Third of a 4 part series discussing the four steps of inbound marketing .
Inbound marketing is now the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that brings the right people toward your company and product.
The next step of inbound marketing is the close. The power of the internet has moved us a bit away from Alex Baldwin’s famous Glengarry Glen Ross speech. After you’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, it’s time to transform those leads into customers. But how can you do that?
All this data can be hard to track, but luckily you don’t have to do it alone. This is the time to bring software and other marketing tools to the stage. Try these:
An acronym for Customer Relationship Management Software, if you don’t have this yet, you need to ASAP. CRM allows you to keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. The benefits to a CRM include having all your information in one place, standardized record keeping, and capacity to sale. This software is extremely important to sales by making sure you have the right information to engage with prospective customers.
Closed-loop reporting allows you to identify which sources bring the highest-quality leads, so you can focus on those channels and engage with those leads to start moving them through the sales funnel. This helps you figure out which marketing efforts are the most effective, and if the sales team is effectively closing the best leads. Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together. With closed-looped marketing, you gain insight into your audiences’ actions and behaviors, showing you exactly how they are interacting with your content and what content pieces/topics are generating results.
This is the best way to stay in contact with a visitor who clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still doesn’t make a purchase. Try sending them a series of emails based on useful, relevant content to build their trust and motivate them to buy. If they were interested in your product enough to fill out the landing page, a few more reminders about your company may be exactly what they need. Remember, just because people don’t make a purchase the first time around doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a document on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests. This is where your CRM comes in handy, to keep track of all the useful data and put it into action!
Now that you’ve closed those leads and (hopefully) convinced them to make a purchase, you’re in! Stay tuned for week four, all about keeping customers engaged with great content. Check back here next Friday.