In the world of inbound marketing, it’s important to know not just how many people are knocking at your virtual door, but who those people are, what their goal is in coming to your website and – most importantly – how you can guide them to the next level, be it from visitor to lead, or from lead to paying customer.
It was that modern sage Walter White of “Breaking Bad” who popularized the phrase, “I’m the one who knocks” – only in his version of the line, you may not wish to open the door, because doing so would get you shot.
But just because Walter White cooks and sells meth to a seedy subculture, and you (presumably) do not, you can still get some valuable lessons in how to attract customers who have the same level of commitment as White’s.
Start by Using Lead Intelligence
Lead intelligence is a form of data mining. Though that latter phrase has developed kind of a bad rep – associated with questionable ethics like privacy invasion – when used properly, data mining can help a business better target its messages to the online audience most likely to appreciate and respond to it.
As part of your database management system, an ethical data mining program builds upon the benefits of creating detailed customer personas – those fictional characters based on the demographic qualities of your target audience.
Marketers who incorporate lead data into their campaigns, says inbound guru HubSpot, “have happily found that personas are just the beginning, and the online behaviors that marketing automation software can track and deliver to their sales organization takes a lead from a persona to a living, breathing person.”
Good Data …
- provides you with up-to-date customer and prospect email and other contact information
- shows what products or services customers bought in the past
- let you know which social networks are the most popular among your target
… all of which can lead to savings of time and resources in designing your inbound campaign.
Lead intelligence takes data mining to a new level. Adam Dukes of Social Sinergy used a lead intelligence software to “learn where our leads are at geographically, which pages they viewed before (and after) they filled out a form, number of pages visited, the days they visited the site, time spent on each page, social media profiles, profile pictures (if available) and more.”
Just Beware of the “creepy line”
In the words of Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
Walter White might not agree, but a good B2B inbound campaign does know where to draw the line between in-depth intelligence and creepiness. Obviously you don’t want be seen casually remarking to a prospect, “Hey, I understand you spent 10 minutes looking at my product page last Tuesday at 3:07 p.m.! What did your wife, Peg, and your daughter Ashley, age 11, think of that?”
No, the creepy stalker image is one a smart marketer would wish to avoid. Instead, lead intelligence details can help you shorten the sales cycle without interfering in a prospect’s personal life.
Intelligence Gathering, “Breaking Bad” Style
One of the key conversions in inbound marketing involves getting people to your landing page, where they can exchange their information for your goodies. (Walter White may have offered his specialty, meth – you may settle for an exclusive eBook, a custom video, a free consultation or a special new-customer rate).
The lead-gen form that you show your visitor is a make-or-break proposition.
- If the questions are too few or too vague, you’ll have problems determining if the person makes for a qualified lead
- If the questions are too numerous or too personal, you’ll scare off the visitor
Sometimes just one lead-gen form will do the trick, but for true lead intel, you need details. You could do a work-around by creating numerous pieces of can’t-resist content.
Again, Walter White can teach us.
- Offer the first premium on your landing page in exchange for a few pieces of vital lead information. Get the person …er…hooked on your content.
- If your offers are as addictive as you think they are, use automated e-mail to offer even more, but this time ask more detailed questions.
- …and so on!
This kind of progressive profiling keeps your lead interested, but doesn’t pressure him or make him feel like he’s being stalked.
Bonus: The more personal the contact throughout this part of the sales funnel, the more credibility you’ll demonstrate.
Lead Intelligence Software
Your inbound marketing specialist can help you put together a software system that gathers lead intelligence based on the metrics most important to your goals.
If you wish to measure call-to-action responses, for example, your marketing automation will let you know which CTAs pulled best. You can also segment your visitors geographically or through the content they downloaded or shared.
Who’s That knocking?
Your time is too valuable to “open the door” to Walter White or anyone else who isn’t a qualified lead.
Using lead intelligence streamlines the lead-gen process, helps your sales force and ultimately helps close more sales.
* Gif courtesy of tumblr.com