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Category: Email

5 Ways to Generate Leads Online

Ideas for capturing new leads and converting prospects into customers

2heads-better1As an expert in your field, you’ve got a ton of really important information in your head. But you’ve got to get it out of your head and into some useful format for lead generation. Information is the heart and soul of marketing, so you’ve got to have some idea about the products you want to develop as part of your overall strategy. Let’s talk about the top five.

1. White Papers

“White paper” is the corporate, fancy-pants term for an online article. A white paper usually ranges from two to three pages and stands alone as an item customers or prospects can download. White papers work great as a lead generation tool when you ask prospects to provide their email address in exchange for your valuable””yet free””information.

2. Free Reports

A free report is like a white paper, just a bit bigger. From a lead generation standpoint, it holds more value than a white paper and is usually several pages long. Free reports are great products to use as an add-on to online purchases. “Buy Product X and receive three Free Reports!” You can also use them like white papers and offer them as free downloads in exchange for contact information.

3. E-Books

E-books are the killer product that can create a lead generation bonanza! Like a real book, an e-book is going to be long…at least 50 pages. The fact that it’s a real book makes the perceived value huge. If the copy inviting prospects to download your e-book is well-written and compelling, you can generate several thousand new leads from this one lead generation tool alone.

4. Audio Reports

An audio report helps prospects get a feel for what you and your company are all about. It’s a way for prospects to talk to you about doing business without really taking to you. Using audio reports as part of your campaign can boost brand loyalty and help you prospects commit to a sale. If you are well known in your industry – or if you can hire someone who is – you have the power to generate a LOT of leads using audio reports.

5. Webinars

No joke. Webinars can drive an endless stream of customers to your business. Like audio reports, they give customers a feed for your company. But webinars go way beyond teaser information. The power-punch of the webinar is that it lets you cover the entire sales pitch AND close the deal. Another bonus is that webinars can be recorded. That lets you leverage your time by making the pitch once and then playing the presentation again and again for new groups of prospects. Talk about a time saver!

How Does It Work?

Here’s the way it works, in a nutshell.

Develop information products.

Make the available on your site in exchange for contact information.
Send out an announcement to your email list that also creates a sense of urgency.

  • Put tools in place to track downloads and capture new leads.
  • Follow-up with leads to convert them into customers.
  • Bingo! You’ve got your very own lead-generation machine!

To check out some real lead generation products, download a free report about Email Marketing 2.0.

Email Marketing: Tips for Improving Your Stats

emails-marketing-2Tips For Improving Your Stats

Improving your response rate, lead conversion, and sales via email marketing is very important, otherwise there would be no effort or emphasis upon this valuable email marketing activity. To help improve email marketing performance, here are some useful tips you can employ.
  • Would you believe? Go ahead and be plain, looking a little boring.
  • For the subject line of the email, don’t buy into the habit of selling; Tell them what is inside the email.
  • Getting past spam filters is integral to effective email marketing. People are avid at filtering out spam, and so are email inbox systems. Avoid using keywords or phrases that are known to be spammy, and never use CAPS. A quick visit to your own Spam folder in your email can educate you enormously.
  • Old lists often have many invalid addresses, hard bounces, and indicate a need to implement a control system to keep your email list up-to-date and accurate. There are many people who will change their email accounts every few months.
  • Keep in regular contact, at least once per quarter, so you keep your email list as up-to-date as possible. As well, this encourages maintaining the relationship with your email marketing list customers/audience.
  • A soft bounce typically indicates an email address is temporarily unavailable. It could be someone on vacation, or a full inbox. Keep these and try them again at a later date.
  • A hard bounce is a failed email delivery. Often it is a non-existent email account, or an incorrectly typed email address entered when someone became a subscriber. It’s also possible that it is a spam filter rejecting the email.
  • When email recipients receive an email and they click the “This is spam” button it creates an abuse record. This will happen when someone in your audience doesn’t remember you. Ensure you have your From and Subject complete with your company name so they will recognize you.

3 Email Mistakes That Will Cost You

email-marketing-3If you use email as part of your marketing strategy, deliverability is probably among your top concerns. After all, emails need to arrive in the inbox before they can effectively generate leads. Unfortunately, there are a few gaffes that can cost you when you send your next email marketing message. Here of the top three mistakes.

1. Sending to an Old List
We know it’s tough to let go of people on your email list but the consequence of sending to people who haven’t heard from you in over six months is quite severe. If you email 1,000 people and two hit the “Report Spam” button, the odds of your other emails being delivered drops drastically. Yes, it’s that serious! The 0.1% industry guideline is mandated from ISPs and burdened by email service providers.

To overcome this, do NOT email people you have not had recent contact with (we’re talking longer than six months). Email permission typically expires after about nine months and spam complaints go up exponentially after six months. Alternatively, you can use a reconnect campaign via direct mail like a postcard or letter to help “ignite” their permission again. Permission is key.

2. Sending the Wrong Message at the Wrong Time
Over the years, small business users grow comfortable sending to their entire list. This can irritate recipients who don’t want every single announcement from your business. What do these people do when they receive a poorly-targeted/timed message? They unsubscribe and report spam. Tough love, eh? This isn’t the time for list scrubbing – it’s the time for targeted, segmented and truly relevant messages to be delivered to your recipients.

The solution is to narrow your broadcasts to smaller groups in your database. Leverage technology that allows you to segment the interest, needs and previous activity of your subscribers so you only send to the ones who expect your email and are interested in getting specific and targeted information from you.

3. Infrequent, Inconsistent Contact
Similar to above, sending infrequent, unexpected emails to your subscribers can be just as damaging as sending too often. Email recipients often expect to be notified on a monthly basis, maybe more or less frequent depending on your expectations when they opted-in. Exercise discipline when maintaining a quality email relationship with your subscribers.

If you plan on changing your email delivery schedule, let them know. Some marketers allow subscribers to self-segment into “Daily,” “Weekly” or “Monthly” communications. This reduces spam complaints and allows recipients to receive messages when they want them (not when you do).

A Costly Mistake

The cost of making these email mistakes will vary by the type of business you have. Undoubtedly, it will often cost you valuable email relationships as people unsubscribe. If you don’t adhere to best practices, your email service provider could drop you for spam.

There is a laundry list of to-dos and don’t-dos out there but it really comes down to one thing: respect. Respect your subscribers’ needs and interests and they will reciprocate. These top three mistakes small business email marketers do are often overlooked until after they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Consider this advice before you send your next email marketing broadcast.

To learn more about email marketing best practices, download a free report about Email Marketing 2.0.