The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Lead Scoring: All Leads are not Created Equal

In corporate America, where the business world is both rapidly-moving and technologically-advanced, tools to improve marketing precision and lead management are not only handy but are intrinsic to the growth and continued success of a company. Lead scoring ranks the leads in order of value by evaluating the work required to develop the lead against the profit it will potentially bring the company.

Logically a more precise, adaptable system of lead management will equal higher volume in sales which, in turn, will generate greater profit for the company as a whole.

While there are a variety of ways to score leads, a new product, designed to help identify the leads that will generate the most profit to marketing companies, is available. A write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle describes the software as a free lead scoring development matrix that operates in Microsoft Excel.

The program is called the Lead Scoring Model Designer (LSMD) and it works by employing a “system of one to five stars that are used to represent the impact of each scoring parameter on a lead's sales-readiness score. The layout organizes lead scoring parameters into three buckets that characterize demographic, behavioral, and qualification status. The 25 fields of predefined and user-entry parameters are adjustable to meet unique sales and marketing practices”.

Lead scoring models, such as this one, that are customizable and adaptable for a variety of sales techniques are foundational for business success in a modern world. Give us a ring for additional lead scoring ideas and other eMarketing strategies.
 

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Drive Customer Acquisition and Retention With Permission-Based Email

Direct marketing campaigns have undergone drastic changes over the past few years. Companies are seeking and implementing new strategies that combine brand and customer marketing in order to achieve better response rates and attract more repeat buyers. Direct mail continues to be a solid marketing technique, but many businesses have found the ability to drive customer acquisition and retention with permission-based email to be a more cost-effective and personal approach.

Basics of Permission-Based Email Marketing
Permission-based email describes promotional emails that are sent only to those who have explicitly requested to receive the information. Since permission-based email only markets to those who have specifically requested additional information, an opt-in advertising campaign will generally have a much higher open and conversion rate than unsolicited bulk email. Since these marketing campaigns are highly targeted, the response rate will normally exceed that of direct mail.

Customer Acquisition Made More Personal
The inability to communicate with customers or prospective customers in a way that is relevant and personal can cost companies millions of dollars in potential sales. Customers are the most important business assets and they should be made to feel as such. Permission-based email programs allow messages to be personalized, greeting each prospect by name. The email is expected, it is personally related to the individual and it contains content on a subject that interests the reader. These personalized messages keep customers connected to the company brand and provide an excellent communication channel to maintain and manage customer relationships.

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Incorporating Social Media Into Your Email Marketing Strategy

In the fall of 2012, CMOs who were surveyed saw social media as having the biggest impact on their email marketing strategy in the near future. This report coincides with a more recent one that placed social media as the second highest priority for email integration for 2013, falling behind mobile marketing by just one percentage point.

Online marketing is maturing to unexpected levels. There is higher demand for increased personalization thanks to social media. Likewise, email marketing campaigns continually experience greater return on investment when emails are customized to their recipients' preferences.

When combining social media and email marketing, you can achieve the highest level of personalization, second only to real-time human one-on-one communication. The challenge for any business is knowing how to convert social followers to their email marketing initiatives.

Converting Social followers to the email world:

For Facebook – add an email opt-in form on your Facebook page. Not many companies do this, so you can be a trail blazer in this area.

On Twitter – a little shameless promotion does not hurt, but of course you have to do this gracefully. You can simply ask your followers to join your email newsletter, then provide the direct link to the form. A more subtle way is to provide the opt-in form on every one of your web pages. When your followers visit your website, they can see the invitation to join your list.

LinkedIn Groups – a great way to represent your company. By creating a group in LinkedIn, you can share content and invite users to join your list.

The key to successfully carrying out a social media initiative to grow your email list is to provide incentives to your audience. Give them email teasers, have them download a free report, or invite them to a webinar. Your options are limitless.

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Don't let your sales funnel slip! Optimize your efforts now.

How do your sales and marketing teams define the sales funnel? If their views aren’t compatible and streamlined, you likely have a problem. Don’t fret though. Your team is just a few important steps away from maximizing their sales opportunities.

Develop the Most Qualified Lead

There seems to be a traditional rift between marketing and sales personnel when it comes to defining the sales funnel. It could be attributed to the number of steps required to qualify a lead or it may be due to the economic friction “generated by the need to divide the total budget.”

Ultimately, one of the biggest roadblocks to alignment is the different view each team has of the sales funnel. Therefore, it is up to the two camps to agree on what defines the most qualified lead.

There are generally four types of leads based on the level to which a customer is a good fit and interested:

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Transactional Emails: An Email Marketing Strategy that Actually Works

Email marketing strategies are a dime a dozen. The internet is filled with them. In fact, a quick Google search will reveal over 1.3 billion hits on the subject. It seems that everyone has an opinion on how to compose fool proof emails, yet somehow only a small percentage of marketing messages are actually opened and read.

An expanded view of transactional emails

Historically, transactional emails tend to have very high open rates. Order confirmations are the most common of these. Consumers open order confirmation emails to check their order’s status and to get a delivery estimate. However, it is obvious that order confirmations are not necessarily feasible or needed across all genres. In fact, any message sent to a subscriber based on a given action can be considered transactional. For example, if someone signs up for a webinar or asks to receive your weekly newsletter, you should send them a message thanking and welcoming them. This is an extremely useful opportunity and should be taken advantage of.

To make the most of the high click through rates of transactional emails, embed promotional materials directly into your response template. Amazon.com is one company that does this with a high success rate within their confirmation messages.

Another example of a transactional email is an account status update. Depending on your type of business, an account update might be a reminder of when a membership expires, an account balance, a credit limit, or a recap of their order history. However, if you include a promotional offer within this type of message, it will fall under the CAN SPAM act according to various FTC regulations. Therefore, make sure to follow proper guidelines to ensure a compliant message.

The key to remember is that no matter what type of transactional message you send, be sure to include a call to action that grabs the reader’s attention.

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