Capture Customers’ Attention With Relevance

“Inbound marketing will make your customers love you,” Rick Burnes said during his presentation this morning at SocialBizAtlanta.

Burnes, product marketing director at HubSpot, then shared two stories to make his case.

In one case he received an email from a company that provides a webcast platform about it product.  HubSpot doesn’t host webcasts, so the company had likely acquired his name from a list it purchased. The email was unsolicited and impersonal. He tagged it as spam and deleted it. No sale.

“The bad news is that the math doesn’t work,” Burnes said, adding that lists expire at about 25% a year. Customers’ attention expires, too. “People are most engaged right after they subscribe,” he added. Customers’ interest and, as a result, the value of the list, decreases over time. So lists are an asset that can depreciate rapidly, he said, so you need to keep buying them.

In another case a company used inbound marketing to capture Burnes’ interest. He did a search about sales training, wound up click through to a blog by a company that offers sales training tools. Burnes found the content valuable, so subscribed to the blog. (Now, the company has his email address.) After Burnes read several posts about sales training, he received a site pop-up with a call-to-action for an ebook that on sales training, which he downloaded. (The company now also has his phone number.) He got a follow-up call from a sales consultant shortly after who had a record of his interactions, and offered advice. As a result, Burnes is now a customer.

“This math works,” he said. “The cost of acquiring these leads is much lower than buying lists; 61% lower cost per lead on average.”

Additionally, Burnes said, “when you segment and personalize you increase engagement.” HubSpot, for example, saw a 16% increase in email engagement when it started doing so.

His advice:

  • Stop blasting impersonal messages. Customers will tune you out. Focus on inbound marketing.
  • Create content people will love because, for example, it solves their problem.
  • Get context. How are prospects using your content?
  • Attract prospects with blogs, social interactions, keywords, and relevant web pages; this turns strangers to visitors.
  • Convert visitors to leads with calls to actions, landing pages, forms, etc.
  • Close sales with email workflows based on customer actions, lead scoring, and CRM integration.
  • Delight customers with social interactions, smart calls-to-action, and email based on workflows.
  • Be multichannel. It’s not just the email experience; it’s the website too. Customize the experience based on who the user is; prospect versus customer, for example.
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