Displaying items by tag: InfusionSoft https://www.demandgenreport.com Mon, 23 Sep 2019 02:11:18 -0400 en-gb Keap CEO Discusses Recent Rebrand, Rising Need For CRM Among SMBs https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/keap-ceo-discusses-recent-rebrand-rising-need-for-crm-among-smbs https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/keap-ceo-discusses-recent-rebrand-rising-need-for-crm-among-smbs Keap CEO Discusses Recent Rebrand, Rising Need For CRM Among SMBs

/To kick off 2019, small business CRM provider Infusionsoft announced it would rebrand as Keap. The new name is designed to reflect the company’s core mission to help small businesses continue to grow even though the odds may be stacked against them. In an exclusive interview with Demand Gen Report, Keap CEO and Co-Founder Clate Mask opened up about the company’s rebrand and shared his perspective on the current state of CRM.

Demand Gen Report: Your company has been around since 2001. How have you seen the space evolve over that time?

Clate Mask: So much has changed. We weren’t really doing what we’re doing until 2005-2006, and 2007 is when we raised capital. That’s when we really caught a vision for becoming the Salesforce.com for small businesses. I think what’s happened is you’ve seen the industry players quickly drift upstream and serve bigger players. You see Salesforce that started small and is now serving the enterprise exceptionally well, and you see HubSpot that started small and is serving midsize businesses extremely well.

What I see is the world of small business needs a CRM solution that’s built for them. That’s what we’ve done with Keap. We believe that we’re in the early innings of CRM adoption among small businesses. They may not even call it CRM — we call it smart client management, but that industry adoption is what we see. More specifically, small businesses require a very different level of elegance in the software that they use today. They require a different ability to serve their clients and our software is all about helping them serve their clients more effectively. They need to look better for their clients. They need to show up better for their clients. They need to be available for their clients.

I think in the last few years, the world has shifted to: “It’s got to be quick, it’s got to be now and it’s got to be mobile.” You must be super responsive, or you lose the business and the client. I think there was a day when that wasn’t necessary for small businesses, but that’s not true today. Today, they’ve got to be there for their clients and our software is about empowering them and enabling them to deliver great service for their clients because that’s really how small businesses grow — they grow by referrals and repeat business, which comes as a result of delivering great, personalized service.

DGR: What is the importance of this rebrand for current and prospective customers? How will it set a good foundation for the company moving forward?

Mask: A couple years ago, after a decade plus of growing the company, we caught a bigger vision and saw what was really possible in terms of taking this software to small businesses on a much bigger scale. This rebrand is really a result of that bigger vision to simplify growth for millions of small businesses worldwide. This brand is a simplification and sort of a codification of our purpose to help small businesses succeed. We’ve captured the grit and essence of small business success: to keep at it, keep going, keep serving and keep growing.

DGR: What is the differentiation between the old Infusionsoft brand and what the company has evolved to now?

Mask: The Infusionsoft product stands for power, platform, CRM and automation. Our customers love that, and we don’t want to distance ourselves from that in any way. We really have a powerful, industry-leading product that we are always well recognized for, so we will continue to build on and improve that product for those customers who want all that power, customization and flexibility that Infusionsoft offers. We certainly didn’t want to walk away from the brand equity that we’ve built up there, so Infusionsoft the product will live on and will continue to be known as the market-leading, powerful solution.

Keap the product is about smart client management. It still has CRM capabilities, but it’s delivered in a much simpler way for a business owner that doesn’t need all that power, flexibility and customization of our Infusionsoft product. It has the client management capabilities; it’s got the scheduling and appointments and email marketing. It’s still very much an all-in-one CRM tool, but customers usually don’t think of it as a CRM tool. We refer to it as smart client management.

DGR: I noticed you also launched a campaign called “Quiet the Doubters.” How does that tie into positioning small businesses to continue to grow?

Mask: The reason is we understand small businesses. We understand how hard it is. We know that most of the small businesses that exist aren’t the happy, smiling picture that you see. The reality is small business is tough. It’s a struggle and we understand that challenge. The reason we are launching the Quiet the Doubters campaign is most small businesses are dealing with a constant pressure of quitting or that they’re not good enough. So, we wanted to come out bold and loud and say, “we understand that and our message to the world is to keep going, keep serving, keep growing.” Keap is all about that persistence and tenacity that is required when it feels like all of the pressure in the world is bearing down on your small business.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Brian Anderson) News Briefs Mon, 01 Apr 2019 12:06:42 -0400
Infusionsoft Rebrands As Keap, Releases New Client Management Software https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-rebrands-as-keap-releases-new-client-management-software https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-rebrands-as-keap-releases-new-client-management-software Source: Keap

Infusionsoft, a small business CRM, sales and marketing software provider, announced that it has rebranded as Keap. According to CEO and Co-Founder Clate Mask, the name represents the company’s mission to help small businesses keep going, keep serving and keep growing.

In addition to the rebrand, the company has expanded its product portfolio and unveiled a new, self-titled client management software. Keap aims to automate repetitive sales and client-related tasks, such as appointment scheduling, lead follow-up and payment collection. It is also positioned to organize customer information and daily work in one, central location.

The company also offers CRM and sales and marketing automation through its other product, Infusionsoft for Keap.

“Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing,” said Mask in a statement on the company website. “Both [products] are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Elise Schoening) News Briefs Tue, 29 Jan 2019 11:25:30 -0500
Infusionsoft Raises $20M To Enhance CRM Offering For SMBs https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-raises-20m-to-enhance-crm-offering-for-smbs https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-raises-20m-to-enhance-crm-offering-for-smbs Source: Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft, a CRM, sales and marketing software provider for SMBs, received a $20 million investment from ORIX Growth Capital. The company said the funding will be used to fuel product development and market expansion.

The latest investment brings Infusionsoft’s total funding amount up to $145 million and follows recent platform updates designed to simplify the user interface and help customers deliver more personalized campaigns. 

“We are excited to partner with Infusionsoft given their expertise in small business and long track record as an industry-leading CRM provider,” said Jon Weitzel, Director at ORIX Growth Capital, in a statement.

“Infusionsoft is on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses worldwide,” said Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, in a statement to Demand Gen Report. “Until this year, we didn’t have a simple CRM to serve the needs of the broader market, but we do now. We are excited to partner with ORIX to accelerate our market expansion, product development and branding of our new simple CRM.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Elise Schoening) News Briefs Wed, 17 Oct 2018 09:00:00 -0400
Infusionsoft Launches Personalization, UI Updates To Platform https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-launches-personalization-ui-updates-to-platform https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/infusionsoft-launches-personalization-ui-updates-to-platform Source: Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft, the small business CRM, sales and marketing software, unveiled updates to its platform designed to simplify the user interface and provide industry-specific templates to implement better, more personalized marketing initiatives.

Available to all new customers, the UI updates and templates aim to increase productivity and efficiency for SMB companies setting up emails and landing pages for their marketing campaigns. The company also noted that more than 1,000 integrations with third-party apps and platforms position Infusionsoft users to easily access and analyze marketing data in a single location.

Other new updates to the Infusionsoft platform include:

  • A brand new visual sales pipeline designed to make it easy to create a customizable sales process;
  • A redesigned mobile experience that aims to help SMBs be productive while on the go; and
  • Access to on-demand marketing coaches and 1,500 Infusionsoft partners with specialized expertise for any industry.

“Ease and simplicity is the name of the game for SMBs,” said Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “Our goal is to simplify growth, and the new Infusionsoft is really allowing us to expand our market and take our product to small businesses. The new platform allows us to take our software to the everyday small business that wants to deliver great services. We can now serve our customers in a way that we believe is the key to helping SMBs succeed in a busy climate.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Brian Anderson) News Briefs Wed, 30 May 2018 09:06:26 -0400
Why Infusionsoft Evolved To Predictive 2.0 https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/demanding-views/why-infusionsoft-evolved-to-predictive-2-0 https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/demanding-views/why-infusionsoft-evolved-to-predictive-2-0 Why Infusionsoft Evolved To Predictive 2.0

/As a B2B marketer, my mission is to drive revenue.

This mission is one that I’ve been privileged to take on time and time again to multiply the customer base at several of the top enterprise software companies on this planet. From early days at Eloqua to Five9 and now Infusionsoft, the pipeline and leadership expectations for the marketing team has always been huge, requiring a vision and team that will hopefully act as a precedent for other marketers faced with aggressive goals. While I’ve had some early wins and lessons learned – I am now tackling the steepest challenge of my career as the VP Demand Marketing at Infusionsoft.

The mission: Lead the movement to raise the success rate of small businesses worldwide.

How will we get there? It starts with understanding what it takes for the millions of small-to-mid-sized businesses to be successful and developing tools which enable that success. Next, we have to reach, educate, and empower all of our future customers down the path to growth. That’s where my team comes in, and it manifests in 10x targets for revenue and customer growth metrics by 2018.

ADVERTISEMENT

No goal in my career, big or small, has ever been achieved without the help of technology. Today, we’re lucky to have constructed an integrated technology stack and process that works as a demand generation factory that is consistent and predictable. But at the outset, in order to dominate Infusionsoft’s massive market of all-in-one sales and marketing software for small businesses, I, like so many other modern marketers, saw the promise of predictive align perfectly with my needs.

However, my first experiences with early-generation predictive would not fulfill the needs for Infusionsoft. Let’s take a closer look at my journey, the lessons learned, and a visual of the technology stack working for us today.

Lessons Learned From Predictive 1.0

My hope is that before you invest in a solution, you can skip a few steps and mitigate many risks by learning from my experiences. My experiences are not unique. I travel to speak at many conferences and have heard these same challenges echoed from many other innovative marketers that stretch the boundaries using new technologies like predictive.

Scalability of insights across the buyer journey, inability to power outbound, and output quality due to data coverage and accuracy were the three most commonly referenced limiting factors.

Scalability

When I started at Infusionsoft in mid-2015, I knew the funnel needed rebuilding. A newly minted funnel structure would give us a better understanding which levers would drive acquisition and would allow us to add more levers (aka channels).

In a dynamic, large SMB market, accessing the data and insights across a buyer’s journey was only mildly achievable with custom-built predictive solutions that modeled data for various scenarios. For example, if 20% of our likely buyers for next quarter were currently in the early inquiry stages of the funnel, my team should be shifting resources toward outbound activities like custom nurtures, high-touch telemarketing, and content centered around ‘how-to’ and ‘why now’ messaging. With early predictive solutions, each scenario required building a new model, which doubled our cost and required multiple months before a go-live date.

Missing Outbound

The majority of Predictive 1.0 vendors began with lead scoring solutions that helped solve the inbound marketing dilemma of “too many leads.”

But scoring inbound is just one component of building the demand factory, especially when we could use outbound to pursue the right accounts rather than wait for SEO and paid channels to attract them. Without our predictive solution sourcing net-new leads, we had to add data providers and self-prospecting sales rep alongside scoring vendors to stack rank for the sales team. Operationally, it worked – but it wasn’t streamlined, data sources weren’t reliable and we were adding to the unhealthiness of our CRM.  We also relied on our marketing automation technology (MAT) to segment audiences that would be used for improved outbound programs. While great for behavioral segmentation, MAT relies 100% on your existing data. Even with fill rates across basic fields outperforming industry benchmarks, our data would not leverage all the available data that could help us identify our target market.

The current process from data to campaign launch added more providers, costs, and complexity to the workflow — which was in direct opposition to my goal of “constructing an integrated technology stack and process that works as a demand generation factory.”

Garbage In, Garbage Out

It always seems to come back to data quality and coverage. The outputs of predictive – the scores, target accounts, micro-segments – all rely on the external data inputs used by predictive platforms. The better the inputs, the better the outputs.

While the promises from predictive vendors are exciting, buyers must be confident in the data inputs before we take action or set forecasts. Things like coverage in the target market, data validation and update methods, and accuracy benchmarks are important to understand before taking predictive outputs at face value. For Infusionsoft, if there wasn’t coverage and accuracy in the SMB data, then no predictive use case or interface would ever work.

At the end of the day, I needed to start small with a specific use case – enable better outbound. I used the gaps we saw with other predictive solutions to assess new options.

How Predictive 2.0 Completed Infusionsoft’s Demand Factory

The additions that were critical to evolving Infusionsoft’s demand factory were simple:

  • Add new acquisition channels leveraging outbound lead generation 
  • Offer high-value content aligned to the customer journey to drive engagement

A new solution would have to offer new prospect sourcing within the target market and robust segmentation features as core functionality. It would also need to eliminate campaign execution steps and vendors by coupling application capabilities with an accurate database of business information with coverage across all small businesses. Simplification was a must.

After assessing several solutions (including one legacy solution we had already implemented), we found Radius to be the best fit for our needs. It integrated with our current ecosystem and offered analytics and data for faster time to deployment of multiple models, accuracy and breadth of data used for both predictions and outbound campaign execution, and a user experience that was very intuitive. Once implemented, it would allow our team to be self-sufficient in driving demand throughout the re-architected funnel.

1infusionsoft

Now equipped with a new predictive solution, our team is full-speed ahead on our mission. We’re applying Radius for four specific use cases: 

  1. Refine Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs): Use analytics powered by a rich SMB dataset to obtain a 360-degree picture of what makes our best customers unique. ICPs are used across content strategy, personas, database segmentation, and net-new sourcing
  2. Score existing database: Apply scores to every lead as an indicator for how close a prospect is to the ICP. Setting priorities for both marketing and sales has accelerated the existing pipeline.
  3. Layer outbound segmentation: Slice and dice existing database by likelihood to convert and add to email nurture programs for education down the path to purchase. Over time, the segmentation has become more granular, resulting in multiple nurture streams based on top predictive signals and relevant content offers.
  4. Inject outbound outreach: Target lookalike accounts that match our ICP, which has grown outbound outreach by 200,000 prospects per month.

Our dual-threat of inbound and outbound ensures no lead is left behind. Scoring and nurtures that marry content with prospects ensure inbound leads have consistent education and cultivation, and when the moment is right, hit a threshold for sales outreach. Net-new, segmentation, and integrations into CRM ensure that we are reaching all of the businesses that are ideal fits for Infusionsoft.

With the right predictive solution acting as a backbone system of insight, we can target prospects that match our Ideal Customer Profile. We see Radius as eHarmony plus Spotify for our CRM. Our mission has just begun, and we will continue experimenting and deepening our usage of this technology to drive revenue at InfusionSoft and help every small business succeed.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Doug Sechrist, Infusionsoft) Demanding Views Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:49:41 -0400
HubSpot Tops GetApp’s Rankings Of Marketing Automation Providers https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/hubspot-tops-getapp-s-rankings-of-marketing-automation-providers https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/hubspot-tops-getapp-s-rankings-of-marketing-automation-providers HubSpot Tops GetApp’s Rankings Of Marketing Automation Providers

/Business software review website GetApp announced its rankings of the top marketing automation solutions for small and mid-size business owners in Q2 2016. The winner is HubSpot, with Infusionsoft and Salesforce Marketing Cloud coming in second and third place, respectively.

GetApp ranked each solution by awarding points in five different categories:

  • The overall number of social followers on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Overall security based on a survey developed by GetApp;
  • The number of integrations available for the solution;
  • The availability of an iOS or Android mobile app; and
  • The total number of user reviews for the product found on GetApp’s website.

“Hubspot came in first with a high score of 93 and perfect scores of 20 for its reviews, integrations, mobile apps and media presence,” said Researcher and Project Manager of the ranking, Suzie Blaszkiewicz, in a release. “Infusionsoft’s popular Android and iOS apps helped it achieve a score of 17 in mobile app availability to come in second place, while Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Marketo came in third and fourth place, respectively, with strong showings for their high number of integrations.” 

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Audrey Goodson Kingo) News Briefs Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:10:00 -0400
ICON14: Tips For Personalizing Emails, Nurturing Leads https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/icon14-tips-for-personalizing-emails-nurturing-leads https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/icon14-tips-for-personalizing-emails-nurturing-leads

Infusionsoft ICON LogoMany B2B marketers struggle to determine how many emails they should be sending. But with Forrester Research estimating that 838 billion marketing messages were sent in 2013, businesses also are tasked to send relevant, timely and compelling emails to stand out.

“You want to take a look at how many objections you have — whether it is price, complexity of the services, or whatever it is — and as many objections as you have, you should have the same number of emails to address those concerns,” Tyler Garns, Founder of Box Out Marketing and former VP of Marketing for Infusionsoft, told an audience at ICON14.

Garns noted that most companies have three to five hurdles to overcome with customers. “That’s not a huge amount of emails.” He used the example of a lawn care service. If one of the frequent objections is that the service is too expensive, the message might be the three most costly lawn care mistakes that you can make when doing it on your own.

Emails don’t necessarily need to sell your services, Garns told the audience, but they should position your company as experts. “They need to move you from vendor to expert. You need to help prospects realize that they need your service to get from where they are to where they want to be. When you position yourself as an expert, not a vendor, you’re in a much better position to sell.”

Email communication also needs to be focused, particularly the call-to-action, Garns added. “Don’t have three or four separate calls-to-action in an email,” he said. “While you might want to tell your customers about everything you have to offer, it’s a huge mistake. With too many different calls-to-action, they don’t know what the offer is and they get distracted.”

From a design perspective, marketers should change things up from HTML to text every once in a while to provide a more personalized feel, Garns advised.

“If I get an email that looks as if it is coming from an individual — not a company — who took the time to look up my customer records and make a comment specific to what I have expressed an interest in, I’m more likely to open it.”

But that doesn’t mean that marketers need to write hundreds of individual emails, Garns noted. “Automation alone is not going to grow your business,” but it will help you deliver more targeted and personalized communication that will build sales.

Avoiding The “Black Hole”

Printer Bees, which provides marketing and promotional services to real estate offices and other small businesses, needed a better strategy for following up with customers.

“Prospects and clients were going into a black hole,” said Founder Nadine Larder during a session at ICON14. “Repeat business was dismal based on lack of follow-up.”

Following the company’s implementation of Infusionsoft, “we’ve added 11,834 qualified leads in the past three years and we don’t need additional head count to manage those leads,” Larder said.

Larder explained that people want to be “spoon-fed” information, so look for opportunities to connect with prospects and clients, such as changes in regulations in their respective industries. “Good content is anything that the perfect customer will pay for with an email address.”

Other indicators of hot leads include: They’ve downloaded a coupon, ordered a print sample, subscribed to a newsletter or magazine, or they are a real estate agent targeting expired listings. “Then we switch on the lead machine,” Larder said. “But they are warm leads vs. cold calls. It is following up vs. invading their inbox.”

Printer Bees even sends emails to customers who have downloaded coupons that are about to expire, Larder noted. “It highlights our brilliant customer service”

ICON14: Tips For Personalizing Emails, Nurturing Leads

 

Many B2B marketers struggle to determine how many emails they should be sending. But with Forrester Research estimating that 838 billion marketing messages were sent in 2013, businesses also are tasked to send relevant, timely and compelling emails to stand out.

“You want to take a look at how many objections you have — whether it is price, complexity of the services, or whatever it is — and as many objections as you have, you should have the same number of emails to address those concerns,” Tyler Garns, Founder of Box Out Marketing and former VP of Marketing for Infusionsoft, told an audience at ICON14.

 

Garns noted that most companies have three to five hurdles to overcome with customers. “That’s not a huge amount of emails.” He used the example of a lawn care service. If one of the frequent objections is that the service is too expensive, the message might be the three most costly lawn care mistakes that you can make when doing it on your own.

 

Emails don’t necessarily need to sell your services, Garns told the audience, but they should position your company as experts. “They need to move you from vendor to expert. You need to help prospects realize that they need your service to get from where they are to where they want to be. When you position yourself as an expert, not a vendor, you’re in a much better position to sell.”

 

Email communication also needs to be focused, particularly the call-to-action, Garns added. “Don’t have three or four separate calls-to-action in an email,” he said. “While you might want to tell your customers about everything you have to offer, it’s a huge mistake. With too many different calls-to-action, they don’t know what the offer is and they get distracted.”

 

From a design perspective, marketers should change things up from HTML to text every once in a while to provide a more personalized feel, Garns advised.

 

“If I get an email that looks as if it is coming from an individual — not a company — who took the time to look up my customer records and make a comment specific to what I have expressed an interest in, I’m more likely to open it.”

 

But that doesn’t mean that marketers need to write hundreds of individual emails, Garns noted. “Automation alone is not going to grow your business,” but it will help you deliver more targeted and personalized communication that will build sales.

 

Avoiding The “Black Hole”

 

Printer Bees, which provides marketing and promotional services to real estate offices and other small businesses, needed a better strategy for following up with customers.

 

“Prospects and clients were going into a black hole,” said Founder Nadine Larder during a session at ICON14. “Repeat business was dismal based on lack of follow-up.”

 

Following the company’s implementation of Infusionsoft, “we’ve added 11,834 qualified leads in the past three years and we don’t need additional head count to manage those leads,” Larder said.

 

Larder explained that people want to be “spoon-fed” information, so look for opportunities to connect with prospects and clients, such as changes in regulations in their respective industries. “Good content is anything that the perfect customer will pay for with an email address.”

Other indicators of hot leads include: They’ve downloaded a coupon, ordered a print sample, subscribed to a newsletter or magazine, or they are a real estate agent targeting expired listings. “Then we switch on the lead machine,” Larder said. “But they are warm leads vs. cold calls. It is following up vs. invading their inbox.”

 

Printer Bees even sends emails to customers who have downloaded coupons that are about to expire, Larder noted. “It highlights our brilliant customer service”

 

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Kim Ann Zimmermann, Managing Editor) Industry Insights Wed, 30 Apr 2014 10:00:34 -0400
Marketing Against Goliath: 3 Tips To Beat The Big Guys https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/demanding-views/marketing-against-goliath-3-tips-to-beat-the-big-guys https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/demanding-views/marketing-against-goliath-3-tips-to-beat-the-big-guys

Lindsay BayukBy Lindsay Bayuk, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Infusionsoft

Lindsay BayukBy Lindsay Bayuk, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Infusionsoft

Small business owners often feel as if they face daunting odds when competing with enterprise brands. Large companies with massive advertising and marketing budgets tend to dwarf the limited resources of smaller ones. Enterprises usually enjoy sophisticated campaigns and multichannel exposure that small businesses could only hope for in their wildest dreams. 

But that doesn't mean small businesses can't employ strategies of their own to compete and win against the big guys. Money isn't the only factor when it comes to successfully capturing the attention of new customers. By capitalizing on your unique advantages as a small business, you can build a loyal customer base and a highly visible brand profile.

Maximize A Small Budget With Extreme Targeting

Targeting is the core building block of great marketing. All smart marketers, even for the smallest companies, should bearmed with a detailed description (or buyer persona) of their best, most repeatable customers. Oftentimes small businesses consider any buyer a good buyer or they only engage in the most minimal form of targeting. Instead of wasting money marketing to potential buyers, shoot for the kingpin.By efficiently spending on ads, keywords, content and programs thatresonate with yourtarget market, you’ll make the most of your budget. As a result, you'll cultivate a very defined and loyal customer base that will prove harder for bigger companies to penetrate.

Some ideas: seek out niche blogger communities, social conversations, very specific keywords and local events, all selected to attract and nurture this ideal target group.

Create A Polished Presence Online

Your office may be a 2,000-square-foot storefront with four employees, but online, you shouldlook as big and sophisticated as the largest brand you compete against. Don’t know if your brand image looks professional? Time to invest a little in a branding/design consult.

Here's why. Your brand makes a promise to customers — what you offer, how you offer it and the experience your customers can expect. Analyze the entire look and feel of your marketing and make sure everything represents your business in the best light possible. Don't underestimate the power design can have in influencing customers; one study found that up to 90% of customers make snap judgments about products based on color alone.

Another element to consider: how your web site looks on your smartphone. If it appears jumbled or requires pinching and scrolling to learn about your business, prospects are likely to leave and never come back. Consider using Squarespace, plugins for Wordpress or Mobify to ensure your web site looks great on any smartphone, tablet or desktop device.

Deliver A Personalized Customer Experience

Enterprises may be able to offer better deals on price, but it's almost impossible for them tooffer the personalized service and attention that makes customers loyal. Marketing to your existing customers may be the best investment you can make in growing sales. With the right data capture tools, you can use past purchases and behavior to tailor each customer experience. Crafting cross-sell and upsell opportunities can boost sales, while simple touches like birthday messages and rewards programs can foster long-term loyalty.

Of course, deepening your relationship with customers pays off in multiple ways. A loyal customer will not only buy from you again, but they'll probably also tell their friends. A Google Think Insights research study found that “92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media such as recommendations from friends and family above all other kinds of advertising.”An exceptional customer experience drives repeat purchases and referrals — so be sure to deliver a personal experience your customers can't help sharing.

Remember that when it comes to marketing, success begins with strategy. The biggest enterprise budget in the world won't necessarily deliver a high-performing campaign if the right strategy isn't behind it. Instead of being intimidated by larger competitors, stop and think about the strengths and unique qualities of your offering and relationships with your customers. With thoughtful implementation, your strategies can build a growing customer base and eventually, brand evangelists — helping your small business marketing make a big splash.


 

Lindsay Bayuk is Senior Product Marketing Manager at Infusionsoft and a small business owner. She's passionate about technology, marketing, entrepreneurship, and is an avid connector. Connect with Lindsay on Twitter at @lindsaybayuk.

 

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feed@demandgenreport.com () Demanding Views Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:58:47 -0500
Marketers Looking To Combat More Aggressive Email Filters https://www.demandgenreport.com/topics/demand-generation/marketers-looking-to-combat-more-aggressive-email-filters https://www.demandgenreport.com/topics/demand-generation/marketers-looking-to-combat-more-aggressive-email-filters

email marketing - shutterstock 75457654While the reports of the death of email have been greatly exaggerated, marketing emails are in danger of being buried in the graveyard known as the “spam” folder. There have been a number of developments in recent months that have made it harder for marketing emails to land in the inbox.

Some new email filters, such as Swizzle and Mailstrom, make it easy for users to perform a mass delete and unsubscribe to rid their inbox of marketing messages. While these add-ons appeal to power users who are obsessive about clearing their inboxes, mainstream email providers are also making it more difficult for email marketers to make it into the coveted inbox. Google’s Gmail recently added a “Tabs” feature that relegates some marketing messages to the “Promotions” inbox and Microsoft’s Outlook’s “sweep” function can also put a dent in the success of email marketing campaigns.

Marketers are facing resistance from email systems and the recipients themselves, observers noted. “On one side, email providers and systems, like Google’s Priority Inbox, are filtering out more email than ever, which makes it hard to make it into the inbox in the first place,” according to Jason Long, Director of Revenue Marketing for The Pedowitz Group. “The second front in this battle are the recipients themselves. Thanks to its low cost per touch and high ROI (for some companies), more companies are emailing their customers and prospects than ever. We are inundated by email marketing messages all day, and sometimes legitimate messages get ignored simply because they are part of this ‘noise.’"

While volume used to be the name of the game in email marketing, campaigns are now measured based on the effectiveness of interactions and overall engagement. “Ten years ago, the idea was to get the biggest list and blast and much email as you could,” said James Thompson, Director of Email Operations for Infusionsoft. “Today, it is not about the quantity but the quality of the recipients. How active are they? How intently are they listening? I think these new tools will play a role in answering those questions.”

Approximately one quarter (22%) of marketing emails worldwide fail to reach subscribers’ inboxes, according to a recent study by Return Path, an email deliverability company. The Inbox Placement Rate Benchmark Report indicated that 18% of email messages were either blocked or went missing, and another 4% were delivered to subscribers’ junk or spam folders. Marketers in the U.S. fared better than the worldwide average, with 14% of messages not making their way into recipients' inboxes.

“The politically correct answer is, this makes it even more important for marketers to build relationships rather than just sending spam,” said David M. Raab, Principal, Raab Associates. “In practice, marketers will continue to send bulk emails and will try harder to get them past the filters.”

Raab noted that more vigilant email filtering may spark marketers to invest additional resources in transactional and “other more-or-less permission based techniques to provide emails of greater value. Yes, I’m talking about content marketing.”

Using Technology And Content To Thwart Filters

From a technology perspective, marketers have to ensure they are using all of the deliverability tools at their disposal, Long explained. “From proper coding to double opt-in, getting to the inbox is a challenge that must be addressed. Subscribers can't open or engage with your message if they never see it.”

Howard J. Sewell, President of Spear Marketing Group, predicted that B2B marketers will increase their use of subscription management, a common B2C technique where companies ask readers to identify the types of communication they want to receive, and then use that data to deliver more relevant email communications to specific audiences.

This trend is going to force many B2B marketers to rethink their database marketing strategy, Sewell explained. “Just because someone visited your booth at a trade show a year ago doesn’t mean that he or she is going to be interested in your message — or even see it.  I foresee more aggressive ‘opt in’ strategies whereby B2B marketers will be actively soliciting prospects to become subscribers versus just recipients. “

Apart from the technological challenges, marketers also have to evaluate content and frequency, Long said. “To engage those weary subscribers and prevent emails from being tossed aside, email marketingmessages must add value to the recipient. Make sure that frequency, content and tone are all evaluated to make sure that those receiving the email have trust in the brand and/or person that sent it to them.”

Some marketing automation vendors see the email de-cluttering apps and reorganized tabs as positive trends. “I really don’t see this as an indication that the sky is falling,” said Chad White, ExactTarget. “The Gmail Tabs and these add-ons are really raising the stakes on relevance. All of these new tools are designed to make the inbox a more pleasant place to be, and that is something that marketers should applaud.”

White said it is crucial for B2B email marketers to develop solid permission-based strategies. “It all starts with permission,” White explained. “There has to be an end to the muddy permission practices of the past. Just because I was at the same conference you attended, you got my name off of an attendee form or we exchanged business cards, you shouldn’t take that as permission to start sending me broadcast emails.”

Once a marketer gets express permission to send emails, the focus needs to be on providing timely and relevant information, White noted. “Everyone has their idea of what a worthwhile email should be, so marketers need to be constantly assessing how their messages are resonating with their audience. If your audience values your message, they’ll make sure to open it. That hasn’t changed.”

 

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Kim Ann Zimmermann, Managing Editor) Demand Generation Wed, 18 Sep 2013 10:16:30 -0400
Small Businesses Seek Support, Education When Choosing Marketing Technology, Survey Reveals https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/small-businesses-seek-support-education-when-choosing-marketing-technology-survey-reveals https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/small-businesses-seek-support-education-when-choosing-marketing-technology-survey-reveals

Research stock imageSmall business marketers are looking for help in addressing a number of pain points, including choosing the right sales and marketing tools, building automated sales and marketing processes and developing appropriate content. These are some of the findings of a research study from Infusionsoft, titled: The American Dream: What Really Motivates Small Business Owners.

“The results of the survey paint a clear picture of the sales and marketing technology challenges facing small businesses today,” said Greg Head, CMO of Infusionsoft. “The data shows small businesses need better education on how to select and use technology, and they still feel somewhat lost on finding the right solution for their specific needs. By sharing the results, the market will gain a better understanding of what small businesses want from technology.”

The research identified four types of small business sales and marketing technology buyers based on attitudes and behaviors:

Customizers seek technology that can help them automate existing sales processes and scale their businesses in a way that doesn’t compromise their ability to deliver personalized customer service. This group is concerned that sales and marketing technology may require too much time to manage. In this group, 53% say they need assistance in selecting the right sales and marketing tools, and 54% need help developing effective marketing strategies and evaluating messaging.

Maximizers are interested in gaining a competitive advantage through technology. They also understand sales and marketing systems are essential to their success. They tend to invest more time on sales and marketing activities than other segments. More than half (57%) say they need guidance in choosing the right sales and marketing tools.

Strivers seek technology that can help them overcome their sales and marketing challenges, move beyond their existing capabilities and support the growth of their businesses. In this segment, 78% say they need support when it comes to building automated sales and marketing processes, and evaluating effective marketing content.
 

Supporters want to work with vendors who understand their challenges, which they feel differ from those of larger companies. Specific to sales and marketing, they favor technology that helps them reduce costs and save time. More than half (59%) of this group say they need assistance with evaluating effective marketing content.

 

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Kim Zimmermann) News Briefs Mon, 26 Aug 2013 01:00:00 -0400