How to Perform B2B Lead Generation Email Campaigns the smart way

It has long been established that email marketing is still the most reliable lead generation channel for B2B marketing. It’s traditional, yet it never fails to deliver the numbers – with a competent level of quality of leads, at that – and it serves as a safety net in case all other options are not performing.

However, its success doesn’t revolve around blasting huge volumes of emails to contact lists and wait for whoever responds. Successful email campaigns entail strategy and a lot of monitoring.

According to Jonathan Long, Founder and CEO of Market Domination Media, here are 4 important steps in making sure your email campaigns are producing good results:

1. Track all activity. Most email-marketing-software and platforms allow you to track open and click-through rates of any links included in the message.

Are subscribers even interested in what you are sending them? Are they all opening your emails but not clicking on any of your calls-to-action?

This data will quickly let you know if your approach is working or if you need to make some tweaks to your messages.

2. Segment your list based on activity. Most email marketing software will allow you to see the level of engagement for each subscriber. This allows you to see how responsive they are with your mailings. You can then break your subscribers into groups.

When you group your subscribers together based on activity, it allows you to market to each group separately.

3. Split-test frequency. Every business is going to have a list of subscribers that react differently to the frequency they are emailed. Some lists will interact with every message, even if they are emailed several times a month. Other lists will perform better if you just reach out once a month.

There is no guessing game involved. You are going to need to split-test several frequencies and use that data to fine-tune your approach.

4. Never stop building your list. You should always be adding to your list, and using different forms of online marketing to build your list. Paid search marketing, search-engine optimization and social-media marketing can all be used to drive traffic to your landing pages and lead capture forms.

For your automated-email-marketing funnel to keep producing revenue, you need to constantly add fresh prospects. If you stop adding new leads, you will eventually hammer your email list to death.

Source: 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Email List Doesn’t End Up Dead

Top Reasons Why B2B Telemarketing Strategies Fail

As long as there are phone lines across giant buildings and stretching underground beneath our feet, and as long as there are cell towers, satellites and fiber optic cables connecting us to the web, people will always be making and taking calls.

Even in the near future, when all of the business people in the world are those who grew up in the digital age, they would still need to talk to people from remote distances. In short, telemarketing will never die.

It’s a traditional yet highly effective B2B lead generation channel. Telemarketing and appointment setting bridge marketers and potential clients in a way that no other medium can. Nothing beats phone calls.

But why do some telemarketing campaigns fail? According to a blog post at EConsultancy.com, these might be the culprits:

Lack of segmentation

Savvy online marketers know how important segmentation can be, but it’s just as important — if not more important — to outbound telemarketing campaigns. Without segmentation, targeting the right people is all but impossible and entire programs can fail as a result.

Failing to collect data

Not every call that gets made as part of an outbound telemarketing program will produce the desired action, but every call is an opportunity to collect valuable data. This data can be used to develop a better understanding of the market, improve strategy and make the type of adjustments that are required to turn an underperforming program into a performing program (see below).

Staffing

Nothing is arguably as important to a telemarketing program as the people on the phones. Put simply, a telemarketing campaign is generally only as good as the people making the calls. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, finding folks who are capable of doing a good job can be very difficult.

Poorly-defined goals and expectations

Setting the right goals and establishing the right expectations are crucial if an outbound telemarketing program is to succeed. Far too often companies have unrealistic notions of what a telemarketing campaign can produce, and how fast. One of the most common: the notion that you should try to take an initial contact with a prospect from start to close in the first call.

Timing

Effective marketing involves hitting the target audience with the right message at the right time. While timing is often a challenge in many channels, it’s more difficult in the context of telemarketing for obvious reasons. As anyone who has received a phone call from a telemarketer at 9:05 a.m. on a Monday morning or 4:50 p.m. on a Friday afternoon can attest to, telemarketing campaigns don’t always appropriately factor in timing well enough.

Source: 10 reasons why outbound telemarketing programs fail

5 Likely Reasons Why your Social Media Campaigns are Failing

The best asset of social networks used for B2B lead generation is that added ability to interact with the target audience in a way that’s not too transactional. It’s like seeing businesses step down from their supposed pedestal and reaching out to the people.

But that nature of interaction also has its downsides. Most marketers agree that there are really no definite measure of social media ROI, and that it is only a special channel through which prospects are easily contacted.

Whichever approach your lead generation campaigns may take, it doesn’t take away the fact that the power social media offers is something that shouldn’t be wasted on poorly executed strategies.

As per SocialMediaToday.com, these are some of the common reasons why social media campaigns backslide:

1. Not being where your target customers are. It’s not important to maintain a presence on just any social media network in order to engage with potential and current consumers; you have to be where they actually are. If you are posting content and updates blindly to Twitter, but members of your target market aren’t present there, what’s the point? The first step in effective use of social media for lead generation is to research and determine which social media sites your target audience is active on a regular basis.

2. Not providing valuable content. If you’re just pushing out content about your product and why it’s so “awesome,” more than likely, people will not want to share or engage with it. If someone is following your brand on Facebook, it’s probably to see what valuable content and offers you can offer them. Rather than product-focused content, focus on content rich with tips and tricks which can help to relieve your target customers’ pain points.

3. Not using calls-to-action or sharing targeted links to landing pages. Don’t just say you have a great blog or that your fans should check out your awesome new ebook, link to it, and use an enticing call-to-action to do so. You’d be surprised how commonly businesses neglect to do this. Furthermore, share targeted links.

4. Not integrating email and social media. Email marketing and social media are great friends, not enemies. They work together well, help each other out to promote content, and share one another’s information on a regular and consistent basis. You should promote your presence on social media sites through buttons on each email as well as share links to email opt-in forms for social followers to sign up to be a part of your email database.

5. Not analyzing the effectiveness of your social media efforts. You may be on the latest and great social platforms, sharing awesome content, listening and engaging with your potential audience, and collecting that valuable lead information, but how do you determine if it’s working as well as you want it to? You should be regularly analyzing how much traffic and leads you’re generating from each social platform you’re participating in as well as how valuable it is. This will allow your team to evaluate its efforts and make adjustments if needed.

Source: 7 Reasons You’re Not Generating Leads From Social Media

 

B2B Content Marketing: 7 Ugly Truths you should be concerned about

What is wrong with how marketers produce, distribute and use content as a tool for lead generation?

While there are countless businesses that have been successful in content marketing, it certainly doesn’t speak for the majority of lead generation marketers that depend on attracting prospects through their leads.

A post at Eloqua reveals what exactly is going on out there, and why you should take a look at your own conten marketing efforts.

From Blog.Eloqua.com:

Ugly Truth #1: Everyone wants to create content, but no one wants to discuss promotion and distribution

In today’s crowded digital world, assigning no distribution or promotion plan is a foolproof way to make sure your content will not be viewed. The old model of “one and done” is over.

Ugly Truth #2: Many folks in your organization already create content without a strategy

Fun fact: 70% of marketers say they lack a consistent or integrated content strategy, despite the fact that 82% of content marketers see positive ROI for their inbound marketing.

Ugly Truth #3: Many folks create content they want to publish not what the customer needs.

Make sure your customer has a seat at the table by validating the content idea with research.

  1. Review the number of Google searches it appears in
  2. Research in trades and national news
  3. Perform  a small number of searches on social media: Linkedin and Twitter
  4. See  what others are writing about on the contra of that idea

What your expert think is “cool” maybe better position for a blog, but not much else that takes more resources and time to write.

Ugly Truth #4: Your content is created in a silo

Most of your content writers are focused on their specific piece and not its greater impact. When you create content for your audience, you no longer think in silos. You try to build content that can be used and written across the company, not just the division.

How can you combat content silos? Create a company-wide editorial calendar. You can start breaking down silos once you realize there is a broader story to tell.

Ugly Truth #5: Your content is probably one and done

This goes back to Ugly Truth #1. Organizations need to accept that in order to compete in a crowded marketplace, you need to put dollars behind your content.

Ugly Truth #6: Interesting content needs to have a call to action. Interesting on its own isn’t enough

Without a call-to-action, content marketing efforts amount to little more than writing exercises. It’s not enough to publish useful information; you want readers to engage with you and take an action that will provide value for your business.

Ugly Truth #7: Few marketers evaluate the performance of the content

If you want more money, you will need to your program is worth the time, resources, and money.

So where to start? First and foremost see how your content is performing on your site and social platforms. Are folks sharing or downloading the content? Has the media picked up the report?

Read the full post at  Seven Ugly Truths About Content Marketing

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