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5-part email workflow to convert leads into customers

5-part email workflow to convert leads into customers

Does your business have salespeople whose job is to convert new leads into customers?

If so, it’s an unfortunate fact that over 50% of leads generated by businesses are qualified but not yet ready to buy.

You’ve spent valuable time and money getting them, so you need to do something. So what are you supposed to do with those leads?

Email Marketing!

In this post, we’ll show how you can set up a simple email workflow that can help convert more of those leads into customers over time.

How email can help convert leads into customers

For illustration, let’s imagine you sell carpet cleaning services.

You have a great website where people can read about your services, and you generate leads through a ‘Request a Quote’ form on the site.

You get 15-20 people submit that form every week, and the people in your sales team get back to every one of those enquiries with quotes based on the information they submitted.

Unfortunately though, only about 50% of the people you spend time crafting quotes for ever become customers. The other 50% you never hear from again.

So how can email help you?

By setting up an automated email workflow to deliver specific content and messages to these leads, you can keep in touch with them and help convince them they need your product or service.

The best part about it is, it can all be automated. So while you’re busy generating more enquiries, these emails can be working to close your existing leads in the background and increase revenue for your business.

A simple 5-part email workflow to convert leads into customers

While it can be tempting to just continually send these people promotional emails for your service, that approach isn’t likely to get you the best results.

For whatever reason, these people have shown strong initial interest but not yet chosen to go ahead with using your product or service, so just continually promoting your business to them won’t change that.

Instead, what you need to do is educate them on some of the key things you’d want them to know. The kind of things that if they knew, they’d be purchasing your services right away.

In the case of our example carpet cleaning company, that might be the hidden health dangers of having unclean carpets, and the advantages of using professional carpet cleaning services over doing it themselves.

The best way to achieve this is to set up an automated series of emails that go out to leads who make an enquiry but don’t go on to become customers.

The early emails should be mainly focused on adding value and educating your leads, and as time goes on and you build a relationship with them then your emails can become more promotional.

Continuing using the fictitious carpet cleaning company as an example, let’s dive in and see how each email could look.

1. The Educational Email

The first email in the series should be focused solely on providing valuable information to your leads.

As they have expressed interest in carpet cleaning services, it’s probably safe to assume they’re interested in getting their carpets looking good again.

So sending them an email with a link to a blog post on 6 ways to make their carpet look like new is the perfect way to engage them.

By providing them with valuable information related to your business’s area of expertise, you build a sense of authority around your brand that shows potential customers you know a lot about making carpets look great.

2. The problem email

The second email in the series should still be focused on providing valuable information, but this time your goal should be to educate leads on why the problem they came to you about in the first place is worth solving.

A good example for our fictitious carpet cleaning business would be a link to an article on the dangers of not regularly cleaning your carpet, and the risks this poses to your family’s health.

Although still educational, this email demonstrates to your leads why their problem is important and helps create a sense of urgency that compels them to seek out a solution.

3. The solution email

Now that you’ve convinced your leads that their problem is important and worth solving, it’s time to convince them that your product or service is the answer.

For our fictitious carpet cleaning organisation, it would be great time to send leads a link to an article on the advantages of using professional carpet cleaning services over doing it yourself.

Although still educational, this email helps convince your leads that they need a professional service like yours and gets them thinking about who the right provider might be.

4. The case study email

Now that you’ve convinced leads that their problem is important and that they need to find a proper solution, it’s time to prove that you are the right provider for them.

Continuing our carpet cleaning example, now is the perfect time to send them a case study or some testimonials that outline how great your business is to work with and how amazing the results have been for your customers.

This email, combined with the sense of expertise you have built around your business by continually sending educational content, should give your leads confidence your business is the right choice and compel them to respond to your quote and purchase your services.

5. The hail mary email

If at this stage in the series you haven’t convinced your leads to purchase, then your chances of converting them are looking a little slim. It might be time to throw the Hail Mary pass.

In the case of our fictitious carpet cleaning business, this means offering something like a 20% off the quoted price as a last ditched incentive to get them over the line.

Although this may reduce your margins a little bit, this is the last email in the series and likely your final chance to convert them into a customer, so it’s probably better to get them at a slightly discounted rate then to not get them at all.

Setting this up for your business

The series of emails above are a great way to turn leads into customers. They demonstrate to your leads the importance of fixing their problem and position your product or service as the ideal solution.

So how can you get them setup and working for your business?

Your best bet is to integrate your CRM or website with your email marketing software and set up a series of automated emails using Automation.

Emails tools like Stay in Touch integrate easily with popular CRM systems like Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho CRM, Pipedrive and more. You can set up tags or rules (depending on your chosen system) that automatically send leads that haven’t purchased into a specific list in your email marketing software.

From there, you can use Automation to automatically send the above series of emails to new leads as they get added to your list.

By setting it up like this, these emails can be automatically sent to new leads as they enter your list and can be working to increase revenue while you focus your time and energy on other parts of the business.

Wrap up

If your business acquires new customers by generating leads and having salespeople do quotes and close them, then it’s an unfortunate fact of life that 50% of those leads aren’t going to be ready to purchase upfront.

However, by setting up an automated series of emails that educate leads on the significance of their problem and why your business is best positioned to solve it, then you might have a shot at converting some of those leads into customers over time.

So set up an integration between your email marketing software and your CRM or website today and start sending this automated email series to that will grow your business.

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Why Inbound Email Marketing

Why Inbound Email Marketing

Inbound Email Marketing

What is an Inbound Email Marketing?

Consider this.

A financial investment company keeps calling you every now and then to tell you about their ‘awesome’ plans, whether you are interested in them or not. Urgh!

On the other hand, you have been watching advertisements of a specific investment company, considered them interesting, and signed up to receive emails from them to know them better.

So, when it’s actually time to invest your money, which one would pop up in your mind? Pretty sure, the second.

The first type of approach can be termed as outbound marketing.
The second and more expedient one is inbound marketing.

Basically, the major difference between the two is that inbound believes in earning attention and outbound is interrupting.

Inbound marketing educates, informs, and keeps the readers engaged with your brand by providing valuable, relevant content. It is thus an important element of an effective marketing campaign.

Readers now expect their favorite brands to know what they like and dislike, and communicate with them not just limiting the personalization to first name. Today’s generation demands a personalized experience from brands; that is one of the reasons why inbound works.

Inbound Email Marketing has 4 stages- Attract, Convert, Close, Delight. And the channels via which marketers can cross each stage, without interrupting the subscribers, include blogging, social media, SEO, word of mouth publicity, and email marketing among others.

5 key attributes that makes Inbound Email Marketing success

1. Opted-In Contacts

First things first. If you’re still buying and forging lists of email contacts from industry conferences or sponsorships, it’s time to stop. These contacts have not opted-in to receive email communications from you, and you’re setting the wrong tone for nurturing and closing the leads from the start. Instead, start building your list of email contacts organically and with a true opt-in approach. This can be achieved through:

  • Blogging
  • Offering valuable downloadable content (where their email is required to download)
  • Creating a regular, content-packed newsletter and encouraging email subscription through your blog and social media

By building your email campaigns around these true opt-in contacts, you’ll see a much higher engagement rate as far as email opens, emails clicks and additional conversions. You’ll also protect the reputation of your IP address by not getting flagged as spam.

2. Targeted Content

It’s still quite common for B2B companies to do a blanket email campaign that goes out to all their contacts, whether they are prospects or current customers. But with a little segmentation in Excel, you can quickly start to create more targeted lists of contacts based on their prospect/client status, industry type, product area interest, etc.

For example, lets say your company is a distributor of pumps and valves for a variety of industry types. An engineer/operator for a waste water treatment facility has different needs and interests than an engineer at a beverage manufacturing facility. Think about it; waste water and beverages shouldn’t mix! By segmenting your lists and getting more targeted with your content, you’re creating more appeal with your audience and providing more value based on their specific needs.

3. Value to the Recipient

Your first email in a campaign shouldn’t go right for the sale. Especially if it’s a list of newer opt-in contacts. Instead, start by providing content that helps them perform their job, answers common questions they have, or guides them through their decision-making process related to your product or service. This will begin to nurture the relationship and naturally move them closer to sale, without turning them off with the first email they receive.

4. Frequency/Timing

Another big difference with an inbound email marketing is the frequency and timing of your email communications. Every industry has a different sales cycle and you should build your email campaigns based on this schedule. Sending six emails over a two week period when your typical sales cycle is 12 months isn’t recommended.

  • Structure your email frequency so they’re consistent without being too regular. For most B2B companies, this is once every two-to-four weeks.
  • Also be mindful what day and time you send your emails. Tuesdays through Thursdays during normal business hours seem to be the most widely recommended, and most successful in our experience. But don’t be afraid to experiment and do some A/B testing.

5. Ability to Change Subscription Options

Last but not least, with EVERY email you send be sure the recipient has the option to easily unsubscribe or change their subscription options. Most email platforms are required to have this feature based on CAN-SPAM regulations, but I personally still receive spam emails with no option to unsubscribe. Your subscribers will appreciate the ease of being able to unsubscribe, or better yet, being able to change the frequency of when they receive emails.

Conclusion:

As buyers continue to evolve and filter out the noise of unwanted marketing emails, it’s up to you as a marketer to make the most of your own email marketing efforts. You can continue to focus on the quantity of non-opt-in email contacts and achieve little to no response. Or, focus on building and cultivating an organic list of opted-in contacts who look forward to what you’ll email them next. I know which one I would choose!

If you or your organisation have any challenges with email marketing, reach us at stayintouch. We start by providing content that helps them perform your job, answers common queries you have, or guide you through your decision-making process related to your product or services.

4 stages of Inbound Email Marketing

4 stages of Inbound Email Marketing

The 4 stages of inbound email marketing

There are four basic actions that make up the inbound email marketing model:

1. Attract

This one seems simple, right? You want to attract lots of people to your website. While partially true, it comes with a caveat: inbound has its emphasis on attracting the “right” type of traffic to your site, the people who are most likely to become leads first and satisfied customers second. The way to nail this strategy is to be very clear about your ideal customer, which is also known as a buyer persona. Once you know who they are, the trick is to start attracting them to you with things like blogging, SEO, social media and quality website content.

2. Convert

Getting eyeballs to your website can be the hardest part of this process, and the next step is to convert those visitors to leads by collecting their contact information. This information is like gold bullion to marketers, and in order to make the trade you generally need to offer people something in return. This can take the form of free content like e-books or white papers, but whatever it is must have value to your buyer persona. Forms, call-to-action and landing pages will be some of your most important tools when it comes to converting visitors.

3. Close

Once you have attracted the right type of visitors and converted them to leads the next step is to transform them into customers. You need to close the deal, like Michael Douglas in “Wall Street”. Kind of. Closing in inbound marketing is somewhat different, and involves a number of tools like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, closed loop reporting, marketing automation and email. They sound fancy but it all boils down to building trust with your prospect and helping them become ready to buy.

4. Delight

The delight stage is where inbound really comes into its own, revealing why it has had such a transformational impact on marketing in the digital age. Inbound is all about the customer, and is always striving to find novel ways to amuse, inform, entertain and delight them. Remarkable content engages your customers, and done well it can also turn clients into your best advocates as they voluntarily share your content with their social networks. This stage utilizes a number of tools, including surveys, smart calls-to-action, smart text and social monitoring.

Analysis is something that’s common to each and every stage

Beginning from Attract to Delight, each and every marketing strategy should invariably be assessed. Attract works as a scaffold for email marketing. The full-fledged role of email is in the next three stages of Convert, Close and Delight.

Emails come into picture at the finishing line of the Convert stage. Next, they are used to closed the leads into customers and finally Delight them to turn them into evangelists.

Why are businesses embracing this model?

Inbound email marketing has changed the way businesses communicate with their customers, and has been wholeheartedly embraced in the last decade. Quality, targeted content is a proven way to attract the right customers and is highly responsive when it comes to answering their questions and needs because it enables a high degree of personalisation. Being a multi-channel medium, it enables conversations to take place exactly where your customers are and integration means that content creation, publishing and analytics tools work seamlessly together in pursuit of the same goal.

Inbound marketing is very much here to stay and is a proven methodology for the digital age. Put simply, it’s the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters, and no serious business can afford to ignore it.

4 Easy Tips To Build Your Email List

4 Easy Tips To Build Your Email List

4 Easy Tips To Build Your Email List

Every time we get a welcome pop-up on a new website that asks for email ID for subscription, we usually ignore it and close the pop-ups.

We might ask ourselves, why I do that? Well, these requests for subscription are either too boring for my liking and have no incentive to offer or because I don’t fancy getting my inbox jammed with unnecessary and irrelevant emails.

I am sure there are many others like me who do the same and chances are, if you have these unappealing subscription pop-ups on your website, that’s probably the reason why your email database isn’t going up.

Turn your business into an automated machine

There are some unique and attractive ideas to build your email list which is, undoubtedly, of great importance. However, before you proceed, you need to understand that for people to give you their email and to look forward to hearing from you, you need to step-up your game.

One way of doing this is by automating the procedure using online software that helps you send personalized emails without turning them into repetitive and uninteresting templates.

However, if you want to tweak things around fast with creativity and ease, here’s what you need to do.

There is hardly anyone who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of getting something without making an effort and that too, for free. And if subscribing and giving my email is all it takes, I, for one, am going to participate! Think about it. If a landing page asks you for your email address, why would you give it, unless it have something to offer in return?

You can use this strategy to your advantage and build your email list by giving people an incentive in return for their email. The giveaway could be free access to an e-book, a report, a gift hamper, or perhaps a coupons where people enter their emails and redeem the offer.

Or a referral system could be a great game-changer for you and helps you build your email list in no time. For example, giftbasketsoverseas.com offers its customers a 20% off coupon for referring a friend to their products. The referred friend also receives 20% off on their first purchase. A tantalizing offer is all you need for people to comply.

A strong call to action might just get you the desired response

Yes, pop-ups on websites and online pages are annoying and dreary, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be that way. What if you could tweak them in such a way that visitors are left with no other option than to subscribe and plug in their email?

You just need to give a quick boost to your creativity and connect with them on a personal level. Perhaps something like what Ramit Sethi, an American personal finance advisor, and entrepreneur, has done on his confirmation page – a timer and a picture of him with a sad face – may do the trick for you too.

Here’s what it looks like:

SIT

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a great way to send incoming traffic to your landing page, and they also generate interesting lead conversations. Simultaneously, they also help you build your email list and expand your list of contacts at a great pace.

Link with Facebook Email Signup

Facebook’s email signup option has been around for a while now. It is a good way to collect user data and build your email list while they are actively engaging with you. You can also pay for a data capture form and link it with Facebook signup. It can provide you with the data a user has shared voluntarily with Facebook.

Users voluntarily provide Facebook with their most credible details like age, gender, occupation and location. This method will save a user from filling a lengthy form and simply clicking ‘Sign in with Facebook’ will be enough. Data capture forms can also provide you with an option to capture even more specific information like friend lists, favorite books, music, movies etc.

Add sharing buttons in emails

Many marketers believe that social media is more effective than email lists. Some people debate that it is like comparing apples with oranges. What people need to understand is that every marketing tool varies from the other in execution and effectiveness. It all boils down to ROI. Whether you use social media or email marketing, it should give you leads and convert those leads into customers. Email marketing has proven to be more effective at this.

However, to earn better results, place social media plugins in your email messages. Add an ‘email to a friend’ button as well, to encourage sharing of your email content. Social media sharing is an effective way of doubling the ROI. Email sharing makes it easy for a person to share important information with their friends and family. A subscribe button encourages people to join your mailing list.

Conclusion:

These simple steps boil down to two important things:

  1. Make the process as simple and smooth as possible.
  2. Be honest and provide users what they expect in their inbox.

Follow these basic principles and build your email list exponentially.
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How to manage your daily emails ?

How to manage your daily emails ?

It’s Monday morning. As Lara sits down at her desk she experiences that familiar feel… She’s not dreading the day ahead of her – she’s dreading her email inbox! Lara is finding an answer to the question “How to manage your daily emails?”

Lara’s manages a large team, her email box is hit with 60 plus emails everyday. She has to read and reply to all those emails. She’s notoriously behind with her existing work as she has to reply to those emails.

Email can pull us UP or throw us DOWN. You need to find a way to manage your emails so that you are managing your emails and not vice-versa.

Checking Email’s
Set a fix time to check your emails. I get around 100 emails everyday. I check my emails in slot. First Slot ( 11am) , Second Slot (3pm), Third Slot (7pm). Sometimes sending replies immediately works to disadvantage.

Emails on Phone
Unless you are going to be out for the entire day avoid checking emails on phone. Let say i got an email and i saw it on the phone (at that point i am distracted), now that email demands me to reply with some file which is on my laptop so again i have to check it when i reach office and reply (double waste of time, also sometime you miss replying to emails which are marked as read).

Get your emails organized
Can you imagine having an inbox with nothing in it? It almost sounds too good to be true!

Although a completely empty inbox (also called “inbox zero”) might be unrealistic for many of us, keeping our main inbox cleared can make us more organized, and help eliminate stress.

Create specific folder and push mails inside them. I have my top folders as “Clients”, “Vendors”, “Accounts”, “Marketing” . Under this top folders i have sub-folders like “Clients –> ABC ltd.”, “Marketing –> Live Leads, Success Leads, Failure Leads”. This will help you retrieve older mails quickly.

Remove yourself from all email subscriber list
Remove yourself from all email subscriber list. If something very important add another email id to that list which you do not access frequently.

For any further help on “How to manage your daily emails?” emails feel free to email us on info@stayintouch.co.in