Small Business Lead Nurturing Success Case Study

If you’re an entrepreneur, part of a small marketing department, or a one-man marketing department, then you know it can be tough to get everything you need to get done accomplished.

Your experience, current thought, and even marketing experts will tell you that small companies, with limited budgets and resources, can be challenged to keep up. Prevalent thinking is that they can’t, and in fact shouldn’t even try. But keep reading – because we’re dispelling that myth once and for all!

If you’re interested in driving revenue, and using the internet to help, then you’re doubly challenged to figure out WHAT among all of the different tactics, are the RIGHT ones for you. Because if you don’t get it right, then you’re just going to waste your time, and still not get the results you’re after. And that supports what the “experts” are saying, and leading you to believe.

Meet Margaret Johnson, a one-woman marketing department for a $10 million dollar-a-year consulting company, and learn how she has solved the problem of keeping her company top-of-mind with customers and prospects, funneling sales-ready leads to her sales force. Learn how they landed one of the largest companies in her geography, and are delighting them and staying top-of-mind.

Here’s the part you’ll really love: She spends only ONE DAY A WEEK managing it all!

And you could too…

There were two critical things that were causing Margaret’s organization pain – not knowing whether her in-person events would have anyone attending them, and how to stay top-of-mind when prospects weren’t ready for a sales conversation when someone from Sales contacted them.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not good enough to meet with someone who’s not currently interested in what you’re selling, and putting a tickle in your system to contact them again in 6 months. Even if that’s what they tell you. It’s likely that their situation could change on a moments notice, and if you’re not in their thinking, you will not get the deal.

After being bombarded with media, emails, and news about how you’ve got to be present in social media, Margaret set up a Facebook Fan page and a Twitter account. She already had a blog, and the company website to also manage. She found herself trying to remember where she needed to post content and update things.

Margaret was quickly getting overwhelmed. How could she really implement effective marketing efforts that would generate leads, nurture them well, and contribute to the bottom line growth goals of her organization?

Margaret started to map out everything. She had a blog, and that had an RSS Feed. She found a way to update her Twitter account based on the RSS feed from her blog. She also hooked up that RSS feed to her Facebook Fan page. But now, how could she generate more leads, and stay top-of-mind? That only relieved her from figuring out how to manage two of the social media aspects of things.

She realized that she could segment her RSS feeds and publish them to her website, effectively adding content to her critical pages that needed to be refreshed on a regular basis. And people could subscribe to her RSS feeds and get updates via email. There were some tools, that provide this specific ability – but then the people who sign up through those vehicles are kept in that system, with the opt-out and bad email information, rather than in her lead database where she could see how they are responding to the emails and also trigger appropriate event invitations. So using a point-tool like that wasn’t a solution – it only added more work.

Margaret was using a marketing automation toolset, and she realized that she could use an RSS feed capability from her marketing automation system to define her blog feed, and then publish them to her website. She could also set up emails, within that same toolset that pulled from those RSS feeds, so she could send emails to the contacts that wanted email updates, if there was any new content available from the feeds. If there wasn’t, then no emails would be sent. She realized she could set up her emails one time, set them to go out every 14 days, and they’d automatically pull fresh content from the feeds she identified for each email.

Best of all, implementing her “system” in this way, ensured that ALL the leads, and their responses to her marketing, were all in one place – so she could score the leads as well as segment them even further based on how they responded, not only to the emails, but on what materials they have downloaded from her website, which pages they have viewed, and which events they’ve attended. She set up nurturing sequences (a set of timed emails) that trigger based on a lead’s response to any number of specific lead activities. She now has emails going out every 14 days to her leads, plus other nurturing sequences that can be triggered based upon a lead’s activity.

The value of keeping her leads in a single database, and tracking their activities — and then having the tools available that allowed her to automate her marketing efforts, has literally saved her from adding another full time marketing person to her staff to help implement and manage their marketing efforts.

How’s it going? She is getting positive feedback from customers and her sales folks – because her company is top-of-mind, and closing more business! She is able to quantify her contribution to her company’s growth.

Internet Promotion And Small Business Loans

You may be seeking small business financing for a number of reasons. This can include start up funding, settlement of debt, cash flow emergencies and business expansion needs. Obtaining a small business loan can handle all of these issues, but while you are in the process of filling out loan applications, this is the time when you need to give equal, if not more attention to promoting your product and services. Since lack of cash on hand is holding you back, increasing your sales will be what gives you relief in the long run. It will even help position you more effectively in the future when you require financing for expansion. A healthy business operation is attractive to business loan lenders.

Naturally, if your small business is experiencing an emergency or danger situation with its finances, you must take action by identifying the problem and rectifying it. But before you do any of that – promote, promote, promote!

Using the internet is a quick way to get your promotional materials out pronto. Here are some ways you can use the internet for promoting your products and services:

Get a website.

Organize the website so it easily converts a visitor (surfer) to a customer.

Optimize your website for search engines.

Offer a free email newsletter to visitors on your site (builds a database of prospects).

Send regular promotional emails to your past & current clients.

Make a short video clip to post on video media sites.

Add bookmark & RSS feed widgets to your site.

Submit content & links to your pages on social media sites.

Create a blog & make frequent posts.

Submit content to RSS feed article sites.

Add survey fields to your website (surfers love them).

Submit comments to relevant blogs with a link back to your site.

Some of these items have costs involved, but can be obtained very reasonably based on your preferences. Most of these items can be accomplished by your own efforts, if you are not in the position to hire a professional internet marketer. The most important issue at stake here is to promote your business as quickly and effectively as possible. You need to show your alternative small business loan lender that you have a solid base of sales and you are more than capable of keeping your monthly loan payment commitment.

Local Search Traffic Secrets For Small Business Owners

Local search queries offer small business owners the opportunity to tap into some highly-converting sales leads. All they need to know is how to find that traffic, and in this article we show exactly how it is done.

Many small business owners wring their hands at the prospect of trying to figure out how to put their business on the internet and tap into the millions of prospective online leads that browse the web every day looking for the kinds of services they offer. They usually learn, fairly quickly, that getting traffic to their web site is not going to be easy.

Not only is it NOT easy, for the most part it is down right difficult, which is why the following simple traffic generation strategy should be one of the very first they adopt. Not only does it represent a way to grab prospects without spending a dime, but it also puts you on the map of the two big names in search engine marketing: Google and Yahoo.

Imagine that you own a dry cleaning business in Pasadena, California, and that some web user has just spilled coffee on her favorite outfit. She needs it cleaned, pronto, so she jumps on the web and types “dry cleaners, pasadena ca” into the Google lookup in her browser.

The good news: your business is just what she is looking for. The bad news: you do not have a page on your web site that is optimized for the keywords “dry cleaners, pasadena ca”. You should have one, but perhaps your SEO guy has not got around to it yet…

No matter, you can make up for that oversight by going to Google Local and filling out the form that allows a small business owner to list their business with Google. You provide them with basic information about your physical address, the URL for your web site, and a short description of your business (about 200 words).

Then Google takes a quick look at your web site and generates a Google Map showing a marker at the physical address you supplied. If needed, you can make a correction of the marker on the map. Then you specify a business category, hours of operation, payment options for your business, and any other particulars that you think a prospect might find useful when they are presented with your business profile. You can even add a photograph and a video, if you like.

Submit the information, and you are done. The next time someone types “dry cleaners, pasadena ca” you are on the map. Simple, huh?

Once you have done that, get yourself over to Yahoo Local and repeat the process to add even more prospects to your local business search sales funnel.

So what are you waiting for? Go put your business on the Google Map today by tapping into Google Local. Then do the same with Yahoo Local. It represents free traffic from your immediate neighborhood of people looking for exactly the kinds of services you have to offer. It could not get much simpler, could it?