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Lead Generation On Auto Pilot

Have you ever seen that TV programme “The Worst Jobs In History”.

 

Ye Gods the hideous things some people have had to do to survive – collecting plague victims, leech collector or even Groom of the Stool – I won’t explain that but it doesn’t relate to the four-legged variety.

 

Even today there are plenty of rank jobs out there – unblocking the London sewer, working in an abattoir or even pest control – working with cockroaches and rats all day. Urrgghh

 

Someone’s got to do them, I’d just rather it wasn’t me.

 

There’s another more mundane job that I’d add to the list.

 

Telemarketer.

Phone Keypad

I’m not talking about following up with prospects or even including telemarketing as part of a planned campaign.

 

I’m a great supporter of adding telephone follow up within a planned sequence – email, followed by direct mail followed by a phone call. In fact, I think it’s a must.

 

Used like that telemarketing can increase your response by 200 – 300% and is a vital part of the process.

 

No, what I’m talking about is cold calling.

 

Phoning people who have never heard of you and who have never indicated that they are interested in any way in what you’re selling.

 

Standard industry statistics are – make 100 calls, get through to 15-20 people and maybe have one conversion.

 

I know how much I dislike getting cold calls, with their false bonhomie and pretence that they care how I’m doing today.

Phone

I know they’re trying to build rapport but all they’re doing is winding me up and putting me off.

 

To be good at telemarketing you need to be incredibly thick-skinned and resilient and I genuinely take my hat off to them. I don’t like it and I don’t want to do it but I respect people who can do it.

 

So How Should You Generate Leads?

 

Marketing has changed over recent years.

 

Prospects expect to be given high-quality information which educates them, to be given cogent reasons to purchase and to be led towards the sale at the speed which suits them, so that they can buy when they’re ready.

 

So you need a process which does just that.

 

I can show you how to build a marketing machine that uses free reports, landing pages, auto-responders, remarketing and email marketing which will deliver leads to you on auto pilot.

All you’ve got to do is get in contact by emailing me at mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or by calling me on 01483 200387.

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Should You Educate Or Should You Sell?

There is an on-going debate in lead generation marketing:

 

Should you educate all the time or is it OK to sell once in a while?

Education

The fact is when you send useful, informative content to your list, you’re doing 3 things at once:

 

  1. Proving your expertise – demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about, that you’re someone they can have confidence in.
  2. Earning their trust – making them feel comfortable with you, vital if they’re ever going to buy from you.
  3. Developing the relationship – communicating a bit about your personality – are you the sort of person they’d like to do business with?

 

The fact is that people have to go through the know, like, trust process before they decide to work with you.

 

I used to be a member of some guy’s marketing group but left it because I couldn’t stand him. He was very knowledgeable but deliberately offensive and sweary.

 

It was very calculated – he was happy to drive away people who didn’t buy into him and I was one of those.

 

So my recommendation is that you don’t have to sell too hard. Just keep sending helpful emails and you will generate a reliable flow of new leads.

Email

But it doesn’t hurt every now and then to step up and sell.

 

Make a new offer every month or so.

 

Chances are that email will bring more responses than normal. It’s a different sort of email and will speed up people’s decision making.

 

The thing to remember is it’s a balancing act.

 

If you sell too much you’ll screw it all up.

 

People won’t read them, they’ll unsubscribe and you’ll have blown the know, like, trust thing.

 

But if you never sell, people will stay on the list forever but never buy anything.

 

So it’s a balancing act.

 

Make your emails informative and useful but always end with an offer.

 

That’s what I do and here it is.

Christmas Gift

Free Two Hour Marketing Consultation

 

I’ll offer you a free two hour marketing consultation in which we’ll do a thorough review of your current marketing and give you a route map to take your marketing forward.

 

Specifically, we’ll look at the following:

  • A review of your current marketing activity
  • An assessment of your website and how to turn it into a lead generating machine
  • We’ll look at your customer proposition and what you need to do to position yourself head and shoulders above your competitors
  • A plan to ensure you never run out of leads and prospects again.

 

All this is yours to keep for free!

 

To arrange your free session get in contact on mikejennings@marketingsurrey or call me on 01483 200387.

 

 

 

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How To Generate A Constant Stream Of Leads

It happens every year and I find it profoundly depressing.

The X Factor’s back on television.

The problem is the format hasn’t changed in years, every element of it is so carefully scripted and choreographed and worst of all the smugness and self-satisfaction of Simon Cowell.

 

Couple Watching Television

 

Some of the contestants are genuinely talented while others are great for their comedy value.

 

But they all have one thing in common.

 

They’re all hoping that Simon Cowell will give them their big break, a shot at the big time.

Sometimes their desperation is painful to watch.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire their ambition because no one gets anywhere without it.

 

But the problem as I see it is that they’re desperately hoping that Simon Cowell will make it happen for them instead of making it happen for themselves.

 

This is where I think there is a similarity with small business owners.

 

So many fail to take control of their own destiny and get blown around as the fates determine.

 

So what does this mean for them?

business questions

 

·         They have to work with anyone who happens along instead of the customers they want

·         They charge the industry norm or slightly below because that’s all they believe they can get away with.

·         They’re run ragged trying to keep their customers happy because they can’t turn anyone away.

 

And all because they’re not controlling their own destiny.

 

To be able to take control they need one thing and that is a constant supply of quality leads.

 

As soon as you have high quality leads flowing in everything changes – you can pick and choose what you do, who you do it with and how you do it.

 

Get More Leads

 

You start controlling your business instead of it controlling you.

 

To get this regular stream of leads you have to have a marketing system in place.

 

This marketing system is likely to revolve around:

·         A quality website that generates enquiries

·         A traffic strategy that drives interested visitors

·         A remarketing campaign to get potential buyers back to your website

·         An auto responder sequence to reel in these browsers

·         An email marketing system to establish your expertise and keep you in their consciousness

 

Now if all this sounds about as confusing as a Sharon Osbourne critique of a contestant’s vocal performance get in touch with me by emailing on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or calling me on 01483 200387 and I will make it happen for you.

 

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How To Create A Marketing Funnel

Generating new leads is crucial to virtually every business.

The easiest way to do it is to create a marketing funnel.

Unless you’re getting a steady supply of new customers coming into your business, you’re likely to struggle.

But we all know, getting new customers is hard work and very time consuming.

But modern technology allows us to set up processes so that new prospects are attracted to your business and converted into customers without you having to do a thing.

You can be asleep, on the beach or working hard servicing your existing customers while your marketing funnel is delivering new customers on auto pilot.

So have you got an effective marketing funnel?

If you don’t know what a marketing funnel is, let me explain the type of funnel I set up for my clients.

In essence it’s a very simple 5 stage process.

Stage 1 – Your website

It starts with the website

The website is the heart of your marketing funnel in fact it’s the heart of all your marketing efforts these days.

Now the key issue is conversion. Your website has got to convert visitors to take the action that you want them to.

To do this it must contain the right messages and use the space correctly.

Remember you have 8 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention, 99% leave without taking any action and over 50% will never scroll down from the first screen.

So you must ensure that initial landing page is very focused.

Stage 2 – Drive traffic to your website

The best site in the world will be useless without traffic.

So you’ve now got to get people to your website.

There are a number of ways but the quickest and most reliable is pay per click advertising. So the next stage is to set up a Google Adwords and maybe also a Facebook campaign. This will start driving highly targeted traffic, who have identified themselves as being interested in what you sell, you your site.

Stage 3 – Get their contact details

Working on the basis that it’s a very big ask to expect someone to decide to buy from you on their first visit to your website, your objective is to build a relationship with your prospects.

To do this you’re going to need to be able to communicate with them regularly.

You will therefore need their email address.

So the second stage of the process  is to set up a “lead magnet”  – a free report, white paper, video or something similar which visitors will sign up for in exchange for their email address.

Stage 4 – Start communicating with them automatically

Now you can communicate with your prospects, you should set up an auto responder series. I would advise somewhere between 5 and 10 emails.

The purpose of the series is to start building this relationship so you should be introducing yourself and then demonstrating the value you can bring and how you can solve the problems that they may have.

In the last email in the series you should make them some kind of offer.

Now this could be a great deal on some low cost product you sell or if you provide a service like me, you can offer a free consultation or something similar.

It’s at this stage that you want to cement the relationship you’ve built during the email sequence into something concrete, whether that be an order, a meeting or a phone call.

Stage 5 – Email them regularly

Now of course not everyone is going to convert from your auto responder series and there are any number of reasons for that.

But as you’ve got their email address, they can now go into your email marketing system and you can market to them on an ongoing basis.

You don’t know what’s going on in their lives. The point of this is that it allows them to do business with you when they’re ready. This may be a month later or it may be 2 years later.

The great thing about a marketing funnel is once you’ve set it up, it runs all by itself.

So the crucial area of lead generation is taken care of with no direct involvement from yourself, allowing you to focus on other things.

Do you have an effective marketing funnel in place?

If you want to see a marketing funnel in action, sign up for my free ebook on this website and you’ll see how it works.

If you decide that you need help to set up  your marketing funnel give me a shout.

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How To Generate High Quality Leads

All businesses want to generate high quality leads.

But when you stop and think about it, the quality is more important than the quantity.

Marketing should always be assessed on its ROI – how much you get back for the amount you’ve invested.

When looking at how much you’ve invested, you have to consider the time spent not just the money.

It’s for this reason that you should focus on the quality of the leads. If you can convert 1 in 3 leads instead of 1 in 10, just think how much more effectively your time will be spent.

So which marketing channel is going to deliver the best quality leads?

There are so many different channels these days it’s really hard to know where to focus.

  • Pay per click – it’s brilliant that you only pay when someone actually visits your website
  • SEO – surely everyone searches on Google, so this must be considered
  • Email marketing – you can talk to 000’s of people and it’s virtually free
  • Video marketing – Youtube is the world’s second biggest search engine
  • Remarketing – stalk your website visitors around the web and drive them back to your website

These are all excellent marketing channels and they’re all ones I would recommend. But the subject matter of this email is where do you get the best quality leads from and in my opinion there is another channel which will deliver better quality leads to you.

Now I’m going to be a bit controversial. I’m going to suggest an old school approach.

  • It’s quite labour intensive
  • It costs real money
  • It doesn’t product the largest volume of enquiries
  • It’s not regarded as sexy

But the fact is if you do it well, it will give you high quality leads that will convert to sales.

I talking about direct mail.

Now I can almost hear you thinking – direct mail was always renowned for low response rates.

Well I can tell you that direct mail is having a bit of a renaissance and that’s because so few people are doing it these days.

In the past when it was one of the very few options around, people were swamped with “junk mail”.

But now letters have become a bit of a novelty. I open every letter I receive. Whether I read them or not is a different matter and that’s down to the skill of the marketer.

Some do’s and don’ts

  • Make your letter look like a personal communication. Use stamps instead of franking machines.
  • If you have the time to hand write the envelope, your open rates will go up even further.
  • Include an item in the envelope. Lumpy mail generates interest.
  • You must have a great offer – something that forces people to read and respond.
  • Time limit your offer so that they have to respond now.
  • Your letter must be personally addressed.
  • Your letter must have a headline which grabs attention and compels people to read the first sentence.
  • Write the letter in the same way you would to a friend – chatty, conversational and personal.
  • Use language your audience are comfortable with. For specialist audiences you will want to use the jargon of that particular industry.
  • Adding vouchers (money off, added value) gives the letter a real sense of value.
  • Include a PS and repeat your irresistible offer
  • Use direct mail to drive people to your website, where you can provide more detailed information.
  • Keep sentences short and break up the text with bulleted lists and sub heads.
  • Avoid listing the features of your product instead focus on the benefits it will deliver and how it will make the recipient life better.

As I said direct mail is unlikely to produce a huge quantity of leads but they will be very high quality and will convert well to sales.

If you want to try direct mail but don’t feel you have the copywriting skills, call me on 01483 200387, email me on mikejennings@bda.me.uk or contact me via the website www.bda.me.uk

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How To Generate Leads Using LinkedIn

I bet you’re on LinkedIn but the question is “Are you using it?”

Almost all business people are on LinkedIn but virtually no one uses it proactively or effectively.

Two or three weeks ago I wrote a piece about about how to use social media to actually generate business. In that post I was referring more to Facebook and Twitter. Those are the social platforms with the largest memberships and the greatest awareness, but they’re used predominantly for social networking and not business networking.

LinkedIn is different.

Everyone on LinkedIn is there in a business context but as I said so few people actually use it effectively.

Half the profiles you look at haven’t been filled in completely.

People think they must be on LinkedIn – they set up an account, fill in their profile in a half hearted manner and then do nothing more.

This is a great waste.

LinkedIn has more than 350 million members, all business people, all available for you to connect with and it’s all free.

Two ways to generate business

The first thing you need to do is create a business page that clearly explains and demonstrates the benefits you offer.

While you’re at it get some of your clients to give you testimonials. On LinkedIn they have to be genuine, they can’t be made up and social proof is always the most persuasive copy.

But even when you have your company page, the strategy is still going to be to drive people to your website, where your marketing funnel is waiting to convert visitors into clients.

So how do we get prospects to connect with us on LinkedIn?

The best opportunity is with groups.

Remember you can join up to 50 groups.

Your strategy with groups is not to join the groups related to your own industry because otherwise you will be interacting with your competitors. Instead join the groups which your prospects are members of.

Now there are two strategies for your communication with groups.

  1. Commenting on other people’s posts is one way to raise your profile, establish your credibility and demonstrate your expertise. It is important to be viewed as a credible and valuable member of  the group.
  2. The other route is to make postings of your own –posting teaser copy which links to your blog. These posts of course need to be interesting and valuable to the group members and not just an advertisement for your business. On your blog page you must make sure your lead magnet is prominently displayed. If visitors like your blog, there is a good chance they will be interested in your lead magnet and once they’ve subscribed to that they’re into your marketing funnel and into your process.

The second strategy is for you to identify the prospects you want to start a conversation with and contact them directly.

The advanced search button allows you to find people against an extensive list of criteria.

Once you’ve identified your prospects you have to send them an invitation to connect.

Please avoid the standard “I’d like to connect with you” message. I’m much more likely to connect with someone if they have demonstrated a genuine benefit to me of connecting.

Try and show how you can potentially add value – give me a reason to want to connect with you. Once you’ve established a connection, you must remember that you’re networking. It’s about establishing a relationship over time and not about trying to sell right up front.

If you’d like any more advice or help with your LinkedIn networking, give me a call on 01483 200387, email me on mikejennings@bda.me.uk

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The Only Two Principles You Need To Worry About

You won’t be surprised to hear that basic human principles don’t change much at all, and this includes marketing principles.

Over the last ten years we’ve seen the Internet come charging over the horizon and make itself comfortably at home in the business community. More recently, we’ve seen a financial meltdown which we’re only now recovering from.

But even so, things are now pretty much as they’ve always been.

Marketing principles don’t change and that’s because we’re still human and we’re still motivated by the same things, driven by the same emotions and the same hopes and fears as we’ve always been.

So, let’s look at the simple challenge facing your business.

Growing your business is a simple process you can break down into two parts:

1. Generating qualified leads.
2. Converting them to paying customers.

It’s that simple and it’ll always be that simple.

So, when people tell you that internet marketing is different – they’re wrong.
It’s the same as any other kind of marketing: the style and the delivery mechanisms might have changed but the substance will be the same.

And how do you get the highly qualified leads?

Well this is where the difference in style comes in.

Online, you might want to use AdWords, natural search, banner advertising, stuff like that.

One seriously underused strategy is to use offline media to drive people online.

The last few years has been a great time to be doing it because the recession meant that businesses haven’t been advertising as much as normal with the result that ad space has been cheap.

So once you’ve got your qualified leads, what do you do with them?

You want to turn them into paying customers.

Conventional wisdom tells us to convert the qualified leads into sales by “selling” them.

While this might work occasionally, it’s fraught with peril, because if you fail to sell them that first time you’ve lost them. Probably for good.

A better solution in many cases is to begin a relationship with them.

Get their details – name and email address at a bare minimum, but the Holy Grail is a postal address as well – and then start sending them interesting material including but not exclusively sales material. Emails, a paper newsletter, direct mail, postcards… the list is limited only by your imagination.

How do you get them to give you their details?

Simple: offer something of value like a free report or a white paper, something of value that they will exchange their contact details for. There are no real rules, other than it really needs to be something useful and with a high perceived value to your prospect.

So you can now start marketing to them until they buy, they die or they tell you to stop.

Sounds easy doesn’t it ?

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Make Your Website A Regular Source Of New Customers

Anyone who’s been in business for a while knows that two of the absolute ‘must-haves’ for success are:
1.Getting new customer or clients
2.Keeping them coming back for more

For most small business owners maintaining a steady flow of new clients is really quite difficult. The majority of business owners that I meet usually rely on using a few lead generation tactics. However, any business that uses just a few lead generation techniques is putting themselves at risk. What happens if these for some reason suddenly stop working?

If you want to grow your business, you need a steady flow of high-quality leads. To achieve that you need to use lots of different ways to generate leads, both on and offline.

Here are just five key tips on lead generation, without any cold calling (which you probably hate doing as much as I do!):

1. Set your lead generation objectives so you can determine what works and what doesn’t

Set specific targets that you can track and measure.

Spend time setting your objectives and specific, measurable targets. If you don’t, how will you ever know if your lead generation programme has been successful or not?

2. Use your website as your primary ‘lead conversion machine’

Your website, if set up and optimised correctly, can be a powerful marketing tool that takes prospects generated by your lead generation programme and converts them into a stream of high-quality leads.

To work effectively your key landing pages (the ones where visitors enter your website) must capture your visitor’s attention immediately. You must decide what action you want your visitors to take e.g. sign up for a newsletter, download a PDF etc and make sure you focus on getting them to do this on every page.

3. Use Social Media to drive people to your website

From a marketing point of view, one of the best uses of social media is to drive people to your website.
Whenever you tweet, link back to your website, whenever you blog include links back to your website and the same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. Of course if you’re going to do this, then your social media utterances need to be relevant to your website content and to your business, but that should go without saying.

4. Use direct mail to generate leads

Direct mail like sales letters, post cards, flyers, etc, is still one of the most effective ways of communicating your messages to your target audience and of course, driving them to your website, where they should be incentivised to complete the kind of actions I’ve mentioned above.

Direct mail’s main advantage over email is that it doesn’t have the message filtering that email marketing has.

5. Use online advertising like Google AdWords to instantly drive quality traffic to your web pages

Pay-Per-Click advertising can be a highly effective way of getting the right people to your website quickly, particularly if you are finding it difficult to obtain Page 1 rankings on Google.

Used correctly Google Adwords is a fantastic business generator but if used incorrectly you can burn loads of money for absolutely no reward.

If you’re new to Adwords, proceed cautiously to start with until you know what you’re doing.

 

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How To Draft Landing Pages That Sell

What’s the key to creating landing pages that grab attention and compel readers to take action?

Of course it needs to be:

  • Eye catching
  • Well written
  • Offer real value

The following tips will ensure your landing pages achieve the results you’re looking for:

  1. A powerful headline – the headline, like in an advertisement is the hook that drags readers into the offer.
  2. An attractive image or video – to effectively showcase a product you will need have either a picture of it or even better a video showing the product in use.  To showcase a service find a way to show how it will deliver value to the user. For a book or a white paper, offer a preview.
  3. A benefit statement – remember people only want to know how they will benefit from what you’re offering and of course they buy the benefits not the features.
  4. Social proof – compelling testimonials will give readers confidence  that people like them have benefitted from the product.
  5. Request for data – you have to get their contact information but remember the less you ask for, the more people will sign up.
  6. Call to action – having used all the points above to convince them to buy from you, you must of course tell them what to do now. Make it as simple and easy as possible.

Follow these six simple steps and your landing pages will generate high levels of conversion.

Business Development Advisors can help you grow  your business and take it on to the next level. If you’d like to find out more please get i