I had to take issue in public with a very well known online accounting software company recently. And what I learned was that some SaaS companies are trying to embrace the Delight section of Inbound Marketing by responding to enquiries by email.
Whilst this could not strictly be viewed as nurturing existing clients in the recognised Inbound Methodology, it is an attempt by Geeks to resolve customer problems without actually having to physically talk to them.
Done carefully, it could actually be very successful.
However, in this instance, all it did was serve to inflame the situation and lead me to start looking at other providers after nearly two years of monthly subscriptions to this company.
Advertising budgets are largely spent on getting new customers to buy a product or service. Globally, millions are spent every single day to achieve this target.
Some of the advertising they are doing is hard to measure, most of it has a short shelf life and all of it is intruding on the lives of the very people they are trying to win over.
So if companies are willing to spend millions on advertisements that have so many negative qualities then why aren't they willing to do something that costs them a lot less and achieves the same end - getting new customers.
It's a bit of a buzz word in the Manufacturing world, yet most businesses only innovate in one part of their company, and it's usually their machinery.
However, being innovative isn't about being able to churn out somebody else's new products, it's about introducing new ideas that are original and creative to your business.
So why not be creative and look to innovate in a new area of your business - your website?
To start, let's define a Static Brochure Website.
These websites contain nothing more than a list of products or services provided by the manufacturer. There may be contact information and an 'About Us' section, but apart from that there's no real substance to the website.
Unfortunately, most manufacturing websites fall into this category.
You may be wondering what the problem is with your website listing your services, people go there to see what you do don't they?
In today's economic climate, there are THREE crucial reasons why you need to turn your website into a marketing machine, rather than leave it as a static brochure which doesn't earn its keep.
1. Business Growth - attracting the right type of visitors to your website, those ideal customers who are most likely to want your product or service
2. Building Your List - converting those visitors into leads by exchanging their email address for useful content.
3. Differentiation - showing those leads why you are better than your competition so it's obvious why they should become customers.
Unfortunately Manufacturers just aren't with the times.
I was recently wading through dozens of manufacturers' websites, as part of an active drive to nudge manufacturing businesses into the 21st century. I came across some horrendous websites.
Not just in design, even the best websites can have their flaws, but importantly the purpose was missing. So let's take a step back and think about who your website is for? Say the answer to yourself now.
It all started back in 1450 with the development of the Gutenberg press.
However, after the publication of the first magazine in Philadelphia in 1741, it took only 17 years for Dr Samuel Johnson to start complaining about the magnificence of promises to get attention in 1758.
Outbound marketing in its print form really kicked in during the 19th and early 20th centuries transitioning into the first radio ad in 1922.
Inbound made its first appearance in the Noughties and by 2012 it had started to gain some real traction in the US as the stats revealed that 88% of internet users browsed products online before purchasing.
Always a few years behind our American cousins, the UK has started to sit up and listen. It's a slow process but those businesses who have taken the plunge and invested in education and engagement are starting to reap the benefits.
The buyer's journey is the research process that takes place leading up to a purchase. It can help marketers to understand consumer behaviour and it keeps the buyer as a central focus for every part of their marketing or sales strategy.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a figure that is becoming more and more important for business owners.
The conversion rate is the ratio of visitors to your website that become leads - exchange their contact details for a piece of helpful content and the ratio of those leads who are closed into paying customers by your sales team.
Increasing those ratios is now becoming a focal point for the efforts of many marketers.
Hubspot's industry standard for inbound marketing benchmarks the figures at 2% for visitors to leads and 5% for leads into customers.
However, many websites don't do anywhere near as well as that... whilst some will do considerably better. Normally because the leads that go from marketing to sales are qualified (MQLs)
This infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines helps to identify elements of your website's sign up process that you can split test to try to increase these figures.