How to Enhance Your Inbound Marketing and Sales


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Are you a little overwhelmed by the many potential tactics that surround your inbound marketing and sales efforts? Do you feel that you have been throwing a lot of money in a lot of different directions without really knowing what to expect or how well your efforts are performing?

The first step towards feeling more in control, and using your money wisely, is to look at four of the major inbound marketing tactics, do some benchmarking, and determine what improvements would have the most impact.

Google Organic Click-Through Rates

How well your company ranks for relevant keywords in a Google organic search matters. A research study done by Philip Petrescu, the CEO of the website ranking software company Caphyon, determined the following:

  • On average, 71.33% of searchers clicked through a search result on page one.
  • On page one, the first five results account for 67.60% of all the clicks while the results from six to 10 account for only 3.73% of clicks.
  • Pages two and three got only 5.59% of the clicks.
  • On mobile devices, the click-through rate is slightly lower on the first page and actually rises on the 2nd and 3rd page.

Improvements with Impact

Searchmetrics, an SEO platform company, published a 2014 Ranking Factors Study that identified the five most important factors that currently influence website ranking.

  • Content: High quality, relevant content.
  • Technical Performance: Website pages that are optimized for technical performance (ex. good internal linking structure, short loading times, and the presence of meta tags).
  • Backlinks: The quantity and quality of backlinks (inbound links from relevant authorities) to your website.
  • Social Signals: Likes, shares, Google +1 endorsements, etc.
  • User Signals: Higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates, and a high time-on-site. In other words, activities that indicate your website was what users were looking for and found valuable.

Optimizing your website for mobile devices and for local searches is also important. Fifty percent of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase (Search Engine Watch). According to the Search Engine Journal, leads received through a website have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.

Google AdWords Click-Through Rate

According to Google, the average click-through rate on AdWords paid search ads is 2%. That number represents the percentage of viewers who clicked on an ad, not the percentage of viewers who actually took some kind of specific action with the advertiser (ex. downloaded an offer, requested a consultation, made a phone call, etc.).

Improvements with Impact

Viewers who did take action are referred to as conversions. The conversion percentage is heavily influenced by:

  • The relevance and type of the advertised keyword:
    • High Commercial Intent Keywords (keywords that actual buyers, not just anybody, use to search)
    • Branded Keywords (keyword phrases that include the brand name or a variation of the brand or company name)
    • Local Keywords (keywords or phrases that narrow the geographic area where a prospect wants to buy)
  • The quality of the ad copy and the landing page where click-throughs are directed.
  • The attractiveness of the offer.
  • The response time if the prospect requests a consultation via email or makes a phone call.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling (blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, videos, case studies, etc.). Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that your audience values and that makes them a more intelligent buyer. It allows you to position yourself as an expert with the ultimate goal that viewers will reward you with their business and their loyalty. Here are a few compelling statistics:

  • Content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. (Demand Metric)
  • 71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads. (MarketingProfs)
  • 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Aberdeen Group)
  • B2B marketers say that their greatest barriers to lead generation success are the lack of resources in staffing, budgeting, and time. (B2B Technology Marketing Community)

Improvements with Impact

The Content Marketing Institute offers a free e-book, 75 Examples to Spark Your Content Marketing Creativity, to help you produce a variety of engaging content.

Email Lead Response Rates

Silverpop, an IBM company that provides cloud-based email marketing software, compiled a 2014 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study that found:

  • Email campaign results varied widely by industry and country.
  • The average open rate for emails was 20.1% and the median was 16.8%.
  • The average click-through rate was 3.2% and the median was 1.4%.

Improvements with Impact

The Aberdeen Group, a company that does research and analysis on technology, found that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

A recent MIT study focused on the effect response times had on connecting with email inquiries. If you think that following up on a request from a prospect within even 30 minutes is sufficient, think again. The odds of reaching a lead called in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes drop 100 times!

The importance of a timely lead response is also demonstrated by research that shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first ( While 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to their salespeople, only 27% of those leads will be qualified (MarketingSherpa). As evidenced by these numbers, a 24×7 lead response that does not tie up your salespeople is vitally important.

The Bottom Line

The goal of your inbound marketing and sales efforts is not just higher response rates, it is actual closed business. In addition to tracking and testing campaigns, a dependable lead response process that ensures 24-hour coverage, immediate follow-up, and a consistent qualifying process should be in place. Without a reliable feedback loop, you are simply taking shots in the dark.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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