We need more leads. We need better leads. We need clearer leads. Have you ever heard these statements from your sales team? We all know that attracting the right customer is a vital part of a company’s growth, but the theories and strategies about how to best execute lead generation are as varied as the products on the market.
Inbound marketing begins with attracting the right customer at the right stage in their buyer’s journey. While some subscribe to the theory that the wider the net, the more leads you will catch, at SMA Marketing experience has taught us that this strategy only creates a lot of busy work.
Connecting with qualified leads online happens in various ways. Whether a customer conducts a Google search, looks for recommendations on Facebook, searches a hashtag on Twitter, or looks up a how-to video on YouTube, your SEO-optimized content will pull up in a search query when your keywords match a searcher’s keyword phrase.
But optimizing content for search doesn’t always guarantee you will connect with the right customer at the right time. Have you ever made a purchase on Amazon and then for the next week you have ads pop up for the same product everywhere? Algorithms aren’t perfect.
Just because someone clicks on a blog article or explores your product doesn’t mean they are ready to make a purchase. The majority of the time they are collecting information.
Another challenge we face with digital marketing is that social media algorithms are making it harder for businesses to connect with their clients without paying for targeted ads. This means your marketing dollars need to increase or be more strategically divided. Depending on your target market, your company may be one of thousands of websites for a customer to compare. So, what will set you apart?
One important way your company can generate qualified leads is by creating targeted offers for your persona. Figuring out what offers to develop takes research, but crafting the perfect offer for your persona is a great way to increase qualified leads.
Know Your Persona
Crafting the perfect offer begins with knowing who your persona is and what they need at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Educational support and product training are ongoing processes. The more ways you can teach a customer how to utilize your products or services the more valuable you are to your customers.
Developing a great persona includes researching your target market thoroughly. We’ve outlined this process in our Buyer’s Persona document. The key to developing a great persona is to answer each question as specifically as possible.
- What are your persona’s biggest pain points?
- What questions are your customers asking at each stage of their buyer’s journey?
- What are the action steps to solve their problems?
- Where does your buyer look for information?
- Who is your biggest competitor?
- What are their preferred social media platforms?
The more details you collect, the easier it is to begin to develop the perfect offer for each stage of your ideal buyer’s journey.
Addressing Pain Points
The more detailed your persona development is the easier it becomes to empathize with your customers and understand how to help your buyers use your product or services to solve their problems. The perfect offer will address a pain point for your persona at some point in their buyers’ journey. This may mean helping them better understand the product or give them additional support after purchasing a service.
Creating helpful and educational offers for each stage of the buyers’ journey will attract customers and provide more ways for them to engage with you, your company, and product or services. These opportunities will help you develop a relationship and build trust with your clients.
There are three stages in a buyers’ journey. Your customers are looking for different information and support in each stage of this process.
Creating offers in the Awareness Stage should center around why your customers need your product or services.
Realtors can use this stage to show the benefits of using their services versus selling a home by owner. An offer might be a checklist that helps people figure out how much decluttering they need to accomplish before a showing.
Pool installation services might create an offer that helps buyers evaluate their yard and determine the size and type of pool that will best fit.
In the Consideration Stage, the buyer identifies their problem and researches options to solve their pain point. Using our examples above, in this stage, they may realize that their house isn’t getting the exposure it needs to attract home buyers without the help of a realtor, or a homeowner looking to install a swimming pool may realize they don’t have the equipment necessary to install a pool safely.
Regardless of the problem, potential customers use Google to help them in the consideration stage. 90% of searchers haven’t made their mind up about a brand before starting their search. (Status Labs, 2018) Having the right offer can help your ideal buyers solidify their decision in your favor.
Offers for the consideration stage should focus on helping to educate your ideal client on how your product will address their pain points and make life easier. If you provide organizational support, your offer could include one free worksheet you use with clients to help them stay organized.
Service industries offer free written estimates, or you may consider writing a “Guide to Get Started with X.”
Another strategy that many businesses use is to offer a free introductory webinar that shows how your product or service works.
In the Decision Stage, the buyer chooses a solution and makes a purchase. You may think you work creating offers is done for this client, but I believe it’s just getting started.
Beyond the Buyers’ Journey
For many companies, once a purchase is complete they often leave the customer to figure things out and enjoy their new product. Since they’ve collected an email address they will send the buyer occasional emails with information when products are updated or go on sale, but other than that the relationship ends or goes silent.
This is a lost opportunity to extend your relationship with the buyer. Hubspot reports that 20% of new sales come from repeat customers. Additionally, it is five times less expensive for someone to buy from you again than attracting a new customer.
It’s unlikely your product or service is the only one of its type, and if it is, it won’t stay that way for long. The more you can help your customer to see value in your product or services the more trust develops, and the deeper their loyalty will extend.
In what Hubspot refers to as the delight stage a business continues to create helpful and educational content for your current customers. One of my favorite ways that companies are creating offers for the delight stage is by including information with a product that helps the purchaser use the items better.
For example, when I recently purchased glass jars to hold essential oils, the packaging contained documents with cleaning instructions, stickers to label the jars, and different recipe ideas for essential oil blends. These items are a great way to thank a customer for a purchase and let them know they are valued. They also help the customer use your products in a variety of ways.
Sending quarterly emails with offers for new ways your services will continue to solve your customers’ pain points helps remind them that you care about them and are working on ways to help them.
As you build trust with your clients, you will establish yourself as an industry expert. Because they trust you, instead of searching on Google when they have a problem they will search your website directly.
Customers who have great experiences with companies can’t help but tell their friends and families about it, serving your ideal customers well will give them continued reasons to tell their circles of influence how great your products and services are, and in the long run that’s worth more than any digital strategy you can develop.
We’ve created a checklist to help you develop a variety of excellent offers for your persona at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Download it here: