Thursday, 8 December 2011

Exclusive! The very latest iPad 3 rumours…

These iPad 3 rumours are so hot that even Apple doesn't know about the exclusive features touted to be going into the next iPad.

Check out this humourous take on fanboy obsession and Tech Blog speculative frenzy.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A New Way to Find New Clients

Wayne Davies
I recently joined ReferralKey. It's a wonderful way to find new clients through referral marketing.

I'm especially impressed with its focus on giving and receiving referrals. The system is designed from the ground up to support business networking. In my view, this makes it vastly superior to LinkedIn as a way to meet business owners and network.

You can take advantage of all the networking tools ReferralKey offers free of charge. There is no 'pro' upgrade. This is about referral marketing plain and simple.

Sign up to ReferralKey. Once you're a member, send me a message within the system and I'll explain how to make it work for you.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Filtering out time-wasters and other non-leads (lead generation process)

Which of the following statements is true?
  1. The Internet is a wonderful way to generate leads
  2. The Internet is a terrible way to generate leads
Actually, they're both true. As soon as you implement lead generation on a website you'll find you get good leads and non-leads.

A good lead is a person with a genuine interest in your product or service.

A non-lead is a person with a genuine interest in selling his/her product or service to you. In other words, a non-lead is a leech looking to free-load off the back of your own marketing efforts.

The trick is to implement a lead generation system that eliminates non-leads up-front so you don't waste your time dealing with him/her. Here's how it's done...
  • Introduce extra steps to your lead generation process
  • Fully automate your lead generation process
Introduce Extra Steps

A non-lead hoping to turn you into a lead has the same problem you do – a finite amount of time. S/he will only jump through so many hoops before s/he starts looking for easier targets.

Introducing extra steps to your own lead generation process has a non-lead expend more effort without requiring any extra work on your part (once the changes are in place). This has the flow-on effect of ensuring that only the best leads reach you because people who are only mildly interested (i.e. outside the target market) will also be eliminated by the process.

Automate Lead Generation

Every part of your lead generation process should be automated. The time you save through automation quickly pays for itself – especially if you have a multi-step lead process designed to eliminate non-leads and those outside the target market.

Consider that most online lead generation follows this format...
  • Offer a prospect information the target market wants
  • Asks the prospect to enter his/her email address and click a button
  • Verify the email address
  • Send the information
A non-lead will happily fill out the form, receive the verification email and use the sending address to spam you forever more.

You can prevent this by sending the verification email from an email account set to automatically delete any email received to it. The problem with this approach is you'll miss enquiries from genuine prospects. Given this is a lead generation effort, do you really want to miss genuine enquiries?

A question worth asking yourself is why you're using email at this point anyway? Especially when you consider the following...
  • Most free information sent in this manner is never read (i.e. they lost interest between requesting and receiving the information)
  • Some people won't receive the verification email and will either attempt to contact you for help (i.e. take up a lot of your time), or will simply forget all about it (i.e. a wasted opportunity)
What if you displayed the information immediately? In other words a teaser page offers free information and clicking a 'Show me' button on that page reveals the promised information immediately.

With this approach everybody gets to see the promised information with no delivery failures. Even better – more people will read or watch it because there is no delay.

Of course the revealed information is merely the second step in the process. The information must deliver value in and of itself. But it has a more important job to do from your perspective. It must culminate in a further call to action.

This further call to action should promise a logical next step. And that next step has to be something a genuine prospect can't resist. You should then offer to deliver this next step for some token sum of money (e.g. $3.25).

Why charge for this next step? Because it will eliminate most non-leads. And it forces a genuine prospect to consider whether the degree of his/her interest at this point in time. If s/he is very interested that person will pay a token sum and take the next step.

As you'd expect, this approach results in fewer leads. The leads you get will be of much higher quality and you'll have far less running around to do.

A smart lead generator will introduce a negative option at this point. A negative option is an alternative for people unwilling to pay money for the next step. For example, you might offer a free subscription to your email newsletter.

Most of the people who take this option are in your target market and it's worth keeping in touch with them. While they're not ready to commit immediately, each time they receive your newsletter you get another chance to convert.

Here's an example of how this type of a multi-step process might work...
Jane is a personal trainer looking for people to join her kettlebell class. She starts with an ad in Google AdWords that offers to help people lose 4 kilograms in 4 weeks.

That ad links to a teaser page that explains how a 4-week kettlebell program and diet will ensure a person loses 4 kilograms in 4 weeks. The teaser page ends by offering her 4-week programme for free. All the user has to do is click the 'Lose 4 Kilos Now' button.

Anyone that clicks this button gets the programme immediately. Jane's programme includes an online video, exercise photos, a 4-week workout plan, recipes and explanatory text. The explanatory text makes several points...
  • A medical assessment is essential before starting an exercise programme
  • The diet information is general. More effective results can be had with a personalised diet plan
  • The kettlebell exercises are general. A more effective programme can be had by attending a class
  • Any diet and exercise programme works best when done as part of a group (mutual support, have fun, enjoy each other's company)
These points culminate in an opportunity to make a clear offer – for just $3.25 Jane will allow the prospect to attend her kettlebell class. The prospect will receive a medical and fitness assessment, diet recommendations based on his/her medical and fitness needs, and the opportunity to experience the kettlebell class first hand
This is a pretty good deal - isn't it? Most people in the target market are likely to take up the offer. From Jane's perspective, she gets a whole lot more than a name and an email address. Jane gets to meet the prospect face-to-face. And the prospect gets to meet her and see how good she is first hand.

The approach also serves to enhance Jane's credibility. This reduces the perceived risk in the mind of prospect by removing substantial doubt.

It's important to understand why a token payment is required. Asking the prospect to hand over money (e.g. via PayPal) forces him/her to decide whether or not s/he is serious about the product or service on offer. As a result, any leads that result from this process are considerably more likely to go ahead and buy.

If my example doesn't apply directly to your situation (e.g. you're not selling an exercise class) you'll have to adapt the approach to meet your own needs.

You're welcome to explain your particular marketing situation via a comment, and ask me for ideas on how you might adapt the above to suit your own multi-step process.

Are men worth the effort?

Hmmm...not sure about this (being a man and all), but there's a poll out there that asks women to vote on whether or not we men are worth the effort.

Of course it's all for a laugh, so head on over and cast your vote.

Naturally I voted in favour of the motion. Of course we're worth the effort!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Lead Generation - Marketing's Poor Cousin

Lead Generation has somehow been denigrated to the ranks of marketing's poor cousin. Agencies (even specialist Direct Agencies) seem to have have little respect for lead generation these days.

In my more cynical moments, I do sometimes wonder whether this is because lead generation is so inconveniently measurable.

The client immediately knows whether or not a lead generation campaign has worked. There are no convenient measures (e.g. so-called 'buzz') to hide behind. The campaign is either generating leads, or it's not.

Of course, I think the real reason why professional marketers seems uninterested in lead generation these days has more to do with what's sexy. And right now, marketing people are in love with social media.

Forgive for me being blunt. Social media is a wonderful thing. But from a business perspective, it's completely and utterly pointless if it's not contributing to the bottom line.

I don't care how much 'buzz' I'm generating on social media. I'm interested in...
  • The number of business enquiries I'm getting from the web
  • The nature of those enquiries
  • The quality of those enquiries
My focus is not blinkered. I'm not obsessed with lead generation to the exclusion of anything else. I'm merely concerned that marketing do what it's meant to do. And that's to generate income for the business.

Right now, I don't think that's the main focus of professional marketing people. And that's why the rest of the world regards us as charlatans