Archive for January 2012

What’s the difference between Email Marketing, Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation?

January 27, 2012

The distinction between Email Marketing, Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation can be confusing because they all use email as their delivery mechanism.

Email marketing is simply sending email with your marketing message. The email message could go to one person or to a million people. It could be plain text or it could be an HTML email with links, images and video. Email marketing is typically sent to your customers, your prospects or to an email list that you’ve purchased in the hopes of getting new customers. Over the last 5 years email marketing has proven to be one of the most cost effective marketing methods. According to Wikipedia U.S. companies spent $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011 and it will grow to $2.468 billion by 2016. Email marketing is not without challenges. According to a recent survey less than 50% of email newsletters are opened. Spam filters grab a significant portion of email marketing, estimates range from 10-20%. Before starting an email marketing campaign you should familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM law (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/15C103.txt). For email marketing to be effective the recipients should have opted-in to receiving messages, the message should be relevant to the recipients and the content should be high quality. This will insure a positive reception to your email marketing campaign.

Lead nurturing is a step up from email marketing. Lead nurturing sends a series of emails at predetermined intervals. The goal of lead nurturing is to build a relationship with a prospect using electronic mail. The concept is that by staying in touch with your prospect while they are in the information gathering stage of making a purchase decision you will get their business when it’s time for them to purchase something. The idea came about because sales reps typically don’t follow up on sales leads until they the prospect is ready to buy. So rather than have those leads go stale, marketing was tasked with staying in touch with prospects until they were closer to making a purchase decision. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead. A lead nurturing track might have 1 email per year or it might have several emails per day (I’m on a few of those). To be effective lead nurturing should be a targeted message with exactly the information the prospect is searching for and it must be high quality content. Lead nurturing emails should not be sent so frequently that they annoy the recipient.

Marketing automation encompasses email marketing, lead nurturing and scheduling human communication that moves sales leads from the first contact to the completed sale by using software that tracks an individual prospect’s interests and responds accordingly.  For example, what web pages did they visit, what links did they click, what emails did they open, what white papers did they download, etc. and then adds that prospect to the appropriate lead nurturing track and schedules relevant follow-up phone calls.  The follow-up phone calls can be scheduled either at the prospects request, at milestones (e.g. after a webinar) or automatically at regularly scheduled intervals.  Marketing automation is one of the best ways to make the most of your sales leads and LeadMaster’s marketing automation is point and click easy.

LeadMaster has all three solutions; email marketing, lead nurturing and marketing automation. Sign up for a test drive and let a LeadMaster consultant show you just how easy and cost effective these marketing tools can be.

For more information on Marketing Automation check out the article by Lauren Carlson at Software Advice.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

LeadMaster’s Lead Management / Marketing Automation / CRM Solution Included in Tech Data’s StreamOne™ Solutions Store

January 23, 2012
LeadMaster, a leading provider of cloud computing solutions for CRM, Sales Lead Management, Marketing Automation and Sales Force Automation today announced an agreement with Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ: TECD), one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products. With this agreement in place, the LeadMaster family of solutions will be distributed through Tech Data’s U.S. network of over 60,000 value added resellers (VARs).

LeadMaster’s on-demand customizable SaaS solution combines CRM software, sales lead management solutions, sales force automation tools (SFA) and marketing automation features in a seamless easy-to-use online application. Thesepowerful web-based tools have helped companies all over the world, large and small; from a wide variety of industries increase their sales revenue. LeadMaster’s highly intuitive application makes it easy to increase sales revenue by helping to qualify, track and convert leads.

LeadMaster Sales Lead Management / CRM / Email Marketing / Automation

“Our StreamOne partnership with LeadMaster reconfirms Tech Data’s commitment to provide our customers with innovative software that will continue to help them meet their business goals,” said Stacy Nethercoat, Vice President of Software Product Marketing for Tech Data. “By offering LeadMaster, our network of resellers is able to provide business value and an innovative solution to end-users.”

Russell King, Founder and CEO of LeadMaster said, “We are enthusiastic about our partnership with Tech Data. We believe partner success happens as a result of customer success and our relationship with Tech Data will help drive customer success. Simplicity, integration and customization are critical success factors for any cloud computing solution. With Tech Data’s 60,000 VARs, customers are sure to get the consulting and support they need to successfully implement the LeadMaster solution.”

This Agreement with Tech Data Allows LeadMaster to Reach 60,000 Value-Added Resellers

 

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Email Marketing – Getting your emails to show up correctly in all email clients

January 20, 2012

While using LeadMaster’s built-in E-marketing some people have commented that the email doesn’t always look the same when viewed in different email clients, especially if the email included a lot of HTML.

The reason is that different email clients treat HTML differently.  This is especially true of Outlook.  Take a look at the charts below compiled by campaign monitor.  You’ll notice that of all the email clients listed below Outlook blocks the most.

To get your email to show correctly in most email clients use Tables instead of HTML <div> tags.  Some email clients, like Outlook, strip styles, positioning, background images, padding etc.

LeadMaster HTML Email Editor

LeadMaster HTML Email Editor

HTML-Email-Compatibility-Chart1

HTML-Email-Compatibility-Chart1

HTML-Email-Compatibility-Chart2

HTML-Email-Compatibility-Chart2

 

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New Feature – Custom Form Labels Act as Links

January 18, 2012

When creating a label on a LeadMaster custom form you can now use HTML to make the label a link.

Add A Label Using HTML to Create a Link

Add A Label Using HTML to Create a Link

Click on the HTML link in the label editor, enter the HTML and click submit.  Here’s an example.

Custom Form with a Label as a Link

Custom Form with a Label as a Link

There are many great uses for this feature, for example if you have reference material that you might need while using custom form.

 

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New Feature – Merge Contact Fields in the ‘Event Name’ when Creating a Callback in Lead Nurturing

January 18, 2012

When you are creating a call back as part of a Lead Nurturing track in LeadMaster you can insert merge fields in the Event Name (for example – Meeting with [FirstName] from [Company])

LeadMaster Lead Nurturing

LeadMaster Lead Nurturing

Adding Callback with Merge Field

Adding Callback with Merge Field

 

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New Feature – Email Bounce Manager now in E-Marketing

January 18, 2012

Two years ago LeadMaster added the Email Bounce Management functionality to the application.

Managing Bounced Email in LeadMaster

Email Bounce Management Best Practice

Bounce Manager Update

At that time the bounce manager was only available in the Administration section of the application.  Because bounce management is an important part of successful e-marketing the bounce manager has been added to the E-Marketing section of LeadMaster.

LeadMaster Bounce Manager - Now Available in E-Marketing

LeadMaster Bounce Manager – Now Available in E-Marketing

 

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Managing Marketing Campaigns and Measuring ROI with LeadMaster

January 6, 2012

LeadMaster makes it easy to track the results of your marketing campaigns and measure your return on investment (ROI) for the money you spend on marketing programs.  This document contains step-by-step instructions to show you how.  Should you need assistance your LeadMaster representative will be happy to help you.

Once you’ve setup LeadMaster to track your marketing campaigns you’ll be able to see:

  • How many sales leads you’ve generated from each marketing program.
  • How much each of those leads cost to generate.
  • How many deals you’ve closed as a result of each marketing campaign.
  • How much you’ve sold as a result of each marketing campaign.
  • How many leads are in each sales stage for one or more marketing campaigns.
  • Your return on investment for each marketing campaign and overall.

You’ll be able to have real-time charts on your dashboard so that you’ll know what’s happening with your marketing programs at a glance.

Marketing-ROI-Report

Marketing-ROI-Report

LeadMaster-Dashboard-Reports

LeadMaster-Dashboard-Reports

  1. The first step is to create a unique landing page on your web server for each marketing message you want to track.  You can start with just one landing page.For example, LeadMaster has individual landing pages for each the following advertising messages:
    1. Lead Management
    2. CRM
    3. Opportunity Management
    4. Email Marketing
    5. Sales Management
    6. Marketing Automation

Here’s an image of a LeadMaster Landing page with an advertising message for Lead Management.

LeadMaster-Landing-Page-Sample

LeadMaster-Landing-Page-Sample

If you have leads coming from other marketing campaigns besides landing pages (email, lead generators, webinars etc.) we’ll setup campaigns to keep track those in Step #3.

I like to have a different image for each different type of message. If you’re going to have more than a couple of landing pages you’ll want to keep them organized.  In the image below you’ll see folders on the web server with landing pages called Bar-Chart, Bulls-Eye, Pie-Chart, SalesForce, White-Label and Whitepage.

Each of these folders contains a unique landing page with a specific message:

  1. Lead Management = Bar Chart
  2. CRM = Bulls-Eye
  3. Opportunity Management = Opportunity Management
  4. Email Marketing = SalesForce
  5. Sales Management = White-label
  6. Marketing Automation = Whitepage

2. Once you’ve created unique landing pages for each of your messages you’ll need to put a copy of each landing page in a directory for each advertising provider (e.g. Google, Bing, etc) – in the image below are folders with ads to run on SpeedyAds, Yahoo & YouTube.

Directory-Structure-to-stay-organized

Directory-Structure-to-stay-organized

  1. If you are using the same landing page across multiple advertising outlets (a good idea to test the effectiveness of each advertiser) simply place the landing page in a unique directory for each ad outlet – I’ve chosen to name the directories the same as the name of the advertising outlet.  I find that it makes it easier to keep track of things.
  2. If you are using the same 10 landing pages (Bar-Chart, Bulls-Eye, Pie-Chart etc.) with multiple advertising outlets (Google, Bing, SpeedyAds etc) simply place all 10 landing pages in a unique directory.  Don’t forget to give each a unique title and description in the meta tags.

Here’s an example of the path to the landing page.

URL-Path

URL-Path

Here’s how I have the landing pages organized on the web server.

  • All the landing directories are in the LP directory
    • At this level I have a directory for Google, Bing, SpeedyAds etc.
  • All the Bing landing pages are in the Bing directory in the LP directory.

3.  The third step to tracking your marketing campaigns and marketing ROI is to create a Campaign in LeadMaster for each advertising marketplace – e.g. LP-Bing, LP-Facebook, LP-Google etc.  If you have leads coming from other marketing efforts such as email, lead generators, etc. you’ll need to setup a LeadMaster Campaign for each of those as well.  I like to make the campaign name and campaign ID identical to make it easier to track and recognize where the leads came from.

Custom-Forms

Custom-Forms

When new leads come into LeadMaster they can be assigned a Campaign so that you know where that lead came from and if that lead buys something you’ll be able to track the ROI for that marketing campaign.  This is true whether the lead is coming from a landing page, an email, a lead generator etc.  You’ll always want to assign a Campaign when a new lead comes into the system so you can track where that lead came from.

In the image below you’ll see a portion of a record in the LeadMaster system where the campaign is identified as LP-Google.  In other words this lead came from a Google Landing Page.

Lead Assignment to Reps

Lead Assignment to Reps

In LeadMaster there are 3 ways to assign the campaign when new leads come in from landing pages.

  • Have a hidden field on your landing page.
  • Use the Profile fields on your custom form.
  • Use Workflow Automation to assign the campaign.

I prefer to use either a hidden field on the landing page or the profile field on the custom form so that I can do Marketing Automation based upon the new lead coming in from that campaign (e.g. send a ‘Thank You’ email, assign the lead etc.).  Below is an example of setting up a Custom Form Profile Field to track the campaign.

LeadMaster Profile Fields

LeadMaster Profile Fields

The campaign tells us which advertising marketplace generated the lead but we also want to keep track of which individual landing page generated this lead so that we know which landing pages are more effective than others.  The next step shows how LeadMaster keeps track of which landing page brought in which leads.

4. The next step in tracking your marketing campaigns and ROI is making sure LeadMaster records the specific landing page that generated the lead.I like to use the ‘Lead Source’ field to keep track of the individual landing page that generated the lead.  You have the same 3 options for entering the Lead Source in LeadMaster as you do for tracking the campaign (explained in the previous section).

  • Have a hidden field on your landing page.
  • Use the Edit Profile fields on your custom form.
  • Use Workflow Automation to assign the campaign.

Here’s an example of capturing the specific landing page using a hidden field.

HTML from landing page

HTML from landing page

Here’s how it shows up on a record in the LeadMaster system.

Sales Progress Updated via Landing Page

Sales Progress Updated via Landing Page

Here’s a quick review of what we’ve done so far

  • You’ve created your landing pages
  • You’ve organized your landing pages into directories
  • You’ve created Campaigns in LeadMaster and setup a tracking method using Campaigns
  • You’ve setup a tracking method for identifying which landing page created which lead using the Lead Source field

Next you’ll need to setup a custom form for each landing page.  LeadMaster provides you with a tool called ‘Map Web Forms to Custom Forms’ which allows you to bring the data from your landing pages into LeadMaster.  In order to use that tool and create custom forms you’ll need access to Administration in LeadMaster.

5.  The next step in tracking your marketing campaigns and ROI is to create a unique Custom Form for each combination of landing page and advertising marketplace.

  1. I suggest you name the custom form by combining the name of where the ad will be running (Google, Bing, LinkedIn etc) with the name of the landing page (Bar Chart, Bulls-Eye, Pie Chart etc).  For example “LP LinkedIn Pie Chart”
  2. In the Custom Form Profile Fields you’ll assign the Campaign, e.g. LP-LinkedIn

In the image below you can see that it might be easy to lose track of what’s what if you’ve got both a lot of landing pages and a lot of advertising marketplaces.

Custom Forms for Mapping to Landing Pages

Custom Forms for Mapping to Landing Pages

By setting your tracking up this way you’ll be able to see exactly where your leads are coming from.  For example, on the record for each lead you’ll see:

  • Campaign = LP-Google (the lead came from a Google landing page)
  • Lead Source = LP-Pie Chart (the lead came from the Pie Chart landing page running on Google)

You can also search for all the records with Campaign = LP-Google.  This will tell you how many leads you are receiving from Google.  You can also filter your search to a specific timeframe like last week or last month.

6. The sixth and final step in tracking your marketing campaigns and ROI is to map your landing pages to your custom forms in LeadMaster.

Here’s an example of a custom form with all the same fields as your landing page.

Custom Form Fields

Custom Form Fields

Make sure you’ve compiled your custom form.  You compile the form by opening it and clicking the menu ‘Compile Form’.  Notice in the menus in the image above – the gray menu says ‘Form Compiled’.  The menu changes from ‘Compile Form’ to ‘Form Compiled’ once you click that menu and confirm that you indeed do want to compile the custom form.  You can’t use custom forms until they’ve been compiled.

Now you’re ready to map your landing page to your custom form.
In order to use the ‘Map Web Form to Custom Form’ tool you need to have access to Administration.  If you don’t see Administration in the top menu bar you’ll need to ask your administrator or LeadMaster representative to change your privileges to give you access to Administration.

Click on Administration and then click on ‘Map Web Forms to Custom Forms’.  This is a wizard type of tool.  Just follow the instructions on the screen.  Select the custom form you’d like to map to your landing page – in the image below the custom form is called simply ‘Landing Page’.

Map Web Form to Custom Form

Map Web Form to Custom Form

There are two ways to match the fields on the landing page to the custom form, either:

  • Automatically using the Map Web Form tool or
  • By hand

I prefer the ‘by hand’ method because there are simply too many web development tools to guarantee the format of the fields matches the tool.

Matching by hand is easy enough, simply type in the content of the field ID on the web form and click add. Then match that to the custom form fields, which are displayed automatically (see the image at the top of the next page).

This is very similar to importing records where you are matching the import fields with the system fields.

Mapping Fields Web Form to Custom Form

Mapping Fields Web Form to Custom Form

Ok, you’re almost finished. Now that you’ve got the fields mapped in the LeadMaster system you need to add some code to your landing page to tell it to send the data to LeadMaster. Don’t worry, you don’t need to write the code, LeadMaster does that for you. All you need to do is copy and paste. Here’s the code the mapping tool has created.

Snippet for your website

Snippet for your website

You’re now all set up to use LeadMaster to tracking your marketing programs and measure your marketing ROI.  Once you’ve collected some leads from your marketing efforts you are ready to run the Marketing ROI Report.

Click on Reports / Click on Filter / Select the Campaigns you’d like to Report on – in the image below I’ve selected 6 campaigns using the LeadMaster Search Engine and then selected the Marketing ROI Report in the Marketing Reports section.

Marketing ROI Report

Marketing ROI Report

The Investment figure is automatically gathered from the ‘Projected Expenses’ on the campaign setup page.

The ‘# of Leads’ is determined by records associated with that campaign.  This information is gathered automatically because of what we did in step #3 above.

The ‘Cost per Lead’ is calculated automatically by dividing the ‘Investment’ by the ‘Total Number of Leads’.

The ‘# of Deals Won’ in the Marketing ROI Report is determined automatically by records that have Sales Stage = Closed Won in the Sales Progress section of the record.

Sales Progress

Sales Progress

The ‘Lead Value’ in the Sales Progress section of the record automatically determines the ‘Total Value’ in the Marketing ROI Report.

You can filter for any campaign or combination of campaigns.  You can also filter for specific dates so you can have a Marketing ROI report for – a day, a week, a month, a year or any length of time.

 

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