COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):Shahid Afridi then Anwar Ali lifted Pakistan from nowhere to beat Sri Lanka by one wicket with four balls left and sweep their two-match Twenty20 series yesterday.After winning the toss, Sri Lanka put up a formidable 172-7, helped by a career-best 48 not out from Chamara Kapugedera. On debut, Shehan Jayasuriya scored 40.Pakistan succumbed to 40-5 in the eighth over and appeared to be as good as buried, but Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan fought back with a 61-run stand in 37 balls. Afridi made 45 off 22 balls, including four sixes and a boundary.Rizwan was out for 17, and six runs later, Afridi was bowled by Jayasuriya, as Sri Lanka were lifted back on top. But Ali and Imad Wasim combined for 58 runs off 27 deliveries for the eighth wicket to bring Pakistan in sight of victory.Ali weighed in with 46 off 17 deliveries, including four sixes and three boundaries. He was out at 165-8 with eight balls left. Sohail Tanvir was then run out in the same over going for a second run, leaving Pakistan needing six off the last over.
PR firms are naturals at and the blogosphere because of their relationship building skills. I’m not saying that they can do what they did in the past, but if they follow Originally published Nov 17, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 are becoming more and more available and affordable. The knowledge of your average SEO consultant or lead generation expert is now being codified and made available. Even though the knowledge base is changing at a rapid rate and will continue to change at a rapid rate, it’s maturing like all knowledge industries do. So, PR firms that are equipped with writes and start providing direction for the many activities required for an inter-disciplinary inbound marketing strategy. goes on to write can now do SEO, PPC and lead generation without a huge staff of technical resources and quants. to learn the findings from HubSpot’s recent research on new releases. leveraging social media While I applaud Brian’s focus on expanding the size of the funnel (lead dev), there are more nuanced activities that go on: positioning, messaging, crisis communications, relationship-building, training, etc. Such activities might only offer a tangential or indirect impact on lead development, but, they are still critically important to companies of all sizes. Based on my experience working with all kinds of agencies as HubSpot’s partner program manager, I believe that The Convergance of All Marketing Disciplines in-house analytical people PR firms are the best positioned Is PR Dead in order to serve clients effectively. : Based on my recent conversations with many different types of agencies, there is general agreement that now is an unprecedented time of convergence between all of the marketing disciplines. Creative content creation A few weeks back, HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan, asked the question, ” PR Firms Will Probably Lead the Inbound Marketing Revolution If I were asked Brian’s question, I’d answer, “PR is not dead. PR firms will probably lead the way.” There are few SEO firms that are signing up clients at $10k/month for SEO alone anymore. PR firms are having a difficult time getting the retainers they’re used to getting without knowing how to help clients attract traffic through social media and search. Ad agency budgets are shrinking and PR agents are being asked to help clients move online. Web developers are struggling to sign up new clients for $50k website development work without a clear plan that demonstrates a 3 month ROI on that expenditure. they may be able to use Social Media to help evolve their industry. : Understand the value you are getting from your PR agency and their services. you need to be an expert at all things inbound marketing PR firms have tight ongoing high retainer relationships with their clients. PR firms are brought on as advisors and stewards of a company’s brand. From that perch, it’s much easier to Unless you are Rand-Fishkin-good at SEO or a Chris-Brogan-big in social media, PR is NOT dead. But, PR needs to change. With the highest retainers out of most types of agencies and often the least accountability to direct measurement of ROI, PR firms seem to have the most to lose. Brian wrote a follow-up post today that despite its provocative title is thoughtful and largely spot-on. PR firms are excellent content creators. tree photo by The lines between ad agencies, PR firms, marketing consultants, SEO firms, web designers and developers, are blurring. Firms can no longer pretend that their industry isn’t changing. is the most time consuming and difficult and most critical part of inbound marketing. SEO and lead generation can not be done without effective and creative content creation. We could probably spend a lot of time debating what’s more or less important in a PR mix, but we might miss the big point that PR and marketing are changing in a seismic way. Todd Video: How to be Smarter than Your PR Agency It’s a provocative question for a blog title. But, the blog post and the ensuing responses started a great conversation about how inbound marketing is changing PR. New PR guru, Todd Defren to offer inbound marketing services. Here’s why: influence the most important people in a company Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and Who do you think is best equipped to lead the inbound marketing revolution? Who has the most to gain? The most to lose? Who will lead the way? Inbound marketing training Download the free video ?” marketing software Nezitic[x] Marshall Kirkpatrick’s guidelines for pitching bloggers None of this is new this year, but the problem with PR has become more acute.
Originally published Jun 8, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Twitter Marketing Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media and inbound marketing can drive powerful connections and awareness; however, to have part of their budget allocated for online marketing resources, B2B marketers need to be able to demonstrate a clear ROI. And for most B2B marketing departments, ROI comes down to one major metric: leads. While awareness and conversations are important, having clear and measurable leads acquired through social media is critical to the support of future efforts and resource acquisition. In the coming weeks, we will look at social media lead generation best practices across many social platforms. Today, we are going to focus on one platform that is at the top of most B2B marketers’ lists: Twitter. Test, Don’t Assume When thinking about social media lead generation, the only safe assumption to make is to “always assume your assumptions are wrong.” Instead of making assumptions and excuses for why your company “can’t” use social media for lead generation, develop clear tests that allow you to measure and collect data around a variety of social media lead generation programs. Tests should be agreed upon by all decision-makers and have clear benchmarks for lead quantity and quality goals. Before any test, it should be clear that if the test meets the goals, it will get the resources needed to continue; if it doesn’t, it won’t. How to Generate B2B Leads With Twitter Generating leads using Twitter is really about leveraging a community of people interested in your knowledge to share your information to new people unfamiliar with your business and expertise. It is your job as a marketer to convert new visitors and connections from Twitter into leads. This isn’t a blog post about how to get started on Twitter or get a ton of followers. We already have a ton of information to help you get started using Twitter for business . This article is for people who understand Twitter and are looking to take the next step to drive leads for their business. Generating B2B Leads With Twitter Profile Pages A Twitter profile page presents a couple of opportunities to optimize for lead generation. The first opportunity for optimization is the Twitter background. First, make sure you have a custom Twitter background for your company. What is also important is to include a call-to-action or URLs pointing visitors to potential lead generating web properties. Make sure that if someone arrives at your Twitter profile, they will instantly know how to get more information. In addition, make sure they can obtain that information in a way that could also convert them into a lead. As a bonus, you can use the browser extension ClickableNow to make your Twitter profile background links and calls-to-action clickable for users who have the plug-in installed. The second, and more important opportunity you have to use a Twitter profile page to drive B2B leads is with the profile URL. Most companies simply put a link to their corporate website homepage. This approach is fine, as along as you have lead generation opportunities on your homepage and have done some testing to optimize your homepage as a lead generation tool. The problem is that many businesses don’t use their homepage to drive leads. If this is true for your business, then you may want to consider using the URL for your blog if you are using it as a lead generation tool. The other option is to create a custom Twitter landing page that provides information and insight about your company and includes a clear call-to-action or form to support lead generation. Distributing Content via Twitter for Lead Generation Using Twitter as a way to distribute content and information can helps drive leads for other content properties such as blogs, contests, webinars, eBooks, etc . When distributing content via Twitter, use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to track statistics for the clicks and shares of your content on Twitter. This will be an important set of data to better understand what subjects and types of content drive the best traffic and leads from Twitter. Twitter serves as a great platform to generate word-of-mouth buzz around your content and ideas. As a marketer, it is critical that you have clear calls-to-action and lead generation opportunities on your blog, in your eBooks and other content you are sharing on Twitter. This, combined with closed loop web analytics , can drive clear reporting for leads and customers acquired through Twitter. Using Twitter Search for Lead Generation One of the major keys to mining Twitter for information is being able to find the most relevant information and people to your business: customers, thought leaders, media analysts, etc. Using advanced Twitter Search allows businesses to dig deeper into conversations. If you find a key reporter or analyst that covers your business on Twitter, leverage the people search feature to see who they have been talking to about your industry. This can help identify what your competitors’ relationships are like with influencers and help you determine the type of information and trends they are covering. Knowing this can help your business to tell its story better and improve lead generation offers. When identifying sales prospects and influencers on Twitter, bio information is a key piece of data. Tweep Search is a third party tool that enables users to search Twitter bios for keywords. As seen in the image above, gathering listings of users by industry and expertise is free and simple. This information can be used to generate leads and build a relevant Twitter follower base.Twitter is simple and yet complicated at the same time. Conduct tests and leverage the advice from this post to develop effective Twitter lead generation strategies for your business. How has your business used Twitter for lead genernation? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Calls to Action Originally published Jan 12, 2012 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Last week, we rounded up some of the most impressive landing pages out there and broke down why they rock from both a user’s perspective and a marketer’s perspective. But before visitors even get to your landing page, they’re usually beckoned by a call-to-action. And it better be pretty awesome to get them to click.We’ve discussed the elements of an effective call-to-action before, so now it’s time to find real life examples of awesome calls-to-action (CTA) that can inspire your own designs. Take a look at what some popular B2B, B2C, and ecommerce brands are doing to entice their visitors to click through to landing pages, shopping carts, or just to interact in a more meaningful way with their site.GoDaddyGoDaddy is a web and email hosting company that also sells domain names and other related services.Why it’s effective: The best calls-to-action are easy to find and have a focused objective. The objective of this particular page is to get a user to purchase a domain name they’ve selected, and this GoDaddy CTA uses one of the most fundamental best practices to achieving visibility: using a button color that starkly contrasts the rest of the site’s design scheme. Upon visiting this page, the bright green draws the visitor’s eye right to that registration button.But GoDaddy goes beyond the basics and implements one other trick to hammer home the point of the page to its visitors. The ‘Continue to Registration’ button follows visitors all the way down the page, acting as a constant reminder that your next step is to click that button and register the domain name you’ve selected. This is wise because, if you’ve ever purchased a domain from GoDaddy, the upsell opportunities present on this page exist later on in the checkout process.Because of the design of this call-to-action, visitors to this page experience no confusion: they are here to register their domain name, and they can do so by clicking that green button.JetsetterJetsetter made an appearance on our list of the best landing pages, but hey, when you’re good, you’re good. They continue to be an invitation-only travel community offering access to exclusive travel deals.Why it’s effective: Many calls-to-action suffer poor conversion rates because, despite following design best practices, the writing doesn’t clearly display the value of clicking through to the next page. This ‘Plan a trip like this’ CTA rocks because it so simply displays that oft-sought after value. After someone reads the very brief and artfully written description of enjoying wine and olive oil on the Italian coast, this CTA capitalizes on the positive feelings surrounding taking such a trip, and gives the visitor the opportunity to do just that — plan that trip.Another wonderful but easily overlooked detail in this CTA is the language on the button; the inclusion of the word ‘like’ implies that the trip doesn’t need to be exactly the same as the one described above, but can be customized to fit the visitor’s needs. This spirit of customization continues by offering a button that lets visitors see the bio of the person who planned that particular trip. And if you’re worried the bio would distract visitors from following through with the marketer’s intended action, no worries; the bio page provides another travel-planning CTA!IntuitIntuit is a software company that provides financial software and services for businesses and consumers.Why it’s effective: It looks like orange is a popular CTA button color, eh? Well, Intuit’s intuitions (har har) are good, because that button stands out from the rest of its site’s design and calls the attention of the viewer to the free trial. The effectiveness of this tactic is compounded, as the language on the button aligns with the language in the headline.The headline is also action oriented, making it clear what you can do on the page. The three bullet points then clearly explain the value of the free trial so visitors want to click, and there’s one image aligned with each point of value — another call-to-action best practice.One creative trick Intuit is also employing is the use of extra white space around the call-to-action. This tactic, along with the fact that it’s the biggest CTA on the page, helps draw attention to the free trial and simultaneously attract and instruct visitors on what they should do next.YaptaContinuing the travel theme, Yapta helps people track changes in flight and hotel prices and get refunds on airline tickets.Why it’s effective: When it’s not clear what actions can be performed on a page and there’s no perceived connection between the CTA copy and CTA buttons, site visitors quickly go rogue trying to find what they’re looking for. These calls-to-action solve for that common contextualization problem. Notice how the copy, images, and buttons all work together to guide the visitor:The parenthetical phrases provide a chronology – Am I in the pre-purchase or post-purchase stage?The images give a theme – Am I here for flights, hotels, or a refund?The copy explains – What can I do on this site to track flights, hotels, and refunds?The buttons instruct – Click through to find what you’re looking for.Every call-to-action aligns with the proper stage in the sales process, and makes it very clear what actions can and should be performed on this page. Yapta gets bonus points for keeping these calls-to-action above the fold and using the contrasting colors orange and grey to draw attention to the right places.ZyngaZynga is a developer of browser-based games intended for social networking sites.Why it’s effective: In the game of most prominently positioned call-to-action, Zynga wins by a landslide. And it also get an honorable mention for successfully shirking some call-to-action best practices, namely that this is not the traditionally de-cluttered CTA for which many marketers strive in order to decrease bounce rate. But, they know their audience, and I’d venture a guess that this type of imagery is not distracting to gamers. Either way, Zynga makes up for any distraction by making it crystal clear what action they want visitors to perform. Here’s how:The ‘Join The Fun’ button is the last thing to load on the page, so your eye naturally settles on that area of the page.The white backlight behind ‘Times Square’ is the brightest part of the page, drawing your attention to the CTA button.The Times Square text effect brings the text towards the visitor, again, right by the CTA button.If you’re worried the ‘I Love Play’ button in the top right would be a distraction, don’t worry; it’s not clickable!Like Intuit, Zynga is also making use of lots of white space around this image (not pictured) to emphasize this ‘Join The Fun’ CTA. And finally, notice how small the social media follow buttons are underneath this banner. While Zynga’s call-to-action isn’t what we traditionally encounter, it does effectively display an important CTA best practice: have a defined purpose for your visitor, build your page around that purpose, and make it easy for your visitor to execute that purpose.What call-to-action best practices do you find are most integral for awesome conversion rates?Image credit: torley
18) Complementary Products BoardOkay, so maybe you have a board for your own products. But you’re super helpful, too … right? Create a board for complementary — not competing — products that your audience would find useful, like AMD does in its “Laptop Bags & Cases” board. What other boards are you using to power your Pinterest marketing?Image Credit: net_efekt 19) Inspirational Industry QuotesMotivate your audience with inspirational quotes from industry thought leaders and experts. The Wall Street Journal adopts this idea in its “Quotes” board, for example. 26) A Day at the Office BoardWhat’s office life like at your company? Give your followers an idea with a board that features the goings on at your office, like Petplan does in its “Just a Day at the Office…” board. 11) User-Generated BoardBecause you can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your hosted pinboards on a user by user basis, this opens up a great opportunity to involve fans and customers in your marketing. Let Pinterest users get in on the action with a user-generated pinboard. You can either gather images and compile them into a board yourself, as the Weather Channel has done through its “iWitness Photos” board, or give specific users permission to pin content to your boards themselves, as Drake University and ModCloth have done. 10) Mission BoardGive your Pinterest followers a sense of your company’s mission and values, like the U.S. Army does in its “Army Values” board and Heart Shaped World does in its “Supporters & Causes” board. 28) Boards Organized By LocationIs your company a franchise? Maybe you just have multiple office locations around the country — or the world! Create a series of boards focused on each of your locations, as Ronald McDonald House Charities has done with its Pinterest account. Topics: 20) Events/Conferences BoardFeature awesome conferences and events in your industry, or create a board to promote an event you’re hosting yourself, as we’ve done at HubSpot with our “Inbound Conference” board. You coming? 12) Blog BoardHighlight your awesome blog content via a blog board. Just be sure each post you pin has a compelling visual within. Grand Image and HGTV both offer stellar examples of blog boards. 27) Newsjacking BoardsThat’s right. You can use Pinterest as a platform for newsjacking, too! The U.S. Army does this nicely with its “U.S. Army Olympians” board, where it highlights U.S. army soldiers who have competed or coached in the Olympics — just in time for the 2012 London Olympics! Peapod did this, too, for the Super Bowl, using its “Super Bowl Party” board to feature snack food and recipe ideas for the big game. 15) Visual Industry Data/Statistics BoardDoes your audience love data? Highlight interesting data and statistics for your industry in a visual way — through charts and graphs! Econsultancy has a cool “Stats and Charts” board, for instance. 14) Testimonials BoardAre people saying nice things about you? Share it with Pinterest! Or take a spin on this idea, like the U.S. Army does through its “‘Thank a Soldier’ Notes” board, seen below. 17) Meme BoardCreating memes to help power your social media presence in general (here’s how!)? Feature them on their own board, as we’ve done in HubSpot’s “Meme-tastic Marketing!” board. 24) Customer Interest BoardCreate boards that play to the interests of your prospects and customers. Jewelry maker Gemvara knows that a lot of its customers come looking for engagement and wedding rings, so its “‘Fit The Dress’ Recipes” board is a great choice. Similarly, HubSpot customer AmeriFirst Mortgage has its “Lavish Landscapes” board for its future and current home-owning clients. With the rise in popularity of visual content, marketers are realizing that Pinterest is a great way to show off their brands’ personalities, engage their social media fans and followers, and even generate some leads along the way. But many marketers — particularly those who represent B2B companies, are still left wondering, what in the heck should I be pinning?Well let me tell you, fellow marketers: You sure do have some options!I scoured Pinterest looking for examples of truly engaging pinboards and realized there are quite a few companies out there doing some really creative things with their Pinterest accounts. So if you’re ready to get your feet wet with visual content, here are 28 creative pinboard ideas to power your Pinterest marketing. And what’s even better? Most — if not all — of these pinboard ideas can be transferable to your own Pinterest account, whether you’re company is B2B, B2C, or nonprofit. Time to get pinning!1) Idea/Inspiration/Example BoardInspire your fans and followers! Think about your target customers’ interests and hobbies, and create a board to give them examples and ideas to inspire them. For example, Grand Image, a source of fine art for the corporate, hospitality, and healthcare design markets, uses its “Color Inspirations” board to inspire its followers with colorful examples, and Drake University uses its “Study Inspiration” board to motivate its student audience. 2) Philanthropy BoardShow off your business’ philanthropic side with a philanthropy board! Pinning images of your employees giving back to the community will show followers that your company cares about the greater good, just as FedEx has done through its “FedEx Community Involvement” board pictured below. 9) Employee BoardGive Pinterest users the opportunity to get to know the awesome people behind your brand. Petplan Pet Insurance does this creatively in its “Meet the Team” board, in which it features most of its team members with a furry friend. Furthermore, Salesforce uses its board to highlight why its employees love working at Salesforce, and Peapod profiles its employees in its “Peapod Pros” board. 7) Behind the Scenes BoardWhat happens behind the scenes that makes your company run like clockwork? Give your Pinterest followers the inside scoop with a board that highlights just what happens behind the scenes at your business. Peapod does this well with its “Where in the world is that Peapod Truck” pinboard, and General Electric makes machinery fascinating in its “From the Factory Floor” board. 5) Customer Success BoardHighlight your customers’ successes in one of your boards as Salesforce does in its Customer Success Stories” board, populated mainly by video pins. 8) Contest BoardUse your Pinterest presence to hold a contest and motivate your followers to action, like GE does with its “Freshpedition Sweepstakes” board. You can also highlight submissions to past contests, as the manufacturing company does in its “#GEInspiredMe” board. Originally published Aug 6, 2012 7:34:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Pinterest Marketing 21) Brand Lifestyle BoardCreate boards that appeal to the lifestyle your brand promotes. Chronicle Books does this well with its “Library Love” board, for instance. 25) Industry Cartoons BoardUse a board to feature funny industry cartoons, as MarketingProfs does in its “SnarketingProfs” board. HubSpot has a board like this, too! 4) Video BoardPinterest isn’t only for pinning pretty images. Users can pin videos, too! So if videos are a part of your marketing mix, create a board just for them as Gemvara and Econsultancy have done below. 23) History BoardAppeal to the history buffs in your audience. Compile a board to highlight your history, whether its the history of your business — like in Intel’s “Our Heritage” board — or the history of your industry, as MarketingProfs features in its “History: Vintage Marketing” board. 16) Industry Infographics/Diagrams/Flowcharts BoardSimilarly, if your audience is crazy for industry-related infographics, diagrams, or flowcharts, create a board just for them, whether you’ve created them yourself or collect them from the web. Mashable has a board just like this, as does Intel! 6) Products/Services BoardWe don’t recommend you litter your Pinterest presence with product-specific pins, but we think one or two boards dedicated to your products and/or services is just fine. AMD, for example, has a board dedicated to its technology, and we have one at HubSpot, too, featuring a peek at our marketing software. 13) Content/Resources BoardPiggybacking on the blog board idea, create a board to showcase some other awesome content and resources, whether its content you’ve created or content you’ve aggregated from other sources. Petplan does this well with its “Healthy Reads” board, and HubSpot even has its own “Helpful Marketing Ebooks” board. 3) Marketing Campaign BoardUse one of your boards to feature one of your latest marketing campaigns. DoubleTree hotels, for instance, uses one of its own to highlight images depicting its “Little Things Project Tour” campaign, which travels the country to bring the guests of its hotels little things that make a big difference when traveling. DoubleTree also uses its board to link to its Facebook page about the campaign to encourage engagement there, as well. 22) Industry Tips BoardOffer some tips! You can either pin original tips you’ve visually optimized, or pin content like tip-focused blog posts you’ve written or aggregated from others. Take a look at how Petplan and CNET do it. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Feb 12, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 I must have had the following conversation at least 50 times last year: “Mark, we love inbound marketing. We’ve completely overhauled our marketing so it aligns with the way prospects buy today, and we’re generating 10 times the leads we did in the past. It’s awesome. But my sales team does nothing but complain about these leads. They say the leads suck. What are we doing wrong?”Here’s what’s happening: Your typical salesperson has been honing his/her skills for years — sometimes decades — in the art and science of closing outbound leads. But inbound leads don’t act like outbound leads. So it’s not uncommon for inbound leads to look like they “suck” to your salespeople, when in fact, they’re just different. The “problems” your sales team has identified with your inbound leads are just signs pointing to the ways inbound leads act, think, and close differently than outbound leads do. Diagnose the “problem,” and your sales team can learn to work effectively with your new inbound leads. Here are my top five tips for transforming how your sales team approaches selling to inbound leads, and how Marketing can help.Tip #1: Don’t buy a list of companies in your target market. Do generate lots of inbound leads and pass only the good fit companies to your sales team. Inbound marketing has turned the fit/pain funnel on its head. In an outbound model, companies start with a list of executives at a “perfect fit” company and bombard them with hundreds of calls and emails until 1% or 2% call back and admit they have pain. In an inbound model, all your leads have the pain your company solves. Otherwise, they would have never conducted that Google search, downloaded that whitepaper, or read that blog article that led them to you. The problem is that your company doesn’t sell to the entire world. Some percentage of these leads are just not a fit for your business. However, the inbound leads who are a fit are exceptional — and they close much faster and at a higher rate than your outbound opportunities.The problem here is that marketers get so excited to be generating hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of inbound leads each month, that they end up passing all these leads to sales. If Marketing passes the sales team 1,000 leads, only 100 of which are good, and Sales has to sift through 900 bad leads, they’re going to hate it, and they’re going to say things like, “These leads suck.” However, if Marketing can filter out the 900 less fit companies and pass along just the 100 good ones, their sales team will think they have the best marketing department in the world. As a result, Marketing and Sales must align to develop and implement a lead scoring system that makes sense and results in only good fit leads getting passed from Marketing to Sales.Tip #2: Don’t call high. Do call the inbound lead influencers, ask them what is going on, and then call high. Look … not every inbound lead is going to be a C-level executive. In fact, very few of them will be. You’re much more likely to get a mid-level manager, associate, or even an intern on the other end of the phone. So what does your typical salesperson think? “This isn’t a qualified buyer. This is an intern. These leads suck.”However, who do you think told the intern to do the Google search that led to your company? The C-suite. The inbound lead indicates that pain exists at that company — the pain you solve. So call the mid-level manager. Call the associate. Call the intern. But don’t try to sell them. You’re right — they’re not buyers. Instead, use that call to prepare yourself for the call with the executive. Ask them, “Why did you download that ebook? Why did you read that blog article? Who told you to conduct this research? Why? What is your boss’ key initiatives for 2013? What did your CEO talk about at the annual kick-off?” If you’re doing inbound marketing well, you’ll be surprised how much these leads trust you and how honest their answers will be.Now you’re in a position to call high. You don’t have to leave the typical voicemail …“Hi John, we help companies like you get more leads and customers from your website. Give me a call back so I can tell you more about ways we do this.” Instead, you can leave one that says …“Hi John, a number of people from your company have contacted me about effective lead generation strategies. I understand you’re hiring 10 new sales reps next quarter and need to increase lead generation by 35%. I’ve been working on a strategy with your team that I would like to run by you.” Now, which voicemail would make you more willing to call back?Tip #3: Don’t lead with your company’s elevator pitch. Do lead with your buyer’s interests.By the time they get passed on to your sales team, a typical inbound lead might have visited your website 15 times, read 11 blog articles, opened 3 emails from you, and downloaded 5 ebooks. They’re already several stages into the sales process before they’ve even spoken to someone from your company. So what do you think happens if a sales rep calls them up and leads with a stone-cold elevator pitch? It comes across as completely tone deaf to the prospect, right? It might even erode most of the trust your marketing team has worked so hard to build up. The lead hangs up on your salesperson, and again, your salesperson thinks, “These leads suck.”Instead, salespeople need to leverage all the data you’ve collected about your inbound leads in your contacts database. How they found your website, what pages they viewed most, what emails they opened and read, how often they shared your content on Twitter and Facebook: All of this tells you loads of information about what the prospect’s problems are and how you can help. Your salespeople should be using that information to open the conversation on the phone …Sales Rep: “Hi, Mary, this is Mark from HubSpot [pause because at this point Mary may start telling you how much they love your content and your company]. I noticed you downloaded our ebook on lead generation from LinkedIn. What specific questions did you have?”Mary: “Oh, I was just doing research. I didn’t know I’d actually get a call from a salesperson.”Sales Rep: “That’s okay. I’m actually looking at your company’s LinkedIn page right now and had two quick tips for you. Do you have a minute to go over them?”Mary wants to hear those tips. Mary will ask more questions. Mary will be impressed with how helpful and smart you are. Mary will wonder what she can buy from you. Congratulations! You no longer have a salesperson-prospect relationship, you have a doctor-patient relationship. Now you can diagnose whether you can help their company — and how.Tip #4: Don’t beg for an appointment. Do qualify out non-buyers. If you’ve never cold called before, you’re not missing out on much. Imagine a day where you dial the phone 100 times, leave 95 voicemail messages, and not one person calls you back. Of the five people who did pick up the phone, three hung up within the first five seconds. And when you do get somebody on the phone who’s willing to talk, it’s clear that he’s not really qualified to buy from you. But because you’re having such a lousy day of cold calling and feeling unloved — and because you don’t have enough leads to begin with, and beggars can’t be choosers — you book an appointment with them anyway. It happens more often than most salespeople are willing to admit.But with a steady stream of inbound leads flowing in, your salespeople can approach these initial conversations from a position of strength. Every minute you spend on the phone with an unqualified buyer is time you could be spending with a warm lead. Do build trust. Do understand the prospect’s needs. Do attempt to provoke pain if it doesn’t exist. But most importantly, do move on if they’re not a good fit. Thank your prospect for their time. Introduce them to someone else who can help if you know somebody. Encourage them to continue to enjoy your content. And quick … call that next inbound lead.Tip #5: Don’t “Always Be Closing.”Do “Always Be Helping.”Most salespeople, following the directive of the infamous movie Glengarry Glen Ross, adopt the rallying cry, “Always Be Closing.” But this is a disastrous approach to take with an inbound lead. The internet has shifted control from the salesperson to the buyer. People can research your company, research your competitors, understand your price, and sometimes even try your product — all without speaking to a salesperson. And by the time an inbound lead reaches your sales team, that’s exactly what that person has done.Sales should not start out by looking to close. They shouldn’t even be thinking about pitching your product. Instead, they should look to help the buyer. Strive to uncover the thing your buyer is worried about — the thing she’s stuck on — and if you find it, help her with it. Don’t try to tie it to your product. Just help them. Buyers don’t need to talk to Sales anymore. Make them want to talk to you because they trust you and you’ve been helpful in the past in solving their problems. If done correctly, your product and how it can help them will naturally come up at the right time.Just as the internet has changed life for the modern buyer (and the modern marketer), life has also changed for the modern salesperson. In all cases, it’s for the better. If your salespeople still complain that your inbound leads suck, try running an experiment. Choose a sales rep with an open mind, and tell them they need to make their goal this month from inbound leads alone, using the guidelines above. Then tell the rest of the team to watch as their colleague starts closing business faster and at a higher rate. Nothing succeeds like success. The rest of your team will soon follow suit.Don’t run a sales and marketing team that annoys people. Do run a sales and marketing team that people love. Topics: Passing Leads to Sales Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Most of the time when I’m reading about marketing, I like to actually learn something I can take away and implement. While I certainly appreciate pontification about industry trends and inspirational thought leadership pieces at times, the content I truly find valuable is content that helps me do my job better. So this week, I put the HubSpot content roundup together with content that I know could help me — or any other marketer — do our jobs better. Hopefully, you’ll learn a thing or two that’ll make your job even easier this upcoming week! Let’s get a’learnin. How to Write an IntroductionOne of the things lots of writers struggle with — myself included — is writer’s block. You have a great blog post, ebook, or webinar idea and know exactly what you want to talk about in the body of your content … but you can’t seem to get the intro flowing. Well if that’s been you, you should definitely check out our Quick Tip to writing captivating introductions. With just three components, you’ll be banging out an intro and saying goodbye to writer’s block in no time.How to Use Pinterest for BusinessEven though Pinterest has been a hot social network for a while now, lots of marketers still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. To get a comprehensive overview of the social network check out our Introduction to Pinterest for Business. We’ll answer questions like: What jargon do you need to know? How do you even sign up for an account? Will the social network help your marketing at all? So go on, download the ebook and get ready to pin!9 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Outstanding Facebook Cover Photos [+Free Templates]One of the first places people look when they visit your Company Page on Facebook is at your Cover Photo. They can’t help it — it takes up almost a quarter of the page. So you want to make sure you’re making the most of that incredibly valuable real estate. Check out these nine do’s and dont’s for creating effective Cover Photos, and then get started making your own with our free social media cover photo templates. How to Convert Casual Blog Visitors Into Dedicated SubscribersIf you’ve been blogging for your company for a while, you most likely have the business blogging basics down pat. You’re writing effective blog posts, designing gorgeous calls-to-action, and racking up the social shares and comments … but you want to take your blog to the next level. You want your business blog to make a serious impact in your marketing results, but aren’t sure how. Look no further than our latest blog post on converting casual blog visitors into dedicated subscribers. Brush Up on Your Marketing TriviaLast but certainly not least, we have some fun content to help you learn about inbound marketing. Whether you’re an old pro who wants to teach your team about inbound or a newbie writing your first blog post, you’ll have a blast playing the Marketing Trivia game. In the game, we’ll walk you through each element of inbound marketing — and once you’ve finished, you can brag all you like on Twitter at #MktgTrivia. Click here to download the game, and then read up on the rules in this blog post. And that’s it for this week! What HubSpot content did you like this week, and what content do you want to see in the future?Image credit: Gibson Claire McGuire Regester Pinterest Marketing Originally published Sep 8, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Are you trying to amass a large following on Twitter? Want to increase your engagement and have meaningful conversations? Or maybe even drive more traffic to your website?These are great goals to set for yourself, but there are some mistakes you might be making on Twitter that are likely hindering your efforts, and you’re not even aware of it.Making some of these mistakes might even lead to people UNFOLLOWING you. *Collective gasp of horror.*Here are eleven things you didn’t know you were doing wrong on Twitter — some of which may be why people are unfollowing you:Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.1) Tweeting Purely Self-Promotional ContentThere’s a lot of interesting content out there. Chances are, your followers are interested in more than just yours. And if all you do is tweet content about yourself, you’re going to bore your audience pretty quickly — especially if you tweet the same link over and over. It will be hard to grow a valuable following if you don’t share other unique content, retweet, and reply to others.2) Tweeting at People With Irrelevant LinksYou might think your latest blog post is the most brilliant article to be posted on the internet all month. Maybe it is. But it’s generally a bad idea to tweet at people using their @ handles with a link to your article. If there is a specific person you know would be interested in your content based on previous conversations you’ve had with them, that’s one thing. But to @ every person you follow in your industry and your city with a link will get you unfollowed faster than you can say “spam.”3) Retweeting Every Tweet That Mentions YouIf people are mentioning you and your content in their tweets, that’s great! You can thank them by replying to them or favoriting their tweets. But retweeting every tweet in which you’re mentioned makes you look like you’re trying to win a popularity contest. Just like blasting out self-promotional tweets, it will clutter your followers’ feeds with tweets about … you.4) Keeping Your Twitter Lists HiddenMost of the people I keep track of on Twitter are not people I follow — they’re people I’ve organized into various lists. In fact, sometimes when people follow me, I add them to a list instead of following them back, since I pay attention to lists more than my main Twitter stream. When you create a list on Twitter, you can choose to create a public or private list.Public list: Anyone you add to the list will receive a notification that you’ve added them to that list. Anyone can also find and follow your list, or add your list to their Tweetdeck as a column.Private list: It’s private to you. Nobody on that list will know that you’re following them. Nobody can find or follow the list you’ve curated.Some lists should remain private, e.g. lists you’ve created for groups of friends and/or family. But if you’ve created an industry or professional-related list, consider making it public. That way the people included in your lists may reciprocate or follow you, or not get offended that you didn’t “follow” them back, since they know you’re paying attention to them.5) Favoriting Every Tweet Someone TweetsYou don’t want people to think you’re a stalker, do you?It’s fine to be a super fan. There are certain people on Twitter that you admire and like to follow closely, and that’s great. Much like the “Like” button on Facebook, favoriting is an easy way to show appreciation for shared content on Twitter. But if you favorite every single tweet someone puts out there, they will notice — and not always in a good way. Worse yet, some people favorite every tweet someone is even mentioned in.I think sometimes people use software to automatically favorite these tweets, but either way, it’s super creepy and can get you unfollowed or even blocked.6) Griping or Complaining I am guilty of this sometimes. When I get frustrated about something, it’s easy to tweet out a short rant and feel like I’ve gotten something off my chest.Publicly spewing negativity is a bad idea. While there are some very nice people out there who will tweet at me with pictures of kittens and puppies, my follower count takes a small dip each time I rant about something. People don’t like to be surrounded by negative people. So try to avoid airing out your dirty laundry on Twitter and maintain a positive outlook — your followers will love you for it.7) Tweeting All Your Content for the Day at OnceYou might not have much time for Twitter. In fact, Twitter (and other social media responsibilities) might be your “morning coffee” activity, which means you spend 15 minutes responding to tweets, publishing new tweets, and sharing interesting content. But don’t forget to space things out! If you tweet five times in a row first thing in the morning, and that’s it for the day, your tweets will only be seen by people who happen to check Twitter around that time. Your tweets will be pushed too far down the stream for the afternoon crowd to see. You can use tools like Social Inbox to schedule your tweets throughout the day. This way, you can still get your Twitter tasks out of the way in the morning, but your account will be active throughout the day.8) OversharingThere are certain mundane details of your life that your Twitter followers probably don’t want to know about, including but not limited to problems you’re having with your wilted lettuce, how uncooperative your children are being in the grocery store, or how many hours of sleep you got last night. #nobodycaresSometimes it’s fine to share this kind of day-to-day life drama — it adds to your personality, makes you more relatable, and lets you connect with your audience. But if you only tweet this stuff … all the time … you won’t become a very influential person on Twitter (unless you’re already a celebrity). Oversharing could also mean tweeting too frequently. If you overwhelm your followers’ Twitter streams, they likely won’t follow you for long.9) Auto DMsThere are some services you can use to automatically send a direct message (DM) to a new follower. Sadly, some people still think using these services is a good idea. Upon polling Twitter to ask why people would unfollow someone, auto DM was the #1 most common response. Auto DMs are annoying, inauthentic, and make you seem like a bot or spammer.10) Being Rude to Other Twitter UsersI will never understand why people go out of their way to be mean or rude to strangers on Twitter, but it happens all the time. Maybe you’ve read articles saying the best way to gain a following is to be controversial. Or maybe you don’t realize you’re being rude.A good rule of thumb to follow: If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face in real life, you shouldn’t say it to them on Twitter. The same etiquette should apply. For the most part, Twitter isn’t really anonymous. The people you’re rude to can see who you are. So for goodness sake, behave!11) Only RetweetingIf you like to retweet often, that’s great! You’re not being overly-self-promotional, and you’re contributing to the conversation. But there is the opposite extreme as well, and that’s ONLY retweeting other people’s tweets, especially if you don’t provide commentary of your own. If you want to be influential on Twitter, you need to contribute some original content, as well. Otherwise your followers might as well only follow the people you retweet, and not follow you.Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:Click to tweet: 11 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Doing Wrong On Twitter – http://hub.am/1hnPg3S by @DianaUrban at @HubSpotClick to tweet: 11 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Doing Wrong On Twitter – http://hub.am/1hnPg3S http://pic.twitter.com/wvx3f86dgvClick to tweet: Here are 11 things you might be doing wrong on Twitter… are you guilty of any? http://hub.am/1hnPg3SImage source: TweetBrander. Topics: Originally published Mar 27, 2014 8:11:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Twitter Marketing
These days, I spend a lot of my time on blog optimization. I’m constantly trying to figure out how we can fill the top of our funnel with more blog visitors, and how we convert more of those visitors into subscribers and leads. Because my role is focused on optimization and growth, I try to make sure we’re always testing something. After all, if we only do what we know works, we may see growth, but it will only ever be incremental growth. And we have ambitious goals here at HubSpot, so we need to be focused on achieving exceptional growth.That’s why testing is so critical — it enables you to discover those groundbreaking strategies and tactics that lead to exceptional growth. Try out our free marketing tool that helps you test out various types of popup CTAs and gives you information about your site visitors. Luckily, there are a ton of tests you can run to optimize your blog for clicks and conversions. So, to help you get into the habit of always testing stuff on your own blog, here is a list of things you should try out for yourself. Remember — what doesn’t work for one blog, might work for you! Note: Blogs are very variable by nature, oftentimes making it difficult to completely isolate the variables you’re trying to test. While you should do your best to isolate your variables, keep in mind that your tests may not be perfectly scientific. Blog Publishing Optimization Things you can test to optimize your blog publishing activity …1) FrequencyIs more always better? Test your publishing frequency to identify your “sweet spot.” Is there a point at which an increase in volume of posts doesn’t actually equate to more or better results? At what point are you sacrificing content quality for the sake of quantity? Suggested Testing Methodology: Increase (or decrease) your publishing frequency by a certain amount for 1-2 weeks. Then, isolate the number of views you received to those new posts and compare it to the views of the new posts you published during one of your typical 1-2 week time frames. Continue testing until you find your frequency sweet spot.2) Timing Do certain times of the day and days of the week correlate with better traffic results? What about how far apart you space your published posts — does that impact an individual post’s performance? Suggested Testing Methodology: Test publishing at a variety of times. Then export your blog analytics (e.g. HubSpot’s Pages Report), sort by time of day and day of week, and analyze trends you see in performance.3) Content Balance Which blog content types (e.g. text-only, SlideShare-based, infographics) and topics perform better for you? Knowing this, what’s the ideal content balance? In other words, while SlideShare-based posts may perform best in terms of traffic, you probably can’t only publish SlideShare posts.Suggested Testing Methodology: Test different content types and subjects on your blog, then analyze how those posts perform. Map blog content to your various content goals to determine what your ideal content balance is (e.g. X SlideShare posts per month for traffic, X posts per month about subject A to support campaign B, etc.).Blog Subscriber Email Optimization Things you can test to optimize the notification emails you send to blog subscribers …4) Email Subject Line Do your subscriber emails generate more clickthroughs when you use a generic subject line (e.g. “Here’s Your Latest Blog Post”), or when the subject line matches the title of the blog post you’re emailing about?Suggested Testing Methodology: Test a generic subject line for a period of time until you have a large enough sample size of emails that your test is statistically significant. (Learn what “statistically significant” means for marketers here.) Then, test subject lines that match titles of the blog posts you’re emailing about for the same number of emails. Compare the performance (in terms of clickthrough rate) of those emails.5) Email Timing For any instant subscriber emails you have set up (i.e. an email triggered every time you publish a new post), email timing will obviously go hand-in-hand with publish timing. For other subscriber email frequencies such as daily, weekly, or monthly digests, timing is a great thing to test. Which time of day and day of the week (for weekly and monthly emails) perform best?Suggested Testing Methodology: Send a sample of emails at a certain time of day, and compare the clickthrough rates of those emails to a sample of emails sent at a different time of day. Keep testing until you find the time of day and day of week that generates the best clickthrough rate.6) Calls-to-Action (CTAs) Within Emails Should you include calls-to-action within your blog emails? Does the inclusion of CTAs distract recipients from visiting your blog? If so, are the conversions you’re getting worth sacrificing that blog traffic?Suggested Testing Methodology: Compare the performance of subscriber emails that include CTAs with emails that do not, using the same sample size of emails. Look at the emails’ clickthrough rates and referral traffic to your blog as well as the performance of the CTAs you used (HubSpot customers can use HubSpot’s Calls-to-Action App for this). Also, be sure to consider your goals: Which is more of a priority to your team: Traffic or conversion rate? Consider testing different types of CTAs as well. Blog CTA OptimizationThings you can test to optimize the calls-to-action on your blog …7) End-of-Post CTAs vs. End-of-Post FormsWhich performs better for generating leads and conversions: A standard CTA at the end of your blog post, or the full conversion form embedded right there? Test it out, just like we did! Suggested Testing Methodology: Take two separate posts, similar in subject matter and format, and publish them both at the same time of day and day of the week, one week apart. On one post, use a standard CTA; on the other post, use an embedded form for the same offer you used in the CTA on the first post. Keep the copy on the CTA and the form the same as well. After each post has been up for a week, compare the view-to-submission rate of the CTA and the view-to-submission rate of the form. Check out this post for more details about how we tested it on our own blog.8) Slide-In CTAsSlide-in CTAs are CTAs that slide in from the side as readers scroll down the page. They capture visitors’ attention without covering the copy of the blog post and thus, being too obtrusive. Does adding slide-in CTAs to your blog posts increase conversions? How does their performance compare to your blog’s standard end-of-post CTAs? Should you include one or the other, or both? If so, should they be CTAs for the same or different offers?Suggested Testing Methodology: Add slide-in CTAs to a sample of old blog posts that still generate traffic. Wait a week or two, and then compare the visit-to-lead conversion rate of those posts to their visit-to-lead conversion rate prior to the addition of the slide-ins. HubSpot customers can also use HubSpot’s Calls-to-Action App to look at the view-to-submission rates of slide-ins vs. standard end-of-post CTAs to compare performance. To learn how to add slide-in CTAs to you blog posts, check out this tutorial. 9) Dynamic (or “Smart”) CTA Segmentation Which is more effective: Segmenting the dynamic CTAs on your blog by lifecycle stage, or by persona? Are there other, more effective ways to segment them?Suggested Testing Methodology: Test a variety of CTA segmentation strategies (click here for some CTA segmentation ideas) across various samples of blog posts to determine what works best for your audience. If you’re a HubSpot customer, use the analytics available in the Calls-to-Action App to measure effectiveness.10) CTA Offer, Design & Copy How do design and copy choices impact the performance of your CTAs, both on individual blog posts and in the sidebar/top/bottom of your overall blog layout? What about the offers you’re promoting on specific posts? Would other offers perform better?Suggested Testing Methodology: A/B test variations in CTA copy, design, and offer type on individual posts. If you have a tool (like HubSpot’s Calls-to-Action App) that offers A/B testing functionality, this is even easier and more scientific. (Learn how to run an A/B test here.)11) Text-Based, In-Line CTAsCan you increase conversions by including text-based, in-line CTAs within the copy of your blog articles, like the one you see pictured below? How does the placement of these text-based CTAs impact performance (i.e. are people more likely to click them if they’re placed earlier or later in the post)? Does more direct copy work better than something subtler? Suggested Testing Methodology: Add in-line CTAs to a sampling of older posts that still generate traffic (likely from search). Let them collect data for a week or two, and then calculate those posts’ visit-to-lead conversion rates. Compare those conversion rates to the conversion rates of the posts prior to adding the slide-in CTA. HubSpot customers can also create these in-line CTAs using the Calls-to-Action App (check out this post to learn how — see section on “Magic Copy”) and reference the data collected in that app.What other tests can you run to improve the optimization of your blog? Share them in the comments below! Conversion Rate Optimization Topics: Originally published Sep 26, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack