Archive for the ‘Blogging’

10 experts explain what makes sales funnels succeed or fail 2

Posted on July 06, 2019 by Rob Petersen
sales funnels

Sales Funnels

Sales funnels are a series of steps designed to guide potential customers toward a buying decision. They are models of the customer journey a company uses to purchasing their product or service and to give them their best advantage.

The goal at each step of sale funnels is to solve customer problems and keep potential customers on the path to purchase.

Because when you know customer problems, you can present the solution, content, messaging or incentive that keeps them on the destination to purchasing your product or service. This is when the real magic of sales funnels happen. Or doesn’t.

10 experts explain what makes sales funnels succeed or fail.

What makes them succeed

  • “Tony Robbins says that all human desire is based on one foundational principle. That principle states that we will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. This principle of pain versus pleasure can easily be leveraged by positioning your products or services in the right way to help leverage this strategically. When you think about pleasure, you can also think about the benefit. What’s the biggest benefit (pleasure) that a consumer is going to get when they buy what you’re selling. You also have to think about what they’re going to avoid (pain).” – Robert Kanaat – Author, Engineer, Blogger and Entrepreneur
  • “They need to learn about your product and services. This goal can be achieved with the help of quality blogs, interesting video, involving influencers and conducting email campaigns. If people are not aware of the products you sell, there will be no sale. Therefore, you need to adopt different lead generation strategies to drive users to your website. Your lead generation efforts won’t be enough on their own if you fail to engage your audience. .” – Shane Barker – Digital Marketing Consultant
  • “Sales funnel work when you know your target inside and out, including her biggest frustrations and deepest desires, in his or her words, have a clear offer that you know she wants, without a doubt, understand and know how to effectively employ marketing and sales strategies that can “speak to the masses,” and have a very high flow of traffic entering into your funnel.” – Jenny Shih, Business Coach
  • “Landing pages are the first direct connection between your leads and your business. And, when the competition is stiff, the first impression is definitely the last impression, right? Target optimization and your promotional specifications must reflect the promise presented in the targeted ad your viewers clicked on.” – Sam Makad, Marketing Consultant

Why they fail

  • “There a gap between sales and marketing. Your marketing manager is attracting followers and connections, creating white papers and e-books to attract leads, and optimizing the latest blog post. Your sales manager is assuring that every sales representative has the training to do what he or she does best—sell to a qualified buyer. But if no one is qualifying leads, there’s no bridge between these valiant sales and marketing efforts and the synergies are lost.” – Jeff Kalter – 3D2N
  • “You aren’t bringing in enough traffic. Your sales funnel begins with the traffic that you bring in. If you aren’t bringing in enough traffic, then your sales funnel has no chance to work. If you don’t have enough visitors to your website or landing pages, then you won’t have enough subscribers. If you don’t have enough subscribers, then you won’t have enough (or any) sales. If you don’t have sales, then you don’t have a business. So before you try to optimize other parts of your funnel, you need to fix your traffic problem.” – Tonia Kendick, Solopreneur
  • “The idea that customer journeys are linear (they’re not). Customers not only enter at all different stages but they often skip over stages entirely, move back and forth between stages, or will stay at one stage indefinitely. Don’t sit down and map out a step-by-step process that says “first they’ll do this, then they’ll do that, next they’ll do this…” and expect that your customers will actually follow your plan. Some reports are saying that up to 90% of the customer journey is now self-directed.” – Gary DeAsi, Director of Marketing, Demand Generation
  • “Lack of consistent follow up. According to JMJ Direct, 48% of sales representatives never follow-up with a prospect. Furthermore, only 10% of sales involve more than three contacts and an incredible 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. Knowing the most appropriate time to contact a lead is difficult – do you start calling new leads or follow up on an old lead for the fifth time?”- Search Engine People
  • “Not providing different content for every phase of the funnel. Newly entering customers have shown interest in your product and services, and simply want to explore. They want content that’s educational — different than the customers in the middle of your funnel who have taken a step beyond basic information and are looking for more details. It makes sense, then, that serving up the same content for every stage will only frustrate customers and totally mess with your flow. Provide relevant content — appropriate for every phase — that nurtures customers along instead of chases them away.” – Kelly Kalis, Revel

Do these experts provide insight for you on what makes sales funnels succeed or fail? Does your business need help creating a sales funnel that works.

15 lead generation case studies that led to major success 0

Posted on May 05, 2019 by Rob Petersen
lead generation case studies

Lead Generation Case Studies

Lead generation case studies tell the stories of companies that go through the process of identifying high value customers, how they guide their customers’ journeys to their products or services and achievements.

These lead generation case studies apply to a variety of B2B industries. They include lead generation strategies such as lead nurturing, lead scoring, qualified leads, customer acquisition and inbound marketing.

But one thing all these lead generation case studies have in common is the companies are clear about the problems they have to solve. And they define desired results with measure with simple, clear metrics.

Here are 15 lead generation case studies that led to major success.

  1. ATLANTECH: Is a Washington D.C. area provider of phone, fiber and data center services. Website traffic had exploded thanks to a systematic approach to content marketing. However, a large amount of traffic does not directly translate to business impact. They add pricing page, check availability pages with multiple CTA buttons throughout. Atlantech increased sales qualified leads by 335%.
  2. BOGER DENTAL: Looks to attract potential patients for higher-margin services. They created targeted campaign around xedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and dental implants are optimized the website for conversions and marketing automation. New patients increased by 29% and specialty appointment increased by 36%.
  3. BRAINSHARK: A sales enablement platform provider, is falling short on converting leads due to poor connect rates and unclear buyer personas. Brainshark moves to an account- and persona-based campaign model, as opposed to a broad-based marketing approach. They: 1) Build out targeted campaigns based on buyer personas, 2) fuel the sales funnel with new, targeted contacts, 3) provide sales with a complete picture of incoming leads and 4) fill in data gaps and update inaccurate information. They achieved a 30% increase in connect rates, reach decision makers 4X faster and
    increase marketing qualified opportunities by 10%.
  4. CA TECHNOLOGIES: To drive leads for its enterprise software solutions, CA Technologies has to convert high-quality IT decision-makers once they download relevant content. They run LinkedIn Campaign using Dynamic Ads that are customized and personalized. They generated an 11.3 conversion rate at the cost per lead that is 68% less than other social channels.
  5. CISCO WEBEX: Is the leading enterprise solution for video conferencing and web conferencing. Using white paper and e-book content, leads are qualified to Cisco’s requirements via two custom questions on their forms. Cisco dispatches an optimal lead delivery schedule for their sales team, with lead delivery occurring three times per week. They increased their qualified lead rate, lowered costs of qualified leads and improved on-time delivery of qualified leads to their sales team.
  6. DUKE UNIVERSITY: The majority of applicants to Duke University’s Cross Continent MBA program in the past have come from word-of-mouth referrals. To promote the program to new prospects in diverse global regions, Duke uses LinkedIn’s InMail solution. They saw a: 68% open rate, cost per lead 10% less than other channels, 400% increase in conversions compared to 2013 campaign ­and sales pipeline closure speed increased 300%
  7. EQUINIX: A provider of data center and location services to companies in the advertising, cloud services and healthcare industries, addresses longer sales cycles by implementing a live-chat tool. Equinix saw its 12-18 month sales cycle shrink by one month. With the current opportunities generated by the solution, Equinix expects to see a 10-to-1 return on its investment.
  8. GREEN EGG CHEF: Is a blogger, barbecue and grilling lover. Through his blog, he offers tips and techniques to help people cooking delicious recipes with the Big Green Egg. Email subscriber growth is slow when using typical strategies like driving traffic to a blog post and hoping they’d subscribe through an opt-in box or popup. He starts using lead ads and list growth explodes. He got 10,000 new subscribers in 21 days, at a cost per subscriber of $0.50 which was 75% less than his previous cost per acquisition.
  9. ITPROTV: Is a SaaS company that delivers IT training that is effective and entertaining for IT Professionals. They are operating strictly on word of mouth referrals which drive enough traffic to promote early success. With the ambition to scale pipeline by ramping up lead generation, they launch a B2B content syndication campaign that amplified their content to targeted professionals and most importantly only delivered leads that meet strategic and measurement goals. They achieved a 1,500% ROI.
  10. LENOVO: The computer manufacturer, operates in an industry where potential customers are always looking for the latest product. By creating compelling video content, they are able to identify which videos their prospects watch, what percentage of each video they watch and optimize for conversion. 80% of Lenovo’s top-performing videos are now watched from beginning to end, Click Through Rates increased by 4x the normal benchmarks; and Engagement Rates per page increased by 55%.
  11. LINEUP: Creates custom dance costume, cheer uniforms and skating costumes. Team apparel is a seasonal business the team at the Lineup wanted to increase online sales throughout the year. They use search optimized blog topics, landing page and video to answer buyer question to create a content road map of offers for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Web store sales for the first quarter of the campaign increased by 67% year over year.
  12. MARCH MOTORS: Specializes in providing good cars for people with not-so-good credit. They want to reach in-market car shoppers as well as re-target website visitors. They use Facebook ads with Facebook pixel re-targeting and custom audience that feed into a CRM system to better deliver qualified lead to their sales team. They got 688 new leads this way and increased sales 6X.
  13. SALESINSIDE: A marketing services company focused on B2B data solutions, has to define target markets strategies for addressing opportunities. They do heavy keyword research, create 20 responsive landing pages, create cases studies and do regular blogging. They saw a 200% increase in quality leads.
  14. SUNSPACE: Specializes in porch windows that deliver an outdoor feel to screened-in porches. A poorly designed website requires a major revamp to increase site traffic. Website improvements include: 1) Redesign to vastly improve UX and design, 2) added custom functionality to aligning brand with luxury feel, 3) product offers to segmented personas: contractors and homeowners and 4) video content throughout the website. The new website drove a 40% increase in revenue.
  15. FOREMOST MEDIA: A B2B web development and search marketing agency, uses marketing automation to set up drip campaigns to existing customers. Although most visitors to their website never fill out a form, marketing automation email allows them to figure out who they are, what company they’re with, how big the company is and what industry they’re in. This led to a 30% boost in customer revenue.

Do these lead generation case studies convince you of the results possible with effective analysis and goal setting. Does your companies need help setting up and effective lead generation program?

ROI research on the 5 hottest digital trends 0

Posted on January 13, 2019 by Rob Petersen
ROI research

ROI research (Return on Investment) is a key consideration for companies pursing or thinking about pursuing the hottest digital trends:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Big Data
  • Digital Transformation
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Mobile Apps

Each of these areas is about innovation with the goal of saving companies time, money and providing better and more personalized customer experiences.

But the reality is they are big endeavors that also require big investments and often infrastructure change. So how much? For how long is required? When does it pay off?

Here is the ROI research on the 5 hottest digital trends.

ROI research on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

70% of companies claim they’re using a form of artificial intelligence (AI). This includes machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and cognitive computing. Manufacturers worldwide are looking to technologies through artificial intelligence (AI) to increase efficiencies and avoid disruption from industry newcomers. KPMG surveyed 299 global manufacturing CEOs, and another 73 from the US. The conclusion for their ROI research: AI investment could take up to 5 years, 56% of manufacturing CEOs say.

ROI research on Big Data

Big Data adoption reached 53% of companies in 2017 according to the NewVantage Partners Big Data Executive Survey. 84% of survey respondents name factors related to speed, insight, and business agility as the primary reasons for big data investment. Tech Republic reports that ROI on big data can be delivered in 6 months if companies outline a very specific business case and outcome for the big data investments. Examples include sensors to shorten delivery routes or reduce in-transit theft. Behavior data to better understand consumer preference and relationship to sales. Wikibon research claims, the average Big Data project delivers a 55 cents ROI for each dollar invested.

ROI research on Digital Transformation

88% of companies report they are undergoing digital transformation. This year, according to IDC, companies around the world are expected to have spent a total of $2.1 trillion on digital transformation. The network is at the heart of any digital transformation according to IDC. No network means no business. Yet IDC has stated that in the next two years almost a third (30%) of large and midsize businesses will suffer a service failure due to mismatches in power delivery and IT workload profiles caused by hardware obsolescence. A DT-ready network can be surprisingly affordable achieving an average return on investment of 349% over five years and payback in as little as six months. Automation is an essential element of such a network; an IDC study found that companies lowered their networking costs by 33%.

ROI research on Influencer Marketing

75% of marketers are using influencers as a marketing tool and many plan to increase spending 43% in the next 12 months. A study on influencer marketing showed that it can give an ROI of 11X more than banner adsA Celebrity Intelligence survey found for $1.29 beauty brand spend on beauty influencer, they are generating a return of $11.38. According to Tomoson, $6.50 in revenue is generated from every $1 invested in influencer marketing strategies. Finding the right influencers for the right campaign is one of the most frequent difficulties faced by nearly 68% of the marketers.

ROI research on mobile apps

58% of all connected consumer time takes place in mobile apps, according to digital research firm comScore. According to a report by Gartner, mobile apps will be responsible for generating a revenue of $77 billion by 2017. Mobile apps are a core ingredient in the future of tech in our everyday lives. ROI research on mobile apps is determined based on the function and goals of the app. It’s different to develop mobile games to make money than to create a free corporate app to enhance your brand and be able to connect more directly with your customers. But ROI is also pretty basic for mobile app. The primary markets are the Apple Store and Google Play. They offer tools for keeping a record of the times our app gets downloaded, as well as from which countries it was downloaded from and user performance data. You can also check the comments and opinions left by those who have tried our app and the error reports it may have generated to act accordingly and get these problems solved in future updates.

Does this ROI research help you in your pursuit of these innovative technologies. Could your company benefits from a ROI assessment for any initiatives you may be doing or thinking in these areas?

9 essential rules to follow for Mobile App marketing 0

Posted on December 30, 2018 by Rob Petersen
mobile app marketing

Mobile App marketing

Mobile App marketing matters. The number of apps available to Android users is 2.1 million on Google Play and iPhone users have 2 million available apps on the Apple App Store.

Mobile apps account for nearly half of global internet traffic and are an important channel to consider for businesses seeking to better communicate with customers.

But only 40% of smartphone users browse for apps in app stores. The majority find apps through search, websites, social media, ads, videos, reviews and recommendations.

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. A marketing plan for your Mobile App is as important as its development.

Here are 9 essential rules to follow for Mobile App marketing.

1. App store optimization (ASO)

Both Google Play and Apple’s App Store algorithmically prioritize certain apps in search results based on a variety of ranking factors (ratings, tags, screenshots, app title, download data etc.). However, unlike SEO (which primarily focuses on Google) app store optimization is not a one-size fits all game. The most important ranking factor when it comes to app store optimisation is your app’s title. If you’ve built a train time-checker app, then it’s recommended to use ‘train time checker’ in the title.

You can use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool (with the device setting on mobile) to identify which terms and phrases are relevant to your app people search for the most on mobile.

2. Social media marketing and advertising

One of the most effective ways of acquiring mobile app installs has been through clever use of Facebook’s advertising platform. Use a combination of page promoted posts & sponsored stories targeted to mobile news feeds. Similarly, promoted tweets are another highly effective way of driving mobile app downloads when set up correctly. Start off with a small budget testing various different keyword segments, and scale up what drives the best cost-per-acquisitions. Reddit advertising is ridiculously cheap. Play around with advertising or contributing on niche social networks, such as Reddit or Quora.

3. Reviews, drive them naturally

Reviews are a huge aspect of app store optimization, as well as an important factor in convincing people to download your app. It’s extremely important that you find an effective way of driving reviews in a way that’s natural and won’t trigger Google or Apple’s spam filters. Offer something cool – be it some free credits or an extended subscription, giving the user something valuable in return for a review is a win-win situation that seems to work well.

4. Microsite with a blog for effective search engine optimization (SEO)

A micro-site opens up a whole host of marketing possibilities. If you’ve built an app that sells concert tickets in London, you could build a micro-site and do some SEO around it. If you ranked #1 for ‘London concert tickets’ you’d drive approximately 8,100 people searching for ‘London Concert Tickets’ to your app per month. If you create a blog on your site, you can find many other relevant keywords for your app and write blogs using these keywords in titles to continuously drive traffic to your site and, for there, to your app.

5. YouTube channel for app instructions

You can also create your own YouTube videos on how to use the app to deal with specific problems. This will help capture people that are looking for solutions to those problems, and convert them into users. Once they see a step-by-step guide on how they can use the application for their needs, they’re so much more likely to give it a try. Remember that even simple apps can be confusing to some people, even with instructions and onboarding. A demonstration is a great way to get customers interested in downloading and using the app.

6. Email marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of driving traffic, building advocacy, and converting leads to users / customers. Build a newsletter and offer your potential users information that’s useful and valuable to them. They’ll respect you for it and ultimately be more inclined to download your app.

7. Start Mobile App marketing before launch

From the minute the app concepts and designs are complete, you should be thinking of marketing it.  Figure out who your ideal users are, why they should download the app, and how to encourage them. If only 40%
search for apps through the mobile app store and the rest find the apps through YouTube videos, blogs, and tutorials online, among other options; that’s means your missing out on over half the audience you could have if you start Mobile App marketing early.

8. Use Mobile App marketing to engage with potential customers

In order to create the ideal app, it has to be designed to meet your ideal users’ needs. So you should get feedback from your target audience throughout the creation process. Seek out and engage with potential customers during the app creation process. Get feedback from real users through through your microsite, your blog, your YouTube Channel and social media.

9. Get more feedback from customers after launch

Mobile apps in app stores are often ranked on popularity and value, based on ratings. So you definitely want to get customer feedback and more reviews to increase the possibility of more downloads after launch. You should also include contact info in your app descriptions, so customers can reach out with more detailed feedback or questions.

Do these rules for Mobile App marketing make sense to you? If your thinking of developing a Mobile App for your business, do you need a Mobile App marketing plan?

10 of the most successful company blogs and why they work 0

Posted on April 17, 2017 by Rob Petersen

successful company blogs

Successful company blogs have plenty of evidence to prove they generate results.

  • Blogs for B2B marketers have 67% increase in lead generation over  their peers that don’t. (Insideview)
  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines. (Contentplus)
  • Websites with Blogs have 434% more indexed pages with search engines and 97% more inbound links to help SEO (U.addresstwo)

But blogging is hard work. It’s takes time, resources and requires a purpose.

If you need examples to prove it’s worth the effort, here are 10 of the most successful company blogs and why they work.

successful company blogs #1

1. BIGELOW TEA: Who knew Bigelow Tea can bring out the flavor of Roast Loin of Pork, make the perfect Cosmopolitan more perfect or be your companion to the Ultimate Fall Tea Party? That’s just some of the many uses you’ll discover for Bigelow Tea when you read the Bigelow Blog. When a commodity product conveys versatility beyond what you imagined, doesn’t that make you think about the brand in a different light?

successful company blogs - #2

2. CLEVELAND CLINIC: Many believe they are putting out the best healthcare content anywhere. In a regulated industry generally far behind the content marketing curve. The Cleveland Clinic blog, Health Essentials, helps people deal with chronic diseases, overcome depression, and the battle to live a healthier life. They publish as many as three blog a day and all of the content is written by physicians who practice there. No wonder a regional hospital has more than 2 million Facebook Likes.

successful company blogs #3

3. DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB: It’s hard to think of shaving – or anything bathroom-related –  as fun. But on Dollar Shave Club’s company blog, the brand creates content that displays a sense of humor while also providing practical information about men’s shaving and other bathroom habits. By taking on a fun and friendly tone in its blog posts, the business is able to successfully discuss bathroom habits openly in a way that maintains a lightheartedness and makes readers feel like a buddy, rather than just a customer.

successful company blogs #4

4. EVERNOTE: The era of post-it notes is coming to its end. With an increased focus on technology, apps are increasingly becoming the preferred method for taking notes for thousands of people. Note taking apps like Evernote help you simplify the complications in everyday life. For example, no one wants to forget an anniversary or birthday. With content that’s tailored to helping make you more productive at home and at the office, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs on Evernote’s blog. Like how you can spend less time in meetings and more time getting work done.

successful company blogs #5

5. GENERAL ELECTRIC: General Electric’s brand is old manufacturing, but all that is changing, The company is becoming digital. GE Reports provides great content on the next ideas and around the industrial internet of things and beyond. To rank among top blogs, brands need to focus on using their blogs to provide information, engage readers and establish trust. Successful company blogs will continue to be an integral part of a successful marketing strategy, so marketers must ensure they are incorporating these effective and successful strategies into their blogs into 2017.

successful company blogs #6

6. HUBSPOT: HubSpot is one of the leading companies within the marketing industry, so it would make sense that its successfblog follows suit. The brand’s content utilizes many best practices that keep readers constantly coming back for more. HubSpot’s company blog makes the topic and application of inbound marketing readily available and easily digestible for the brand’s customers and leads. It also serves as an excellent example of how a company can use its blog to effectively promote its products and services, without being overly pushy or assertive. Readers leave feeling as though they’ve learned something instead of being sold.

successful company blogs #7

7. MARRIOT: Marriot On the Move, Marriot’s company blog, signs off each blog post, “I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.” At least twice a month, the founder and CEO of the company put his voice behind his brand. He recognizes employees, explains company developments and defines leadership. If the chairman spoke to you regularly, wouldn’t it increase your positive perceptions of the company? That’s what successful company blogs do.

successful company blog #8

8. PATAGONIA: Mention the brand, Patagonia, and travel and adventure come to mind. But, in the highly competitive world of e-commerce, materials, stitching, color availability and shipping policy are what has to take priority to any potential buyer. How to accomplish both? Your blog. On The Cleanest Line, Patagonia’s Blog, you can read about paragliding in the Alaskan mountain ranges to the many species of animal that inhabit Ibera National Park in Argentina. All without leaving the website. Doesn’t that make a premium-priced brand a little bit more worth the money?

successful company blogs #10

9. WISTIA: Much like HubSpot, Wistia takes what it knows and effectively shares it with the world. The online video hosting and analytics company posts content that educates, informs and engages its readers on everything they’d want to learn about video marketing. What makes Wistia’s blog so successful. If customers have purchased the service, then offering expertise, tips and how-to’s on various video-related topics only keeps them coming back to learn how they can enhance what they are creating with Wistia. The blog follows the simple rules of ‘be kind, be friendly, be inclusive and professional, and take care of others.

successful company blogs #10

10. ZAPPOS: If you thought their blog was only going to talk about shoes, you’re sorely mistaken. Instead of Zappos’ blog being a place for promotions and company news, they transitioned it to an outlet for inspiration and everyday life. With everything from their culture and style to active lifestyles and kids, you’ll find something that takes you there in their company blog, Beyond the Box.

Does this help you understand what makes for successful company blogs. Does it inspire you to create one?

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