Email Marketing Lead Generation Productivity Booster

Manticore and GoToWebinar

I had a Marketing Over Coffee listener ask me about using Manticore (Email, web analytic, demand generation) with GoToWebinar (Online meetings). I thought that this was too much “Inside Baseball” even for MOC, but it fits here.

Do you typically send out your webinar invitations as part of a Manticore Demand Booster Process? It gets sort of tricky because once someone uses the invitation to register for the webinar, then GTW sends them back a personalized URL for accessing the webinar.  As you know, GTW does a great job of managing registrations.  Post-webinar, it can also provide a list of attendees and a separate list of registered no-shows.

It seems that the easiest thing would be to wait until the webinar takes place, then start the demand booster process at that point using the lists of attendees and no-shows.

This is an interesting problem. I thing the big issue is that GoToWebinar doesn’t have an API (at least at my last check with their tech support). You could build all the same stuff (registration, follow up email) on your own site through Manticore and manage it all there.   That still wouldn’t solve the problem though, just change the direction of data you have to load – instead of pulling the reg list out of G2W, you’d be uploading the projected attendees into G2W, and since there’s no easy way to do that unless you want to start scripting something that goes through HTTP, and that makes my brain hurt.

I do send the invites out via Manticore, you can grab the HTML and load it right up. And a tip – if you include the “Register Now” button the tracking of opens will work over in the GoToWebinar reporting.

I don’t do webinars as part of any demand booster tracks, I don’t like anything to be in a track that is locked to a specific date, that really increases the labor required to reuse the track.

Hopefully by putting this out there, somebody will have a better idea…

Lead Generation

Lead Scoring

Yesterday I read a post on lead scoring that got me thinking more about how this process progresses.

I like Sirius’ approach in defining 3 major scoring criteria, but I would change the order:

  • Demographics – Although I would argue that if the demographics are wrong, they shouldn’t be in the database.
  • Behavior -A critical factor, when a suspect downloads a white paper or a demo that needs to trigger alarms.
  • BANT – This is an IBM software selling technique – Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline. I’d argue here that the sales guy needs to run with some of this

I’ve thought often about this table of information, but the post above introduced the idea of now scoring for multiple products – add changes over time and you have a full data cube. Who said marketing is a cake job?

There’s also one point not mentioned that is critical – your system also has to automate depreciation. It’s fine to start scoring everyone but if the same system fails to ratchet down the losers, eventually they are going to pile up.

For now, there’s only one way to do it – build it brick by brick. There are many decent tools out there (in fact I think I can see the path to get there as I’m going now), but it takes a lot of field testing to get to an automated system that can handle the load.

Lead Generation

Scoring and the Buying Cycle

Having worked with a scoring system for a couple of months, I’ve been watching closely to see what I can learn about how to set it up properly. I was fortunate enough to catch a great session at the MarketingProfs B2B event earlier this summer, and I have a co-worker that has hooked me up with a few recent articles. Some of the more interesting points:

  • Depreciation is Key: knowing how long your buying cycle should be will allow you to automatically downgrade leads, I’ve heard that best practice is that anything that is in 2x longer than the average should probably be discounted to 50% and gone by 4x
  • Identify the Tipping Points: In short order you should be able to identify buying signs, often in terms of website traffic patterns and resources requested. This is where the points pile up to prioritize leads.
  • Understand the Customer’s Buying Cycle: Knowing how long the cycle is between purchases will define the size database you will need to generate enough pipeline. Although a longer cycle tends to be more painful, it does allow you to build up momentum.
  • Generate Awareness for when the Prospect is Ready: This closes the loop. Ultimately your database is full and you’ll have to go back to generating awareness to make sure that the names you’ve worked so hard to gather continue to keep you at the front of their mind – and these actions may not generate points at all as they are not buying signs of any fashion.

Now to get on to email campaign A/B testing…

Lead Generation The Marketeer

B2B Lead Generation

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Lead Generation

Quarter End

Nothing like the end of a quarter to consume every minute in sight. I’ve also had the nagging cough that seems to be sticking around, I’m not sure if it’s a cold or the beginning of allergy season as the ground is softening up here.

The good news is that I have another project in the works with Joe from SalesRoundup, we’re going to be talking about the intersection of sales and marketing (which seems to be black and white, it’s either a war zone, or one big party). As a UMass alum, I have more than enough experience building parties.

So, if you are doing anything cool on the lead generation, or lead scoring front please contact me off list, otherwise… watch this space!

Lead Generation Productivity Booster

Why Trade Shows?

While talking about trade shows last week Johnny T. writes in:

Hey John –
As an events producer, I’m always curious WHY companies exhibit and sponsor. What are you trying to get out of SDWest? How do you define success – is that more of an art or science for your company? Maybe that’s a 2-part question – is success for John Wall separate for success for your company?

Two good questions. I can think of two reasons why to go – lead generation and branding (which some may call awareness). Lead gen makes it simple, a show is a success if we get more names than the previous year. You can also divide the cost of the show by the leads and have a hard metric to brag about. The awareness side is more difficult to measure, but you can survey attendees, watch web traffic following an event and cross new leads from the weeks following the show by the geographic region the show was in to see if you get a boost.

Creating awareness is also useful in moving existing deals. The chance to talk with multiple prospects over a couple of days can generate huge savings over having someone travel around to meet the same prospects. Meeting face to face and maybe even breaking bread with customers and prospects can shave weeks (and therefore expense) off a sales cycle.

After all of the marketing voodoo has managed to snag a prospect customers ultimately by things they like from people they trust, and you can earn that faster at a show than over the phone.

There are also some other higher level ninja tactics. Having a larger, cooler and better booth than other vendors attracts more visits and demoralizes the competition. Many shows are tied to publications so marketing staff can get a lot of business done on the advertising or lead gen front.

Jet lag on top of daylight savings is killing me. More on this later…

Lead Generation

The holy trinity

I’m starting to wireframe the architecture for a lead management system. I think I’ve got three legs to the stool –, our website, and our marketing automation tool. 2008 is shaping up to be very interesting, I’m really looking forward to it.

In other random news I finally upgraded my Palm Treo 600 to a Palm Centro. It’s interesting, they’ve fixed a lot of things that were nagging me, yet there’s a whole new set of stuff that doesn’t work right. I’ve been going the power user route and playing with every single app, and as a result I’ve been crashing it at least once a day. The music software appears to be handcuffed to Windows Media Player 10, which is not going to happen. I’m sure there’s a way around this but I haven’t dug into it yet. It ships with 4 different apps that you can use to handle email, not only are you forced to play with all of them to try and figure out which one works best, but after testing them I think they all have major problems. Unfortunately I don’t have the energy to bitch about that now.

On the plus side the camera is much better…

Tomorrow is Friday, the finish line for the year end sprint is in sight.

Great Marketing Lead Generation

What’s Your Cost Per Lead?

Over the past 20 years ROI has been a measure of successful marketing. Many management teams want to see the ROI of each sucessful campaign. Seth Godin (sweet Red Saber post BTW) has argued for a long time that this is the “safe” path, and will ultimately lead to your destruction. If you only make the safe choices, somebody that you compete with is going to take a chance, and will eventually send you back to asking customers if they “want fries with that?”

So how do you get around this? It may be impossible if your management team is already expecting ROI on everything you propose, but you need to change the ground rules. View all of your marketing efforts as a whole – given your entire budget, how many leads do you pull in? How good are they? How many close, and for how much?

With metrics like this you can determine a cost per lead, and determine how much revenue each lead generates. Now you know the overall ROI of your marketing programs. You can see how every program performs in both terms of cost and quality. You’ll be able to make some informed decisions such as – perhaps Google clicks are not worth the huge dollars and you don’t need to be spending so much there. Are yahoo clicks worth the same amount as those from google? Which trade shows are worth going to?

The end result is that if your overall activites are generating a positive ROI you now have an excuse to to some R&D, and you should refer to it as such. Now you don’t have to try and make up numbers about what a YouTube video might do for you, or some other program that you’ve never tried before. You just say that this is an experiment and it may fail, but we will learn if it’s possible for it to generate enough return to add to our marketing mix. The great part is that as soon as you get the data you’ll be able to compare it to the rest of your programs.

The Evolution of Marketing
I’m thinking about the evolution in Marketing as an organization grows. As an enterprise is born marketing exists to serve as lead generator. As the enterprise expands, the earlier sections of the sales cycle can be outsourced to Marketing Automation. Ultimately Marketing moves into branding if it becomes necessary to influence the public, shareholders, or other groups that are not directly purchasing the product. Different skills and toolsets are used during the evolution. I’m too tired to ponder upon this more. Good night…

Direct Mail Email Marketing Lead Generation Productivity Buster

Poisioned by Your Own Dogfood

I don’t know if any other industries use this phrase, but it’s very common in software to talk about “Eating Your Own Dogfood” – in other words: Using the products that you make. You’d think this is basic “support the home team” kind of thing, but it doesn’t always happen, and when the word gets out it is usually a big PR problem.

Now you can get the punchline when I tell you that we use the software development tool that we sell at work, and the server name is Alpo.

This does lead to an interesting situation I’ve only seen twice, and the second time was last week. I get forwarded emails on a regular basis from companies that sell leads and other information, and occasionally from firm that append data.

A data appending service will take your existing lists, and then try and fill in the blanks. This can be very helpful if you have a list of emails and are looking for mailing addresses, or vice versa. There are different methods to do this, ranging from fully automated (we know that HugeCorp uses first initial last name @ for email, so just do that – and come on people! You can do that with excel yourself, for the love of god!), to completely manual – a team of callers updates and refreshes info.

Be careful of these services to confirm that they don’t use your data to clean up everyone else’s…

So my co-worker David (name changed to protect everyone involved), forwarded me a message from a data appending service.

The email starts “Dear Deborah,”

Brain Buster Lead Generation

Brand Opinion

Thanks for staying around during a slower week, I’m into a groove now where I can write at home at night, save it and post when I have access to the tubes of the internets when I get to work.

A discussion today got me thinking more about branding. There has been much written about the fact that classic advertising and branding is only applicable to the Fortune 500, and that everyone else is usually pouring money down the drain. I’m thinking that by treating your advertising more as lead generation (have a call to action to track it, test brand messaging that has impact) you can get your money’s worth out of it. I really need to dig in deeper on advertising strategies, anybody up for chatting on Marketing Over Coffee?