4 Ways to Use Influencer Marketing for Faster Fresh Leads Creation

4 Ways to Use Influencer Marketing for Faster Fresh Leads Creation

 

It sometimes pays to stand on the shoulders of giants to extend your marketing messages’ reach and impact. That’s why influencer marketing is an ideal strategy for speeding up fresh leads creation and conversion. Influencers can help you connect with a larger audience or reach deeper levels of engagement which you’d most likely have a hard time achieving on your own.

It’s quite clear that influencer marketing works. There’s a ton of research that show leveraging the power of influencers does make a huge difference across marketing activities. Social influencers, for example, have been shown to boost traffic by up to 6 times and improve conversions by more than 100%. As a result, around 75% of marketers swear by influencer marketing when it comes to fresh leads creation and building customer loyalty.

In a nutshell, influencer marketing focuses on reaching out to people that your target marketing audience trusts and pays attention to. It starts with identifying the most relevant personalities in your industry or niche. Then, you should narrow down the types of influencers to target (e.g., thought leaders, industry insiders, celebrities, etc.), so that the help you’re getting aligns with your lead generation goals. Lastly, you need to have something to offer in exchange for influencers’ favor. Although most influencer outreach tactics won’t cost you a dime, you do need to let influencers know there’s something in it for them, too.

Once you have all the basics nailed down, here are four ways to leverage influencer marketing to generate and convert more leads:

 

  1. Build a community of influencers

The more influencers you bring together as part of your network, the better the reach and impact of your outreach efforts potentially become. Having an entire community of influencers to work with means better visibility and deeper engagement, even if a particular influencer has a relatively smaller audience size or a narrower focus.

Maintaining an extensive network of influencers also means you’ll be able to mix and match different influencer types to find the best combination that works for you. Think of it as diversifying your portfolio of influencer marketing assets, so that you won’t end up putting all your fresh leads creation eggs in one basket.

 

  1. Tailor content aimed at your influencers

In B2B content marketing, the classic content strategy is to put out informative, actionable content assets mapped to the target buyers’ pain points and stage in the purchase cycle. But content intended for B2B audiences typically doesn’t always match what influencers are looking for.

That’s why it’s also important for you to create content not only for your target decision-makers but for the influencers you want to reach out to as well. Influencers actively share content they find useful with their network. Just one well-placed mention from an influencer can take your fresh leads creation efforts to a whole new level.

 

  1. Make it about sharing and shareability

Speaking of sharing, one crucial area in influencer marketing is shareable content. As we’ve seen above, if you’re able to produce content that resonates with an influencer, then there’s a strong chance that particular influencer will feel compelled to share it. It’s crucial that you publish not only outstanding content but irresistibly shareable pieces as well.

They say that sharing is the currency of engagement in influencer marketing, so you also need to develop a “culture of sharing”. You need to encourage content sharing both internally within your organization and externally among your followers and customers.

 

  1. Collaborate with your influencers

One way to make your outreach mutually beneficial to you and your target influencers is through exploring opportunities for collaboration. Remember that part about offering something of value in exchange for your influencer’s help? Working together in a campaign or project can sometimes be enough to bring an interested influencer into your fold.

There are lots of strategies to do this: ask your influencer’s inputs for a blog post that rounds up expert advice on a topic, interview an influencer as a guest on a podcast episode, or let your influencer co-host a webinar on your site.

Cultivating relationships with influencers can help accelerate your fresh leads creation activities, but it doesn’t mean results are going to improve overnight. Influencer marketing takes time. But, with the right approach, the time you spend is going to be worth it.

How to Launch Opt-in Campaigns with Marketing Managers Email Lists

How to Launch Opt-in Campaigns with Marketing Managers Email ListsCarrying out campaigns with marketing managers email lists can be a difficult feat to accomplish. For one thing, marketing managers are constantly being bombarded with content, promotions, and offers that catching their attention even for a split second is almost impossible. They’re also intimately familiar with the bag of tricks their fellow marketers use that it’s going to take a pretty unique and compelling material just to register as a blip on their radar.

And these obstacles can turn into roadblocks when you’re working with marketing managers email lists that contain contacts acquired through implicit opt-in. Marketo says an implicit single opt-in happens when someone submits their contact details on a website or to an individual (typically in order to download content or to register for an event) and the info gets stored in a database without the contact’s express consent.

Implicit opt-in is a favorite tactic among B2B marketers because it lets them grow email lists quickly, although this approach doesn’t come without its drawbacks. If a subscriber doesn’t realize or remember opting into your email marketing list, the contact has every right to mark your emails as spam. Once those spam complaints start piling up, you run the risk of ending up on an ISP’s blacklist. That’s why, in a previous entry on collecting email contacts at tradeshows, we emphasize the need to verify every prospect’s permission.

That’s because not everyone who provides their email address to download your whitepaper wants to receive your email newsletters and promotions. Similarly, not all event attendees who hand you their business card are looking forward to starting an email correspondence. In fact, only a small percentage of contacts in a single opt-in list will actually want to remain as subscribers. The challenge then is finding out which contacts are really interested.

One effective solution is to launch an email opt-in (or re-opt-in) campaign. An opt-in campaign gives contacts in an existing email list a chance to confirm their subscription. It’s a way to remove uninterested (and most likely unfit) contacts from your marketing managers email lists, while retaining those subscribers who unequivocally gave you their permission. The end result will be a smaller but more relevant list of email contacts.

Running an opt-in campaign, however, goes beyond simply sending out subscription confirmation emails. It requires a great deal of planning and preparation, and usually follows the below steps:

 

  1. Do a thorough data scrub

As with any other email marketing initiative, opt-in campaigns require accurate and clean lists. So, before proceeding any further, you need to do a thorough data scrub on your marketing managers email lists for best results.

Find a good database scrubber and run it on your list a couple of times. You don’t want hard bounces and invalid emails dragging deliverability down.

 

  1. Prepare and polish your free offer

Whitepapers and case studies still remain the most effective offers for attracting and converting new subscribers. In fact, a DemandGen survey finds that among B2B buyers, 8% consult whitepapers, 73% request case studies, and 67% attend webinars.

Your free offer answers the question every potential subscriber asks herself: “What’s in it for me?” So, you need to make it convincing. Make sure that your offer isn’t only something that contacts will be interested in but is also content that prospects can benefit from.

 

  1. Create an opt-in confirmation email

Now, it’s time for you to put your thinking cap on and start writing the opt-in confirmation email. The main goal behind opt-in confirmation is to determine whether or not contacts really want to be part of your marketing managers email lists.

Leverage your free offer (see #2) to give your target contacts a good reason to sign up. Instead of directly asking recipients to confirm their subscription, gauge their interest first by delivering your free offer.

 

  1. Build the landing page

The offer’s landing page is where the first part of the opt-in process happens. The landing page signup form should ask contacts to enter their first name, last name, and email address—nothing more. Keep in mind that, in general, the more fields you put on a landing page, the lower the conversion rate.

In order for contacts to explicitly opt in, the landing page should include a checkbox that reads “I want to receive news and updates” (or something like that). In some countries, it’s mandatory to leave this checkbox unchecked by default.

 

  1. Re-confirm their opt-in with a thank you email

After a contact submits the form and confirms her subscription, the contact is directed to a thank you page that indicates that a thank you email has been sent to the given email address.

The thank you email includes a link or a button that the contact needs to click in order to confirm her subscription. Contacts who do so should remain on your marketing managers email lists, while those who don’t should be removed.

We’ve just outlined the basic steps of a double opt-in process. When done right, double opt-ins lead to a more accurate and more compliant email contact list. But more importantly, this process helps purge your list of uninterested contacts, keeping only those who’ll engage with your future campaigns.

The 5 Cases Where It’s Okay to Buy a B2B Contact Database

buy b2b contact databaseIf you go around asking whether to buy a B2B contact database, chances are you’d soon end up being chastised for simply just thinking about it. This is a little unfortunate, since a bought list sometimes makes more business sense. In fact, there are specific cases where buying a list can potentially bring you better results than taking the organic route.

The main reason why a lot of marketers advise against buying B2B contact databases is that people tend to use purchased lists for spamming contacts. While this is a valid point, the truth is that it still boils down to how you use a bought list that determines whether you’re engaging in spammy activities. So with that aside, here are five situations where it’s really okay for you to buy a B2B contact list:

 

Case 1:  Your solution solves a real pain point.

Early-stage investor and serial entrepreneur Jason Lemkin raises this very interesting idea. If you can solve a real pain point, outbound marketing will always work for you.

The same can be said about using a bought prospect list in your campaigns. When your solution fixes an urgent issue or fulfills a pressing need that your target buyers are experiencing right now, why wait for leads to naturally start trickling into your funnel? Why not reach out to them and deliver value right away?

 

Case 2:  You’ve clearly identified your target prospects.

In an eye-opening post, creative strategist Jake Jorgovan shares the story behind his cold email campaign that landed him a consulting project with a bunch of new customers including some Fortune 500 clients.

Among the key points he mentions is that he was only able to build a cold email list after knowing exactly who the target audience was. So, instead of sending generic templates, he came up with relevant, compelling email messages that cold prospects were interested in.

 

Case 3:  You’re targeting a high-turnover industry.

It’s no secret that marketing data has an expiration date. MarketingSherpa places the average rate of database decay at about 2.1% per month or around 22.5% each year. For some industries, this can reach as high as 6.1% every month.

So if you’re targeting decision-makers in an industry where people tend to change job titles or move to new locations relatively frequently, one way to keep up is through using bought contact databases from a reputable list vendor.

 

Case 4:  You don’t have the resources to build a list at scale.

Aside from the time investment required to help your B2B list reach critical mass, organically growing your database also needs tons of effort and the right kind of expertise.

That’s why, if you’re unable to make all these necessary commitments, buying a contact list is a more viable option. What you’re paying for when you buy B2B contact database goes beyond list records. You’re putting resources where they’re needed the most.

 

Case 5:  You’re expected to deliver results in the near-term.

Let’s say your revenue goal for this quarter is $300,000, the average deal size is $10,000, and your sales cycle is around two weeks. That means you need to close 30 deals. At a close rate of 5%, you need to generate at least 600 new leads by the first half of the quarter to reach your targets.

While we’ve played around with figures in our hypothetical scenario above, the main point is that hitting sales targets is still pretty much a numbers game. In most industries, B2B conversion rates (lead-to-opportunity and opportunity-to-close rates) simply aren’t in your favor, so you need to start out with a large number of relevant prospects to get any meaningful results further down the funnel.

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, then by all means start looking for a trusted list vendor right now. Don’t pay too much attention to people who think they know what’s good for your campaign. Instead, let your solution, audience, industry, capabilities, and objectives decide whether you should buy a B2B contact database.

Is Your B2B Contact Leads Database Ready for the AI Revolution?

Is Your B2B Contact/Leads Database Ready for the AI RevolutionOne of the main takeaways from Salesforce’s 2017 STATE of MARKETING report  is that investments in AI has outpaced spending in other marketing tech areas. B2B marketers are adopting AI technologies ranging from predictive lead scoring to chatbots in droves. But before you get caught up in the hype, there’s one thing you need to nail down before you start applying AI into your marketing processes: Is your B2B contact leads database ready for AI at all?

To answer this, we first need to separate the reality and the publicity behind AI’s capabilities in B2B marketing today. MarTech Advisor points to four key areas where B2B marketers can realistically expect AI to lend them a helping hand:

  • Scoring and ranking leads.
  • Segmentation and content personalization
  • Discovering and implementing Marketing automation strategies
  • Sales enablement and acceleration

At its present development stage, the best that AI technology can do is allow you to carry out the tasks in each of the above activities more efficiently. While some aspects of AI can uncover prospect behavior invisible to the unaided human B2B marketer, the reality is that AI remains just a tool, and tools are only as effective as the persons and processes using them.

So if you think AI has a place in your marketing toolkit, you first need to take a good look at your B2B contact leads database.

Like everything else in marketing, AI depends on good data. The data currently sitting in your CRM and datasets you’re about to collect need to meet some basic requirements before starting AI-enabled campaigns. In an interesting video series, Brandon Rohrer at Microsoft Azzure thinks of data science and AI as a lot like making pizza: the better the ingredients (your data), the better the final product (marketing insights).

There are four qualities that any dataset must satisfy to be ready for AI and data science:

  1. Relevant: Do the fields and records in your B2B contact leads database help you answer the questions you’re exploring? For example, which lead attributes in your CRM influence the likelihood that a prospect turns into a customer within the next quarter?
  2. Accurate: How reliable are the models/profiles generated from your marketing database? Do the records contain incorrect, outdated, redundant, or invalid entries?
  3. Connected: Are there significant gaps in your marketing data? What percentage of records contain empty fields?
  4. Sufficient: Do you have enough records to build robust AI models?

While each of the above criteria is important, we need to carefully consider sufficiency. AI requires data–lots of data. The algorithms that power most AI applications run on vast amounts of examples in their training set. In general, the more examples you use to train an AI algorithm, the more accurate the resulting model gets.

So before you think about applying AI in marketing, you first have to bring your contact leads database up to snuff.  Use the previous ideas as your guidelines and maximize the power of artificial intelligence.

Run These 6 Data Hygiene Checks On Your B2B Email Lists Before Your Next Campaign

Run These 6 Data Hygiene Checks On Your B2B Email Lists Before Your Next Campaign

Whether it’s B2C or B2B, email marketing has always been an excellent approach to nurture prospects, convert sales-ready leads, and solicit repeat and referral business. However, in order to be effective, your contact list requires a solid foundation. And whether you’re employing bought or home-grown data, doing hygiene checks on your email lists is crucial to boosting your ROI.

So what does it mean to run a data hygiene check on your B2B email lists?

Your contact database is brimming with data and insights into your potential clientele. However, if that data contains errors and inaccuracies, your sales and marketing initiatives are going to bear the brunt of the nasty side effects of having bad data on your list. Routinely running data hygiene checks guarantees that every piece of information in your contact database is as reliable and actionable as possible. Having meticulously-maintained and robust data is critical for running targeted and effective email marketing campaigns.

The following are the common types of dirty data that might be lurking in your B2B email lists.

  • Inaccurate data – These are those records that have typographical errors.
  • Duplications — These are separate records belonging to the same contact.
  • Dead accounts — These are those email addresses that were once actively used by their owners but have now become inactive.
  • Spam traps – These are those email addresses that are in circulation to help single out spammers who add addresses to their email lists without consent. They often find their way into authentic email lists.

To remove these kinds of data from your B2B email lists, you need to run these six crucial steps in maintaining good data hygiene:

  1. Data Scrubbing – This refers to finding and handling data entry and basic parsing errors.
  2. De-duplication and Records Matching – This refers to detecting and removing duplicate records as well as combining records incorrectly classified as separate.
  3. Recovering/Appending Missing Data & Values – This refers to managing records with incomplete data by using an intelligent algorithm.
  4. Data Migration & Merging – This refers to migrating or integrating a marketing database into another format or storage.
  5. Standardization & Normalization – This refers to checking the consistency and comparability of various pieces of data in the database.
  6. Data Verification – This refers to validating and verifying information on the database through phone, email, and online research.

Know that dirty data is something that you can absolutely do without. They can give you a bad rep by damaging your sender score and it could get a lot worst with your IP getting blocked or being blacklisted by your email provider. That’s why doing data hygiene checks routinely should be a part of your campaign process. It’s a good push toward reducing bounce rates and improving email deliverability and conversion rates.

3 Reasons Why Savvy B2B Marketers Do Email Marketing With Purchased Contact Lists

Why Savvy B2B Marketers Do Email Marketing With Purchased Contact Lists

When handled correctly, you can take advantage of purchased contact lists to its full potential. That is why savvy B2B marketers include purchased contact lists in their must-haves especially when running email marketing campaigns. Here are three reasons why they just love to do so.

  1. It lets you kick-start your email campaign right away.
    Inbound marketing has its share of boon and bane. Sure. It’s a potent marketing technique that you should have. However, you can’t deny the fact that it takes a considerable amount of time. Time is precious so why be solely dependent on a strategy that eats it up? Fortunately, getting hold of purchased contact lists eradicates this as it gives you the upper hand in your lead generation.
  1. It fills your sales funnel right there and then and expands your contact database overnight.
    When you depend on inbound approaches alone, Your marketing team isn’t the only one that will bear the brunt. It can become an obstacle for your business growth as numbers tank and sales become sluggish. If that’s not a nightmare scenario for you, I don’t know what is. But if push comes to shove and you opt to send emails using purchased contact lists, filling up that funnel is easily within your reach. In other words, with a bought contact list, you can expedite sales-ready leads for conversion.
    Aside from virtually letting you expand your database overnight, using purchased contact lists in your email marketing basically opens up new horizons for you and put you in front of boundless business opportunities. So whenever you need a push in your lead generation efforts, don’t hesitate to make a purchase!
  1. You can use it to convert cold contact into warm leads.
    Some of you might be thinking that emailing to purchased contact lists is a little risky since the contacts haven’t opted in. But of course! They haven’t opted. Yet! Using these contact lists in your B2B email marketing enables you to convert cold contacts to warm, consent-based leads. You can, therefore, make these leads part of your sales and marketing campaigns. After this, it’ll be all about employing lead nurturing strategies and conversion.

In the right hands, purchased contact lists are great tools for building and growing the sales pipeline. That’s why savvy marketers use bought email lists because: it frees up their time to focus on more important things; it lets them fill up their funnel with ready-to-contact prospects practically overnight; and finally, it allows them to nurture and convert the right kind of leads. So, go find a B2B contact list provider that gives you more bang for your buck. Look for a vendor that manually verifies each list record, so that your email campaigns get better deliverability, response, and conversions.

Sending To Your Bought B2B Contact List Like A Boss

 

Sending To Your Bought B2B Contact List Like A Boss

Developing your B2B contact database in a short amount of time or even overnight isn’t so impossible! How? You can’t go wrong in buying a B2B contact list!

However, some  business owners are reluctant to use bought data. They view sending to a contact list as risky. But that should not be the matter in question. It’s how to send to a bought contact list securely. Some of those horror stories you have heard about using bought contact list in B2B marketing might have been true but what you don’t know is that some of those marketers who recounted those stories actually doesn’t know how to manage their bought contact list.

So really? How do you send to a B2B contact list securely?

The first thing you need to be aware of when sending to a bought contact list is that you shouldn’t opt for a customary ESP or marketing automation software for the gun start. They’re not cut out to deal with the information and you may wind up with your account suspended.

Bought contact list calls for a special software devoted to outbound email lead generation. It’s particularly fashioned to send to bought contact lists and converting cold contacts into warm, opted-in leads. With a good software settled, you’re good to go with a bought B2B contact list.

But of course, you’ll also want to have a look on your B2B contact list’s cleanliness too. Indeed, even the best bunch of contact lists can have a couple of rotten ones mixed. By cleansing your data and employing hygiene checks, you can get rid of duplicates, errors and possible spam traps, guaranteeing an utmost deliverability. This is critical in keeping up your sender score.

Once your B2B contact is prepared, you’ll need to campaign for the opt in. How can you send to a bought contact list and get consent for further email nurturing?

More or less, you have to connect with an important offer. Customize your email, keep it brief and straightforward, yet conversational. Address a pain point and present a practical solution and an obvious call-to-action. This will motivate click-throughs.

Also, ensure that your landing page is coherent with your offer. Do not lure them and switch! If you promised a demo, present. This and an accompanying opt-in form that catches significant data and enables you to obtain more understanding into your new lead. It’s a win-win for everybody!

When you have the opt-in, you can include the new lead to your consent-based nurturing efforts. Or,in the event that they’re scorching hot and sales ready, you can simplify the procedure and pass them to sales!

B2B Prospecting: The Key To Getting More Sales From Your Sales Leads Database

B2B Prospecting: The Key To Getting More Sales From Your Sales Leads Database

If you have a sales leads database and still wondering why you’re not seeing that sales figures, that might be because you have fallen short in prospecting. It’s a common knowledge that there are a lot of ways to do this like employing cold calling and email marketing. So why persist in prospecting? Isn’t having a product and/or service already does the work of getting that B2B prospects in front of you? Sorry for bursting your bubble but no. It was and will never be that simple.

Being a trailblazer in your field doesn’t guarantee an easy sell. In most cases, people will not just come up to you and say “I want to buy your product and/or service” or “I want us to do business”. You see, it takes prospects to make sales! You’re nowhere close to getting that business deal without B2B prospects. So time to raid that contact lists and begin calling!

Why do I need to call?

It’s a fact that you’re calling for yourself. Of course! You want a sale. Nevertheless, merely speaking up to people on the phone wouldn’t get you a sale. When you pick up the phone and dial a contact what you should aim is setting appointments! Why? Since you’re still in the prospecting phase of your campaign! At best, appointments equal prospects, and prospects can turn into sales.

How about sending emails instead?

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s over the phone or electronic mail as long as you’re able to set appointments with your target people. Appointments are the real deal since it puts you in the hot seat. It’s what brings you the “audience” you require in order to present your products and services. Just keep in mind that if you’re considering to exploit email as your prospecting tool, do not do email marketing in the manner that you’re doing cold calling.

As already said, forget about the sales you want if you wouldn’t even do prospecting. You should have an “audience” and it’s necessary to get your point across them. If they’re smitten, then you can now guide them through the sales cycle and if everything goes well, you’ll get sale as the end result.

So hit the phone and shoot your email. Start prospecting now if you want to get the best out of your sales leads database!

Give Your E-mail List TLC With These 3 Management Tips

Give Your E-mail List TLC With These 3 Management Tips

Email list is one of the food that fuels every marketing efforts (particularly email marketing campaigns) and therefore, is very important to all marketers out there. Let’s take a look at these 4 e-mail list management tips that will keep your list scoured and ultimately, prompt a healthy produce of streamlined leads into your funnel.

Keep It Clean

A clean database stems excellent email deliverability and ROI. Consider this, research shows that B2B data decays at a rate of 2.1% per month. This is an annualized rate of 22.5%. (Marketing Sherpas). So whether you utilize an organic or bought email list, get into a data cleansing arrangement to guarantee deliverability and CAN-SPAM consistence. Correspondingly, not all ESPs cater list management or cleansing services, so you’ll be needing a software a third party service provider that can do that.

Deliver the Right Message

Consider your day to day interactions. Do you make a similar discussion with your mail carrier like you do with your family? Obviously not! They’re distinctive individuals, and the profundity of their relationship to you differs definitely. Email marketing is the same. If you want to make an on-point discussion, you need to segment your list and focused your message as per well-researched buyer profiles.

Lose the Dead Weight

Drop the hard bounces. They’ll be hurting your sender reputation. The same goes with inactive contacts or opt-outs. For some reason, they’ve decided to stop engaging or plainly cut ties with you. But you can try reaching out to them for a one last push just in case you can still do something to save these contacts. Confirm if its really the end of the line. Ask them if your content is something they’d still be interested in. If there is no saving them, then move on. In this case, it also do you well as it can assure you a targeted, CAN-SPAM conforming, list.

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Invalid Email Addresses

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Invalid Email Addresses

“What would happen when a customer registers an invalid email address into the marketer’s online registration, contact form or subscription page?”

Clients were asked  about the rate of their typo errors and their replies were mostly “If it bounces back, my ESP filters it out and removes it from my list. It’s not much of a struggle.” But truth be told, it is a struggle and is far more complex. It ought to concern any know-how email marketer.

Businesses ought to monitor the emails they procure. Customer emails are generally the life of their marketing efforts. It is okay to pay for them, yet spending excessively and not getting your money’s worth is bad by any means. The real cost of faulty email addresses is far more worrying than marketers, and the business as a whole, may anticipate. Certain implications ought to be put into consideration.

First, marketing investment are wasted. Odds are, that the lead that appeared on your site did not just accidentally wandered there. That it is your marketing effort that motivated that lead to take action and provide their email address and other personal information. In the instance that the business cannot reach out and engage this lead more, then the marketing effort and money you have invested, is good as useless.

Second, prospects left hanging. When there is a typo in the registration, it is a mistake. Anybody registering their email address on the business website does it in the belief of hearing news regarding new product or service updates, an email activity alert, or a promotional offer. At the point when that expectation is not met, the confidence placed by the customer has been broken. Worse, they may not even be aware that  business’ failure to connect was the consequence of their own typo error. They would then assume that they were not valued and is being neglected. The reaction would be disappointment, separation and a customer left to ponder what perhaps had turned out badly.

Lastly, decreased ROI. While coming up short on client expectations, there is an added (grudgingly) consequence to that and that is as the efficiency of those faulty email addresses are made smaller thus will be its Return of Investment in the email campaigns. Regardless of whether the business’ goal is an increase in sales, spur social appointment or petition for donations, undeliverable emails is a bane to the ROI.