How you can save time, energy, and money by utilizing the tools available
A lot of businesses start with outbound marketing strategies. This involves a lot of cold calls, elevator pitches, and promotional emails and letters. This works, but it’s challenging, financially draining, and time-consuming. Outbound marketing is the traditional way, but it’s not the only way.
In today’s internet age, it is quite difficult to attain new customers through outbound marketing. Think about how many emails we get daily from businesses offering promotions, sales, and the latest deals. How many of those emails do customers actually open?
Currently, it is 12:30 p.m. I have received eight promotional emails today. And I haven’t opened a single one of them.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with this type of promotional material, especially on the internet. Their response: they tune it out.
Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing.
Instead of telling the customers directly about your business, inbound marketing seeks to get potential clients interested in your business, invest their time in the services and content provided, and finally pull them in as full customers.
Think of it as a soft approach. Instead of approaching someone and asking if they want to buy a fishing pole, for example, we can tell them about the benefits of fishing, getting them hooked on the idea of fishing, then show them where we sell our fishing poles.
With the aid of the internet, we can see how a customer interacts with our site, identify what about our business is attracting their attention, then send them more content that is suited to their interests. We can build a relationship with each client; then, when the client is ready, they will do their shopping with you.
And we can automate this entire process!
Inbound marketing needs to be automated to be effective. It would be even more resource-draining than outbound marketing if it weren’t. Nobody has the time to go in and individually monitor every visitor’s behavior on a website.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there for automating this process. We recommend investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program if you haven’t already. Everything for inbound marketing can be set up in one of these programs.
If you’re lost on where to start with your inbound marketing, here are some generalized ideas that can help.
First off, inbound marketing relies heavily on content, so be prepared to write, write, and write some more (or hire a copywriter). There’s a plethora of content that you can produce to attract prospective customers. Some of this content could be blog posts, social media posts, fun quizzes, newsletters, and much more.
In this content, be sure to make the readers aware of how they can do their business with you. Have a helpful link to where they can purchase your goods or services but be sure not to overdo it. Remember, these prospective clients don’t want to read ads for fun—they want content.
They need to know where they can do business with you, that it is available, but not that it is necessary for the content you are sending them. The goal is to build a relationship with the potential customer. We want them to like us, trust us, and then eventually shop with us.
Using your handy CRM program, you can funnel specific content to each visitor based on their interaction with you. Here’s an example of this funneling process with a coffee bean business:
Say your business sells coffee beans, and a visitor has come to your coffee blog to read a post about “the best tasting coffee beans.” A little pop-up window on your site comes up and says, “Like what you’re reading? We can send you more!” with a place to put their email in. They give you their email, and then you send them a fun little quiz that takes their favorite foods and provides them with a coffee bean that you’re sure they will love.
Now, they know more about coffee beans, they’re intrigued and want to try the recommend beans from your quiz, and they need to buy beans. And who do they go to? Your business!
All of this is to say, there are many ways to do inbound marketing, and your business will probably do an assortment of these funneling processes. The key is to automate each of them correctly.
If all of this talk of the benefits of automated inbound marketing has interested you, reach out to us at Tom Sadler and Associates to see how we can help you with your marketing strategy!