords. Thus, to reach top ranking, web content should be infused with relevant keyphrases and right keyword density. Of course, the copy content should be professional and seamlessly written, or else you may compromise your web site lead generation. Good Search Engine Optimization services can create content that is optimized for both readers and Search Engines.
• Keyword-infused HTML tags for more effective Search Engine Optimization
Newcomers to Search Engine Optimization services may not know that Search Engine Optimization goes beyond just web content. Keyphrases should be inserted in image tags and various parts of HTML coding that are not visible on a web page to achieve top web site ranking.
• Develop incoming/outgoing links for stronger Search Engine Optimization and web site lead generation
Search Engine Optimization services should strive to develop inbound and outbound links to raise a site’s Google PageRank, which is a measure of a site’s quality and relevance. PageRank is a rating analysis algorithm developed by Google that assigns a numerical weighting to each HTML page in order to measure its relative importance. A higher PageRank helps a site achieve top web site ranking on search engines relative to others competing for the same keywords.
These steps are just an introduction to Search Engine Optimization services; web site lead generation comprises many elements, and achieving top web site ranking is often a long process, and also just part of the overall lead generation strategy. It is important to realize that Search Engine Optimization is always changing, and as search engines adjust their algorithms, web site rankings will fluctuate accordingly. That is why SEO needs to be maintained to ensure consistently high ranking.
Want to learn more about how your Web site can also achieve top Web site ranking with Search Engine Optimization services? Start by having a professional assess your site.
Published on Friday 20th of February 2009Professional web layout design and web content copywriting are increasingly important markers of a company’s credibility. Because your website is the face of your company, you should always invest in professional web layout design and outsource web content copywriting to an experienced copywriter or marketing agency. But all too often I have seen great sites, even with a professional web layout and design and great content copywriting, struggle to attract traffic. It’s a shame to see how such investments fall short of their potential. After all, what’s the point of investing in great web content copywriting if nobody is reading it? Particularly with the economic downturn we’re in, businesses can’t afford to lose money. And even a professional web layout design and featured web content copywriting are not enough to bring visitors to a site if they don’t know about it.
That’s why it’s important to think of your web site as a lead generation tool. It can be tempting to structure your professional web layout design into an electronic brochure for your products or services and to just create your web content copywriting accordingly. But while this approach can make for a great-looking site, it won’t necessarily generate traffic. To function as a lead generation tool, you need to look beyond just professional web layout design and create more strategic web content copywriting.
This means investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your web content copywriting and structuring your professional web layout design to attract more search engine traffic. Other strategies include using newsletters and email campaigns to bring targeted leads to your site, submitting your site to relevant directories, and going beyond just web content copywriting into other forms of promotional writing, such as white papers.
Professional web layout design and web content copywriting are important parts of any web site; however, with increasing online competition, they are just not enough to bring leads to your site. With the right strategy and professional SEO, you can create a web site that is a lead generation tool in its own right.
Published on Friday 23rd of January 2009business marketing? Start off 2009 right, with goals and a clear plan for your marketing lead generation.
Here are a few considerations and tips for your company’s business marketing in 2009:
- Adjust to New Market Trends - The business marketing of your company may need adjustment due to the downturn economy. For example, a company targeting the financial industry will see its market sector dramatically decrease spending in 2009. Take stock of the new market conditions, which have changed substantially since 2008, and update your 2009 business marketing lead generation program accordingly.
- Revise your Branding and Positioning Strategy - Before planning for the New Year, reassess your marketing lead generation and business marketing materials. Ask yourself, are your branding and marketing materials still in line with your marketing positioning strategy? Do they emphasize what sets you apart from the competition?
- Cut your Business Marketing Budget, but Not Entirely - In a downturn economy, you might be tempted to totally cut funding for your business marketing lead generation . But do not stop investing in your marketing in 2009. Turn off your business marketing expenditure, and your prospect leads will dry up. Without fresh leads, you will be entirely dependent on your existing client base. Of course, remember to nurture your existing client relationships and capitalize with cross-selling and up-selling as much as possible. But you’ll find that with a little investment in your business marketing and marketing lead generation, you’ll be more visible during an economic downturn, and get new clients as a result.
- Focus on Economical Marketing Methods - Even if you are not cutting your business marketing lead generation entirely, it is likely that you will have to cut costs in 2009. Resolve to invest in low-budget business marketing mediums, such as online internet marketing. These mediums are sometimes much more effective than traditional marketing methods, and significantly less expensive.
- Measure Marketing Results - Remember that New Year’s is a great time to take stock of your marketing lead generation and overall business marketing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t monitor your business marketing throughout the year. Resolve to keep tabs on your business marketing activities throughout 2009, and keep tuning them to get the best possible results. Know what works for you and what does not.
Published on Monday 27th of October 2008
As of September 30, 2008, Canadians can call in to place their names on the national Do-Not-Call List (DNCL). Click here to read the legislative summary. A simple phone call to the toll-free number 1-866-580-3625 or visit to the DNCL website is now enough for consumers to place their numbers on the fast-growing list. Already the phone lines have been inundated with Canadians eager to cut off cold calls.
The DNCL will severely limit the number of available telemarketing leads. The Canadian Marketing Association expects at least 60% of Canadian consumers to register their phone numbers. While telemarketing companies across Canada are facing a huge drop in their target market, Canadians are falling all over themselves to place their names on the list as quickly as possible—so much so, in fact, that on the first day of registration phone lines were overwhelmed with 1562 calls a minute, according to a recent CBC article.
The prognosis for small-scale telemarketers is grim. One needs only look to the backlash of the DNCL in the US, introduced in 2003. As of October 5, 2007, there were 145,498,656 telephone numbers registered in the States. An article appearing in the Canadian business journal Decima Telemanagement quotes Robert Kaiser, president of a US-based Telemarketing firm. “Many telemarketing firms closed in the initial backlash,” he said. "The legislation weeded out the smaller companies that can't afford the back office support and left more experienced companies that can afford the legal and other staff needed to follow the rules." So while large telemarketing companies can probably withstand the transition, those small businesses that rely on cold-calling and telemarketing will be hurt the most. The new regulations require that businesses adhere to the DNCL and update it on a regular basis, or risk fines of up to $15,000. There are a few exceptions to the rule, notably registered charities, political parties, newspapers, market research companies, and companies that have an “existing business relationship” with consumers.
The message is that if you’re still engaged in cold-calling and telemarketing to generate leads, it may be time to think about updating your approach. Marketing is an ever-changing process, and it’s critical to stay ahead of the curve if you want to beat out the competition. The fact is, the new Bill C-37 arose out of a poll with Industry Canada showing that 97% of Canadians react negatively to telemarketing calls. With the overwhelming number of telemarketers vying for their attention, this is hardly a surprise. If people do not want to receive sales calls, it is because they are inundated with them every day. They do not want to hear what your salespeople have to say.
So what are the alternatives?
Marketing in today’s world needs to take a different tactic, and the DNCL marks the decline of cold calling. While businesses are not yet qualified to add their numbers to the registry, it is only a matter of time. Marketing now needs to take into account that your potential clients are increasingly busy and resistant to impingements on their time.
The solution is to build trust with prospects before going for the sale. With the advent of white papers, search engine optimization, media insertion in trade magazines, industry analyst reports, email campaigns, blogs, and webinars, you can provide prospects with valuable information to let them make a responsible decision on their own terms. The advantage is that, with modern marketing lead generation tactics, prospects will be more receptive and informed about your company and your product/service—thus shortening your sales cycle. In addition, you will gain leads from prospects interested in your specific offering, if positioned correctly, and enjoy a higher conversion rate—no cold calling required.
National Do Not Call List Rules and Telemarketing Rules
Do-not-call list: Canadians now able to disconnect telemarketers
Legislative Summary for the Canadian DNCL
- Canadian Do-Not-Call List Launches Tomorrow