Converting Anonymous Traffic Into Warm Leads

Now that you have a good online presence, are well-known in your industry, and have traffic coming to your website...

Now that you have a good online presence, are well-known in your industry, and have traffic coming to your website, the next step is turning that traffic into leads. You will notice that there are different groups of leads. There is a difference between marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). In order to get more sales-qualified leads, you need more marketing-qualified leads.

How can you identify MQLs in your sales pipeline? And, more importantly, how can you offer effective nurturing that turns them into warm leads and SQLs? Here are the basic steps.

Not everyone is supposed to be a sales-qualified lead.

MQLs are people who might become customers in the future. However, they have not shown any signs of wanting to buy anything from you yet. Out of all the people who see your product pages or blog posts, only 5% to 15% will be interested in buying something from you right away. The rest will never buy from you.

To turn MQLs into SQLs, you need to give them the right messages and offers at the right time. Your online communications must speak directly to their needs, challenges, and goals.

No matter how good your marketing strategy is, there is no guarantee that it will work all the time. It's important to accept this uncertainty and be prepared for it. An effective nurturing initiative should not only work to close more deals, but to close them more effectively. Make sure your marketing goals are realistic and that all your efforts are aligned towards the same goal: converting website traffic into leads. Use the framework below to make this happen.

How to convert website traffic to Leads

Step #1: Determine What Makes A MQL A SQL

Look at your current funnel and use tools like Google Analytics to figure out what leads do before they become customers. Find out things like:

  • What content do MQLs consume before turning into SQLs?
  • How does their browsing pattern change when on your site?
  • Do they take any special social actions, like sharing your posts?
  • Do they fill out forms or request product demos?

Once you have a list of potential tipping points, document them, sort them by impact, assign points, and create lead-scoring rules within your marketing automation solution or your customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

This will allow you to measure how many SQLs (sales qualified leads) were created from the leads your sales reps and marketers sent. You no longer have to rely on their intuition or guesswork. This will also make it easier to see if any sales reps are sending you unqualified leads, and for marketing to see if their efforts are resulting in more SQLs.

Step #2: Offer Content On Your Website Your Buyers Can Easily Find

Having quality traffic come to your website is important. You want people to look at what you have and then buy it. But you also need to tell them what to do next. This is where many people get stuck. They have a lot of questions that they want answered before they buy anything from you. Industrial suppliers often don't answer these questions on their websites, but this can be a mistake. Potential buyers might not call because they don't know all of the answers yet.

We also highly recommend using CAD files to generate leads. CAD and BIM files are critical pieces of information for manufacturers of standard components. They actually help convert leads into sales opportunities. You can learn more about how to reach more engineers with CAD assets here.

Finding the right balance of assets and educational information is important for today's industrial buyers. In today's fast-paced world, an industrial buyer is more likely to submit an RFQ to those suppliers who answer the greatest number of questions upfront and provide the greatest amount of relevant information. To convert website traffic to leads, you’ll need to make content available to them.

Your website should have all the information in a logical order that is easy to find. If you have a catalog of your products on your site (which you should if you have standard products), it should be easy to access from the homepage. Even something as simple as a product catalog can generate 30% more conversions. The minute a buyer is unable to find something, they may leave your website and not come back. This could mean losing a potential sale. According to a Thomas survey, 76% of industrial buyers list difficult navigation as the most important reason for leaving a website without considering buying. Similarly, 61% prefer suppliers with search capabilities on their websites.

Step #3: Create Landing Pages And Forms For Your Content Offers

If you want to create valuable content on your website, you also need to learn more about who is visiting your site. You can do this by creating offers that people can access after they submit a form on your site. This will give you information like their names, job titles, email addresses, companies, and more. In exchange for this information, they can download the content they are interested in.

If you just made this content available on your homepage to everyone, you would not know who was visiting or what they were interested in. By gating this information as an offer, you will have valuable insight to use in campaigns that move people through the buying cycle.

When you are thinking about what content to show website visitors, you need to think about where they are in the marketing funnel. MQLs need different types of content than SQLs. MQLs need top of the funnel content to help them become SQLs, while SQLs need lower-funnel content to convince them to become customers.

What type of content should you serve to MQLs in order to convert them into SQLs?

  • You should send targeted email campaigns that focus on the pain points and business problems of your prospects, while also demonstrating how you can help solve their problem.
  • eBooks can be a great addition to your email campaigns and typically offer prospects educational value.
  • Long-form blog posts will show the authority and expertise you have in your industry while providing the prospect value.

What kind of content should you be serving to SQLs?

  • Spec sheets provide the technical aspects of your product or machine. They will show the reader what your product can do.
  • Case studies will provide social proof of your products or services. They will show that other people have been happy with what you have done for them.
  • White papers to further prove your industry knowledge. These papers will back up any statements you make about your product in the case study.
  • Online calculators to help them get their jobs done. The calculator will do some of the work for them so they know it can be done.
  • Testimonials are a great way to show social proof because it reassures prospects that doing business with you is the right decision.

Step #4: Upgrade Your Email Campaigns 

By now you know that good content will keep buyers engaged with your company online and turn them into leads. The next step is to reach out to them with emails. Many manufacturers already do some form of email marketing, but how effective is the quality of your content in the email and does the layout match your brand?

To have the best chance that your message will be read, use a subject line that is unique, specific, and urgent while implying that there is value inside the email. Learn more about effective subject lines to increase your open rate.

People are busy and they do not have a lot of time. You should write your emails in a way that people can read them quickly. Keep your emails short and include calls-to-action (CTAs) that link to longer form content like blogs, guides, or eBooks. If you want people to contact you, ask them to call you. If you want them to buy something from you, invite them to do so. If your email does not make it clear what you want people to do, then you have wasted their time and yours. A good CTA is direct, focuses on the value for the reader, and combines text with visual elements.

Your email's layout is important to your readers. Just like how it is important to have an organized and clean home office or shop floor, the same goes for email marketing. If your email does not look like it belongs to your company, if it looks unprofessional or messy, people will stop being interested in what you have to say and they might even switch to a competitor. According to a study by eMarketer, 75% of U.S. email users said that a poorly designed email has a negative effect on their perception of the brand. Branding is an important part of any marketing strategy, especially when it comes to email marketing.

Practice Good Branding And Layouts

As a growing manufacturing company, you want to set yourself apart from the competition. You can do this by branding your company. This means reaching out to clients and prospects in a way that is consistent with your brand. Make sure your logo and other graphics are appealing, and keep your emails simple but professional. Include links to your website and social media platforms, making sure the links work correctly.

All of these techniques are essential for branding. But when you want to send an email to get people interested in your company, make sure the content is clear and easy to understand. The email should be related to what's on your website and other marketing efforts. If the goal of the email is to inform customers about company updates or new products, try using a few different types of emails that will engage and connect with them. These include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Email newsletters
  • Dedicated emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Lead nurturing emails

When you create your email layout, you make it easy for people to read it. This is important because they might not have a lot of time to look at your email. They might only have a few minutes. If you make it easy for them to follow, they will be able to learn more about what you are trying to say.

Automate Your Emails

With traditional marketing methods, like placing an ad in the newspaper or on a billboard, almost everybody sees the same message. Email marketing gives you more control to target specific people. You can do this by paying attention to your leads and who they are. Segment your audience according to their needs and where they are in their buying cycle. This will increase the effectiveness of your messaging.

Using marketing automation with a CRM like HubSpot can save you time and hassle. Marketing automation will send messages after certain triggers, which will help the message have a bigger impact. Automated email delivery makes your professionalism look good because it is consistent and it is targeted to the right people. This takes human error out of the equation, which means you do not have to worry about tracking client activity and releasing messages accordingly.

Using a CRM can help you measure how well your email marketing campaigns are doing. This will give you information to help you better understand what to do in the future. For example, if emails sent on Tuesday get more clicks than those sent on Friday, then you should continue sending emails on Tuesday. The same goes for the effectiveness of different email styles, subject lines, layouts, and types of offers.

Your MQLs are being nurtured in some way, even if you don't know it. In some cases, they aren't ready to buy yet, but they've been contacted by sales representatives.

You need to revise, upgrade, or streamline your efforts based on what you find. Some solutions may no longer work well for you, and others may just be a waste of your time and money - so take some time to figure out what's going on and get organized.

A robust nurturing blueprint contains the following information and answers the following questions:

  • What kind of impression of your brand does the MQL need to have in order to become sales-ready or an SQL? This will depend on the values you embody, the products you offer, and the most dominant pain point of your buyers.
  • What tactics should this strategy utilize? Do you employ a drip campaign? How frequently do you email your MQLs? When do you stop?
  • Is this nurturing premeditated, or a knee jerk reaction to prospect actions?
  • How effective is this nurturing? How many touchpoints and channels (e.g., email, retargeting, social) are being leveraged?
  • Who will own which tactic or touchpoint? Will it be marketing, with no assistance from sales, or will there be involvement from your sales team as well?
  • How will the handoff happen? Larger companies tend to have sales development reps who handle MQL nurturing. The content may be created by marketing, but it is the responsibility of the sales reps to ensure that the content is consumed and has the desired effect.
  • Sales reps can unobtrusively loop in account executives (AEs) into email threads to gradually shift the conversation from education to purchase. Or the nurturing can be automated and overseen by marketing, with a hard handoff once the MQL hits the SQL threshold points within the system.
  • How will you know if your efforts to nurture are successful? What measurements or data will you use to track progress?

Step #5: Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams

If your team is divided into marketing and sales, then this step will happen at the same time as the first step. As you figure out how to best take care of your customers, you may find that there are gaps between what your marketing team does and what your sales team does. The way people buy things has changed a lot in the last few years, and it can be hard to keep up. We talk more about that here.

Make sure that sales reps and marketers are on the same page by having weekly meetings. In these meetings, share successes and celebrate together. Also, have cross-training in which marketing learns about buyer personas and sales learns about the actual bottlenecks they face when closing a lead. This will help create content that is valuable to both parties and that they can share freely across all platforms to help convert traffic into warm leads.

Buying habits will continue to change. If companies want to stay top-of-mind in new generations of workers, they need to adopt new digital strategies and keep their teams aligned.

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