The start of a new year gives us the opportunity to revise, re-evaluate and revitalize. While New Years’ resolutions are often personal goals and objectives, it’s often a good time to look at what we are doing professionally as well. This time of the year affords us the opportunity to make sure our programs are on track, implement some new best practices or simply make the jump and take it to the next level.
With that in mind, we wanted to offer up 5 resolutions that will make your Lead Nurturing and Content Marketing a more successful program:
- It all starts with the leads: quality not quantity. Did you know that according to Zoominfo that each year: job titles or job functions change 66%, phone numbers change 44%, and email changes 37%. So every year your data gets further out of date and of little value to your marketing and sales efforts. To make sure your leads list is still relevant try these best practices:
- Verify emails – Services can help make sure that you have legitimate and current email addresses.
- Provide an opt-in process – While all emails should have an unsubscribe link, add additional options for your lead as well. One of the most popular ways to achieve this is to set up a subscription center where leads can choose what interests them.
- Pay attention to unsubscribe rates and hard bounce rates – If you see a large unsubscribe rate (more than 1%) or hard bounce rate (more than 10%) you are receiving huge flags that say that your content and/or list is not good quality, and could lead to getting blacklisted.
- Get on track with your tracking. Digital behaviors are an indicator of interest, so if you aren’t paying attention to both your anonymous visitors’ and known leads’ activities you are missing valuable insight. The prospects are telling you what content they found compelling, what subject line resonated and what time of day they check their email. They are telling you what stage in the buy cycle they are in, just by their digital behaviors. Tracking and analyzing these behaviors will increase the return on your marketing campaigns. If you aren’t at least tracking anonymous visitors to your website and seeing the company names, get LeadLife’s free tool: Visitor Insights. The increased visibility for marketing and sales teams is essential.
- Define MQL for your company. At what point does marketing say that the lead is “ripe” and ready to talk to a rep? That’s where the discussion of what a “sales ready” or Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) comes in. To define your MQL, have both marketing and sales sit down and really understand the phases of the buy cycle. Map out the digital behavior at each stage. Add important demographic and firmographic criteria and try it out. Most likely you’ll have to test the MQL definition and iterate through a few times until it works for the organization.
- Develop or evolve your scoring system. To get the most out of lead scoring, you should spend some time really thinking through how you want to score your leads or if you have a system in place, re-evaluating it make sure the score is truly reflective of your goals. Determine what your objective is with lead scoring and develop scoring rules based on that. If you are trying to help see and move “sales-ready” leads to the sales team based on score, then score just those demographics and/or digital behaviors that define that lead. Sit back and ask yourself – does opening an email really constitute buying intent? Once in place make sure you also understand your scoring scale and what the numbers mean. Stay consistent throughout or it won’t work. Once this is place, it is much easier to see where each lead is at in the sales cycle.
- Content remains king. While your content can be meaningful and well written, it won’t be heard unless you’re actually engaging your audience. It’s not always about what you want to share with them, but about what they want to hear. Content should always be A/B tested to see what works better. Let the data (your leads’ digital footprints) tell you what resonates.