In our last blog post – How to generate leads like FTSE 250 company, we looked at how leading companies deploy integrated marketing tactics to deliver a healthy lead pipeline. The key take-away was that a consistent flow of B2B leads can only come from a joined-up multi-channel marketing strategy, rather than relying on just one or two channels, such as PR and SEO, and hoping for the best.
In this blog post we would like to develop these ideas further and specifically address some of the common mistakes we see time and time again when looking at company websites. The tactics applied here are used by some the world’s biggest brands and their most successful challengers. But as you’ll see, the same principals can and should be applied to any business that’s serious about its lead generation strategy.
Let’s start by looking at the biggest mistake of all…
Mistake 1: Focussing on rankings and traffic instead of conversions
Anyone who has ever read an SEO report knows that where you rank for which keywords and how much your traffic has increased by are the main thrust of most digital marketing campaigns. In fact, Google’s entire fortune has been built on selling the concept of getting more and more traffic to your website. It’s made billions of pounds by convincing people that targeted traffic is the be-all-and-end-all of digital marketing.
The thing is that no-one at Google cares too much about what happens to that visitor once they’ve clicked on your hard won organic listing or expensive PPC (Pay per Click) ad. and gone off to your website. And why should they, it’s not their problem it’s yours!
So the first question you should be asking yourself is this: How many email addresses is my website collecting on a monthly basis? If your website isn’t collecting a good ratio of email addresses to visits e.g. 5:100 you should pause for thought, focus on fixing the website and optimising for Conversion rather than driving traffic to a site that clearly isn’t doing its job.
Mistake 2: But I don’t want email addresses I want sales enquiries!
Of course you do. However, most experienced marketers will tell you that expecting your website to convert visitors into customers in one visit is a bit like stopping a total stranger on the street and asking them for a date! You might get lucky from time to time but it isn’t what we call a watertight technique.
Filling out a contact form or picking up the phone is a fairly big step for most people. They know that once that process starts they are going to have a salesperson contact them. Not many people are going to do this based on a very nice web-page and some glowing testimonials.
However, it is much easier to ask people to provide their email address in exchange for some helpful information, such as a tool, guide or white paper, or a voucher or offer in the case of eCommerce.
Gearing your website towards collecting emails allows visitors to take those first baby-steps toward becoming a customer in a way that doesn’t spook or overwhelm. And from your perspective there is another salient reason…
Your email list is almost always going to be your highest converting digital channel!
Mistake 3: Ignoring your email list and not running a regular newsletter or update
This is crucial. Nothing converts better and more consistently than a well-run, timely and expertly managed email campaign. Your email list is your chance to build trust, to showcase your talents, to display how you can outperform the competition. And the beauty of addresses you collect through your website, as opposed to purchased lists, is that they have already taken that first tentative step towards developing a relationship with you.
It’s the difference between stopping that stranger on the street and asking someone out who’s already been introduced to you. Sending out regular emails is the key to keeping a steady flow of leads coming in. If you are not staying in touch regularly with your email list and relying on your website alone to generate inbound enquiries, you are probably letting a huge amount of opportunity go to waste.
Getting traffic to a website matters, but only if it generates real business. The processes described above are not easy to implement and require a bit of expertise. You’ll need to get your website set up with what we call trip-wires to ask for email addresses and it needs to be done in a clever and subtle way.
Having a skillful writer is vital, as getting people to read and engage with your content is at the heart of building making this process a success.
Results also need to be closely monitored and fine-tuned, so having someone who can understand and interpret the findings from analytic tools is also an important element of the campaign.
Your website is just one part of the marketing mix, but as we hope this post has demonstrated, it is a crucial element in the overall goal of a successful and profitable integrated marketing campaign.
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