This conversation had me thinking about how much work there is for us to do when it comes to educating companies about their marketing. People are starting to learn the importance of capturing visitor information online – but when it comes time to pre-qualify leads, sales people are still so old school. Why not? If you get paid on commission, every warm lead should be followed up with, right? After all, isn’t sales just a numbers game? Wrong. The game has completely changed when it comes to marketing. Interruption marketing has expanded from commercials and direct mail. Just because a prospect fills out a form on your site, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to be spam-called until they answer. Discover the answers to your marketing questions and why you’re turning off your prospects.
But, they filled out a form – aren’t they interested?
Gauging prospect interest at every level.
Let’s just get it out there – not every prospect that fills out a form on your site is ready to buy at that moment. How do you gauge prospect interest without reaching out yourself? By creating content for prospects at every level of your funnel. Not all prospects are created equal. You have to get into the minds of your prospects and take the time to create content that does the qualifying for you.
- Top of the funnel prospects are still very cold, they may want to learn about features, understand the basics of a product or service and determine what features suit their needs.
- Middle of the funnel prospects are a little warmer. They probably understand the basics of the product or service they require, but need a little more in-depth understanding of the different benefits the product will provide.
- Bottom of the funnel prospects are ready to purchase, but need a little extra push on the final features, special incentives or differentiating the product from its competition.
It’s important to identify which level of the funnel your prospect is in prior to contacting them. A top of the funnel contact is going to see a sales call as interruptive, as they’re still conducting research.
So if I can’t call them, how will I know when they’re ready to buy?
Tailoring Appropriate content.
Your entire goal in life when it comes to your inbound efforts is to get your traffic to fill out a form. But the content that they get in exchange for their information needs to be custom tailored to their interests. Special eBook downloads are a great way to gauge prospect interest and group prospects according to their interest level. The best way to do this is to identify your target demographic and create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that best represent your target audience at every level of the funnel. Understanding your buyer personas allows you to appropriately plan and target your content around their interests. You can then create different offers for each level of your sales funnel with things like introductory guides, eBooks and promo downloads that educate your prospective buyers online in the same way that your sales team might educate them in person.
But how do I educate them further without calling them?
Automate your marketing efforts.
There’s a world of marketing that exists where you can segment your leads and send them targeted content based on their interests without ever having to pick up the phone or spam them. It’s a world that’s not reliant on timing or sales people. Marketing automation, when used properly and targeted appropriately with your content can be extremely effective for pushing your leads down the funnel. There are a number of marketing automation tools available that allow you to do this.
Be honest with yourself. Does your company’s marketing suck? Don’t be a spammer. The days of cold calling leads, buying lists, sending mass e-mails and yell-out advertising are over.
We’re on a mission to stop the spam. If you’re spamming your prospects with interruption marketing – it’s time to change the way you market.
Take the leap and switch to inbound.