Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.
How To Leverage Your Leads All Year Round (Instead Of Always Finding New Ones)
Learn how to leverage your existing leads and decrease customer acquisition costs with interactive marketing, quizzes, referrals, customer feedback, and automation.
Sometimes it feels like you’re just a hamster on a wheel…Day after day you continue to chase new leads for your business - pounding that pavement - until it all becomes too much. You can’t sustain it.
via GIPHY If your business is reliant on “new leads” to survive, then your chance of growth and longevity are minimal. All of your resources will be consumed by business development and the cost for acquiring a new customer will continue to rise and get harder by the day.Instead of always chasing new leads and trying to build trust with strangers, why not focus more energy on the leads you already have?After all, it can cost up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one.So, if you have a database of leads, current customers, and prospects, it’s time to determine the best way to engage these individuals all year round and significantly decrease your customer acquisition costs.Here are some ideas on how to do so...
Interactive marketing entices your leads to respond and engage with certain stimuli, for example, taking a quiz, watching a video, or participating in a contest. It optimizes the user experience by presenting a personalized dialogue and responsive journey.As a means for nurturing your leads on an ongoing basis, there are two interactive tactics that work a treat.
Giveaways and Contests
Giveaways are normally used as a way of generating new leads for a business. They’re a powerful lead gen tool because they entice engagement and have a tendency to catch fire on social media - quickly expanding your brand reach.However, you can also get some great outcomes from running an exclusive giveaway with your current lead database.By taking this approach, you won’t have to pay for advertising because you already have the contact information of these leads. And this group of people already has a base level of trust and understanding of your business, so the learning curve for your value proposition won’t be as steep.Running a giveaway with your current leads can be a great way to promote a new product line, strategic partnership, or to encourage repeat purchases with discount coupons.Website engagement software, Proof, launched a giveaway to their database as a way to generate interest for the launch of a new podcast “Scale or Die”:
Giveaway example from Proof.You can also offer customers prizes through a photo contest. Much like the giveaway, photo contests are an effective way of encouraging customers to engage with your brand. Of course, the flow-on effect of a product-focused photo contest is that you build a library of user-generated content while you’re at it!Below is an example of an Instagram photo contest from Silkberry Baby, a children’s clothing line, where they are encouraging current customers to submit their best product photos:
Photo contest on Instagram for user-generated content.If you’re not sure about the type of contest or giveaway to run, consider leveraging the yearly calendar for key events. There is a valid excuse for running a promotion in every month of the year!
- January - The New Year
- February - Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl, and President’s Day. Below you can see how online printing company, Snapfish, has leveraged Valentine’s Day related gifts to promote their Flash Sale:
Valentine's Day themed email for a flash sale.
- March - St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness
- April - Easter and Earth Day
- May - Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day
- June - Father’s Day
- July - Independence Day
- August - Back to school
- September - Labor Day
- October - Halloween
- November - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Below you can see how Virgin Airlines used Black Friday to entice rewards members to make purchases and earn points:
Leveraging Black Friday to boost customer loyalty.
- December - Christmas
You could plan out your entire year with strategic promotions, contests, and giveaways to engage your database and spike sales.
Another form of interactive marketing which can be a fun way to interact with your leads throughout the year is marketing quizzes.Quizzes are fun, relevant and extremely useful when it comes to collecting customer data without offering a prize in return.Once you get that data, you can choose to send out value-added content like tips and tricks, ebooks, discounts, and more to a very targeted group of individuals with personalized messaging. Food delivery service, Menulog, used a food-related movie quiz to engage their leads as the holidays approached last year:
A quiz to engage leads during the holidays.
Nielsen says that people are more likely to purchase a good or service if they’ve been referred by a friend. In fact, their survey says that someone is four times more likely to purchase your product if their friends love it and suggest it. The survey also shows that personal recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues are the most trusted source of information for buyers. Eighty-four percent of consumers say that they trust these recommendations. Additionally, 77% of buyers say they are more likely to make a purchase when they learn about a new product from family or friends.This is why referral-based marketing tactics are so effective. If you can encourage and incentivize your current customers to refer a friend, it’s the best advertisement your brand will ever get. Offer current customers a discount, a freebie, or some type of deal for sharing a link to your website or providing a friend’s email address.Even if these referrals don’t result in sales right away, you’ve planted the seed and you have the lead to use throughout the year when you have sales or promotions going on.With smart marketing automation, you can send reminders on autopilot to your current customers about the incentives they receive for referring a friend.Here you can see how online payment gateway, Payoneer, has looked to generate referrals by offering a monetary incentive:
Offering a monetary incentive for customer referrals.
Customer feedback is a critical, and often underutilized, tool for digital businesses.Product feedback, customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies, are all valuable assets that you can use as social proof for increasing conversions on your website, as well as for improving your business. While these may not generate leads right away, the more feedback you receive, the better you will be at improving the business and enticing strangers to become customers.As with the referrals, you may choose to offer customers something of value such as a discount in exchange for their feedback. Send an automated email at a certain interval after they make a purchase to remind customers you would appreciate the feedback, and that you offer discounts or promotions for any feedback provided.
Whether you’re following up with prospects after they enter a giveaway, or asking for referrals and customer feedback, marketing automation enables you to do this on autopilot at scale.Done well, marketing automation such as triggered email campaigns, can save you time and effort all whilst offering your customers and prospects a personalized experience.For example, ShortStack’s email marketing features, help you send automated emails instantly when someone fills out a form on your website, or, you can schedule emails to send on a later date. You can also filter and segment your list so that your prospects receive relevant campaigns.
ShortStack's marketing automation and list segmentation feature.With any marketing campaigns, it’s important to track your efforts with analytics. And automated email campaigns are especially important to track and optimize over time as they are sent to new leads because you have a baseline of metrics to work with. This way you can learn what motivates your customers and improve the messaging in the future.How will you engage and leverage your leads this year?
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