The slip between cup and lip
Marketing and sales is all about managing leads well – getting customers to move with minimal friction from entry points to conversion. Some customers will advance only to a certain extent. Others will take their time. No single customer is the same, even if their needs are similar.
Mere lead generation and management miss a large part of the overall effort required. Names and numbers are transferred to Excel sheets. Call centres take over. Prospects are called once, twice or thrice and then the trail goes cold. There’s too much work to be done to get them interested again. Attention shifts to recent prospects – and the others become part of the ‘typical conversion rate’ statistic. Lost in translation.
All the while, the cost of landing fresh prospects keeps rising. Reducing the friction involved in converting leads is where effort needs to be concentrated. The company’s internal systems probably focus on the entry points and the ones who are ready to buy. It’s not because the effort is lacking – but simply because customers do not receive the attention they require at the right time.
Every company needs to find its own rhythm
There are no hard and fast rules for doing this. It should be based on the learning a company already has from previous experience. Once every week or couple of weeks is the maximum frequency for reaching out to customers. Beyond that, they will either unsubscribe or mentally strike the product off their list.
Let’s take a few examples. You would assume Netflix has no problem with a few people cancelling. In fact, they were in the news for letting subscribers who had not watched a film in some time cancel their accounts. A move like that builds huge trust with minimal revenue loss. But on actual cancellations, Netflix makes it easy and then continues to be in touch with those subscribers, telling them about new releases and what they’re missing out on. It’s not one of those ‘We miss you’ emails that should never be sent!
A new fitness brand came up with an idea to keep engagement going. They put out a fitness challenge for their prospects that went on for 3 months. It ensured that they reminded prospects, spurred them to action on their own and kept the brand under consideration. The great part is that campaigns like this one can be used again and again to sign up customers
How HubSpot moves prospects from lead to conversion
Initially, prospects may not be aware of your product at all. Merely announcing that it is available will not spur purchase. So how the product solves problems for them has to be highlighted and seeded in social media or blog posts or films. Always make it about your customers, never about your product benefits
The most often used content to attract prospects is ebooks, quizzes and white papers. If the solution is highly technical, then it should be simplified, explained with examples. Free trials help for new software. Getting over the initial resistance is essential.
Take a product like a gas lighter for cooking gas. It has evolved beyond the sparks that marked the first generation. Prospects should be informed that there’s a new kind of lighter available. Videos would be ideal to demonstrate how it works better and can be used for multiple purposes, almost removing the need for matchboxes.
On the website, a steady stream of communications showing usage for multiple purposes over a stretch of 2-3 months will result in a shift in the way people think.
Hubspot helps shepherd customers through these stages, right from the landing page to gathering leads and then sending emails at defined intervals or any other communication.
HubSpot helps dig deep into customer motivations
Keeping track of how customers respond at multiple touch points helps to understand their motivations. Try out various promises and benefits on landing pages – build as many of them as required. The ones that work consistently over time should be prioritized. Initially, there should be no restrictions on possibilities.
Customer feedback and responses themselves can be repurposed to build landing pages to see if they resonate with larger numbers. The story of Lassi shops using washing machines to make large volumes of lassi or buffaloes being painted in black to get higher prices at cattle fairs is the stuff of legend.
Whatever the motivations, HubSpot helps bring customers on board, then keep in touch with them in a variety of ways before they are ready to commit to a sale. Once the sale is concluded, the service department can take over, in case there are support requirements.
This is just as important because solving customer issues after they come on board is one of the best ways to build positive word of mouth.
The entire journey, from prospect to sale to service can be captured in the HubSpot flywheel. That ensures personalisation and meeting unique needs can be traced and used in communication to customers in future – the best way to build long-term bonds.
Our consultants will be happy to help and explain how to get the best from HubSpot