5 Deadly Things to Avoid in Your Subject Lines

Pitching Your Product Don’t ever pitch your product right in the subject line. That is a move only for the very desperate. Think of your subject line as a first date. You want to take things slow but definitely get them interested to know more about you. You wouldn’t walk up to a blind date and plant a big wet one on them, would you? (You wouldn’t, would you….?)

DON’T USE ALL CAPS

Read this sentence. I SAID READ IT. Do you see the difference? Using all caps is bad etiquette as it is essentially shouting at your reader. If ever there were a sure way to not get someone to click on your email, it’s using all caps.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do not use a whole bunch of exclamation points at the end of your subject line. It’s unprofessional and most likely, unwarranted. Using 4 or 5 exclamation points is what a 12 year old girl would do when writing her best friend about the unbelievably awesome Justin Bieber concert. Use carefully chosen words to get the reader excited not !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(!) That last was real.

Don’t Pretend They Know You When They Don’t

When you’ve built your own list from scratch and have taken the time to build trust with your readers before sending offers, then yes, you can be friendly and familiar in your subject lines. But when you have rented or purchased a list of total strangers, it’s not really ethical to trick them into thinking you are someone they know. For example:

“Hey, John, I was just thinking about you.”

This subject line is clearly attempting to get the reader to click with the hopes it’s a message from an old friend or acquaintance. Don’t do it.

Do Not Use Tracking Numbers in the Subject Line

Nothing says “I’m a marketer trying to make a buck and in order to do that I have to keep track of all of my marketing data” like a tracking number right in the subject line. Seriously, would you click on it? Those are the 5 deadly things you should AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!!!! (see what I did there?)

In Email Marketing, Being Negative Can Be a Positive Thing

Do you know what drives human nature more than anything else? Pain and Pleasure. That’s it. Most people try to experience pleasure and avoid pain on a daily basis, and if you can tap into this, you can get people to take action. Now many marketers use a positive approach in their campaigns. They talk up all of the benefits of buying their program or purchasing their product. But what I have found with many clients is there is often a better response when we focused on the negatives. What will it ultimately cost the reader if they don’t buy the program or the product we’re pitching. As with anything in marketing, you need to always think about your target audience first. Never make a threat that is not real just to get a reaction. If you lead with a threat of a negative consequence that is too painful, the audience will shut you out and may even get angry.

So, what are some good examples of bad consequences?

  • 6 Silent Killers that Can Level Your Business Plan
  • Can You Trust Your Accountant? Ask These Questions
  • 24 Fast Fixes for Real-Life PC Disasters
  • Business’ #1 Silent Killer
  • 3 Steps to Avoid an IRS Audit
  • The 3 Biggest Reasons Companies Fail
  • 5 Things Hackers Love About Your System
  • Audit-Proof Your Business (or else…)
Test and see which subject lines of yours get more clicks – those with a positive angle or those with a negative one.]]>

Prioritize Your Leads and Increase Your Close Ratio

A Little Education and Information You can tell right away if they’re just in the very preliminary stages, they’re doing a little bit of research and they’re not really sure. That’s an ideal client for an e-series, where perhaps each instalment directs them to a YouTube video that educates them. That person who is in the very preliminary stages and just trying to gain information, simply wants educating. They’re looking for information, but not yet asking the “buying” questions. A significant chunk of that educating can be done automatically over a period of time with various technology – auto responders, video, emails, and white paper reports – all without draining resources or requiring a sales team to commit their time. That’s called cultivating. Cultivating leads is much like cultivating a garden or crops in a field. Harvest time happens when the crops are ready, so the farmer doesn’t want to be sitting on the combine constantly was driving around the field watching the crops grow. He’d waste a lot of gas and the overuse of the combine would probably cause it to require more repairs. Not only that, he would waste a great deal of time, probably become overzealous due to the lack of action and might even start picking before the crop is ready. An Automated Harvest So, you’ve got to know what phase your customers are in and be able to use questions to identify that phase. This can be done in an automated process which will help separate which relationships are ready for harvest and which ones still need to be cultivated, grown, watered, fertilized, provided with that information, given those videos and brought along. When systems cultivate and educate your prospects on a completely automated basis, it will no longer be a drain on your sales resources. Perhaps even your sales people can be the ones recording the videos or creating the presentations that educate the audience. Then somebody can get back to them periodically and ask if they have seen the video or videos. There are ways that you can check into the system to see who has seen the videos, as an indicator of their level of interest. Patience will always pay off. Make sure you take the time to cultivate the crops and be sure they are ready before harvesting.]]>

5 Keys to Getting More Industrial Business Leads

industrial-article.001

1. Localize, localize, localize:

Customers are increasingly looking for local businesses, not just in their hometown but in their particular neighborhood. Google has also become more location-centric, only showing users local business locations. Therefore it is vital that a business website be hyper-targeted in location settings to make sure that local customers are finding their particular business. industrial-article.002

2. Target a Specific Kind of Customer:

It is important to understand the profile of the person who is buying your product. They all share certain traits, a “digital DNA.” By finding these common bonds between different customers or clients, it is possible to micro-target certain consumers in order to appeal directly to buyers. Information providers like InfoUSA and Dunn & Bradstreet maintain databases of information. You provide them with name and address of some of your customers and they can find companies with similar attributes. This way, you can create highly targeted marketing materials to attract these businesses. industrial-article.005

3. AdWords and SEO

One way of finding consumers looking specifically for your product is by appearing high in the search rankings for targeted keywords. Two ways to do this are through an Adwords campaign and organic SEO efforts. These are great for lead generation because they are easily measurable and only put your business in front of prospective customers. Unlike print or media ads or cold calling random businesses, you can be sure that you are getting your page in front of clients looking for businesses just like yours. You can also fine-tune campaigns and easily control the cost. industrial-article.003

4. Collecting email addresses and remaining in contact

The old adage is that it is more cost effective to retain customers than to find new ones. In order to do this, a business needs to remain in constant contact with their customers. Collecting email addresses and tailoring emails directly to these businesses can help foster relationships that lead to long term growth for your business. It also shows your customers that they are important to you and can prevent them from shopping around with your competitors. industrial-article.005

5. Having a responsive website that appeals to mobile users

More and more, people are using their phones or tablets as the primary means of accessing the internet. If your page is built solely for desktops or laptops, you are leaving money on the table. A responsive website immediately recognizes the device a user is on and formats the page specifically for that user. This way, users can easily get the information they need and contact your business. These simple strategies can make it easy for businesses to develop industrial leads and help grow your business. The best part about these strategies is that they help develop not just a large quantity of leads, but quality leads. It can be a huge waste of time for a business to target customers who aren’t ready to buy or who aren’t a fit for your business. By using these strategies, you can find the exact customers you are looking for and help grow your business.]]>

The 5 Pillars of Effective Lead Generation

Pillar #1: Email Auto Responders One of the most powerful of lead generation offers these days is an informational e-series that utilizes the power of an email auto responder. This is a system that allows you to pre-populate messages to be sent to an opted-in subscriber over a series of days, months or even years. If you set up an auto responder, you can spoon feed little bits of useful information over a series of days instead of burdening your potential customer with a white paper or a PDF that’s 20 some-odd pages. Your auto responder gradually feeds information over a number of days and thereby increases the chances of your content actually being seen and read. Your potential customers may not open every email in the series, but they are likely to open up the most interesting ones and you can track the opening rates. This means that you can track the bits of information which were the most interesting to them and either eliminate some instalments of the e-series, reconfigure or re-title them to make sure that you keep the offering very interesting to customers.

  • The Unread Download
While PDFs and e-books can work really well to generate leads by getting people to download them and request information, there’s a surprising number of people who don’t ever open up what they downloaded. They download it to their Downloads folder with every intention of opening it up and reading it, but then they simply forget about it. They’ve taken the action to download it and their brain checks it off their mental checklist, so they never double back to read it. An email series is a different because you have a little bit of a nag factor and I mean that in the most positive way! It drips over a period of time. So even if they missed yesterday’s instalment, today’s instalment arrives and the title looks interesting so they check it out. This works even better if it’s a problem they’re working on right now or something that they need addressed today, but the system gives you have a number of opportunities to really target and hit on a nerve that is a client pain point.
  • Ease of Entry
Furthermore, with an e-series you can cultivate an audience that may not be ready to give you many details about themselves. Although it is nice to have their first name, all you really need is their email address and for them to opt in. People view subscribing to an e-series as a lot less threatening than filling out a long form to request information, where they may get contacted by a sales person as the next logical step. Another fantastically powerful element of an auto responder is the familiarity that develops when somebody repeatedly pops up into your mailbox on a scheduled basis. If you see somebody once, they need to make quite an impression, but over a period of time the familiarity that develops through an e-series helps to foster trust. This is a critical component to getting people to become leads and to agree to be contacted by you. Some outstanding systems can be found at strategicleadgeneration.com, including A-Webber, Get Response, and Constant Contact.

Pillar #2: Tracking Phone Numbers

You’re going to want to track phone numbers. Why? The Internet revolves around email and it is an outstanding platform which people are heavily focused on. However, in my findings, particularly for higher-priced sales, my customers notice a huge difference in prospects who call on the phone. Customers using the phone are more interested and they want answers now. They don’t want to fill out a form and wait. So therefore, getting those customers to a telephone is critical. You want to be able to provide your lead generation efforts with a phone number. However, this poses another problem for companies who struggle with tracking offline activities like phone calls. It can be difficult to track activities in their leads if they simply put in their company’s phone number.
  • Ask the Question
So they decide to ask every caller how they found out about them. It’s a good step, but unfortunately people forget to ask and even if they do, customers don’t accurately report this information. Customers might say they found you on the Internet, Google or on your website, which is great. But what if the offer has been promoted on multiple websites? Pretty soon you start asking your prospect several probing questions before the conversation even begins and at this point the customer starts to get irritated. Their time is precious and they’re calling to ask you questions. They really don’t want to be processed six ways from Sunday!
  • Prospecting for Gold
The answer is that it can all happen automatically by using tracking numbers. When I first started in this business, I thought tracking numbers were some huge deal that I had to go to the phone company for, sign a very long agreement and then lease these phone numbers. That’s no longer the case. There are several companies on the Internet who will have you up and running within minutes, providing you with one or more phone numbers that track your advertising offers. One of them is called phone.com. It’s fantastic and we use this service ourselves. It’s very scalable. They have a great back end that allows you to secure numbers, create voicemail boxes or simply reroute the calls. They’ll even transcribe messages left on different lines and send them to you as an email or a text. They’ll record the messages left or they will forward the phone calls to the appropriate line that you want tracked. All of this at the end of the day provides fantastic reporting.

Pillar #3: Marketing R&D

When they asked Thomas Edison about the many failures he endured while trying to invent the light bulb, he replied: “I did not fail. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” That’s pretty well what Marketing R&D is all about. It’s not a term that many people use. But it’s the terminology that I use because I want people to understand that just like investing in research and development for science, marketing research is important too. We have to test the systems we use. The results you get back are extremely valuable to your organization’s marketing efforts. All too often people view failed marketing campaigns as an excuse to say something doesn’t work. Well, we did some pay-per-click advertising, but we didn’t get a lot of sales from it, so it doesn’t work for us. We did some email advertising, but that didn’t work either. I challenge that. I think it’s healthier to look at it as an investment in marketing R&D because you will almost always learn something from a campaign.
  • They’re Sending You a Message
There is almost always a bright spot in the campaign and if you’re looking for it — if you see the clues, or if you can see some patterns — you’ll learn something. Perhaps it didn’t execute all the way through to the end, or maybe you were able to get visitors to your website, but didn’t get conversions. Or maybe you got conversions, but then for some reason communication channels proved difficult when the sales people tried to close or qualify. So we need to look at this research and learn things throughout the campaign. It’s not failure, because we will be learning every time we test different campaigns, different approaches, key words, different offers, forms and a whole host of variables. The results of that learning, when put before the right minds, really should yield better campaigns moving forward.
  • Not as Easy as it Looks
I really urge people not to view any ‘failed’ campaign as an overall failure or a sign that that particular medium does not work, because it’s hard to do something great the first time. Oftentimes we go to people’s websites and see offers being made on the Internet and things look very easy. But behind the scenes, they’ve put time and energy into the offer. They’ve considered how it’s worded, how the form is structured, the sequence of the offer and what key words it’s showing up under. It looks easy and we don’t get to see the significant R&D work that went into it.
  • Fail Safe
It is very common, especially within companies who have marketing staff wanting to make a name for themselves, that there is a real aversion to testing or doing anything that may fail. Or when it fails, they like to blame something as being the fault of the medium or media selected, or website selected. I’ve seen this time and time again. One of the reasons why you will so frequently see advertisers publicize in the same place as their competitors is because they’re reluctant to try something new. They feel it is a safe choice if a competitor has made the decision to advertise there as well. They don’t want to be the ones to try and fail, so they hold back when there’s a new opportunity that they’ve never seen or their competitor may not be aware of. This means they could miss out on a huge opportunity to make an impact on that audience without having to have their competitor there too. So remember, the word failure does not exist in marketing. There are tests and there are results. Even the lack of results should yield sufficient information about something that needs to be retooled, improved or slightly tested.

Pillar #4: Polling the Marketplace

The same tools that you use to market information can be used to generate leads. This is especially true of leads for a more complex sale because information is what customers want first. Information is what gives them the confidence and puts them in a position to want to buy. First of all, survey your market place to find out the information they want and then create a page, whether it be on a website or at the end of an article. It needs to be somewhere people who are in your target audience are going to see it. On this page you need to say something to the effect of, “We’re working on a comprehensive guide for XYZ and we want to make sure we haven’t left anything out. If you’ll take a moment to tell us what key piece of information is most important to you, we’ll send you a free copy of our guide when it’s available.” Why is that important? Because if you’re going to create a promotional item, special report or an audio series or a webinar, you’ll then know exactly what people are most interested in. What you’re offering will need to be compelling and align with your target audience and what’s on their mind. This will allow you to frame the conversation that you ultimately hope to have with them about your products or service.
  • A Simple Question
A good friend of mine and long-time client is an expert proposal writer, has helped companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and NASA land millions of dollars in contracts, and many of them were into the billions of dollars. He offers training sessions and one of the things that he’ll ask at the beginning of his training sessions is what key questions do you want to have answered by this? He’s polling the marketplace, so he’s quickly aware of what his ‘customers’ need to know.

Pillar #5: Defining Your Leads

“Ask 10 People to Define a Lead and You Will Get 10 Different Answers” Leads and data are two different things, just as leads and advertising are two different things.
  • Data or Leads?
My definition of a lead is somebody who has, through an action, indicated an elevated level of interest in the product or service that you are offering. So a lead is a more refined potential prospect. Data, however, can be purchased in list form and simply provides you with a list of those people who meet certain criteria that you have specified. This could be termed a targeted audience. One of the biggest data companies to offer this in the United States is called Info USA, owned by Info Group. A targeted audience may not have even heard about you, let alone flagged themselves as being interested in your offering. They’ve simply met your specified criteria and therefore could potentially be interested in your product or service. You may be able to close some of them or make them an offer that they respond to and finally become a lead. I use two fundamental strategies to typically generate leads. The first strategy is to find out what people who are in certain buying modes are looking for. It may be they are actively looking for what you are offering, e.g. If you sell a product that helps people improve their business profitability, there’s going to be a variety of searches associated with that. The second way is to get in people’s stream of consciousness or get in touch with people at the appropriate time is when they’re researching a problem. It’s very common that somebody starts researching because they have a problem.
  • Information Sells
Now if you have a solution to that problem, one of your key strategies should be to create content that better defines the problem. This gives them good, honest tips if they choose to address it themselves, but also highlights that you are an expert should they decide they want somebody local to help them. The key is, they do want somebody to help them. So the type of content that you offer needs to be informational in nature. Anything from white papers to videos that you can create using your phone or a small camera or a flip cam, can be put on the Internet, YouTube and then embedded in your website. There’s a huge variety of things that you can offer up as information. So there you have them — 5 ways to improve the quality of your leads. All of them are simple to implement, but the rewards are wonderful to behold as your sales funnel fills up. Good luck!]]>

What if My First Lead Generation Campaign is a Flop?

Keep On Keeping On Do not be discouraged though. There are people, experts in the Lead Generation industry who can help you create campaigns that avoid some very common rookie mistakes. Just remember it will still be an initial campaign and it will probably start in a place that can be improved significantly through the proper interpretation of initial results. So, your launch is not the end. The launch of your landing page and paperclip campaign is the beginning of the interpretation, of the improvement, of taking the steps necessary to make it into a winning Lead Generation system. The more you do this, the more you will realize that it is a critical element to developing the Lead Generation system. Be patient, allocate time to it, and focus on moving forward — testing and identifying what’s not working and fixing it. When generating leads and creating a campaign, I cannot stress this enough – it is a process. Generating leads is not an event, it’s not a onetime thing you set up and never touch again. You can have a room full of executives and smart marketing people who all decide that a landing page is the best landing page, with the best marketing copy that they have ever seen in their life, only to put it before the audience and see it flop.

Getting It Right Before the Competition Does

Be prepared. The best marketers are those who know that a good campaign has to go through several iterations, tweaks, measurements, tests, interpretations of results, monitoring, testing, monitoring, testing, and revisions. There are people who don’t have the patience for creating a Lead Generation system. When they put something up, it doesn’t perform the way they want, and it’s quickly dismissed as broken, not for them, doesn’t work, doesn’t work for us, not worth our budget, not worth our time, and they move on. Well, that may be true in some cases. Often times that is an overused diagnosis by business owners and they pay the price when their competitors come along and stick with it, take some setbacks, figure out the solutions and develop a Lead Generation system that helps them get affordable customers that can build their business. Now wouldn’t you rather go through that process before they do?]]>

10 Reasons Your Blog Is Boring!

Despite all the help I give people online, I’ve largely ignored my own online profile. It something that bugs me a bit and I’ve vowed to change (more than once). On a recent attempt to beef up my blog I took a look at my existing posts that I had done in a batch and uploaded and asked myself… “Would I want to read this?” The answer… “No.” Why? I put in time and energy writing the articles. I really invested in the creation of my content and searched my background for stories and anecdotes and yet when I posted them and stood back there wasn’t a headline that jumped out to me saying “You must read me and you can’t leave until you do!” Unfortunately folks that is the standard for running an effective blog. A strong blog makes it almost impossible for their audience to leave without reading the article they landed on — hopefully more. So as I’m prone to do… I started a list of things each blog post should have to help make sure I don’t forget. Since it’s something I’ll likely share with my clients frequently I thought it best to post here.

1. Your Headlines Stink!

Yep. I said it. Your headline is one of the most important parts of your blog post. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, there are others competing for my attention. Just like in advertising the headline of your blog post does the heavy listing. When I looked at my headlines they were largely vague. They didn’t promise anything of real value. Here are some great headline starters… How to (achieve a really great result) Using numbers in the headlines Intregue me with a story

2. Your blog energy goes towards design… not content.

I’m not saying you should have an ugly blog. However, I just find that folks with no traffic spend their time on the site layout, logo, color schemes, fonts, widget outlines, etc… and never write anything good! The ugly blog with 1 great article is worth 10x the pretty blog that says nothing. People connect over content! It needs to be the priority. There are clean, well-formatted blog themes that you can download for free! My suggestion is to select a clean layout that spotlights your content and doesn’t distract your readers. It’s the newbies, with no traffic that often obsess over colors and headers and graphics, while ignore that the blog is nothing more than container for your earth-shattering awesome, helpful content.

3. Failure to Use Images

A few years back Google updated their search algorithm to take into account article elements like content formatting and the use of images. You will see that the results in the search engines are often dominated by posts with at least one or more images. It’s rare to see text only posts. Images help reinforce your points and make your posts more interested. They also help to spice up your indexes with a featured image. So as you work to make your blog better… save images. Have a folder on your computer and keep images that will work for different posts. When you author a post, be thinking of what image might work best. Don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks on the right image especially if your blog is to help generate professional interest! Avoid tacky stock images that look generic. The image doesn’t always have to match the subject matter. You could take a beautiful photo that just compliments the feel of your post.

4. You Give Away the Answer in Your Headline

Have you ever read a headline that asked and answered the question, thus completely eliminating your need to read the article? Here are some examples:

5. Stale / Safe Approaches to Headlines

I hear it all the time… “My audience doesn’t respond to marketing.” It’s common for us all to believe the people from our particular industry or field are too sophisticated to be intrigued or interested in well structured appeals or weaving personality into your content. Be edgy. People are looking for information, but there’s nothing that says you can’t make learning fun and entertaining. Think about when you were in school. Didn’t you always like the classes better where the professor or teacher was entertaining? Didn’t you learn more by virtue of being engaged? Build interest. Talk naturally. Make it fun!

6. Offer Value

People are typically searching the internet to learn something that will help them in their lives. To the degree you can distill down your information effectively and arm them to achieve a specific benefit your content value will go up! So ask yourself. If someone reads your content… what value will this provide? What questions did I answer that will help them to save time or make money or be happier in their lives or feel better?

7. Add Interviews with Interesting People / Experts in Your Area of Interest

Some people are better talkers than writers (I include myself in this group of people) so when I’m acting smart I actually seek folks that I can interview to get a natural discussion going in my audiences area of interest! People love interviews. It provides real, quality content and the stories, examples to duel perspectives achieved through a solid interview creates very compelling content. A great idea is to record your interview using Skype and then let people download it or stream it on your site. You can also turn it into a video and upload it to Skype or Vimeo. You can also send your video out to be transcribed and get a great body of content for google.

8. Include a Bio and Picture “Above the Fold”

People respect content that has been created by actual people. By showing your face and a even a little blurb about you, your content becomes more interesting. Further, if they read your content and something clicks they will attach this / credit this to you! You want to connect with your content. It shows you have pride in what you created and stand behind your work.

9. Texturize Your Content

People hate reading huge blobs of uninterrupted content. Large blocks of content scares people so here are some keys to “texturizing” your copy and make it more compelling to your readers.
  • use bullets and numbers
  • break up articles with the use of subheads
  • bold words for impact
  • keep paragraphs short (don’t go over three lines)
All those elements help improve readability and make your content easier to consume and digest. People will look at it and say “that looks easy to read.” They may even skim it first and since you’ve provided sub headers they will grasp the content and then circle back to consume the article in more detail. 10. Give Your Post a Purpose Tell how. Explain how! Teach!

Bonus Tip #11 Get Personal

Let me tell you something about me that’s a little personal. Did you notice, how you just reconnected a bit? Its as if your radar said… wait a minute this guys going to tell me something. What’s he going to say? Well, I did this to illustrate a point, but to deliver on my promise I’ll share that I’m a lefty, (heck I’ll over deliver) my nickname in High School was “Lex.” Too often content is being scrubbed of personality and thus becoming so generic that readers don’t bond to the content or the writer. If you are trying to build an audience try to be a bit unique. Share personal anecdotes. Insert humor occiasionally. Share a story. This will help them to get to know you through your content and hopefully like you. There are likely others sharing content similar to yours, but people like finding someone to follow they like! So your brand of teaching and sharing plays a huge role. Don’t sterilize your writing so much that it appears text-bookish and dull.]]>

Why are Phone Leads So Important?

The Immediacy of Phone Leads It’s very easy and convenient to just put a form in front of potential customers, but certain types of leads really don’t fit a form and often it is the high value leads that require a different approach. Let’s assume you’re looking for a new house and you go on the Internet. You find a house you like, you read about it and it looks really good. Now, would you want to fill out a form and maybe get a call back tomorrow while you’re at work, or sometime next week? No, you want to know more about it now. If you fill out a form you never know how quickly somebody is going to get back to you. It makes more sense to pick up the phone and call the realtor right away.

A Case in Point

We’ve done a lot of work with companies that sell heavy industrial equipment. We’re talking machines, compressors and generators that sell for several thousands of dollars upwards to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And, for a good long time we helped them by trying very hard to push potential customers to a form that they could fill out, so that they would give their details and the seller would get back in touch with them. But the more we spoke to our sellers about the process, the more we found that customers wanted to call. Everybody was picking up the phone. Very seldom were they getting leads coming in off the form. In fact, when they did receive an inquiry through a form, it generally wasn’t as high quality as a phone lead. So, we had our ‘eureka moment’ and immediately started putting phone numbers on all of the listings. This was a fantastic benefit and we ultimately ended up setting up tracking numbers for all of the listings and saw significant increase in overall leads, inquiries and sales.

Thinking Outside the Check Box

I call it ‘tunnel vision’. Tunnel vision is what you get when you spend so much time trying to push somebody into a lead form, you forget there are other actions you can do. You forget that some of your leads will be female. You forget about the intimacy of the telephone. You forget that some leads prefer to come in after making an appointment. There are a whole lot of actions that could lead to a sale. All too often, when people call a phone number, they instantly assume that whoever they talk to is intimately familiar with the offer or the page, or the exact place where the phone number was published. While it would be great if that could always be the case, quite often it is not. So that needs to be on the checklist. When you publish a phone number and track some elements of it, make sure that you watch the phone numbers, watch the calls and look to see if there are a significant number of hang-ups prior to connecting the call, or shortly after the call is connected. When they stay on the line, what questions are immediately asked? These elements can all have a large impact on conversions.

Trimming the Phone Tree

Phone numbers play a key role because the most qualified customers who have an immediate need also want immediate answers. They want to pick up the phone and speak to somebody who is going to have the information they need. They don’t want to feel like they have just been sent through to a giant phone tree where they have to fend for themselves. That just feels unprofessional. It feels unwelcoming and it’s irritating! You don’t want irritated customers before you’ve even had a chance to start talking about the offer, or what your company can do to get their business. You want to make it a pleasant and easy experience to answer their questions, or solve their problems. In some cases this can be improved or even eliminated by connecting to a unique phone line in the office that everybody knows is attached to a specific offer. Or you might want to think about creating a voice mail that warmly introduces somebody with a name and invites them to leave their question. Acknowledging the specific offer they saw and saying that you’ll get back in touch with them as soon as possible can be a way of increasing the warm connection, the warm touch between company and the perspective client. So consider the type of leads you have and the preferred method of contact by your customers. You might be surprised by the difference it can make to your sales.]]>