This is the expanded version of my talk at Startup Marketing School in NYC. You can learn more about the series here.
In a world that seems to have gone social media crazy, it’s important to not lose sight of the end goal. Businesses are built to acquire new customers and generate profits. It may seem cold-hearted, but it’s the honest truth. With this in mind, let’s look at 3 tactics that can help generate more leads for your business and increase your bottom line.
The Power of Email Marketing
Email marketing works. Simple as that. It’s not glamorous and might even seem like a dinosaur to many, but people still check their emails and use them for important conversations. Being invited into one’s email inbox is a huge honor. It puts your business emails aside emails from their CEO, their clients, and their friends.
Email marketing works very well for convincing someone to actually perform an action. Although social media may be great for interacting with consumers, if you want them to actually do something email is extremely effective. It’s important to build an active list when working with email marketing. I emphasize the word active because it means making sure people are used to getting your emails and trust them.
Building influence with your emails subscribers follows the same line of thinking as building influence on social media. Your subscribers should only be used to getting emails from your business, they should want to open them and actually trust you enough to do the action outline. If you’re just getting started with email marketing, I highly recommend MailChimp for handling your email list and sending campaign. They’ve made email marketing simple, help you follow emails rules for spam, and most importantly they integrate with SocialPro. SocialPro is a system that allows you to identify who on your list has a Twitter account or Facebook account and target them with emails. It’s great for promoting giveaways or programs that have a social component. For example, imagine if you decide you need to acquire more installations of your new Facebook application. With an email marketing list, you’re able to capture new leads and convert curious readers into paying customers. Use your list wisely and add value while you lead users through your sales funnel.
Maximize Efficiency with Targeted Landing Pages
One of the most prolific mistakes in online marketing is errors in targeting. More often than not, marketers will create programs or partnerships that drive traffic to a generic landing page or their homepage. This is one of the quickest ways to run a lackluster marketing campaign. Instead, marketers should be creating targeted landing pages that remind users why they came to the page and what they should do next. These landing pages could be anything from member registration, email signup forms, or contact forms; whatever your goal for the campaign is. These pages should be extremely relevant to the users. Don’t be afraid to launch a number of landing pages and to be very granular. For example, imagine that you were going to be covered by the New York Times. You could create a landing page that the author could link to, instead of your homepage (this requires you being able to recommend a link to the author). The landing page could say something like:
We’re so excited that the New York Times wrote nice things about us. We definitely didn’t expect them to call us “one of the fastest growing startups of the year”. I’m sure you can guess, we’re definitely celebrating! Why don’t you join in too?… [Signup Form]
Relevant landing pages remind the user how they got there and include a testimonial and reason to join or perform the action. They should be simple and include no other navigation points if possible. Once you’ve setup your landing pages, the next step is to test every aspect of it. You should test the copy, the colors, the submit buttons, and even the headline. Through A+B testing you can maximize the efficiency of the landing page and reach your highest potential conversion rate.
Unbounce.com is a great system for creating landing pages and testing them. If you’re already able to make landing pages, Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer are two tools that make A+B testing easy.
Remarketing: Ads that Follow
The last strategy is called remarketing, a growing trend in the world of online advertising. remarketing or retargeting is when advertisers target users based on interactions with your brand or business. It’s not easy to master, but when done correctly is extremely effective. Google Adwords allows users to retarget consumers through their Google Display Network. It works extremely well if you have a high trafficked blog that converts users into leads, or sell products online.
The basic strategy is to use your website to attract the users you know are likely to convert into customers, then retarget them with ads if they leave your website. This helps drive relevant users to highly optimized conversion pages. It also helps build your brand and remind readers of what you offer. Retargeting is great for driving customers through the sales funnel, especially early on from fact-finding to actual sales inquiry. eCommerce shops can be creative with retargeting. For example, one great strategy is to retarget users that abandoned their shopping carts with a discount code. Retargeting allows you to save a sale, by offering an incentive to complete the order. As you can imagine retargeting is extremely powerful. It’s still relatively new, but many brands are starting to use it effectively. Next time you visit, start to pay attention to the ads that follow you, it might look a lot like your web history.
Customer acquisition is what businesses strive to maximize every day. Employing effective strategies doesn’t always mean staying on the forefront of technology. Sometimes, it’s as simple rethinking the tools already available to you. Email marketing, targeted landing pages, and remarketing are three tools that can help you effectively identify and convert new customers. What tools have you used in the past? Have you ever used remarketing? Share your experiences and strategies with customer acquisition.