According to HubSpot, only 22% of marketers are happy with their lead conversion rates. It’s no surprise that 70% of companies say it’s a top priority in the next 12 months.
Lead conversion is a challenge for many businesses but doesn’t have to be for you. You just have to follow the right strategies to convert those leads into happy paying customers.
Today we’ll cover three: content marketing, email marketing, and social media. And yes, all your followers on social media are leads.
1. Content Marketing
To convert leads into customers, understand your audience (buyer personas), where they are on their customer journey and create targeted content to move them along the sales funnel.
While we won’t cover buyer personas in this post, it’s an important consideration. By understanding their needs and the journey they take to find a solution, you can create a killer content marketing strategy.
For more information on buyer personas, read HubSpot’s article: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Every Stage of Your Business.
Now, onto the buyer’s journey and the sales funnel.
Focus on the Buyer’s Journey and Sales Funnel
It’s important to define the journey a customer follows to making a purchase and then align that to your sales funnel. The sales funnel has been around for ages. Although it differs from company to company, you can break it into three stages.:
- Top of the funnel is the awareness stage. The customer has a problem and is educating himself/herself.
- Middle of the funnel is the evaluation stage. The customer is now engaged in heavy research and is evaluating many different products.
- Bottom of the funnel is the purchase stage. The customer is seriously considering buying your product. They may need a little push.
The sales funnel will differ depending on the industry and the value of the purchase. Generally, B2B companies will need to nurture their leads more than need B2C businesses to build trust.
An example of a funnel may be: a customer visits a website for the first time, signs up to an email newsletter, signs up for a free trial version of the product, contact a sales support representative and finally, buys the product.
Regardless, from there you can create targeted content for the different stages of the funnel they are in, and with it, improve your lead conversion efforts.
Match Content Types to Different Stages of The Funnel
Below are different types of content that will work for the various stages of the funnel.
Top of The Funnel
The customer is looking for answers to a problem. Whitepaper, e-books, “how to” videos, and educational webinars will be suitable.
Middle of Funnel
Customers are closer to a purchase decision because you’ve grabbed their attention. You must determine if people are a good fit for the company and let them know if they aren’t. If you have a product that works best for restaurants, don’t market it to retail stores.
In fact, tell retailers your product isn’t for them. Why? So you keep your churn rate down. Case studies, Demo videos, FAQ pages, product webinars and blog posts are suitable. For example, you could write a blog post where you compare your product against another.
Bottom of the Funnel
Customers are ready to buy, but there’s no guarantee they’ll buy your product. Trials, live demos, and consultations are examples of bottom of the funnel content.
Beyond content marketing, you can also leverage email marketing
2. Email Marketing
If you’re using content marketing, you’re probably also building an email list. That’s good; the power of email marketing is well documented with the DMA highlighting that email has an ROI of 3800%.
Building an email list is one thing, but how do you convert these subscribers into customers? If you’re sending emails without a plan, you’ll be leaving sales on the table. Below are 7 tips to email you get the most out of your email marketing efforts:
Send Emails More Often
A study by HubSpot, cited in Co-Schedule highlighted that there was no correlation between unsubscribes, click through rates and email frequency.
The reality is, you can send way more emails than you think. In fact, the study suggests if you’re sending 5-10 email a month that you can actually send 15-20.
Focus on Providing Value
Make damn sure the content you provide is valuable. Tap into customer needs. If you’re doing a weekly round up, don’t be afraid to share content from other websites around the web; it builds trust.
Experiment With Headlines
A great headline will improve open rates and increase the chance of a conversion. A/B test two different headlines before sending them. Most email automation platforms like Aweber and MailChimp have this functionality.
The email that gets the highest open rate for a particular subject line against a specific sample of your email list is the one that gets sent to the rest of your list.
If you’re unsure about the types of headlines, experiment with questions, “how to” headlines, or statistics. And, if you’re still struggling, read OptionMonster’s Post: 164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Email Open Rates.
Experiment with Different Times
When I started building an email list for my online business, I experimented with sending emails at different times. Over time, I saw that open rates were higher for the time 08:00 EST.
Include a Call-to-Action
In each email, you should encourage your subscribers to take action. What one course of action do you want them to take? Click through to a blog post? Reply to the email? Buy a product?
Don’t be afraid to sell. How can you expect to convert leads if you don’t? Ben Settle who is a world leading email copywriter is a firm believer in selling through email. In fact, he sends daily emails, and most emails include a link to sign up to his monthly newsletter for $97/month
Put Time Limits on Offers You Sell Through Email
People are more likely to buy when you create a sense of urgency. The fear of missing out encourages the sale.
Segment Your List
By segmenting your list, you can create more targeted offerings and improve chances of a conversion. For example, you may see that some subscribers are more active than others. You could segment your email list into “inactive” or “active” or “ready to buy,” “not ready to buy.”
Your inactive list may need series of re-engagement emails to pique interest. You may also need to nurture that list and educate them more.
3. Social Media
Social media is a powerful means to market your business. But have you ever considered that your followers are also leads? With the right strategies, you can start moving your fans along the sales funnel. Here are three techniques to help:
Publish Gated Content
Create and publish content that’s only accessible when followers provide you with their email address. Once they’re on your email address, you can start marketing and selling to them. Remember the tips we listed in the previous section.
If you want to explore gated content in more detail, read Wishpond’s complete guide on how to gate content.
Include a Call to Action
Make sure your social media profiles have a call-to-action (I’m not referring to a link to your website). Here are a few ideas:
- Create a sign-up form on your Facebook business page. Aweber offers this functionality.
- Include your telephone number in your Twitter profile so that people can contact you. Nothing beats a one-on-one conversation; it’s more personal.
For further ideas, read DreamGrow’s post: 34 Call-to-Action Examples For Your Social Media Content.
Let’s focus on Facebook. After all, Facebook is the social media giant; as of June 2017, Facebook had over 2 Billion users. Think about that for a second.
With that many users, there’s a massive audience for you to tap into. And, with the organic reach of Facebook business pages decreasing, advertising is even more critical.
Use Facebook advertising to promote your posts, pages, and websites. Create targeted ads according to gender, location, interest, and qualifications. It’s ideal for promoting a lead magnet. Here are a few guidelines when creating an ad
- Follow the Facebook guidelines for creating ads.
- Accept that you will need to tweak your ad several times before you get optimal results.
- When tweaking your add change one variable e.g. age. If you change too many variables and your ad performs better, you won’t know what caused the change.
While lead conversion is a challenge for many companies, it doesn’t have to be one for you. You just need to make sure that you’re using the right conversion strategies.
In this post we highlighted three:
- how to create targeted content for the different stages of the sales funnel.
- how to use email marketing to convert subscribers.
- how to move your social media following into your sales funnel.
Use the strategies and watch your revenue grow.
What lead conversions strategies do you use?