weekly sales buzz blog

Follow these 10 rules to create email marketing that really sucks. Or, learn from these mistakes and become a marketing superstar.

 

We scoured the web, researched dozens of sales and marketing tools, and here are our favorites. Whether you're a sales pro, marketer or entrepreneur, here are the tools that will help you generate more sales leads and drive revenue. Best of all, many of them are free!

Here are some of the highlights: Social media tools like Newsle and BoardReader, a prospecting tool called OneLead, and new tools from Apple.

 


If you've tried advertising on sites like Google, you've probably seen how fast you can spend a ton of cash. That's why these traditional online ad sites aren't for me. 
 
My favorite marketing term is the word "free" and I'll share how to get free, or nearly free, advertising and branding on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Most marketers focus on driving more visitors to their websites in an effort to build awareness of their products and services. But is this the best policy? Overall, corporate websites are often boring and usually don't do a good job of converting visitors into sales-ready leads.

When does it make sense NOT to drive them to your main website, but direct them elsewhere? The next time you create an email marketing campaign or invest in online advertising, think about new places you could send people other than the home page of your website. Here are a few examples:

This article is courtesy of MarketingSherpa, from a recent case study.

SUMMARY: A long-term, strategic lead generation plan is essential for complex sales. But when market conditions change rapidly, you might find opportunities for ancillary campaigns that help address your customers’ immediate pain points.

Read how a telecommunications marketer responded to the credit crisis last fall with a campaign for existing customers. The five-week email series generated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of revenue from products with a shorter sales cycle and took home an Email Marketing Award at this year's MarketingSherpa Email Summit.
We at BuzzBuilder have been talking about this kind of approach to lead generation for a long time and we like to give attention to companies that are getting it right.

In today's economy, you have probably had your budget cut. Meanwhile, you're being asked to generate more revenue than last year. But there's good news. A lot of your sales and lead generation efforts could be automated, saving you both time and money.

Here are some of the ways you could use email to create an automated lead generation machine for your organization:

Video has quickly become a mainstream medium for the internet. Just look at the popularity of sites like YouTube and you'll quickly realize that video could also be an effective lead generation tool for you.

Video is still an emerging tool for lead generation, but I predict that soon marketers will be sending out more videos than company newsletters or sales brochures. And as Google learns better ways to help people search for video content, videos will start to show up more frequently in search results--driving more traffic to your website.

The big question is: How can you use video as a lead generation tool?

First, I'd recommend that you put videos on YouTube and several pages of your company website. Then, get the word out through email and social media.

Here are a few considerations when creating your video:

Instead of emailing your prospects and clients the typical promotional product information, why not send them a relevant article, white paper or video that will actually bring them value? It's much more interesting for the prospects, while showing them that you're thinking about their business.

The idea of "article marketing" is an emerging email marketing solution that many businesses are leveraging.

There are several resources on the internet that will help you find terrific content. Here is a short list:

Most salespeople dread the idea of cold calling so it can often help to send a pre-call letter or email. We have tested literally hundreds of different email formats--some with long copy and some with only 1 sentence. Here are 5 rules to think about when creating your pre-call email campaigns:

1. Avoid being self-promotional

You may think the purpose of a pre-call email is to educate the prospect about your company and services. It's not. Overly-promotional messages which simply sound like spam only serve to create anxiety for the prospect. Oftentimes the less you say about yourself the more a prospect wants to talk to you.

2. Create familiarity in the messages

Instead of telling a prospect about your company, tell him what you know about his company or industry. Do you know about a trend or current challenge? Are you working with similar companies? If so, let him know in the first sentence of your email.

Last week, I got a call from a salesperson who had participated in a recent workshop of mine. He was telling me about a "hot" prospect he had met with over a month ago who had suddenly turned cold.

Here's the story. He had a great first meeting with the prospect. His solution was well-received and the prospect even had the budget to pay for it. After the meeting, the prospect told him to follow up in a few days. Early the following week, he followed up and left a voice mail for the prospect. He called again the next day and left another message. And another. Then he tried sending an email but was frustrated when there was still no response. Now a month has gone by and all he has gained is a better relationship with the prospect's voice mail system.

Every salesperson has had this happen countless times. You may have even learned to "beware of an easy prospect." But when a prospect stops responding to your follow-up efforts, what should you do? As a long-term strategy, I recommend creating a lead nurturing system. For the short term, here are a few other suggestions:

A lot of companies have a monthly newsletter they mail or email to clients and prospects as a way of keeping in touch. Once a month, the marketing department sends an email blast out to the world and everyone gets the same, generic information. But does this approach actually generate leads for the sales force? A lot of marketers argue that newsletters are designed more for branding, but can't they accomplish both?

If you don't use a newsletter but think you need to have one, this article should save you from wasting a lot of time. Here's the thing: newsletters are dead. In fact, recent research shows that less than 10% of people even open them. There are several reasons for this:

Over the past several years, email has been one of the best lead generation tools I’ve used for making sales. However, the problem with the emails that most salespeople send is that they all tend to resemble SPAM. Do away with generic sales messages and never email a brochure or marketing piece to a cold prospect!

While there are numerous times you can use email for lead generation, I've found there are 4 key points in the sales process where I use it most:

An email blast can occassionally be a great way to promote a new product or make a company announcement to a large group of clients or prospects. However, it is usually not the best approach. Here are three downfalls of sending blast emails:

1. An email blast is an event

We all know that a single event doesn't create a relationship. This requires an ongoing dialogue or series of well-timed events.

If you're in sales, you may feel like you're trapped in a constant cat-and-mouse game with your prospects, forced to chase them around until they're ready to buy. This usually means that you need to make relentless follow-up phone calls so they won't forget about you. But is there a better way to create top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) with prospects without investing so much time? For many salespeople, the best solution is to create an automated lead nurturing campaign.

If you plan to use email to keep in touch with people, it's important that every email message creates value and earns their trust. This means that you'll want to avoid sending those marketing materials your company created. You'll also want to quit "checking in" to see if the prospect is ready to make a decision. These types of approaches are self-serving and ultimately worthless to the prospect.

It's time to create a lead nurturing campaign that delivers information and resources that are relevant and useful to your prospects. You're probably wondering what kind of content to send. Here are my recommendations:

From time to time, I come across new sales tools that are doing something innovative. In an effort to "spread the love" I thought I'd share a business networking website that caught my attention. It's called MyWay Interactive. I signed up for a free account this week. I'm finding that it's easy to use and actually a lot of fun.

Most of us are familiar with sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse and Facebook. These are great places to keep in touch with your existing contacts, but it's a bit more difficult using them to find new clients. This is where MyWay is different. It offers Sales Reps a simple way of exchanging leads and referring business to each other. For example, let's say you're looking for CFOs within the retail industry. Do a quick search for your target accounts and MyWay will return with a list of salespeople who already have relationships with the CFOs in these accounts.

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