Customer engagement is now the buzzword in business. People are getting better at ignoring the marketing messages they don’t want to hear and more adept at researching for themselves what they want – that’s why it’s important that potential customers come to you.
Old techniques of cold calling, trade shows, etc. are being replaced with ‘inbound marketing’, it’s your job to help people find your business online.
Increasing amounts of business leads are now generated online – 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research) (The Google Mobile Playbook) while mobiles and tablets (51.3%) now get more usage than desktop (48.7%) (StatCounter) so it’s important that your website is adaptable for those platforms.
You can use various digital channels for lead generation – website, email, social media – to match the behaviour of consumers. With the prevalence of mass advertising and information blasts it’s important to build relationships with potential buyers.
When a prospective buyer gives you their email it’s a powerful indicator of their interest. That’s why gathering email address or ‘email capture’ has become so important.
Some effective ways of email capture on websites include:
- Website contact form – include a contact form on your website where visitors can sign-up with their email address for new product information, offers, latest news, etc.
- Pop-up widget on your website – some websites have had success including a simple window which pops up on your website after a user has been on the site for a period of time (you can set how long before a pop-up is triggered). The pop-up invites them to leave an email address and could include something in return, as above.
- Scroll triggered pop-up on website – similar to the method above but the pop-up window is only triggered when the visitor scrolls down the page. The advantage of this is that it’s less intrusive and lets the visitor finish reading.
Free incentives in return for email capture include:
Visitors are more likely to share their email address is offered something in return – it may be further information or, for higher rates of engagement it could be a something for free.
- Further relevant information about a product or service
- A newsletter
- A video tutorial related to your product or service
- Access to a free article, short video or an e-book which informs rather than sells
- Discount code or other offer
Re-visit your free incentive content to keep it relevant and fresh.
You can then use your email list for:
- Newsletters – still a cost-effective and powerful tool for online marketing. This is the reason why businesses in the know prioritise building an email list. Powerful and professional newsletters can be created easily using various templates on free email platforms such as Mailchimp.
- Regular contact – contact your list reasonably regularly with interesting updates, promotions and offers, (too frequently though or with irrelevant offers may lead to higher unsubscribe rates!).
Keep your content interesting and stay away from heavy sales pitches. Include links back to your website and social media where prospective customers can find more information and engage with your company.
Check the ‘click rate’ information (or data analytics) which the newsletter platforms such as Mailchimp provide freely to see what is proving attractive. By measuring your results you can optimise your campaigns.
A major advantage for SMEs of this kind of marketing is that it is relatively low-cost and certainly lower than traditional forms of advertising – it means small businesses on a budget can now vie with larger competitors.
You can use data about engagement with your digital presence – your website, social media etc. – to see what works and then to build more effective promotional campaigns.
Whether you’re a newbie to digital marketing or have already dabbled, it’s important to get your message out there. Email capture and use is just one of the many tools in the digital marketing box.
If you run a seasonal business you can plan ahead for extra business generated from digital marketing and special campaigns. With uAttend you can scale up and down the number of people clocking in for busy and quieter periods. It’s quick and simple to enroll them on the system using a biometric fingerprint terminal and archive them when they’re no longer working for you.