Connecting with the right prospects is the first step to sales and marketing automation success. Learn how to identify your ideal buyer and connect with leads that come to your website.
This is the first in a three-part series, courtesy of Hatchbuck Marketing Automation Software. Download the PDF – Connect with Your Ideal Buyer (no sign-up).
Identify Your Ideal Buyer
Imagine you’ve been asked to speak at an event to a group of 500 people. How do you engage each person in the room?
If you ask a public speaking expert, they’ll likely tell you to imagine you are having a conversation with a single person. Then, they’d suggest you make eye contact with just a handful of people in the room. By taking your communication to a personal level, everyone in the room feels like you’re speaking directly to them.
Today, savvy marketers are taking the same personalized approach.
Your customers have become desensitized to generalized, batch & blast messaging. Instead, they expect a personalized experience based on their unique agenda, obstacles and level of interest in your business.
To deliver this personalized experience, you need to know your buyer so intimately that you understand their pain-points and can anticipate their needs. You also need to know the types of prospects you don’t want in your sales
pipeline so you can avoid wasting resources on attracting and supporting customers who are a bad fit.
Uncovering How and Why Your Customers Buy
Your target market may be hundreds, thousands, or millions of contacts. Instead of trying to formulate messaging that is generic enough to address them all, lock your sights on two or three types of people on your list.
For example, if you’re an architectural firm, your target audience may be made up of general contractors, engineers, and business owners. When you segment your list by these types of leads, you are able to address them in a more personalized, engaging way.
Take Segmentation One Step Further
You can take initial segmentation one step further by creating a customer snapshot for each group. So, instead of thinking of a group of your customers as “General Contractors in the Retail Industry,” a customer snapshot can help you think of them as “Greg the GC.”
With a customer snapshot, Greg isn’t just a general contractor. He’s a 45ish guy who’s been in the business for 20 years. He’s married with 2 kids, lives in the suburbs and drives an SUV. He struggles to find good tradesmen, and his business is built on repeat customers. He is tech savvy, but finds that the latest gadgets usually aren’t rugged enough for the field, so his business is often a late adopter. His dream is to keep his business growing so that his kids can inherit it someday. His challenge is balancing business development with daily business
Suddenly, you have insights into how Greg spends his days, what motivates him, and the types of problems you can help him solve. With a customer snapshot in your back pocket, you can create a much more compelling message for Greg and your prospects who are just like him.
Customer snapshots keep marketing on the right track
Creating customer snapshots for the main types of people in your audience helps you to address the challenges they face and understands what motivates them to act, whether you are creating an email marketing campaign, sending out a direct mail piece, speaking at an event, or updating your website content. Offering solutions to their challenges through engaging content adds tremendous value to your prospects, converting more of them into customers so your business can grow.
Applying Customer Snapshots to Hatchbuck
Once you’ve identified two or three types of your ideal customer, Hatchbuck excels at helping you delivering personalized communication to each type of customer on your list. The pay-off is increased engagement with your audience. They’ll be more likely to open emails, more likely to click-through to content, and more likely to make a purchase down the road.
Attract More Leads to Your Site
Now that you’ve identified your ideal customers through your customer snapshots, the goal is to get them to your website so they can learn more about your business.
Drive traffic to your website by crafting messaging and content that speaks to your customer snapshots. Reach them by spreading the word through marketing channels like:
- Social Media: Share great content that resonates with your ideal customer, keeping your brand top of mind, and driving them to your site when they are ready to buy.
- Online Ads: Advertise on websites that your target audience hangs out on.
- Print Ads and Direct Mail: Incorporate a call to action to visit your website.
- Blogging: Fresh, relevant content on your site gives prospects a reason to visit – and a reason to keep coming back.
- Trade Shows: Collect contact information at tradeshows so you can follow-up with contacts after the event and direct them back to your website.
- Email Marketing: Stay in touch with contacts and funnel them back to your website.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Keep your website updated with fresh, relevant content that entices other sites to publish your links, helping your prospects find your business through organic search.
- PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising): Paid online ads based on the keywords your ideal customers search for the most channel them back to your website.
Ideally, your business should be using a few, if not all of these channels to increase your web traffic. Investing in new marketing channels boosts revenue by generating new leads – as long as you have an effective process in place for capturing, nurturing and converting new leads that come to your site.
Connect with Your Ideal Buyer on Your Site
As Hatchbuckers, we try to be door-openers, not door closers. You’re probably a door-opener, too. But when small businesses build websites, they don’t always think about opening their virtual door for leads that visit their site.
You work hard to get the word out about your brand and to drive traffic to your website.
But what happens when leads come to your site from outside marketing channels? Do they have an opportunity to show interest in your business, or do they bounce?
If you don’t have a way to identify interested site visitors, you’re missing a big opportunity to connect with good prospects.
Lead Generation Forms
Hatchbuck makes it simple to capture information about website visitors by placing lead generation forms on your site. Lead generation forms invite prospects to learn more by offering something of value in exchange for a few contact details so that you can assist them down the line.
For example, if you sell eco-friendly cleaning products, your best customer might be interested in eliminating toxins from their environment. You can offer a report, like “10 Shocking Toxic Chemicals Haunting Your Home.”
When a visitor to your website downloads the report in exchange for their name and email address, two things happen to help your sales and marketing team:
- Segmentation: You know what the lead is interested in. In this case, it’s creating a healthy environment for their family. You can automatically add a tag to contacts that fill out this form for dynamic segmentation.
- Identification: You have the lead’s contact details. Now you can reach out to them down the road based on their interests. Send them a related article on healthy home, or provide an offer to try your latest product line.
Timing is Everything
Do you have a catch-all “Contact Us” form on your site? While effective at attracting spammers, the generic contact form does little to generate new leads.
Contact form submissions are usually well into the sales process, prepared with questions and looking to make a decision soon.
Lead generation forms, on the other hand, capture prospects early in the buying process, during their online research phase. By interacting with them earlier, you gain more control of the whole sales process through:
- Education: You can educate them on the issue they face, making it less likely that they seek information elsewhere, like from your competitors.
- Optimization: You can shorten the sales cycle. When your contact fills out a lead generation form, they essentially raise their hand and say, “Here’s my problem.” Now you’re equipped to help them reach a solution much faster.
- Awareness: You’ve positioned your brand as the go-to expert. When the time comes to make a decision, they’ll deliberately reach out to you first.
By offering resources that speak to the needs of your prospects (the needs you identified when you created your customer snapshots), you open the door to better leads early in the sales cycle, giving you the opportunity to close business sooner and more often.
Applying Lead Generation to Hatchbuck
Hatchbuck forms make it simple to capture information from prospects that visit your site. As a best practice, develop a resource you can give away to prospects in exchange for their contact information, like email, name, title, business and phone number. Build a form in Hatchbuck with the fields you need and put it on your site. Then, use Hatchbuck form actions to email out the resource when the prospect completes the form.
By giving away great resources in exchange for contact information, you’ll grow your database of relevant contacts who are interested in your business.
Resource: White Paper Template
The white paper is the cornerstone of marketing automation.
Not only can a white paper offer attract and collect new leads on your website, but white paper content can also be repurposed and used in the nurturing process as well.
We love any resource that does double-duty like the white paper – but we know putting together new resources can be tough.
Download this Microsoft Word white paper template to get a head start.
Track Activity on Your Website
You’ve identified your ideal buyer and you’ve provided a few resources on your site to attract them so you can capture their contact information.
Website tracking is like having an extra pair of eyes on your prospects at all times. As your prospects visit specific pages or visit certain types of pages more often, they are cluing you into their interests, their pain points, and their propensity to buy.
For example, if you are an accounting firm and see that Alex, a small business owner, has visited several pages on your site related to corporate tax returns, you know two things – his pain-point is filing his corporate taxes each quarter and that his need is fairly pressing. You can tag him as interested in Corporate Tax,
with a status of “hot opportunity.”
Even better, when your sales rep calls Alex to talk to him about your solution, your rep has history of the webpages Alex has visited at his fingertips, starting the conversation off on the right foot.
Applying Website Tracking to Hatchbuck
With Hatchbuck’s website tracking, you can see which pages of your website your contacts are visiting and tag them based on their behavior.
The beauty of website tracking is that as new leads populate your database, they can continue to filter and segment themselves by their interests and their propensity to buy – just by visiting pages on your website.
Connecting with your prospects is all about identifying who the people are that you want to connect with, tapping into their pain-points, providing them with a resource in exchange for their contact info and tracking their activity on your website to obtain further clues about what their needs are and how ready they
are to buy.
Hatchbuck Recap: Connect with Your Ideal Buyer
Are you ready to leverage Hatchbuck to connect with your prospects? Let us help you complete the following as your Hatchbuck Consultant:
- Track baseline marketing metrics
- Identify your ideal buyer and main customer segments
- Import and tag your existing contacts into Hatchbuck
- Become familiar with Hatchbuck’s CRM
- Create a form in Hatchbuck and place it on your website
- Install Hatchbuck’s tracking code on your website