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Five Email Marketing Tips for Leads

Spam is getting smarter. Your firm must work harder to ensure that clients are opting into your newsletters and eblasts. But what about prospects? This video will help you ensure that emails are personal and informative — and not annoying to the people you want to reach.

In this video, Leah Spielman, marketing consultant, shares five tips for lead generation. We’ll talk about subject lines, pre-header text and great headlines as well as how often you should communicate. Watch to get five tips that can improve your email marketing.

There are many ways to follow-up with prospects. Get five ways to stay in front or your prospects. Convert leads into clients.


If you prefer to read the content, the transcript is below.

It is imperative that your e-mail communications are personal and informative. Spam is getting smarter and end users are overloaded with e-mail. So, to ensure that your e-mails are engaging, I have a few tips for you.

Number one: test your audience. If your email tool allows for A/B testing, try it! Write 2 different subject lines. I like to run the test on 50% of the audience. The winning subject line is sent to the remaining 50%. We recently did an A/B test and it turns out the title of the main article as the subject line won over saying ìInGenius Review ñ June 2019î. Take what you learn and use it for future e-mails .

Number two: Utilize pre-header text! This is a great way to tell the reader what to expect when they open your email. Use it to promote another topic from your e-mail.

Number three: Talk about the recipient. Why does it matter for them? How are they impacted? Use ìYour Key Tax Considerations for 2019î as a subject line instead of ìOur important tax tips for 2019.î

Number four: Be consistent. Whatever you do, donít just do it once and except your audience to engage. Start small and be consistent ñ send a quarterly e-newsletter with a main article and then a client focus or highlight piece. When that is going well, add in monthly e-newsletters that focus on industry news and topics your audience cares about.

Number five: Use automation. Even the most basic e-mail tools have automation features including welcome series emails, follow-up emails and segmentation. Start small and set up a series of 3 e-mails to introduce new clients to your firm. An advanced e-mail marketing system like Hubspot, Infusionsoft or Marketo have more advanced automation features such as lead scoring.

E-mail marketing is a powerful tool when used correctly. It allows you direct access to your audience without a lot of algorithms getting in the way. Use these tips to bring your e-mail marketing to the next level.


How to Get More Referrals

Clients are willing to share about their experience with your firm in many different ways including word-of-mouth, online reviews and testimonials. Standing out in an increasingly digital world can be challenging. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal, shares five tips to create brand loyalty and get more referrals.

 LEARN ABOUT INGENUITY'S BRANDING PROCESS. 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Clients will share their brand loyalty by word-of-mouth, but also through online reviews and testimonials. Do you want more referrals?  To stand out in a more digital world, here are five tactics to improve your brand loyalty and perception

Number one: Branding messages.Teach your team to talk about your firm in a consistent way that shows how clients gain value.  If you do not have consistent messaging – or your messages are outdated – it is time to do brand research and create fresh messages. 

Number two: Customer service standards.  –  Does everyone know when email or voicemail should be returned?  Is it within 24 hours, by the end of the day, within 8 hours? Should cell phones be in client meetings?  Should you bring an agenda to the client meeting?  What type of message should you leave on your “out of office” if you are in CPE for the day? If you have consistent standards around how you work with clients and provide timely service to them, your referrals will go up!  

Number three: A welcome kit.  Even after you win the engagement, you are still selling and building trust. Send new clients a welcome kit with details about their project, who will be on their team including bios with photos and contact information, a list of services you provide, social media they can follow as well as a service representative unrelated to the engagement team. Send clients this kit and welcome them to the firm.

Number four: A client service retreat and training.  – Your team wants training. They want to know what great service looks like in order to perform beyond expectations. Train your staff on providing great client service, and discuss ways to improve service based on current client and team issues.   

Number five: Secret shopping your digital presence.  – Hire someone to act as a prospect and visit your website, look for directions, call your office, visit your firm and see what kind of follow-up happens. Does this experience reflect what you think happens during a prospect’s exploration of your firm?  If it does not, you will see areas to improve your brand positioning and attract new business from referrals. 

From first impressions to amazing client service, these tactics will help you create brand loyalty and a referral machine.


Tradeshow Techniques for Leads

Creating a strategy around your tradeshow investment can help you attain quality leads that bring new business to your firm or association. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal at Ingenuity Marketing Group, shares three techniques you can apply to tradeshows you take part in. These are tried and true techniques that Dawn herself uses when Ingenuity attends tradeshows. Tradeshows can be hugely successful and should be integrated into your marketing strategy.

 LEARN MORE ABOUT FOLLOWING UP WITH PROSPECTS WITH THE FIVE TIPS IN THIS VIDEO. 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Many of our clients attend and sponsor tradeshows. Their goal is to get new business, but few of them build a strategy around their tradeshow investment. In this video, we’ll talk about the pre-planning and communications that should take place, techniques to get people talking to you during the tradeshow, and how to follow up effectively and build your pipeline.

First – create a timeline.  Work backwards from the event date and figure out everything that has to happen and schedule it out. From the pre-show communications to the social posts during the conference to even the post-event communication and follow up.

Second, create a theme or something that will interest your prospects to visit your booth.  Last year at a conference in Portland we had Voodoo donuts with a tie to the story of their company and why story telling is so important.  Over the years we have done everything from a photo booth, to chair massages, to a Harley Davidson to video games.  Now I know we are a marketing agency so we can get away with some of that but I think you get my gist. Be interesting…what will make the prospects come and talk to you.

Third, create the communications pieces –pre, during and post.  Are you going to have a website landing page, social posts, send a post card ahead of time or send emails?  This is vital as it is the promotion of your booth.  Don’t leave it up to the tradeshow or conference you are exhibiting at. Take matters into your own hands!

And finally, follow up.  Before you leave, put time on your calendar for following up with all the leads that you had fruitful conversations with in hopes of scheduling a call or meeting.  The goal is to schedule another time to chat so that you both can determine if it’s a good fit and if you want to move forward with next steps whether another meeting, an estimate or proposal.

Tradeshows can be hugely successful and these tips will ensure even more success. Good luck!

Five Tips for Prospect Follow Up

You have to do the work in business development to get results. One of the simplest, but also hardest things to do is to follow up with prospective clients. You don’t want to bother them. You don’t know what to say. You assume they will contact you when they’re ready. All of these excuses only lead to lost clients. You have to follow up! Here are five tips to make following up easier and more effective to stay in front of your leads and get business.

GAIN MORE PROSPECTS BY GROWING YOUR NICHE!


Gain Value From Your Website

What role does your website play in marketing a professional service? A good website costs time and money. If you get all your new business from referral sources and satisfied clients, why should you invest in your website? Let us tell you.

What a business card was in the 90s, a website is now.
At a minimum, your website establishes that you are a “real” firm with solid expertise and a good team. Without a website, or with an outdated “90s brochure on the Web,” your prospects may mistake your firm for a smaller, weaker organization that does not move with the times. Old or missing information? You give an impression of disorganization and lack of attention to detail. You might even look too busy to take on more clients if you can’t get your website updated.

Our world of multiple referrals.
When an engineer, banker, lawyer or CPA gives a referral to another professional, they are more and more likely to refer more than one individual. Guess where the prospect goes when they have more than one referral to choose from? The Internet. For most professional service firms, the website’s primary strategy is to support referrals. The person with the best website — well-written, easy to navigate, mobile functionality, bios of leadership, clear strengths and differentiators, client testimonials — gets called first.

Bios are mission critical.
Leadership and team bios are almost always the first place people look to learn more about your firm online. Prospects are either searching for a specific person or determining if they might have good rapport with you. If your bio is stiff, full of dull achievements from years ago and your photo looks like you had it taken at the county license bureau, you will not get the first call. And if your bio isn’t even on your firm’s website? You just lost the race.

Your site sets up the prospect’s expectations.
If your website clearly gives your prospect the idea that you are up-to-date, savvy, interesting and have loads of expertise in the area where they need solutions, the expectation becomes that you are the “first choice.” If your website is ugly or even just basic, it sets up the expectation that you are the “B Squad.” 

Design and bells and whistles. 
While strategy should lead design, ugly design leads people to think your firm is bad. Average design leads to average expectations. Make sure your website looks good, is easy to navigate and a pleasant experience for users – these should be the least of your brand promises – that you are good, easy to work with and pleasant. Add an interesting blog, some podcasts, videos or interactive features and suddenly you are the market leader compared to most professional service firms. Have some outside people tell you about yourself based only on your website. Does anything about your website tell them you are interesting and experienced or do you give a generic impression? 

Your website is recruiting central.
Most people looking for jobs talk to their friends and look for jobs online. They are interested in your culture and how your website portrays the brand experience of your firm. A careers page that speaks to a youthful audience beyond benefits and job openings and “we’d like to meet you,” but instead portrays your firm as dynamic and interested in developing talent — that’s your goal.

Does your website need a review or refresh? Contact us.


Are you the only rainmaker?

Increase Leads Through Content Marketing

After years of working with professional service firms, we know that only a small percentage of your people will bring in new business. A larger percentage can bring in projects through existing client service and referrals.

However, even your best client service masters forget to have those conversations with clients. Unless they’ve had training on relationship-based consulting, they are usually focused on the project, and when it’s done it’s done.

Do your people forget to suggest new services to clients? Click here.

As one of a few rainmakers, you only have so much time. You need help in order to grow. Yes, you really can use your website to bring in leads.

Content marketing does bring new leads to your website…when done correctly. Here are five key steps that support a successful content marketing strategy for leads.

Make it a priority.

Consistent content creates a following. If the content is very relevant to that audience, they will come back for more. How do you create attractive content? During our initial meetings with new clients, we brainstorm content ideas. We talk about industry trends, client pains and frequently asked questions by prospects. After you’ve made a list of potential topics, create a content calendar much like editors would create an editorial calendar. Include when you’re going to cover those topics and who’s in charge of creating the content. This will make your content strategy a priority. It will keep you accountable and keep you in front of your audiences.

Optimize It.

Too often, we see firms creating content without a list of targeted keywords to enhance their search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to be a known expert on a certain topic, you need to have well-researched keywords on that topic so that search engine users can find it quickly on your website. The more content you create using these keywords, the better chance you have to come up in searches for that keyword or phrase. If you find yourself creating content in which you cannot use your targeted keywords, consider doing additional research and reprioritizing your list.

A good place to start is to see how people are finding your website now.  

Direct reader attention.

The goal of your content is to be the best answer for the question of your target audience. Your target audience – especially if you serve a specific niche – should find value in the information you are providing. You should also ask:

What is the call-to-action? What should the reader do next?

People who are searching for help have a pain or interest. Tell them how to solve the problem, then direct them to related content that can reinforce what they just read. Related content demonstrates that you have deep knowledge of their pain or interest.

Share it. 

Without distributing your content via email or social media, your audience has no idea that it exists unless they stumble upon it. As Jay Baer puts it, “content is fire, social media is gasoline.” After you post your new content, share it on social media. You can also compile your best content into a regular (monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly) email blast for your opt-in list (people who have agreed to receive this type of content from you).

Leverage it. 

If you hosted a webinar, that topic could also be a blog post. That blog post could be an article in an industry publication. That PR should be promoted in your newsletter or eblasts. Don’t take a one-and-done approach to new content. Maximize and repurpose your existing content to create more related content in less time.

For more tips on effective content, read this blog post.

7 Proposal Writing Tips

7 Tips for Writing Winning Proposals

7 Proposal Writing TipsWriting a proposal can be a daunting, but very important, task. In order to win new business, your proposals need to be great. We’ve helped clients from all industries define their value proposition, improve proposals and successfully close the deal.

Here are seven tips for writing winning proposals from our team to yours:

  1. Avoid jargon. Unless you’re specifically using the prospect’s language, avoid using jargon. Reduce wordiness by eliminating unneeded words. Write as if you are speaking directly to the prospect. The proposal should be readable and engaging with consumable pieces of information.
  2. Answer questions posed in the RFP. The prospect will include the problems they are trying to solve. Specifically answer those questions with your solution. For example, does a government agency need to audit their recent tax returns? Use the proposal to explain why and how your firm will not only complete the task, but exceed expectations.
  3. Include a value proposition that sets you apart. What makes your firm unique?
  4. Include pricing levels. The prospect wants to see options. Give them pricing levels, such as gold, silver and bronze.
  5. Use photos and graphs where possible. Illustrate numbers and important figures with infographics and photographs. This will draw the reader’s eye towards the important stuff and help break up the text.
  6. Use the back cover, if possible. This is prime real estate. If you have some freedom with the layout of your proposal, sneak something important on the back cover. Client testimonials are an easy one to include on the back cover.
  7. Respond quickly and keep it short. On average, winning proposals get to the client in less than three days and are less than five pages long.

Do you need help with your value proposition, improving your proposals and closing the deal? We do that. Contact dawn@ingenuitymarketing.com.


Our Top 5 Favorite Articles this Month

What are you reading, watching or listening to? From an explanation of marketing titles to a study on Millennial buyers, here are Ingenuity’s top content picks for May:

What do marketing titles mean?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a marketing coordinator and a marketing director? Wendy Nemitz Founder of Ingenuity Marketing explains the various marketing positions commonly found in professional services marketing.

Watch this video.

I hate to close.
How do you close a sale? By simply making sure that your questions have been answered, necessary issues have been raised and potential clients know you would like to work with them.

Read this blog post to learn more.

don’t just hire; build leaders for a lifetime
In episode 30 of unsuitable on Rea Radio Annie Yoder and Don McIntosh discuss why business leaders should approach recruitment and staff development from a new perspective.

Listen to this podcast.

4 MVPs You Need on Your Content Marketing Team
While “content marketing teams can range from 1-100+ people,” these are the key players you need on your content marketing team to get the best results.

Find out who they are here.