Everyone is using email, so it’s a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers. But if you’re doing it wrong—and a lot of companies are—your email marketing efforts can be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid email marketing pitfalls and ensure your email campaigns aren’t in vain:
Don’t Overwhelm your Customers
Everyone with an email address has gotten annoyed with a company that sends them too much email. If you’re bombarding your clients and leads with email everyday, chances are they’ll notice you, and not in a good way. Send too many, and your recipients will be looking for the unsubscribe button.
Also, don’t spam people. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t. You don’t like it, and your leads won’t like it either.
Send the Right Content at the Right Time
Your content must not only be relevant, it should also be timely. If there is seasonality in your industry, ensure that the content you’re sending right now aligns with those trends. Additionally, your content must be timely in terms of the lead’s point in the buyer’s journey. Leads who are further along in the journey and are nearly ready to purchase won’t respond as well to content explaining what your product does—they already know—as would a lead who is just discovering their need for a solution your product provides.
Intuitively Segment your Leads
Another way to turn off potential clients is to send them an irrelevant email. To make sure you’re sending the right content to the right leads, double-check that you’re segmenting your leads properly. Separate your marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—leads with demonstrated interest in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to make a purchase—from your sales qualified leads (SQLs)—leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and are closer to purchasing.
You’ll probably also want to segment your leads based upon their company size, job title/responsibilities/authority, and pain points; if you’ve created buyer personas, you can use those to segment your leads. Luckily, in email marketing programs like MailChimp and others, it’s easy to segment your leads—so there’s really no excuse not to!
Dumping all of your contacts into your mailing list is not going to be effective. If they aren’t leads or customers, you don’t need to send them email—it’s not going to generate sales, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s just going to annoy people. Plus, it’s going to throw off your numbers: it will be harder to get an accurate picture of your open and click-through rates and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
If you’re interested in implementing techniques for effective email marketing or adding email marketing to your marketing strategy, let’s start that conversation.
For more information on how Evenbound has helped B2B manufacturers draw in qualified leads and massively increase sales, check out the case study below:
5 Myths about Digital Marketing for Custom Home Builders
Digital marketing isn’t new. It’s been around almost as long as Google, and it’s continued to improve and expand over the years. Today, you can even market on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. So why are some custom home builders late to the party? It might be because you feel like word of mouth is still the best way to drum up business, or it might be because you don’t think you have the time for a digital marketing strategy.
The truth is, quality digital marketing is one of the simplest ways to generate qualified leads you legitimately want to work with. There’s a lot of information swirling around out there about custom home builder marketing, and not all of it is true. That’s why we’ve decided to debunk five of the most common myths out there about digital marketing for custom home builders, so you can have a clearer picture about how digital marketing might work for you:
Myth #1 I don’t have time for it
Since digital marketing is one of the top methods to generate qualified leads in a way that offers massive ROI, this myth is just silly. Digital marketing really doesn’t take all that much time, compared to the leads you have the potential to generate when you do it right. You can start your company’s digital marketing strategy as easily as setting up and regularly posting to a Facebook page. Really, you can put as much or as little time into digital marketing as you want to, it’s just that the more time you put in, the more you’re likely to get out of it. You can have a quality beginning digital marketing strategy by just posting one blog a month to your website, and interacting on your company’s Facebook once a day.
Now, if you want to see serious results from your digital marketing strategy, sure, you’ll need to put a bit more time into it than that. But if you’ve been considering digital marketing, and the only thing that’s holding you back is the time commitment, you’re leaning on an unfounded myth. If you truly don’t have time to manage any aspect of your home building company’s digital presence, then you should at least consider hiring someone to do it for you, whether they’re an intern or a digital marketing company.
Myth #2 I have enough leads
Let’s be honest. This one is just weak. No company has too many leads. If there actually comes a point where you have more jobs than you can handle, that just gives you the opportunity to start picking and choosing which jobs you actually want to do. The more leads you have, the greater your opportunity to break into a higher priced market. And ask yourself this: how many of the leads you have right now are exactly the types of projects your custom home building company wants to be working on?
When you have more leads than you can handle, you have the power to choose the projects that you genuinely want to do, and you can start to tailor the work you do to the higher price point your home building company is looking to break into. Digital marketing, when done properly, works to generate qualified leads, those leads you actually want to work with, rather than leads you’d rather not. And when you’re picking and choosing which projects you’d like to work with, you’re guaranteed to have the freedom to move up in the market.
Myth #3 No one uses email marketing anymore
Take it from anyone in business today, email is so far from dead. In fact, most people would rather have you contact them by email than phone these days. Strategic email marketing definitely has a place in your digital marketing strategy, especially when you know how to do it effectively. A great way to get people interested is to send out a monthly newsletter with some before and after photos of recent projects. It’s also the ideal platform to showcase different types of homes you’ve built recently.
This sort of regular email marketing provides those on your email list with content they’re genuinely interested in, and it reminds them who to go to when they finally decide they’re ready to build that custom home. Best of all, emails are a great place to ask for five star reviews from previous clients you know you’ve satisfied. The more reviews you have, the better your online ranking, which also works to boost the number of qualified leads you draw in.
Myth #4 Professional photographers aren’t worth it
When it comes to custom home building, image is everything. Your entire business is founded on the idea that you can build someone the dream home they’ve always wanted. Showcasing that is too important to gamble on a sub-par photographer or someone’s iPhone camera. One of the absolute best things you can do for your digital marketing platform is hire a professional photographer who can go out and take pictures of some of your best projects, both before and after they’re completed.
Those high resolution, quality photos speak volumes about your ability to create a home that’s above and beyond your client’s expectations. What’s more, you can use those professional photos in a variety of ways. Whether you want a gallery on your website, quality background photos for your home page slider, or just some decent photos to send out on your monthly newsletter, a professional photographer is well worth it.
Myth #5 It’s free
This last one is a bit different from the others. One of the biggest pervading myths about digital marketing for custom home builders is that it’s free. It’s not. No form of marketing is ever free. Anyone who tells you that you can market your custom home building website for free isn’t being honest.
While digital marketing is truthfully far less expensive than traditional marketing efforts like paper ads, radio ads, and tv commercials, it still costs a little bit. Even if you end up doing all your digital marketing yourself, it takes up time. There are a lot of digital marketing aspects you can complete on your own, but you’re still spending at least a small amount of time writing those blog and posting to your company Facebook account, and time is money. So, don’t let anyone tell you digital marketing is free. When done right, it provides massive ROI, which means you have to spend a lot less to get a lot more, but it’s still going to cost you at least a little time and money.
If you’re not sure how much you should be spending for a quality digital marketing strategy that works, get in touch with us here at Evenbound. We’ve worked with a number of custom home builders, and have cracked the code to digital marketing strategies that deliver the leads you want. Check out the custom home building case study below to see how we market differently for better results, and then get in touch if you’d like to see how we can tailor our strategy for you!
The importance of inbound and digital marketing is undeniable in our increasingly digital world: we carry computers around in our pockets, everywhere we go, and we see everything through this new digital lens. As a sales professional, you know the importance too of embracing digital strategies. If your focus has always been on traditional outbound and push marketing methods, however, it can be difficult to make the transition. Here are a few things you can do to convert your sales team from outbound to inbound marketing.
Recycle mail content to email content
Any marketing materials that you’ve sent to prospective clients, you can probably send via email much more conveniently and at much less expense. This includes direct mail fliers as well as newsletters. You shouldn’t just scan a paper copy of your newsletter and send out an email blast, though. While much of the content may stay the same, digital newsletters and email marketing pieces should be made interactive—by directing people to your website or to contact your company—and should focus on relevant, educational topics that speak to your readers’ (a.k.a. your future clients’) pain points, rather than exclusively promoting your company.
Switching to email provides several advantages, such as lower initial cost and time-saving automation, but it also allows the recipient to opt-in (through a website submission form or through traditional methods of obtaining contact information) as well as opt-out. If leads can opt out of marketing materials from you, you know that they aren’t interested in your products or services, and you can focus your efforts on other potential clients.
Turn brochures and handouts into website content
Brochures are dying, and we’re really not sorry about it. That doesn’t mean that the work that went into your brochures should go to waste—it’s often a great starting point for developing website content. The content is already succinct and discusses your company’s products and services, which is what your site needs to do, too. Chances are that your brochures also contain professionally captured, high quality images of your products, key team members, and facilities, which could be incorporated into your website as well.
Business cards aren’t going away anytime soon, so keep handing those out, and include a link to your site to direct your leads to your website and the valuable information it contains about your company. Instead of forcing it on them with a brochure (that often as not, gets tossed immediately), interested parties, who are already looking for what you’re selling will find your site through search results, digital ads, and even the old standbys, like a meeting with a member of your sales team or through word-of-mouth.
Forget cold-calling, start posting
Social media is ubiquitous and inescapable—use that to your advantage. Again, it can save you money on advertising, and it has better reach than older tactics. We talk about LinkedIn all the time when it comes to B2B marketing, because it’s an excellent tool; want to target people with specific job titles at specific companies with information about your services or products? You can do that with LinkedIn. (Check out 6 Easy Ways to Make LinkedIn Work For Your B2B Marketing Strategy for more on LinkedIn.) There are numerous other platforms that can be of use, too, depending on your industry and target audience, and they all allow you to communicate with hundreds, thousands, even millions of people very easily, and it allows them to communicate and interact with your company as well, pulling them in, rather than pushing out to them.
Social media is also a great way to promote and get people interested in some of the things your company has already created. Take your white papers, reports, forecasts—anything that might be valuable and interesting to your target buyers—and digitize it. Turn those things into blog posts, ebooks, infographics, etc. and put them on the web. Then use social media to let people know where to find it and how it can help them with their business’s challenges. These strategies draw in interested parties, bringing the qualified leads to you, rather than the other way around.
Don’t think that transitioning from an outbound to inbound strategy means that you have to reinvent the wheel—you don’t. In fact, many outbound strategies are easily digitized and can even supplement your newly implemented inbound strategies. Start with the amazing content and resources that you’ve already cultivated, and work on making them digital friendly. When the leads start pouring in, your sales team will know just what to do.
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the amount of money you can expect to make from a client over the course of your business relationship. Fostering a good relationship with your customers can increase this lifetime value, and there are a variety of digital marketing tools you can implement to help nurture those relationships. Most of these tools fall into two categories––segmentation, and tailored content. By performing just these two basic steps, you can seriously increase the customer lifetime value, ensuring you’re providing your clients with quality customer service, while increasing your ROI at the same time. Here’s how to get it done:
The first step to increasing customer lifetime value is to segment your customers into groups based on shared traits, such as revenue or industry. This will allow you to determine the shared characteristics of clients in these segments—their wants, needs, and pain points—and make product or service changes to meet those needs, as well as create content that addresses them.
Once you’ve segmented your customer base, you can determine which of those segments is the most valuable to your company, and you can focus your marketing efforts on attracting and retaining clients in this segment. By focusing your efforts on the most valuable client segment, you attract and retain more clients in this segment, increasing overall customer lifetime value, as well as extending CLV for this segment.
Create content that addresses the pain points that your customer segments have at each stage of the buyer’s journey, including post-sale. No matter what products or services you offer, you can provide information that will increase the benefit your customers derive from their purchase at all steps of the buyer’s journey, which ensures you keep previous clients, as you’re gaining new ones.
Use your segments to tailor follow-up messaging to the client type’s needs with relevant content, news, and offers. You can also take time here to thank your clients for their purchase—clients who feel that their business is valued and appreciated are more likely to be loyal customers. Follow-up messaging also provides an opportunity to collect feedback from customers that you can incorporate into improving your product, service, or customer experience.
To improve customer lifetime value, you need to do two things: attract clients with a higher initial customer lifetime value (marketing) and extend the customer lifetime (retention). Through strategic messaging and content creation, you can attract more clients from your ideal buyer type (buyers in the highest CLV segment) and retain your best clients, increasing their lifetime value.
If you’re interested in using digital marketing to attract new leads and increase retention and customer lifetime value, Evenbound can help.
Inbound marketing has recently made a serious jump in popularity. As consumer preferences began to shift in the last decade, it’s become clear that inbound marketing techniques are the most effective way to generate warm leads and close sales. And when you talk about inbound marketing, you have to talk about HubSpot. They are at the very forefront of this marketing renaissance, and have been for quite some time. They offer quality tools and education that help businesses and sales teams improve their marketing tactics, and they do so quite effectively. One of HubSpot’s most popular tools is called HubSpot Sales, and in case you hadn’t heard about it, or aren’t quite sure what it does, we thought we’d break it down a bit:
What is it?
Formerly known as Sidekick, HubSpot sales is a new and improved version of their original CRM (Customer Relations Management) tool. It comes in two forms: HubSpot Sales free, and HubSpot Sales Professional. HubSpot Sales Free is, as you might imagine, free, while HubSpot Sales Professional costs $50, but gives you full access to the HubSpot suite of CRM tools.
What does it do?
Now that you know what it is, you’re probably wondering what exactly HubSpot Sales does, and why it’s such a big deal. And the answer to that is: HubSpot Sales is one of the most comprehensive, affordable CRMs out there. When you install HubSpot Sales Free alone, you’ll get email open and click tracking, email scheduling, contact profiles, and a taste of more advanced tools like email templates and meetings. Broken down, these tools can do a lot to help manage your time and nurture qualified leads:
You’ll get a desktop notification the second your emails are opened, and you’ll get another notification if a prospect follows any of the links within your email. This feature takes a lot of the guesswork out of your emailing process. It’s easy to figure out who is a warm lead, who’s gone cold, and where you should spend the majority of your time nurturing email leads.
You might be working at 1AM, but chances are your prospects are not. With email scheduling, you can write up your message at any time, and then set it to go out at a time you know your prospect will be at their desk.
Each time you send out an email, or someone looks at content from your email or website, HubSpot Sales will collect their information, putting it all into one place so you can see who is looking at your website, and where they’re spending the most time.
HubSpot Sales makes it easy to remember where you are with each client. They organize every lead’s history into a built-in activity stream, which will tell you which emails you’ve sent, which emails they’ve opened, and what links and documents they downloaded. This makes it easy to personalize your future approach with that warm lead. If they’ve been looking at a lot of your how to’s, you can easily send them another you know they’ll be interested in. If they’re snooping around looking at pricing, it might be the right time to hook them up with a salesperson who can close.
Once you’ve figured out who your contact is, and what they’re likely looking for, you can drop them into an email sequence. Email sequences essentially put lead-nurturing on autopilot, making it easy to pull leads through the sales funnel without a lot of effort or time on your behalf. Sequences will send out emails you’ve created, at times you set, so you can continue to nudge that prospect through the sales funnel, without even having to think about it. This frees you up to focus on closing other warm leads.
Meetings and Calling
You can easily share a link with everyone you want involved in a meeting, that allows them to choose a time for the meeting that works for everyone. Because HubSpot Sales links up with Google Calendar, Office 365, and HubSpot CRM, their meetings feature makes it very easy to see where scheduling conflicts exist, and how to avoid them. Once you get that meeting set up, easily record the call with the click of a single button. HubSpot Sales will automatically log them to your CRM.
Why do you need it?
So now that you know exactly what HubSpot Sales will do for you, it’s pretty clear to see that it takes out a lot of the guesswork and potential for human error that go along with the sales process. By installing HubSpot Sales, either the free or the business version, you’re working to ensure that no one slips through the cracks, and that you’re doing everything you can to pull those qualified leads through the sales funnel.
Best of all, HubSpot Sales is compatible with third party emailing systems, like Gmail, Outlook, and what have you. That means that you get all of these benefits through your existing email setup, so there’s no learning curve.
When you use HubSpot Sales, it’s easy to see who’s spending the most time on your website, and who’s opening your emails. From there, you can identify the qualified leads, and allocate your time wisely based on those warm leads. With real-time notifications that let you know when someone’s reading your email, it’s simple to send follow up content seconds later. By reaching out a just the right time, you’ll get more answered calls, more meetings booked, and as a result, more sales. HubSpot Sales offers an easy, affordable CRM that helps you smartly manage your time, and put effort into the leads you know will count.
HubSpot Sales is a handy tool that we use every day here at Evenbound, so we can speak for its benefits ourselves. If you’ve been thinking about some of HubSpot’s tools, but aren’t sure they’re right for you, feel free to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions, or explain a bit more about HubSpot CRM.