Grow a mighty oak from an acorn – part 2

How does a mighty oak grow from an acorn? Passion, strategy and technology.

Part 1: Get organised with CRM systems

2. Target communications with marketing automation

Once your data is organised, you can use your specific customer information to create targeted marketing strategies. Instead of sending one-size-fits-all emails, you’ll be able to craft tailored content based on behaviour like a previous purchase or abandoned shopping cart.

With marketing automation, you can send emails based on interests, behaviours or the current stage of your prospects. You can even map out a series of follow-ups to be automatically sent at predetermined intervals or when a prospect hits a specific trigger.

With marketing automation, you can send emails based on interests, behaviours or the current stage of your prospects. A series of follow-ups can be automatically sent at predetermined intervals or when a prospect hits a specific trigger.

After that, reports that track email open rates, click-throughs and social reach will help you determine which content elements are working and which aren’t.

3. Get more leads through social

One make-or-break area for any small business is lead generation.

Advertising methods like cold calling are time-consuming; some methods, like Yellow Pages advertising, are outdated; and others, like direct mail, are costly and tough to measure.

Because of this, many small businesses have turned to social media to find potential buyers. In fact, 61% of marketers consider their social-media channels a great lead generator, according to a 2013 industry report by Social Media Examiner.

But even the red-hot social-media advertising requires a great deal of time and maintenance.

So what’s the solution? Lead-generation tools that turn Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter follows into leads.

Many tools will help businesses launch promotions and contests to attract new followers and engage with fans.

Some tools will even allow you to add customised forms to your social account to easily collect lead information and funnel them into campaigns.

4. Streamline business processes with all-in-one solutions

Just because a task has always been performed a certain way doesn’t mean the habitual way is the best way of doing it. Often there are more efficient ways to deliver the same service while streamlining or eliminating redundancies, like automation.

Another small-business pattern is to adopt a range of technology tools like contact managers, email marketing, auto-responders and online shopping carts that don’t integrate well. If you’re struggling to get a variety of software systems to work together, you’ll save considerable time with a solution that integrates all of these tools into one system.

Some small businesses want to stay small while maintaining a thriving stream of sales. Others want to grow indefinitely.

Whatever your end game, be sure you have an effective lifecycle marketing strategy in place that focuses on:

  • attracting traffic to your website with great content
  • capturing leads by encouraging visitors to sign up to receive your content
  • nurturing prospects by through relevant follow-up emails and offers
  • converting sales using automation
  • delivering on your commitments and wowing customers
  • generating recurring revenue by upselling existing customers
  • creating incentives for referrals

Small businesses that use technology to implement these lifecycle marketing principles can run a more efficient and profitable business – one that puts the ‘life’ back in work-life balance.

Aaron Stead

infusionsoft.com

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