Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Increase Software Lead Acquisition Through More Landing Pages

software leads, software sales leads, software lead generation
If you're a software company, then you must have a website, right (or not)? If you do not have one, then it is highly recommended that you get one up and running so that you can maximize your exposure, marketing efforts, and increase your chances at getting software leads. This post, however, is going to assume that you already have a website.

So on to our main topic: landing pages. These are the pages that you have in order to generate leads from search engine users and other online advertisements you have in place. The question now is... how many landing pages do you have?

We found this awesome post over at Hubspot that talks about why you need to create more landing pages. Read it full here. Seeing as it was really an excellent article, I decided to make it the basis of this one and how landing pages can help increase the rate at which you acquire high-quality software leads generated through an inbound marketing approach.

While we're on the general topic of software, you may already be well aware of the fact that you're playing with a difficult hand. Not that many people see the value in good software and it is hard to get more clients. Luckily, the fraction of the population that do not see the worth of software is but a small figure and you'll be pleased to know that a lot of people, your target prospects included, are in the market and looking for a good firm that really knows its chops! Want to know the value that landing pages have in generating software sales leads for you? If yes, then read on!

More variety in your offers.

One of the reasons as to why your marketing offers do not effectively generate software leads may be due to repetition. When you keep on doing something over and over it just becomes monotonous and eventually boring. You may not be converting any of your site visitors into leads because your offers lack variety.

Thankfully, you can remedy that through your landing pages. The more landing pages you have, the more variety you will be able to put into your offers.

More chances of conversion.

Some say that too much of a good thing is bad. Well, that really doesn't seem to be the case with landing pages. Actually, companies that have more landing pages have seen better lead acquisition rates than their counterparts that keep only a handful. And why is this? Well, this is due to the fact that you will have more chances to convert your site visitors into software leads! As said in the previous point, more variety in your offers helps in software lead generation. Combined with the effect of having more pages, you will have more offers that will appear before your prospects, and certainly more chances of visitor-to-lead conversion.

More segmentation opportunities.

It is always easier to determine your approach when you know about your buyer personas. As such, segmentation makes it easier to deal with certain leads that need a certain way of handling, or for us to be able to gauge how far along the buying cycle they are already on. More landing pages allows you to create more segment-specific content which you can use to not only generate more leads but also to determine the different buyer personas of your audience as you generate more software leads.

Now you know the benefit that having more landing pages can bring about for your software company. Do you want to maximize your use of inbound marketing to generate leads for your business? If so, then let it be known that more landing pages can help you out!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Attracting Software Leads With 'Heavy' Marketing Materials

People like freebies whether it is from a B2B or B2C business. However, how can they specifically attract business software leads? More experienced software marketers might already be thinking along the lines of e-books or even demo versions of their product.

Should you really just go right ahead though? And more importantly, are you aware of how heavy these offers might actually be for you or your prospect?

Attracting B2B Leads With Their Value Proposition

First off, perhaps you need to remind yourself that, like any marketing tactic, you need a thorough plan and whether this plan implies a certain 'weight' to the whole idea. For example, this article from Entrepreneur lists several steps when publishing a book for marketing purposes.

On the other hand, take a look at those steps and note the contrast between them and the simplicity of their ultimate goal:

'It's a value proposition. We will often offer [the book] for free in exchange for a name and an email address,' says Feighery, who wrote his book in 2007 in preparation for launching his business the following year. 'This gives us a chance to communicate with that user.'

This is where you can determine a 'weight' factor that will tell you if your dabbling with really heavy marketing materials. Now if you are something like a CRM software vendor and would like to employ the same strategy as Feighery, this weight can affect the success and quality behind your CRM leads.

Try asking yourself the following questions:
  • Will this weigh down on your prospect? - Offering an entire book in exchange for just simple contact details sounds like a really good idea from the perspective of any B2B business. What about the customer's perspective though? Are they aware that this is in fact the bargain you are making? Will this burden them with spam or having their phones of the hook from telemarketing calls? Will these freebies nurture an unhealthy dependence on your business? 
Related Content: Lock-Ins And Lead Generation – A Wise Decision?
  • Will this weigh down on your business? - One of the steps mentioned requires you to be really original and engaging in terms of content. In other words, just because your book is supposed to serve a marketing purpose does not mean it is only a copy-paste rehash of your blog posts or a compilation of your acquired case studies. It is still a book and you need to go beyond the messages you have sent out so far. More than that, you should also be aware of how both the content and the means of publishing will pile on additional costs in terms of both time and money. 
  • Can you bear the weight? – Both previous questions ultimately lead to this one. Will this attract enough CRM software leads to justify the burden of effort (for both yourself and your clients)? Will the sales make up for the amount that was spent? Will the book ultimately lead to a successful business relationship for your prospects or just another thing they regret downloading? 
Related Content: Generate ERP Leads With More Effort From You But Less Effort For Your Prospect!

Weight does not have to be of an entirely physical nature. Some things can be heavy because they are heavy on the mind or heavy on your pocketbooks. That is not actually a bad thing. What you must test however is the capacity of your software lead generation strategy to bear such a weight in terms of return and customer satisfaction.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How Much Does Lead Generation Thrive On Publicity?

Lead generation falls under marketing. And from there, it is not much of a stretch to assume that it has to depend on publicity at some level. The question is just what would that level be? How much of the people's attention are you after? How does that benefit translate into interested customers and furthermore, paying customers?

For consumer-targeted brands, finding the answer seems like cakewalk. But for B2B companies like ERP vendors, it soon becomes a question of whether or not publicity is even something their business should thrive upon.

Do Many B2B Leads Result From Publicity?

For a brief illustration of using publicity in the business tech sector, below is an excerpt from BetaBeat. It talks about an upcoming reality talent show that is meant to feature tech entrepreneurs. At the end of the article however, the author makes a sobering observation:

The show seems to still be in its very early stages, but one thing is clear: These producers obviously have no idea how boring working to become a successful entrepreneur actually is. How will the show even test the contestants’ skills? 'Write a PHP script that generates the numbers 1-10 in a vertical line.' 'Write a blog post about your morning routine and post it to' 'Get a controversial screed against MongoDB to the front page of Hacker News.'”

Many people in the business software industry (or even just B2B industries in general) are not always parroting when they question the relevance of publicizing their companies in this manner. The above article is hard proof of their actual reasoning. The quality of ERP leads do not simply thrive on just exposure and sheer numbers. It can be argued that conversion is strongly emphasized (if not by marketers, then by the salespeople who are actually meeting with the prospects that marketers set them up with).

Related Content: Can Lead Generation Depend On Superstar Investors?

At this point, it might be time to review the advantages of having a public face and see if any of these ring well with the actual objectives of B2B marketing:
  • A large audience – Television shows come with a large audience. But then again, it is not like TV still has the monopoly. These days traditional advertisers are now either competing with their online counterparts or integrating them. Furthermore, one advantage held by the web is that ability to choose and search. This means your ERP lead generation not only attracts decision makers. These are decision makers who are actively searching and are clearly interested in an enterprise solution.
  • Relevance to culture – Being a cultural icon sounds fun but exactly what culture are you trying to engage? What about the culture you represent? Is there a disconnection between the two? Are you speaking the same language or are you alienating each other with your own exclusive lingo?
Related content: Why Software Leads Do Not Mix With Software Lingo
  • Marketing engagement – Speaking of engaging, just how much will this public image play in your interactions with a prospect? Will this help your marketers identify prospect needs? Will this help your sales meetings go well?
Once again, subjects like this should call businesses and their marketers to reflect on the differences between strategies and tools. Sometimes it is better to make a few telemarketing calls for B2B appointment setting instead of hosting a reality show.
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