Many marketers who have discovered tips or tricks about succeeding in their industry keep those secrets close to their chest. It’s understandable why they would want to preserve these secrets, whether it’s for competitive advantage, job security, or just plain selfishness. Marketers will use these strategies to help generate leads for their sales teams, watching their secret tools or methods mature over time and finding ways to improve them or get a little more out of them.
A lot of these hidden tools and tricks are around finding ways to pull in more leads to the top of your marketing funnel, whether it’s increasing social media reach, list size, or any other marketing attribute that you’re being measured by. Well it’s about time some of those secrets were let loose, so here are five hidden tricks you should be doing to make your B2B lead generation efforts more effective online.
Forgetting to include lead-capture forms is a mistake that a lot of marketers make when using social media. We frequently get caught up in the other parts of social media like “conversing” and “engaging” and “joining the conversation” that we forget to include our own motives in our work. Make sure that some of your social media updates send fans and followers to landing pages on your site and refer back to content offers that you have. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve published ten updates but haven’t linked to something that could generate leads for you, it’s the perfect time to do so.
Some marketing automation software packages can also help you track this and handle it for you. If you have other interactive tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, and Google+ messages happening, that means you are engaging your followers in a way that you need to be successful with automation.
Build a mailing list segment of people who haven’t been responsive to your last five emails to them, and then send them a special offer asking them what they’re looking for but haven’t seen. This will enable you to get very valuable feedback and advice as well as generate leads from prospects who were otherwise unresponsive. Consider this a different type of lead nurturing campaign that is customized to an unresponsive set of leads or prospects.
In a past test I administered, a re-engagement email was sent to otherwise inactive contacts that included a final offer and asked them for feedback on what they’d received so far. Almost 5% of those emailed “woke up” and became actively engaged in some way — either by responding to the question or following through on the offer. While that may not seem like a significant number, remember that these were previously inactive subscribers and were basically dead weight on the mailing list. By getting them to complete an action, they were more valuable than before, and the marketer was able to remove the other emails from the list, maintaining list health and reducing the cost of future campaigns.
This may feel like an obvious thing to be aware of, but it’s tricky. It’s all too easy to lose track of old pages and outdated offers on your website when you’re a busy marketer. Twice a year, take a quick inventory of your offers and their conversion rates, and then check pages on your site that haven’t been updated in the last six months. By getting into a regular, six month cycle of this, you will be more aware of what is succeeding or flopping on your website, and better able to turn around pages that aren’t delivering on their potential value.
Finally, hand in hand with the previous point, make sure that you are consistently examining your analytics, not just against the previous month, but also against last year’s month and the year before that, if available. Look at your growth, accomplishments, and the milestones. If business hasn’t been as strong as the past, carefully review what different segments of traffic and activity looked like in past years. Is it traffic or leads from a particular source or type of source that has decreased? This can help you better understand where you need to focus your efforts to grow again, or where your real problems lie.