How many times have you heard that it’s best to meet your romantic lead while doing something you love to do? Like going rock climbing if you’re sporty or visiting the library if you’re the bookish type? We’ve heard it a time or two throughout our lives. And we agree that it tends to work a bit better than meeting someone after four shots of tequila at the pub. Attracting loyal, happy, and devoted customers is a similar pursuit, as it turns out.
Inbound Marketing theory posits that it’s best to approach potential customers in places they naturally like to hang out. These places include social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or on specialized topical forums. Below we will explore the four stages of attracting and securing loyal customers. The loyal customers that will become brand devotees spreading the gospel of your organization’s stellar products or services to the world.
Attract: Find Those Special Someones
First, it is important to identify your customer archetypes. Don’t forget to clearly outline their goals, pain points, and innermost hopes and desires. What do they need help with, and how are you in the unique position to offer them exactly what they’re looking for? The best way to convince potential customers that you’re their knight in shining armor is to offer informational content. Try writing helpful blog posts and using social media outreach directly from you. Where do your potential customers like to get their information? How can you become an active participant in said forums of shared communication, and in a way that will shed a positive light on your brand?
Like the peacock who flaunts his impressive plumage, you must also stand out in a crowd. A spotless SEO strategy is crucial to your success in attracting new leads online. Experts can ensure that you come out on top in searches by optimizing keywords and using tricks to please SEO crawlers.
Convert: Lure Prospective Leads with the Right Bait
The best way to begin a relationship with potential leads is to get their information as early as possible. But watch out! Most people won’t give away personal information without getting something in return. Offering useful bait such as targeted tip sheets, white papers, eBooks, and webinars will entice users to engage with your organization. With enough free stuff, they will begin to build the trust you need to close sales. Don’t forget to focus on being helpful with your offers though. Disruptive content will break your hard earned relationships.
This one seems obvious but it is often left out of marketing strategy: Web forms should be as easy-to-use and intuitive as possible. Make the process of collecting email addresses and information as painless as you can. Shortening data collection forms and stating instructions clearly are good methods to use.
Close: Seal the Deal
Show potential customers you care by organizing contacts in one convenient place. This allows you to see your history with your contacts and flag their strongest points of engagement. This will help outline the best ways to stay in contact with your customers.
Sometimes it takes a while to build credibility and trust from your online leads. It will be well worth the wait when you’ve earned their business! Investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a good way to continue maintaining healthy relationships with new clients.
If a customer has taken the bait and downloaded your eBook but they haven’t yet employed your services, then send them a friendly reminder! Keep in touch by sending a series of friendly emails offering relevant information. This could be as easy as sending relevant monthly tips, or asking if they found the eBook helpful. If they’re not ready to buy, maintain contact so that you’ll be forefront on their minds when they’re ready.
Delight: You’ve Got the Honey, Now What?
By now you’ve closed some new leads. Now what? Businesses must remember to engage their current clients as much as potential buyers. We all know it’s better to meet a partner through friends. Just as it’s better to learn of a great vendor through a trusted colleague. You want customers to jettison past contentment with your services into a state of delighted rapture. You want them to sing your praises! Because they’re going to score the gold standard of potential clients. Serious leads ask trusted confidantes for recommendations!
The best way to keep customers in love with your services is to stay on topic. Offer periodic satisfaction surveys with a few pointed questions. Send emails with calls-to-action targeted to their needs and their life-cycle stage. Mismatching emails are a huge turn-off. You don’t want to offer a client you’ve had on board for two years a beginner’s tip sheet. That’s kind of like calling out someone else’s name in your sleep while your partner stews in anger beside you. Keeping track of engagement with your customers through a CRM system is the best insurance against such harmful snafus!
We hope that you’ve learned a bit more about Inbound Marketing and see how it can help you generate more leads online!