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Are you looking for ways to gain more quality business sales leads that don’t waste your time?
In order for your business to grow, it needs plenty of genuinely interested potential customers to engage with. After all, without sales, you can only get so far.
However, as you’re probably aware, finding ways of reaching the right people can seem elusive. The internet is full of contradictory tips, advice and companies promising to get you more leads than you know what to do with. In fact, some of them can sound a bit too good to be true.
As an experienced digital marketer, I understand it can be frustrating when you don’t know where to turn for help. I feel it’s my responsibility to try and help guide businesses towards ways of getting better quality leads that actually convert, which is why I’ve decided to come up with this blog post.
Below, you’ll find six ways to help you gain more business sales leads for your business – whatever that might be. But first…
If you’re thinking of buying your leads online, please stop right there. These are what’s known as cold leads, and when you call them up or try to engage with them, they won’t have a clue about who you are or what your business is offering.
This means that very few of them are likely to become customers, and you’ll be wasting your own time as well as theirs. As digital marketing agency Three Deep says, most of the leads you’ll get from these online business sales leads companies will, quite frankly, suck. Here’s why (from the same link):
“In most industries, online lead generation is a big business. If you start a company and prove that you are able to generate a steady stream of leads for a particular product or service, you will find a ready market willing to pay you for the leads you generate.”
This is pretty much the same across all industries, but the next point strikes a particular chord with me, and I think it will for you, too:
“Last year I was doing some research on home mortgage rates. I found a site that asked me to register to check rates in my area. Within the first 30 minutes of filling out that form I got calls from three mortgage companies. Three more called me within the first hour. I couldn’t believe I fell for my own lead generation tactics!“
So, what can you do instead? Well, here are six ways to get more business sales leads that actually convert:
It’s been proven that websites with a stronger emotional impact produce a greater intent to buy, according to researchers as Missouri University. So, next time you write a web page, a blog post, or well, anything at all, try to tap into the emotions of your audience.
Here’s what entrepreneur and avid marketer Neil Patel has to say on the matter:
“When your content drives people to a state of happiness or joy, they will automatically respond to your offers, feel obliged to share your content, and will stop at nothing to tell others about you.”
So, when you’re next writing a piece of content, you could really benefit from including one of the following (via Kissmetrics):
Give it a go – you might be surprised at the results!
In all my years publishing content, I’ve come to learn for myself that LinkedIn is one of the best places to post it. Not only was I getting plenty of great comments and feedback from contacts and groups I was posting in, I was also getting more quality leads as a result.
This is backed up by the fact that in 2014, over 80% of social media leads came from LinkedIn, making it THE top social media platform for online lead generation.
In order to get the best results from LinkedIn, my advice here is to post your most valuable, well-received content, ask questions and respond to people’s comments. Keep it engaging, and don’t be afraid to share the odd link or resource that doesn’t come directly from you.
Share your content with relevant groups, and work on gradually building up a quality list of relevant contacts who share your interests and who will interact with you.
There are plenty of ways you can maximise your marketing efforts to get more business sales leads. All it takes is a bit of time and understanding.
And okay – having a good sales team (or getting good at calls yourself) is part of it, too. For instance, did you know that 80% of sales are executed by just 8% of salespeople? That means there’s a lot of failed attempts to learn from.
The first and most important thing, however, is understanding how online leads actually work. Where are these people coming from? Knowing the process your online leads are making to get to your website in the first place will ensure you can help them more in future. In fact, it may involve a process very similar to the one I’ve talked about previously.
Next, I’d highly recommend using various tools and software to help you test, track and optimise your content and marketing efforts. There are so many tools out there you could be using, so there’s no excuse not to keep improving! They can tell you anything from who is opening and clicking on your emails, to how visitors are interacting with your website, and any roadblocks they are experiencing along the way.
All of this will help you become so much better at acquiring quality new business sales leads.
Really like the idea of using social media, but just feel like you’re not doing something right? There are plenty of great tips out there to help you!
For instance, did you know you should never send people to your home page from social? Always send them to the relevant page you’re promoting, and only promote content or pages that you know is already converting, so you can get the most out of your ad budget. Using trackable links will also be able to tell you more about where your leads are coming from.
Always remember that Twitter and Facebook are first and foremost social platforms. If all you do there is try to sell your product or service, you’re probably going to fall flat on your face. Instead, try and engage with your audience; ask questions and respond to comments.
Here are some other great tips on how to get more business sales leads from social media.
The problem with networking events is that they generally take up a lot of time, with often limited results. Well, that is, if you’re going there solely to get promising new business sales leads.
I find the problem lies within looking at networking in a very old-fashioned way. After all, we now sell online, so why should networking be limited to a conference centre or auditorium?
Instead, you should be seeing *everything* as a networking opportunity – from carefully building your contact list and interacting on LinkedIn, to hosting your own physical get-togethers or webinars, and reaching out to old contacts you just haven’t heard from in a while!
Don’t forget to put effort into your networking; take the time to read someone’s blog post, look at their bio, or bring up a shared memory from last time you spoke. Be as personal as possible, otherwise you’re just another face in the crowd.
It’s also important to think about the value you can offer someone, and do what you do for a higher purpose – not just to benefit your career. Networking with a passion can really make a difference to how others see you.
Finally, in order to obtain better quality leads that are ready to buy, to have to really know your buyer personas. Your website should be built to talk about THEM – not just about your company, products or services.
A customer-centric website will not only help you increase leads and sales, it’ll also keep customers coming back for repeat business.
So, how do you develop your buyer personas with razor-sharp precision? Well, if you’re an established business, start with your best customers. Ask them what attracted them to your company. What did they like, and what put them off?
If you don’t have any customers yet (or if you want even more valuable feedback), take a look at online reviews relating to your products and services. What are people happy about? And more importantly, what are they complaining about the most? That will tell you what to avoid.
You can even use some of these gems (including language) on your landing pages for maximum impact! That way, the people you really want to get through to will feel as if you already know them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and remember, it’s so important to put quality before quantity when acquiring new business sales leads for your company.
It’s definitely worth the time to ensure you’re getting plenty of genuine, quality leads that will actually convert into sales, so your business can grow. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time.
If you have any questions about how to get more business sales leads, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always happy to help!
Are you struggling to establish market presence for your business?
Whether you’ve been going for a while, or you just started your business a few months ago and are still finding your way, it can be tough trying to establish yourself in the marketplace. Trust me; as a digital marketer, I’m approaching by businesses experiencing this issue ALL THE TIME.
But what can you do about it? I could list strategies all day, but I know you’re busy.
That’s why I’m going to give you some tips to help you establish market presence for YOUR business, below.
In my opinion, it’s always best to go to the pros – that is, an experienced digital marketing agency. They should be able to talk to you about your business, and the buyer’s journey your customers tend to go through. They’ll also be able to devise a strategy for you based on the goals you want to achieve for your business.
But let’s go back to the buyer’s journey for a second. The first thing most agencies will say to a business looking to establish presence, is to go backwards. After all, it’s great to be able to engage with customers who are ready to buy right there and then, but unfortunately, most of the time it doesn’t work that way.
Instead, an agency will help you consider how people initially find out about you online – what do they do first? They take their search to Google, of course!
Now, I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say that all I want is for everybody who may want to use my services to know about me. However, achieving that is often easier said than done – and getting people to know you exist is only half the battle.
TIP: Here’s an exercise for you. Try typing in your products or services into Google and see if you show up. Can you see any results for your business? If not, it’s not exactly great, but it’s not the end of the end of the world, either – that’s because I’m going to give you some tips on how to fix it, below.
Your customers go through a journey when they discover they need your product or service. They’re looking for a solution to a problem, and trying to find help. Any agency will tell you that’s when you want to put yourself in front of them; when they’re about to need/buy what you’re offering. This is also known as the bottom of the sales funnel.
Think about it; when you increase your presence by selling a product, you’re increasing that presence for just one person. Even if the person didn’t necessarily buy your product, they might tell someone else. You might stick in their mind because you helped them out, and answered their biggest questions.
A reputable digital marketing agency will help you get to your customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey; not just when they’re ready to buy. They’ll do this by creating quality content that answers their questions about your product or service, from the moment they know they have a problem, right up to deciding which solution is best for them, and making a decision.
And the best place to publish this content? A blog, of course! An agency will help you match the language and phrases your customers use when they first contact you (a bit of SEO comes in handy, too!).
And remember, not everyone will be ready to buy, but the leads who are only just beginning their research are arguably just as important as the ones at the bottom of the funnel.
With the right digital marketing approach, an agency will even be able to help you grab the attention of a lead who is only just beginning their buyer’s journey, and isn’t even aware you can help them yet. You can then help nurture these leads into becoming customers with clever email marketing – something that your agency will be able to set up for you.
So, when your customers are ready to buy, who will they go to? Probably the person that helped them by giving them lots of helpful information!
In other words, they’ll go to you.
At this point, I cannot stress the importance of your email database. For instance, did you know that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter? And 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.
Any good agency will be able to help you keep your email database up-to-date, fresh and segmented as much as possible. They’ll also ensure your customers opt-in to your emails; that way, you know you’re sending them to people who actually want to hear from you.
TIP: Here are some great email automation tools I can highly recommend to get started with nurturing those all-important leads, but your chosen agency might use something very similar.
I’ve used the exact same logic to help one of our most successful customers; Superwarm. They initially started with only 1,000 visits to their website every month. And now? They’re getting 137,000! That’s 1,644,000 visits per year – and the leads and sales just keep on coming.
Because Superwarm got in there relatively early and started publishing helpful content that their customers would be searching for, no-one can catch up to them – they’ve essentially left their competition in the dust. A lot of people in Edinburgh have now heard of their brand, despite not all of them necessarily buying boilers.
Think of it this way; a homeowner reads just one blog about how to fix their faulty boiler, and it helped them. They didn’t buy a boiler, but they kept the name of the company in mind, so that later down the line, when they do need a replacement, Superwarm is the one they’ll go to. They’ll also recommend them to friends!
By now, you should have a much better understanding of how to establish market presence for your business. A digital marketing agency is your best friend, and above I’ve highlighted some of the key aspects they’ll be able to help you with.
The most important takeaway here is this: In order to get in front of the people who need your services, you have to be generating traffic from Google – and a digital marketing agency will help you with that.
The alternative is spending a fortune on ads when you don’t know are working.
So, what comes next? Well, here’s a suggestion.
I challenge you to start thinking about the different stages of the buying cycle your customers go through. Make a list of some of the questions they ask at each stage, and think about how you can answer those questions. And for the best results, contact a digital marketing agency to discuss your options, and how they might be able to help you.
Do you have any specific questions about establishing market presence that I haven’t answered above? Please let me know in the comments’ section – I promise to reply!
Does your business have huge email lists just sitting around doing nothing?
Whether you’ve been collecting the email addresses of customers, potential customers, or both, you’ve probably gathered up quite a lot of potentially valuable contacts over the years. But now they’re just stagnating in a list somewhere.
Seems a bit of a waste, doesn’t it? Especially as the average email list degrades by about 22.5% every year – perhaps even more so if you don’t keep the recipients engaged.
But wait a minute… what if I told you that you could actually get something back from that email list – like more sales and engagement?
Now, this is something I get asked about a lot, so listen up.
You should be looking at your email as your most powerful marketing asset; when times are hard, and you’re not getting enough people to your website, this is where you should be turning; to the people who have already expressed their interest.
It doesn’t cost anything to market to your email list, and with the right tools to hold their attention, they’ll stay with you – however, send them rubbish they don’t want to hear, and they’ll unsubscribe faster than you can say ‘You’ve been spammed’.
In this blog post, I’m going to use my experience as a digital marketer give you five easy ways your company can get the most out of your email list.
Often, companies buy email lists online thinking it’s a good investment, as these leads come pre-packaged with none of the effort. If you’re thinking of buying a list right now: stop.
The reason being, that the contacts you’ll find on paid-for lists likely don’t know who you are, and haven’t opted into receiving emails from you.
Not to mention, the first contact they’ll get from your company will come in the form of a spammy email – sending them something they never asked for in the first place is not the best start for a trusting relationship, is it?
In fact, if you’ve already bought a list, this is probably why your response rate is so low.
So, without further ado, let me give you some tips on building and making the most of your email list, the smart way!
So, instead of buying lists, the best way to grow your email list is organically; in other words, collecting the email addresses of people who visit your website, or have somehow expressed an interest in your products or services.
And of course, they should opt-in to receiving updates from you by entering their email address themselves, and preferably ticking the necessary box.
The first thing you need to really think about is what you’re doing with these email addresses when someone contacts you; how are you collecting them, and where are these visitors going?
If you’re only collecting emails from people who are asking for quotes, this may not be the most ideal way to build your email list, as only a small percentage of your visitors will be at that ready-to-buy stage – what happens to the rest?
To be honest, they’re probably having a look around, and then leaving.
Unless you’re able to look at Google Analytics and find out what these other people are doing on your website, they’re just a number to you. So, how do you turn these numbers into real people you can actually engage with?
Well, one of the best ways is by offering premium downloadable content and information they can access for free – all they have to do is fill in their name and email address.
Some examples would be helpful ebooks, such as:
The list goes on and on…
Now that you’re collecting your email list from various sources, you need a tool to collect and segment your lists for you automatically, so you can effectively communicate with your contacts and send them information they’ll definitely be interested in.
For instance, someone who has already bought a boiler or a conservatory from you probably won’t be interested in an email talking about the same product. Keeping your lists as personalised as possible will allow you to send the right info to the right people – hopefully at the right time!
Of course, you could segment your lists manually, but this is a very time-consuming job, and if you don’t stay on top of it, things can get messy – not ideal if most of your time is spent running a business!
Once you’ve got a nice, healthy email list that consists of people who you know actually want to hear from you, the next step is to start sending out emails!
The trick here is to stay at the forefront of their minds, by sending them helpful, engaging emails that they’ll be interested in and want to read – without spamming them with things that make them want to unsubscribe.
One of the best ways to do this is by writing a regular blog, which you can then send out to the right people as you publish, or in a weekly or monthly digest.
Your blog should ideally be updated once or twice a week with quality content that that answers the questions you no doubt hear from your best customers all the time. Without great content like this, you’ll just be doing what you’ve always done – only trying to sell products, and getting limited results.
There are so many other reasons to have a blog – it also means that your website’s traffic will increase with more people being able to find you via Google search!
If you’re thinking of offering a newsletter – especially if you have a new website – think about why someone would want to sign up. How will they benefit?
I’ve found that usually, no-one will really want to enter their email address into the magic little box if you don’t give them any reason to do so. A little line of text underneath will do so much more – for example, you could have something like:
‘Subscribe to our newsletter to receive special discounts and offers!”
You see? Especially if people are considering buying from you, they’ll definitely want to be informed if they can get your products or services for less!
Finally, don’t simply think of building your email list as something that stays strictly online. Take a notebook or your tablet with you when you go out to jobs, trade shows and exhibitions, and ask people who show an interest if they’d like to sign up.
You might be surprised how many will say ‘yes’! Especially if you tell them the kind of things you’re offering, such as brochures, ebooks and helpful content that answers that question they’ve just asked. It’s such a simple thing to do, but many companies fail to pro-actively build their lists this way.
Thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired you to do more with your business’s email lists – they’re such a useful marketing asset to have, and I’m truly saddened by how many companies simply neglect theirs, or use them to send out blanket spammy sales messages that appeal to hardly anyone.
If you have any questions about email lists and how to make the most out of yours, feel free to leave a comment below – I promise to reply with something helpful!
Are you looking for email marketing tools to help manage your business email list?
Email marketing tools make maintaining and building your email lists so easy, allowing you to separate them into different categories, and send relevant content, updates and offers to the people who will actually want to read them!
The good news is, there are so many affordable (and even free!) tools out there, however, the bad news is that you can spend all day looking at various email clients and still be none the wiser.
If you’re feeling a bit puzzled by all the different email marketing tools out there – and you don’t have time to look through them all whilst trying to run your business – don’t worry.
As a digital marketer, I’ve tested hundreds and hundreds of different email marketing tools, and so I thought I’d give you the benefit of my experience and list the best five here.
After all, it could end up saving you time and quite a few pennies!
First thing’s first; there’s no point in getting software to help you manage and engage with your email lists when you have no great content to send them!
Once you have your blog ready to go, you should be using it to answer your best customers’ questions, challenges and concerns. A good place to start is to think about some of the questions you hear from customers every day, and then answer each in a detailed blog post!
And there you have it; you’ll already have some helpful content to send to some of the people on your list!
With lots of great, easy-to-use features and integration with various apps such as WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and Google, MailChimp is a popular tool used by small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.
It’s perfect for automating email messages based on what your visitors are doing on your website, and even better, you can sign up for a free plan which allows you to send up to 12,000 emails for as many as 2,000 subscribers each month. This is great if you’re a small business and just want to try things out.
However, if you have more subscribers, or want to take advantage of all of the features this tool has to offer (such as autoresponders) then you’ll have to sign up for one of the paid plans, which start at around $10 per month.
I personally really like Autopilot HQ, as it allows you to send very personalised messages, and add people to various different lists in such an easy-to-use platform. You can also connect various apps to automate tasks and monitor your data.
Autopilot HQ allows you to track your open rate, clicks and conversions in one visually pleasing dashboard, and it takes very minimal effort to make adjustments and watch your revenue go up. Even better, there’s a free trial, so you can try it out without any risk!
Another advantage of this tool is that you won’t necessarily need landing pages, because it will collect all the data you need from your contact form – however, I’d highly recommend using dedicated landing pages to increase your conversions.
However, the one problem with Autopilot HQ is that it doesn’t allow you to send a block of emails out as soon as one of your blogs is published, whereas MailChimp does, so unfortunately you need both. It also doesn’t allow for RSS-to-email, which is a bit of a problem.
Next on our list is GetResponse, which in my opinion is the best all-rounder when it comes to email automation and just doing everything you need in one package – you can even create landing pages!
It’s also worth mentioning that they are the first email marketing service to actually help you create your own webinars, for even more engagement with your email lists – I just love the idea of this, and it looks really easy to use!
You also have slightly more to choose from in terms of pricing options compared to the likes of MailChimp, and GetResponse also comes out slightly more cost-effective.
Finally, if you want a good end-to-end enterprise solution, and can afford to spend a minimum of £6,000 per year on a marketing platform that can give you email automation, detailed reports and analytics, landing pages and various other tools, HubSpot is the solution for you.
I’ve personally been a HubSpot partner in the past, and not only is it a great platform to use, but the team are really helpful and will be on-hand to give you lots of help and advice with your marketing efforts.
TIP: If HubSpot seems a bit on the pricey side, another option is LeadSquared, which does a lot of the same things at just a fraction of the cost.
I hope you’ve found my insights useful when it comes to choosing good email marketing tools for your home services business – it’s really so important to keep your email lists engaged with great content, and these tools just make life so much easier!
If you have a question about any of the tools above, please feel free to leave a comment below, and I promise to do my best to help you out!
As a business owner before you start tinkering with your website you first must understand who your website is for. Who are you talking to? What action do you want them to take when they arrive there? Continue reading
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