If you work at a B2B (business-to-business) company, you know just how difficult it can be to find leads. What’s more difficult? The process of turning a lead into a prospect…turning a prospect into a client is even more difficult.

What does lead generation typically look like? It looks like a sales funnel! A sales funnel is when you grab a lead’s basic information such as name, company, and email address and begin personalized communication to nurture them to ultimately become a client. 

So what’s the best way to generate leads? A strong lead generation process!

Here’s a list of 5 ways B2B companies can generate leads:

  • Use Social Proof

Testimonials, case studies, Youtube clips, you name it— if you want other businesses to trust that your product and your business is valuable to them,  you’ll need to give them reasons to trust you! Erase any doubts about your product or service by showing your leads that they’re making a smart purchase decision. 

  • Create Lead Magnets

How do you grab your leads’ attention to begin with? In B2B marketing, we use something called a lead magnet. A lead magnet can be a blog post, detailed guide, case study, or how-to that addresses the day-to-day challenges of your target prospect. If your B2B company solves key issues, show them you’ve got the know-how to tackle them.

  • Host a Webinar

Webinars haven’t gone out of style. In fact, they’re one of the key ways marketers and sales professionals generate leads to this day. If your company can create and host a webinar that appeals to the needs of your target audience, you can generate higher-quality leads. A live, experiential webinar is often one of the best ways to upsell and interact with your prospects.

  • Launch a Cold-Emailing Campaign

Cold emails are the new cold calls! But as a lead generation tactic, they have far more promising aspects. Cold email campaigns allow your B2B company to bring awareness of your offering to a very large group of your target audience. If done correctly, a cold email campaign can generate several leads within one week of launch. Want to get your cold email campaign right? Here are some tips:

  • Use accurate, informative, and catchy subject lines
  • Keep your cold emails short
  • Always personalize the “To” field
  • Fulfill all opt-out requests
  • Always include a CTA

  • Always Follow Up

No matter the lead generation tactic, one of the fundamentals of turning a lead into a client is to follow up with them. For instance, one cold email might slip under the radar in your lead’s inbox. But after following up a 4th or 5th time, your lead is more likely to take a look at your email, hear your sales pitch, and gain awareness of your company and what you do. Following-up is a game of statistics; the more often you follow up, the more likely you are to increase your chances of converting a lead to a client.

Is your B2B company looking for B2B marketing support? At Ajax Union, our team of marketing experts specializes in all B2B lead generation tactics, such as content marketing, account-based marketing, paid search, social media management,  sales funnel creation,  cold email campaigns, email marketing, and beyond. Learn more about what we do here.

To discuss your company’s lead generation strategy, contact us here.

 

The best way to get started with email marketing is to think of it as a nurturing tool. So many times B2B companies use email marketing solely for the purpose of sales and promotions – often in a non-targeted way. Although this sometimes can lead to a few sales here and there, it’s not the way to build lasting relationships with your customers or clients.

Using email marketing as a nurturing tool, connecting with your audience who reach out to you, providing them with value and solutions, is the best way to utilize B2B email marketing. One of the best ways to build relationships is through educational email newsletter.

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your B2B email marketing strategy:

Create Relevant Content
Remember, your newsletter is not for you, it’s for your consumers. Use your newsletter to create relevant consumer-focused content. Focus less on what your business offers and more on what issues and problems your consumers are experiencing. Identifying what your customers are interested in and creating content around that will provide them real value and show them that you CAN solve their problems.

Remember the 80-20 Rule
When creating your newsletter a good rule to follow is the 80-20 Rule. The 80-20 rule states that your newsletter should be 80% education and 20% promotional. The majority of your newsletter should include education content. Here are some ideas:

  • Case studies
  • “How-to’s”
  • Problems and solutions
  • Lists and tips
  • Industry news and rends

Also don’t forget to include a relevant call to action. When you are adding promotional content to your newsletter, it’s important to keep it relevant to the educational content for the best conversion opportunities.

Utilize an Email Management System
First, you shouldn’t be using your personal email for email broadcasting. An email marketing management system will help you completely automate building your lists, designing and developing your email content, and measuring the success of your campaigns. Email management systems like MailChimp and ConstantContact are great platforms for getting started. For more in depth tools that go beyond email marketing, check out Active Campaign and Hubspot.

Measure Your Success
Just like all other marketing activities, you need to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. When using an email marketing management system, you will get access to great reports that will allow you to track the success of your campaign. Your report will generate results such as

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Forwards
  • Unsubscribes

These results are extremely valuable for identifying actionable strategies to improve your results. Changing up your newsletter and comparing your performance to past newsletter will give you great insight into what is working and what isn’t.

For more information on designing your email marketing campaign, visit https://www.ajaxunion.com/tag/mailchimp/.

Contact us here: https://www.ajaxunion.com/contact/ for any additional information. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

As social media continues to grow, many consumers are spending more and more time online. This is especially true due to many being stuck at home.

During this time, brands are desperate to find different ways to reach and engage their audiences and a newly emerged social media platform has done just that.

Clubhouse is a new audio-only social media platform that allows you to connect with others and build relationships. This app mimics real-life interactions; there are no recordings of conversations allowed and you don’t have the option to save, meaning once a conversation is done, it’s done and gone forever. This creates a massive addiction for those who have major FOMO (fear of missing out).

So how does it work?

Clubhouse is also an invite-only platform. This creates a sense of exclusivity around the app and drives people to look for any possible way in. According to Business Insider, some are even starting to sell their accounts!

Users on the app can follow topics of interest and join themed clubs. They will then have access to different chat rooms focusing on that topic. All rooms are different, some can have a few people chatting, and others can contain thousands of people listening to top speakers like industry experts, politicians, and even celebrities.

Most people would rather sit in and listen to a conversation or presentation rather than being on video and typing at their keyboard. We can probably connect this to many experiencing burnout from countless Zoom work meetings. With Clubhouse you are given the opportunity to “raise your hand” if you have something to say. The speaker of the room can then give you speaking access. It’s almost like eavesdropping in on a fascinating, informative conversation, without the pressure of speaking or interacting.

How to Use Clubhouse for Your Marketing Efforts
So, how do you implement Clubhouse into your marketing efforts? Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Use Clubhouse to build a community of your ideal target audience.
  • Create rooms based on topics that surround your offerings.
  • Engage with users who have similar interests and that you know are actually interested in what you have to offer.
  • Have a new product or feature you want feedback on? Create a room and ask others what they think.
  • Struggling with something that you can’t figure out? Create a room around the topic and get a conversation going! You never know what kind of information is out there.

To learn more about Clubhouse check out our CEO, Joe Apfelbaum’s LinkedIn Article, How to Generate Revenue From Clubhouse.

Have further questions about Clubhouse and how you can utilize it for your business? Contact us! We would love to hear from you.

What is email automation?

An email automation sequence is a series of emails that are automatically sent to your prospects as they enter new stages of the marketing funnel.

Each email is designed to drive the relationship with your lead forward until they eventually become a customer. So how do you use email marketing automation technology to convert leads into customers?

Here are some tips on how to make your emails amazing:

1. Use engaging subject lines.

What’s the first thing your prospects read? Subject lines!

If you want to get your prospects’ attention, you’re going to have to make the first line they see hard to ignore. Almost half of all emails are opened on the basis of subject lines alone. Consider making your subject lines humorous or urgent. Call out to your lead directly! The possibilities are endless.

2.  Avoid spammy tactics.

It’s best not to use too many exclamation points or all caps in your subject lines or within the body text of your emails. While you want to create a sense of urgency, using all caps online can come off as pushy and gimmicky. Or worse yet: it will lead to unsubscribes or even get you flagged by your newsletter service.

3. Write personable content.

Whether you work B2B or B2C or both,  in reality: it’s all people to people. If you want to increase conversion rates in your email campaigns, make the content of these emails as human as possible. 

After all, no one likes feeling commodified. Opting for a more conversational tone over formal and dry language makes it easier to build a relationship with your lead.

4. Make the content easy to read.

Content inside of a mailbox should still be easily digestible! It’s not an opportunity to dump information haphazardly. You can make your emails scannable by ensuring the content is organized, relatively short-form, and has distinct themes or topics.

5. Know who you’re talking to.

Make sure to personalize the content you’re including in your automation campaigns for your specific buyer persona. Incorporate language that’s appropriate for their age group and reference peoples, places, and things that are a part of their world. Speak to them directly and address their pain points!

6. Target the emails.

The age of general marketing is over! Use marketing tech to ensure your leads are receiving targeted messaging aligned with where they’re at in the customer journey. Your leads are at different stages of the customer journey, so send them marketing materials accordingly.

7. Keep the email focused on the goal

What does your email intend to do? Get more traffic on your website? Sign up for a webinar? Establish rapport? 

When you have a clear goal, make sure your email is focused and not sending your audience in varying directions. This makes it easier for you to achieve the goal, and easier for your lead to take action. 

8. Always have a call to action

Unfortunately, an email being armed with persuasive and quality content isn’t always enough. Make sure your emails have a clear call to action, like “download this article” or “visit our website” or “learn more.” It’s good practice to include only one call-to-action per email.

9. Split test your emails

When writing an email automation campaign with a clear goal in mind, consider using more than one variation of an email to uncover what kinds of language and content your users find more engaging. 

This is the essence of marketing: constantly improving your content to give your leads what they want and need!

10. Draw inspiration from other great email campaigns

First time at the rodeo? Don’t fret. We were all beginners once.

But in today’s age of information, there’s an abundance of examples for you to use when you’re just starting out in your marketing approach. Search online for other excellent marketing campaigns and draw inspiration from brands and agencies whose tactics you know work. It’ll help you hone your marketing efforts and there’s no shame in that!

To learn more about how Ajax Union can help you generate leads and referrals for your business using marketing funnels, click here

Marketing, like any industry, is constantly evolving, with new best practices, techniques, and strategies emerging around the clock. No matter your field or your target market, it’s essential to stay in the know when it comes to staying top-of-mind with your desired audience. Here are five marketing trends we think you should pay attention to: 

1. Artificial intelligence: Why you might think that robots have nothing to do with marketing think again. Artificial intelligence is affecting nearly every industry including how potential clients discover and interact with brands. With the rise of chatbots, bot-texters, and customer-service bots, artificial intelligence is creating new ways for you to improve the customer experience while facilitating new ways of data-collection which can help you learn more about who your customer is and be more effective in reaching them. Read more at Forbes.

2. Personalization: Increasingly, customers are starting to tune out of the generic, one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. Whenever possible, seek to make interactions with your brand as customized as possible to your client. One practical way to implement this is to customize your email campaigns and social media outreach with the first name of the person you’re trying to connect with. Read more at Global Web Index.

3. When it comes to content, video content became king in 2019 and will continue to dominate in 2020. Data relating to video content shows that using videos in your campaigns leads to greater brand awareness, greater buyer confidence, and increased web traffic The key to successful video content is to make content that’s relevant to your audience and deliver it in short, interesting packages that encourage full-length watching and sharing. Read more from Impact

4. Dynamic content: Increasingly, customers like experiences that they can engage with, making interactive content a key marketing tactic for 2020. Interactive experiences feel more personal, informative, and stokes curiosity increasing the likelihood that a potential customer will stay on your webpage longer. For companies seeking to better understand their audience, interactive content can also lead to more detailed data, leading to greater efficiency overall. Read more at Single Grain.

5. Google Smart Bidding: As a feature of Google ads, the Smart Bidding strategy enables smarter auction-time bids when advertising online. Backed by data-rich algorithms, Smart Bidding works by reading a more robust query-time set of customer attributes and then bidding based on the match between that information, your budget, and your overall desired outcomes. Read more here.

Our LinkedIn Local Meet-Ups have been a huge success and we are stoked to keep ’em coming!

What the heck are they and why MUST you come to one, you may ask? Great questions. You are smart.

Let us put it simply. Here’s 3 reasons why our FREE LinkedIn Local Meet-Ups are a-m-a-z-i-n-g and you should come join us:

Image result for amazing gif

1. You meet new, engaged B2B professionals who are also interested in always growing, developing, and learning.

2. You learn new things about LinkedIn, the fastest growing social media platform for professionals (here’s the stats!) Learn tips and tricks on how to use Linkedin and connect on a deeper level from the ultimate LinkedIn pro, Ajax Union’s CEO, Joe Apfelbaum.

3. Um, and free food. And unlimited beer at our Dumbo WeWork location. Also that.

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Simple, right?

It's just that simple gif

LinkedIn hosts more than 500 MILLION professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of potential network connections and job opportunities.

People do business with people that they like which is why it’s SO important to get your face out there and network in real life then keep that relationship going on LinkedIn!

We truly believe LinkedIn Local will change the face of networking events by combining top-level networking with the BEST practical and implementable LinkedIn practices.

Join us in our mission to maximize the platform!

See when the next LinkedIn Local Meet-Up is happening: www.ajaxunion.com/meetup

Check out the stats: www.ajaxunion.com/LinkedInStats
Join our LinkedIn Authority Blueprint webinarwww.ajaxunion.com/blueprintwebinar

Happy Holidays from our Management Team to Yours!

 

Happy Holidays, from our Management Team to yours!

The team comes first at Ajax Union.

My favorite part of my job is making sure our team is happy, healthy, and able to achieve the goals they set for themselves.

Joe and I check in on our team’s professional AND personal goals and where we can, we create a pathway for reaching those goals.

Because of this, our team is happy and fulfilled, and they in turn take care of our clients.

Our client retention rate is THROUGH THE ROOF in 2018, our stress level is at basement bottom levels, AND because we let our team choose who they want to work with, we only have AMAZING CLIENTS that we absolutely LOVE!

This is the best time of my life, personally. This company is the best company I’ve ever worked for. This team is my favorite team to work with. We are so … can’t say “lucky” because it’s not luck, it’s by design and takes work to keep it up. How about this: we are so…. well-designed and well-maintained?

Ha! That’s Ajax Union!

– Tami Joy, President

B2B lead generation is made up of groups of activities that are challenging to quantify. Sales and marketing are sectors of your business reliant on quantifiable information, but the ambiguous nature of lead generation is a deterrent for many marketers. In this article, we’ve broken down the top online practices for B2B lead generation.

How much is a lead worth to my business?

Is every lead really worth the same amount?

How can I drive more leads if my product is expensive?

If you’re a B2B business owner, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions more times than you can count. Fortunately for you, we have the answers! In this article, we’ll show you how to break down your user funnel to attract new customers all while providing them value along every step of the way.

 

Funnel Lead Generation Tactics:

 

Value Ladder:

A value ladder is a way to structure your sales efforts to appeal to your target audience at different phases in their purchase lifecycle. It gives you a competitive edge because it offers customers value at every tier or rung of the ladder.

As your lead ascends your value ladder, they’re offered more value, either in products or services offered, or another value-added concept. These are usually broken down into tiers, with the top tier being the most profitable end goal for your business.

Tiers:

Initial Offer

  • The initial product or service you offer that ideally cover the cost of advertising, or freebies, such as lead magnets. The goal is to qualify prospects and find people interested in your products.

 

1st Tier

  • The mid-range products and services you offer generate profit while simultaneously building trust. An e-book or other paid professional guide is a great 1st tier offering.

 

2nd Tier

  • The high-to-mid range products and services you offer generate profit. By this stage, customers have purchased from your brand and are ready to move to higher tier items. Membership and continuity programs are a perfect fit for this tier. The user gains values from continual content and profit is maximized with recurring revenue

 

Top Tier

  • The most extensive product or service offering your business provides. Although only a small percentage of customers will ever get here, they will become your brand advocates and generate considerable revenue. Use this customer to create whitepapers and testimonials to show to potential customers lower in the value ladder.

 

Lead Magnets

Lead Magnets are the freebies you give away to grow your list and get people in the door. The perfect Lead Magnet will offer value within five minutes of the offer being accepted. The goal is to qualify and capture leads, who can then be entered into an automation that guides your prospect along your sales funnel.  

 

Lead Nurturing

Taking care of your leads is akin to guiding them through a system of education, value-addition, and customer service that you have designed specifically for your business. Once you generate a lead, you have to take care of it, and guide it along its life cycle path.

A cornerstone of lead generation is lead nurturing. The process is customer-centric, anticipating what customers would want before they even know they want or need it. The process is as follows (with a few deviations depending on your product or service offering):

 

1) Identify the problem your prospect needs to address

2) Highlight a couple of ways the prospect might start to think about that problem

3) Suggest one specific way to solve that problem

4) Ultimately, demonstrate why you are the right one to help fix that problem

 

Social Relationship Building

In the B2B business sector, there’s rarely a ton of buzz surrounding your product or service. A healthy social media following is an imperative duty for nearly all businesses, however, getting too caught up in the number of followers, likes, and other measures of the sort can be misleading.

Social media as a lead generation tool is a simple and powerful way to build and nurture relationships. The key for B2B businesses is to use social media as a way to influence and add value for your prospects. Rather than shooting 100 arrows and hoping something lands amongst your target, shoot 5 arrows at a specific target with such detailed precision that there is virtually no chance of missing.

The key word is engagement. Quality most definitely trumps quantity when it comes to contemporary social media practices. Engage in groups, provide helpful and informative answers, and become a reliable resource of high-quality content tailored specifically to your industry, your client’s needs, and your brand.

Give a few of these processes a try: Lead generation takes time to become effective, so have patience and diligence.

Yes, B2B lead generation can be all-consuming: why not let us help you with the brunt of the work? Contact us to see how you can start generating leads, now! Visit www.ajaxunion.com.

 

When it comes to social media channels, over 70% of people in the United States have at least one profile on social media. New users are constantly joining the virtual world on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. We all know social media allows us to connect, share and communicate with others that hold similar interests and social circles.

Businesses of all backgrounds are capitalizing on social media’s popularity. With ever-expanding opportunities to find their ideal customers, social media bridges a very intimate gap between the consumer and the seller, connecting with them in relatable, specific and organic aspects. How can a business wade the waters between sales-forward advertising and establishing lasting relationships? The answer is 2 words, Brand Advocacy.

What Is Brand Advocacy?

Brand advocacy is about pooling resources together, such as people with a large fanbase and following, to share a brand, product or message on their social channels. In other words, it’s a way to spread the love with those who would otherwise miss out or look past the opportunity when presented to them. By sharing a message with fans who trust and interact with you, the results are of higher quality. People who leave comments and product reviews on a company or host site like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Houzz are indirect advocates. They are sharing honest feedback without an incentive.

How Does Brand Advocacy Function?

Brand advocacy is a successful organic way to gain results for a new startup company, feature product or a simple blog post. You don’t need to wait on promoting something important until your page reaches your fan goal of 50,000 followers (which of course takes longer that expected). Instead announce it to your employees, family and friends. Ask them to share the post or create their own content to discuss what you want to share. Send them a link to leave a review on a third party site. It’s amazing to see how far one Facebook post or tweet can travel. It just might even go viral!

Find Your Brand Advocates

First, you must identify what kind of content or information you want to share with the virtual world. Once that is mapped out, it’s time to do some digging. Find people with large followings on social media who share an interest in what your business or startup has to offer. Connecting with people in your niche is the most valuable, so everyone can benefit from the relationship. You can also reach out to top customers, employees, family and anyone in between. Go all out; you can never have too many friends on Facebook and followers on Instagram.

Everyone Loves Candy

The last step is providing an incentive. Of course asking for favors is an acceptable method, but the best brand advocates are ones who feel loyal to you and understand that they are appreciated. Offering them a complimentary service, gift certificate or treating them to a nice dinner, are all modest ways of making a trade without putting a price on it. Sending an email with a redeemable coupon code to anyone who rates your brand or leaves a product review is another viable option. The little steps go a long way with building up brand awareness and solidifying the brand persona.

Surprise Them

When it comes to adding value to any startup or business, both large and small, brand advocates can be very influential without the wasteful advertising costs. Add in an element of surprise to your customer service, like putting a small gadget into every delivery or shoot a behind the scenes video and send it to your email lists.

Real Brands, Real Brand Advocates

Give people something to talk about. Make them brand advocates without even asking. And be sure to stay active on all social channels (especially on Twitter and Snapchat) to scout out natives who can support you and join the community. Remember, happy people are the ones who spend money and keep you in business. #StartAdvocating

Need Help With Your Social Strategy?

Our team at Ajax Union is here to help you make an amazing social media campaign. Get in contact with us so we can walk you through the realm of online marketing!

Episode 5 of our monthly marketing podcast dives deep into the existential realm of social media. We talk about the questions no one is asking, the taboos, the news, and the evolution of the anomaly that is social media. Tune in and make sure you bookmark our blog for more marketing goodness.

Ajax Union is a full service digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York.