The Manufacturing Leader's Step By Step Guide To Converting Anonymous Traffic Into Warm Leads & Reaching Out To Your Contacts

Now that you have worked on building your online presence and increasing brand awareness, it is time to focus on converting website ...

Now that you have worked on building your online presence and increasing brand awareness, it is time to focus on converting website traffic into leads. You will notice that there are different groups of leads. Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are different from sales-qualified leads (SQLs). In order to get more sales-qualified leads, you need more marketing-qualified leads.

So how can you identify potential customers in your sales pipeline and, more importantly, how can you offer them effective nurturing that turns them into warm leads and potential customers? Let's break down the basic steps.

Not all MQLs will become SQLs

MQLs are potential customers who may 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 are people who will never buy anything from you.

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

No matter how good your marketing strategy is, it cannot guarantee a 100% conversion rate. It is important to be realistic and understand that uncertainty is a part of the process. Having an effective nurturing initiative means that not only will you close more deals, but you will close them more effectively. Make sure that all of your marketing efforts are aligned with the same goal- converting website traffic into leads. Use the following framework to do so.

How to convert website traffic into leads?

#1. Determine what makes a MQL a SQL

Look at your current funnel and use tools like Google Analytics to figure out what actions people take after they visit your website. 

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 things that could make someone want to buy your product, you need to document them. You also need to figure out how important each thing is. This will help you create rules for your marketing automation software or CRM tool. This way, you can figure out how many people who are interested in your product (MQLs) turn into people who actually buy it (SQLs). 

You and your sales team will no longer have to rely on guesses. And marketing will be less likely to complain about poor close rates because they will know exactly how many MQLs turned into SQLs.

#2. Make sure the content on your website is easy for buyers to find

Having good traffic on your website is important for getting new customers and business opportunities. However, you also need to think about what to do when people get to your website. Many potential buyers are held back by the number of questions they have about your products and services. This includes details like specifications, tolerances, material options, minimum/maximum orders, delivery information, pricing, etc.

Many industrial suppliers do not include detailed information about their products on their websites. They believe that potential buyers will be encouraged to call if they have any questions unanswered.

Manufacturers should find a balance between providing the right mix of assets and educational information. In today's fast-paced world, an industrial buyer is more likely to submit an RFQ to those suppliers who answer the most questions and provide the most relevant information. To convert website traffic to leads, you'll need to make content available to them.

Make sure that everything on your website is easy to find. If you have a catalog of all your products (which you should), it should be easy to access from the homepage. Even something as simple as an electronic catalog can increase sales by 30%. If buyers can't find what they're looking for, they may leave your website without buying anything. According to a Thomas survey, 76% of industrial buyers say difficult navigation is the number one reason they leave a website without considering buying anything. 61% of buyers prefer suppliers with search capabilities on their websites.

#3. Create landing pages and forms for your content offers

There's a way to make sure your website content is valuable- learn about who is visiting your site. That's done by creating offers. An offer is downloadable content that people can access after they fill out a form on your website. You decide how much information they need to enter, so you can get their names, job titles, email addresses, and more. In exchange, they'll get the downloadable content they're interested in.

If you give everyone access to the same content on your homepage, you won't know who is visiting or what they are interested in. But if you make the content available as an offer, you'll have valuable information about who is visiting your website and what they are interested in. This information can be used to create nurturing campaigns that move people through the buying cycle.

Content that is displayed to site visitors should be different depending on how interested they are in buying from you. People who are not interested yet (MQLs) need top of funnel content to interest them, while people who are already interested in buying from you (SQLs) need lower funnel content that will help them close the sale.

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

  • You can reach potential buyers by sending them targeted emails that touch on their pain points and business problems. Show how you can help solve their problem.
  • Blog posts that are longer than average will show your expertise in your industry and provide value to your readers.
  • eBooks can be a great way to add educational value to your email campaigns.

What kind of content should you be serving to SQLs

  • Documents that show your understanding of the industry.
  • Testimonials are a great way to show that your product or service is good. They can help persuade people to buy what you're selling.
  • Online calculators that people can use to help them with their work.
  • Spec sheets provide the technical specifications of your product or machine.
  • Case studies will show that people have purchased or used your products or services in the past.

#4. Upgrade your email campaigns 

People looking for things online will stay interested if your website has good content. Once they are interested, you can reach out to them with emails. These emails should have content that is interesting to them and also matches the design of your website. Many companies already do email marketing, but you need to make sure that the quality of your content is good and that the layout is consistent with your brand.

To increase the chances that your email will be read, use a subject line that is unique, specific, and urgent. Make sure it also implies that there is value in reading the email.

Email is a valuable way to communicate with your buyers. However, they have short attention spans and you don't want to waste their time by writing long emails. Keep your emails under 150 words and include calls-to-action (CTAs) that link to longer form content such as blogs, guides, or eBooks. If you want them to contact you, prompt them to call. If you want them to buy your product, invite them to do so. Make sure your CTAs are clear, focus on the value for the reader, and use both text and visual elements.

How you layout your emails also affects how people read them. Just like it's important to have a well-organized and clean home office or shop floor, the same is true for email marketing. If your email doesn't look professional or is messy, readers will lose interest in what you're saying and they might go with one of your competitors instead. Poorly designed emails can have a negative impact on how people see your brand. Branding is an important part of any marketing strategy, and especially email marketing.

Practice good branding and layouts

As a growing manufacturing company, you want to set yourself apart from the competition. Branding is one way to do this. When reaching out to clients and prospects, it is important that your messaging is consistent with your brand essence. You want people to be able to recognize your company right away and feel like they are not being spammed. 

There are many ways to do branding, including:

  • Adding graphics and images to your email can make it look more appealing than just text. However, you don't want to go too overboard with the graphics. Too much can make the email hard to read. It's also important to be consistent with the design of your emails so that they all look similar.
  • Make sure your website and social media platforms are linked correctly. If someone clicks on a link, it should take them to the right place on your site. Links that don't work will frustrate consumers.

All of these techniques are important for branding. But when you want to send an email to get people interested in what you're doing, you need to think about what they will understand. Make sure that your email content is clear and matches your website and other marketing materials.

If the goal of one of your emails is to update customers or prospects about company news or new products, then you should try different types of emails to engage and connect with them. 

Some examples include:

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

Email layouts make it easy for readers to find the information they are looking for. This is important, especially in email newsletters which often have multiple sections. If you make your layout easy to follow, you can keep readers' attention and potentially convert them into a lead or sale.

Automating your emails can save you time and energy

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 over who sees your message. You can target people who are interested in what you have to say, and you can also time your messages to be more appealing. To do this, you need to pay attention to the leads coming through your business and divide your audience into different groups. Tailor your messages and delivery timing to better grab attention and increase appeal to each audience segment. Practice persona targeting and segment your email lists according to their needs and where they are in their buying cycle. This will increase the effectiveness of your messaging.

CRMs can save you a lot of time and hassle. Automated email delivery will make you look more professional because your messages will be sent at consistent times and to the right people. This will also help reduce human error, because you won't have to track client activity and release messages accordingly.

Using a CRM can help you measure how successful your email marketing campaigns are. This will give you more information so that you can better understand your strategy. If emails sent on Tuesdays get more clicks than those sent on Fridays, this information should be used to plan future campaigns. The same goes for the effectiveness of different email styles, subject lines, layouts, and types of offers.

Even if you aren’t aware of it, your potential customers are being contacted by sales representatives in some way. In some cases, they are not ready to purchase yet, but they’ve been contacted by sales representatives.

After looking at what you have found, you may need to revise, upgrade, or streamline your efforts. Some solutions may no longer work for you and some may just be using up your budget - so take some time to figure out what needs to be done.

A robust nurturing blueprint contains the following information: 

  • What are the best ways to use this strategy? What kind of email campaign should I use? How often should I email my potential customers? When should I stop trying to sell to them?
  • Is this nurturing premeditated, or a knee jerk reaction to prospect actions?
  • What kind of impression do you want your potential buyers to have of your company? This will depend on what your company represents, the products you offer, and the biggest problem that your buyers have.
  • What is the effectiveness of this nurturing? What channels and touchpoints are being used?
  • Who will own which marketing tactic or touchpoint? Will it be marketing, without any help from sales, or will there be involvement from your sales team too?
  • Sales reps can slowly start to talk about buying the product in emails with account executives. This will help get the account executive ready to buy the product. The process can be automated with marketing.
  • What will happen when it is time to hand off the leads? usually, a larger company will have sales development reps who will be in charge of taking care of the MQLs. They will make sure that the content is consumed and that it has the desired effect.
  • How will you know if nurturing is effective? What will you measure to see if it works?

#5. Align your sales and marketing teams

This step may happen at the same time as the first step. You may find gaps between your marketing and sales teams when you break down your current nurturing process. The digital transformation of sales and marketing has been a challenge in the manufacturing industry. We discuss more on those manufacturing challenges here.

Make sure that sales reps and marketers are on the same page by having weekly meetings. In these meetings, they can celebrate their successes and share what they have learned. They can also learn about each other's areas of expertise. This will help them create content that is useful for both parties and that they can share freely across all platforms to turn traffic into leads.

It is clear that buying habits are changing. If manufacturers and industrial companies want to stay top-of-mind in the minds of new generations of workers, they need to adopt new digital strategies and keep their teams aligned.

How to get better leads for your business

There is not a lot of luck involved in MQL-to-SQL nurturing. You have to have a plan and follow it to turn leads into customers. It takes time to figure out what works and then you need to keep doing what works and improve it.

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