Do your marketing efforts make a personal and immediate connection with your audience? Do you use a proactive approach for telling them how your business can specifically help their needs? If you feel like you should improve your campaigns but are not sure how to, take a look at these four tips to help you get started!
Speak to Your Audience.
It’s human nature to pay closer attention to something when it is more relevant to you, so why not apply this methodology to your marketing efforts? With variable data printing, you can instantly give that personal touch to your marketing pieces but having the recipient’s name, address, and a variety of additional information included in your messaging. Think bigger and incorporate Augmented Reality, QR codes or NFC in as well. This will help you stand out from the many marketing messages they may receive each day.
Address Specific Needs.
The next time you create your next marketing campaign, avoid the generic “About Us” path, and focus more on the recipient. Ask yourself, “What are their needs, what would appeal to them, what would they request information on if they were to call my business?” For instance, if you created athletic uniforms for schools, a great summer campaign would be a back-to-school-themed campaign featuring fall sports. Take advantage of the information you already have about your audience and blow them away with your proactive approach to how you can help them.
What happens when you receive a promotion and the majority of the promoted products and services do not apply to you? You discard it and usually ignore future promotions that are similar to that one. You must remember that your customers may use your products and services differently than other audiences. Create audience-specific campaigns by promoting the top three services that each of your audiences would utilize the most. You want your audience to see what they need right away and be able to take advantage of the promotion that is being showcased in the marketing piece. Avoid making them look for what they need, be the expert by presenting the best tools for them from the start.
Optimize Delivery Time.
Each industry operates differently throughout the year. For example, retail stores may be extremely busy during the fall yet incredibly slow during the winter. Universities may focus its marketing efforts to potential students in the spring, but then focuses on alumni funding in the fall. If you develop campaigns around these audience-specific cycles and trends, you may be the perfect solution to your audiences’ needs during the time they need you most.
By using these tactics, your marketing efforts will grab your audiences’ attention because of its targeted messaging and strategic delivery time. Be sure to always stay engaged with your customers’ timely needs so you will always remain relevant to them.
For assistance with your next marketing campaign, let’s connect! Me and my team would love to consult with you and help you deliver an effective message to your audience. Learn more here. From on-site consultations to complete marketing plans, we’re ready to help your business succeed!
Sometimes the usual phone call or email is just the complete wrong way to follow-up with leads. While tempting, keep in mind that you may catch them at a bad time, lead them to feeling like they’re “being sold,” or have them ask you to stop attempting altogether. How can you spark action and interest into that lead without a hard sell? Simple! Here are 9 types of information you can send to your leads to keep their attention:
Webinars are a convenient way of educating a large audience with minimal costs associated. What is also great about them is that they can be recorded! If you’re going to deliver a great presentation that highlights your expertise, make the most of it by saving the recording and using it as a sales tool for future leads and inquiries.
Recorded Sales Demonstrations
In sales, you may come across a situation where you have to deliver multiple demos for the same company before you can close the deal. While every point of contact is an opportunity to get closer to the lead, make sure they don’t forget you (and can show you off to colleagues) by sending them a recorded demo. That way, they can refer back to it at their convenience and never forget the greatest parts of your software. For example, check out our drag-and-drop demo for our mobile website builder, iFlyMobi!
Digital Company Brochures
If you have a fantastic printed brochure, turn the original PDF file of it into an electronic sales tool! It’s a great way to sum up all of your company’s benefits and services into one well-designed package, and your leads can then save it on their desktop. Be sure to share this via a software that handles electronic fulfullment so that you have a history record of sending it.
Educate your audience with an enticing eBook that includes interesting facts about your audience’s pain points, and the solutions to those problems. You can subtly promote your services and products within them, but have this eBook act as a reminder to all that you’re the answer to their problems. Take a look at our eBook, “Guide to Selling Marketing Services” for inspiration.
Position yourself as the expert by giving tips, best practices, and a summary of services in 1-2 minute video clips. Send this along to your prospects as a conversation starter, and let them get to know you through creative videos.
If you have team members who are fantastic speakers, podcasts may be the best approach to take when trying to capture their knowledge. You can get away with longer podcast sessions as opposed to videos because the listener can listen in the car, at their desk over lunch, or on their morning run. Invite educational guests and keep folks coming back monthly for more knowledge!
If you have a great graphic design team, and some captivating statistics, highlight both of these resources in an infographic (like this one). They’re interesting, fun to look at, and share-worthy. You can share information about the industries your target audiences are in, how you have increased success for clients, or how you’re keeping up with new technologies.
Service and Product Sell Sheets
Perhaps your leads don’t need the entire brochure, all they may want is a one-pager that goes over key benefits of one service or product they may be interested in. Think real estate; they’ve mastered the 1 page sell. What’s great about having electronic sales sheets of your various offerings is that you can send a mixture of them depending on what your lead needs, and not clutter up their mind with too many ancillary services that don’t suit them.
This sales tool is beneficial for two big reasons. If you deliver a survey with weighted questions, you can customize the end results of what the survey would say based on the lead’s answers. It also helps you qualify the lead in finding out what type of offerings would best fit their needs.
The bottom line?
The sales process doesn’t always have to be direct. Take more of an inbound marketing approach and let them come to you. Sometimes the best way to keep the conversation going is to send educational and informative materials that will captivate your leads and get them excited about what you have to say so when they are ready, they come to the expert first (pssst…that’ll be you!)
Need a reminder of these great tips? Print this handy cheat sheet:
Marketing is the most important task you’ll do for your business, so the software you use needs to be up to the job.
Your marketing software should be able to automate key processes, while remaining user-friendly enough for your team to learn and use effectively.
The right software saves you time and helps increase your revenue, but the wrong software will just drain your time and cause frustration.
Here are some key things to consider if you’re looking for new software:
Make a List of What You Need
Before you begin shopping, take the time to examine your current marketing processes and requirements. Think about what processes are already covered by your current setup, and what you really need your software to do for you.
If all you need is an easy way to set up email campaigns, then you may be able to go with a far less expensive option than a full marketing automation package. If, on the other hand, your company is fairly tech-savvy, and you need a better way to handle lead acquisition, analytics, and other tasks, then you’ll want to look for a package that can do what you need it to.
Know What Your Potential Software Can Do
Here are a few key features to look for when you start shopping for marketing software:
- E-mail campaigns: This feature comes in a range of capabilities, from creating lists and automating distribution, to targeting groups of customers with different messages. A good program will also have delivery methods in place to avoid spam filters.
- Landing pages: A quality software package will let you build and edit landing pages with ease, and perform A/B testing without a lot of fuss.
- Website analytics tools: Some programs have powerful activity tracking capabilities, able to send a notification to a sales rep when a known customer or prospect visits the website.
- Lead scoring: Using the lead’s activities on the website, some software programs can calculate his readiness to buy — and assign a corresponding score.
Decide Which Features are Must-Haves
Now that you’ve come up with a list of features you’d like your software to have, it’s time to score those features on the basis of importance.
Unless you’re looking for just a couple of key features, it’s unlikely you’ll find a program that covers everything you’re looking for. Even if it does have all of the features on your list, some of those may not be as robust as you’d like.
By scoring the features now, you’ll know which ones the program absolutely must have in order for you to consider it, and which features would be nice but aren’t deal-breakers.
With your list of required features, you can better evaluate a potential software program.
Find all of the software packages that include your must-have features, then evaluate them based on ease of use and inclusion of some of your less-critical features.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three possible programs, you can ask the vendors for demonstrations and trial periods. Make sure your sales staff is involved in the trial phase — you want to make sure any software program you purchase will be easy for everyone to use.
Before making your final decision, be sure to ask for references to make sure the software you’re looking at has a good track record.
While you’re shopping, be sure to check out interlinkONE’s software solution
About the Author: Angie Mansfield writes on a variety of business and consumer topics, including intelius removal.
Taking stock of your fulfillment company is an important part of achieving and maintaining success. You rely on your fulfillment company to fill orders, and to do so with a high degree of speed and accuracy. Even if things seem to be going well, it’s always a good idea to take some time to assess your fulfillment company and make certain that it’s the right “fit” for your needs.
Head Back to School
Well, not really. But if you remember back to business classes, your instructor likely had you do at least one quasi-SWOT analysis. Need a refresher? SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities. And a great way to evaluate your fulfillment company would be to look at the strengths and weaknesses. We’ll call it a SW analysis.
Working on an in-depth SW analysis of your fulfillment company requires you to dig deep. This isn’t the time for listing superficial issues or problems. This is when you really get to the nitty-gritty of what’s working and what’s not. What strengths your fulfillment company consistently displays, such as efficiencies within their systems and what weaknesses (such as order inaccuracies) have popped up on your radar.
Don’t forget to do some basic research. Things may have easily changed over the time you have been working with your fulfillment company. Look for customer testimonials. Search for reviews or forum threads that may dish on your fulfillment company. If a former customer is not happy, you may want to know why, so that you can try to prevent any similar issues occurring for you.
If you have never physically evaluated the facility, or it’s been a long time, then you should take a tour. This isn’t time for a white glove test. It’s not about being squeaky clean, but you most definitely want an orderly and organized warehouse for your materials. You want to know that it’s OSHA compliant. That safety is taken seriously and policies are in place. You also want a secure location and a warehouse that has security in place to deter theft. You want to know what your fulfillment company is doing to protect your inventory.
Check the Data
You should have metrics in place. If you don’t, you need to put them in place now, though it’s hard to make a true assessment of how things are going if you haven’t been tracking anything.
Look at costs. Have any costs been reduced since working with your fulfillment company? Is your fulfillment company working towards reducing costs? Have they identified ways to reduce costs and made it clear to you what needs to happen in order to achieve those numbers?
Your fulfillment company should have a clear organizational structure and should be set up to optimize the ROI on everything from employees to inventory to fulfillment software.
Here are some measurements and information you should ask your fulfillment company for:
- Delivery / distribution speed (broken down at points such as picking, packing, shipping)
- Number of errors per day (in order fulfillment process)
- Length of time inventory sits
- How often inventory is tracked / updated
- Who is accountable for data, and how is accuracy of data confirmed
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Would You Like Fries With That?
Everyone knows that fast food chains are notorious for upselling when a customer places a food order. Sure, you were only there to pick up a soda, but those fries sound pretty tasty. And hey, it’s easy to say “Yes.” The point is, your fulfillment company should have value-added services they can offer you. And they should make you aware of them, whether you need them or not.
Imagine working with your fulfillment center for a couple of years and not knowing that they have additional services that would have made your working relationship easier or more advantageous for you. Something like this would make you question whether your fulfillment company has your best interests in mind. They should always be thinking about ways to make your working relationship better and more advantageous on both ends. And leaving out important information like other services they could offer you is a huge oversight.
Pull Out a Scorecard
Scoring your fulfillment company may sound hokey, but it’s not. When you assess your fulfillment company and look over the strength and weaknesses of that company, keep score. It can be as simple as a range of 1-10, and then developing 5 to 10 key components of your relationship and their ability to provide accurate and on-time fulfillment. As you score each component, you may have a little light bulb going off over your head. Maybe things haven’t been going as smoothly as you thought. Or maybe things aren’t as bad as you imagined. It’s easy for one or two situations (especially bad ones) to really cloud your vision.
At the very least, you should score your fulfillment company in the areas of customer service, inventory management and tracking, warehousing and shipping. But you may want to drill it down to more specific components in order to better see where the issues (if any) are.
Keeping score and then coming up with the overall tally can paint the big picture for you. If your fulfillment company is hitting mid-range scores on every key component then you really need to decide if mediocre work is going to cut it. In fact, as you create your scorecard, you should determine an overall score that will mean it’s time for some major changes, time for a meeting of the minds or time for a big high five for all involved. In the end you want to feel 100% confident that you are getting what you are paying for and that you’re not paying for more than you actually need.