If you run an ecommerce business, you don’t need us to tell you how crucial generating leads is for achieving sales. Lead generation is one of the most important elements of your inbound marketing strategy and plays a major role in converting visitors into leads and eventually into paying customers. If your business is small and relatively new, quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to lead generation.
But how do you generate more qualified leads? The simplest answer: through high-quality content. To be more specific, you need content that adds value to the customer and helps them in their buyer journey. You need the customer to be able to find you online easily, especially if your business is in the ecommerce domain. Here, inbound marketing contributes greatly to a business’s lead generation.
Some of the most prominent and effective methods of generating leads through inbound marketing include website SEO optimization, blogs, social media posts and engagements, landing pages, videos, etc. Outbound marketing tools like paid search, banner ads, social media ads, email marketing, SMS marketing etc. create a demand for your products or services, prompting them to engage with your brand online.
After choosing the right marketing channels to use, you must define your audience. For this, you need to create a buyer persona for your potential customers, typically based on parameters such as their age and gender, their income, and from where they were sourced as a lead. Then, identify which channels your audience engages with the most. This will help you create a more accurate buyer journey to send your message on the right channels at the right time.
Why text marketing is an effective lead generation tool
SMS marketing can be set up in almost no time – unlike email marketing, there is no design or development involved. Not only is it easier to create a message, but texts are also more likely to generate a response from recipients than emails. At least 90% of texts are opened, compared to just 20% of emails. That’s nearly five times the engagement of email and considerably more than any other channel.
The simplest and most reliable way of gaining consent from your leads is to use an SMS marketing platform. With the help of the platform, you can ask leads and prospects to provide consent by using a simple input to opt in to your text marketing list.
If your SMS marketing platform integrates with your CRM, you can track opt-ins and use system filters to make sure you never send messages to anyone who doesn’t want them.
How to use SMS marketing for lead nurturing
This is an important one. When we say personalization, we mean gathering information about leads and their interests, then marketing to them by showing them things that you know they will be interested in. Not everyone wants the same things, so sending blanket emails and displaying the same offers to everyone on your ecommerce site will leave you short of your goals. With a good SMS marketing solution, you can gather information about leads’ likes, dislikes, interests and past buying behaviors (and more), and use this information to personalize your outreach.
If they have browsed for new shoes on your site, send them emails about a sale you’re having on shoes. If they’ve purchased t-shirts in the past, configure your marketing automation system to display pop-ups that offer them discounts on t-shirts. Marketing automation software makes this easy by allowing you to assign tags to leads based on their behavior and then segment them based on those tags.
Get to know your leads
Marketing works with Sales to establish key criteria for lead segmentation and scoring. Hopefully, you have already created a comprehensive list of buyer personas and a detailed buyer journey for each. The next step is to plan how you will capture this information through landing pages and forms, using a progressive profiling approach so that conversion rates are kept high. Identify relevant pages and events that, if visited or triggered, also allow you to update lead profiles during the buyer journey. Access LinkedIn, Data.com, Hoovers and other business data sites you can use to cross-reference leads and further develop their profiles. Some of these sources can be directly integrated through HubSpot and Salesforce apps and APIs.
Set up lead scoring criteria and point system to update lead lifecycle stages, move leads to the CRM at the right time, and trigger notifications using marketing automation workflows. Leads accumulate positive scores for behavior and demographics.
Create a buyer persona
Engagement: number of visits, unique page views, repeat visits, form conversions, email opens and clicks, blog comments, social media mentions, inbound links.
Buyer stage: clicks and conversions on specific content indicating a lead lifecycle change, such as mid-funnel and bottom-funnel offers.
Frequency: recency of engagement, volume and timing of events indicating an imminent intent to buy. Also, apply negative scoring for form answers or behaviors that designate a lead as a poor fit, for example: competitor company, low budget or non-company email address.