Google’s latest mobile search algorithm update makes having a mobile-friendly site even more important

google_logo_pipe If your site isn’t easy to use on mobile, Google penalizes it by ranking it lower on its mobile search results pages. To give publishers even more of an incentive to offer mobile-friendly pages, Google today announced that, in May, it will increase the importance of having a mobile page, and sites that are not mobile-friendly will rank even lower than before. Read More

Now on mobile: Twitter for Windows 10

With our latest update, we’re making Twitter for Windows 10 available on mobile phones. Explore Moments, send group Direct Messages, and check out top Tweets without logging in.

How the HubSpot Marketing Blog Actually Generates Leads (Hint: It’s Not How You Think)

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Business blogging "best practices" instruct bloggers to include a relevant call-to-action at the bottom of every blog post. This is nothing groundbreaking -- it's how you convert visitors to your blog into valuable inbound leads for your business.

But are those end-of-post calls-to-action (CTAs) really the best option? After all, any conversion rate optimization expert worth their salt knows to take industry "best practices" with, well, a grain of salt.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time analyzing HubSpot’s Marketing Blog. While I've been able to identify which individual blog posts generate the most leads, I’d never dug any deeper to understand which specific calls-to-action within those blog posts people were actually converting on.

Until now.

When we introduced a new type of CTA to our blog posts as part of the historical optimization project last year, we ultimately doubled the conversion rates of the posts we added it to. So it got me wondering: Are end-of-post CTAs really the best way to generate leads from our blog? How do different types of CTAs within a post compare?

To get a better understanding of where our blog leads are coming from on the post level, I analyzed a cohort of 11 posts on the blog that generate an above average number of leads every month

To do so, I created unique tracking URLs (using HubSpot) for the CTAs used within each blog post. Essentially, any individual link within a blog post that led to a landing page got its own tracking URL. So for a post with 10 different CTAs, I created 10 unique tracking URLs. Then I replaced the links within those posts using my unique tracking URLs, and waited four weeks to collect data. 

Here's what I found ...

End-of-post banner CTAs contributed an average of just 6% of posts' total leads.

Crazy, huh? Actually, when you think about it, it’s really not that surprising that these CTAs get very little play. We'll talk about the reasons why in just a minute.

Here’s how an end-of-post banner CTA might look on our blog. It's essentially a full-width banner CTA at the very bottom of the post, and it typically includes some copy, an image, and a "download" button.

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So, if our leads aren't coming from the CTAs at the bottom of our blog posts, where are they coming from … and why?

Anchor text CTAs are responsible for the majority of our blog leads.

I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is an ‘anchor text CTA'?”

An anchor text CTA is the term I’ve given to a specific kind of text-based call-to-action. It’s a standalone line of text linked to a landing page, and it’s styled as an H3 or an H4 to make it stand out from the rest of the post's body copy. On HubSpot's Marketing Blog, we mainly use these between the post's first few introductory paragraphs, but we may also add them throughout the post in cases like this.

Here’s an example of an anchor text CTA within one of our blog posts:

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In every single post we tracked, the anchor text CTA was responsible for the largest percentage of that post's leads (by far).

In fact, between 47% and 93% of a post's leads came from the anchor text CTA alone.

And the data gets even more compelling when you factor in the anchor text CTA's cousin -- the internal link CTA. 

An 'internal link CTA' is my term for what is essentially an anchor text CTA, but rather than being styled as an H3 or an H3 in a separate line of text, it's positioned within a paragraph block, making it blend in more with the content around it. It could be something as discrete as hyperlinking a keyword to a landing page like you see in image A below, or something more direct like you see in image B (which we found to be the most successful type of internal link CTA).

Image A:

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Image B:

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Now here's what's interesting about this ...

Between 83% and 93% of each post's leads came from anchor text CTAs and internal link CTAs.

Why Anchor Text CTAs Outperform End-of-Post CTAs

Here are some theories we have about why anchor text CTAs are our silver bullet for blog lead gen ... 

1) People tend to develop "banner blindness," and these text-based CTAs don't look like ads.

The fact that these anchor text CTAs blend in more with the rest of the post may be one of the reasons they perform well. Like I mentioned earlier, because people are so accustomed to seeing and ignoring ads, they're more likely to ignore CTAs that resemble them. I’d say this is especially true for marketers -- and marketers are the target audience for this blog. 

And aside from the fact that anchor text CTAs are slightly larger than the rest of the blog's body copy, there are really no bells and whistles or gimmicks associated with this type of CTA. Because they're so straightforward, people may also perceive them as being more genuine than the typical image-based, banner CTA. 

2) Readers rarely make it to the end of a blog post, so showing relevant CTAs sooner is more effective.

There are quite a few studies out there that show that most people don't read articles in their entirety. In fact, scroll map tracking we’ve done on this very blog supports this data, too. We recently tracked a bunch of blog posts in Crazy Egg, and the scroll maps all show that our readers rarely see the CTA at the bottom of posts because few of them even make it to the bottom.

And those who do make it to the end seem to bounce as soon as they read the last line of text, completely avoiding the image-based CTA at the bottom -- which supports our first theory about banner blindness. 

3) Relevant anchor text CTAs give visitors exactly what they were searching for right off the bat.

Many of our top lead generating posts have highly relevant anchor text CTAs that include the exact keywords visitors were searching for when they found the post. This is one of the main goals of our historical optimization project: Knowing that the majority of the blog's new traffic and leads comes from organic search, we've optimized our highest traffic posts using the keywords they rank for.

To explain using an example, let's say you search for "press release template" in Google, and you click on the first organic result, which is currently our blog post about how to write a press release. As a searcher, the next thing you'd probably do is quickly scan the post to see if it satisfies your search. Now, if one of the first things that catches your eye is an anchor text CTA that reads, "Download our free press release template here" -- which happens to be exactly what you were looking for when you searched "press release template" -- then there's a pretty good chance you're going to click on it.

In other words, the anchor text CTA works really well in this case because it satisfies the visitor's need right away -- within the first few paragraphs of the blog post. What's important to emphasize here is relevancy. The more relevant the anchor text CTA is to what the visitor is looking for, the better it performs. 

This means that simply adding an anchor text CTA near the top of every blog post won't necessarily mean it will generate a ton more leads; the relevancy of the CTA to the content of the blog post is a critical factor in its success.

In analyzing the varying lead gen effectiveness of different posts that include anchor text CTAs, it's easy to identify why some perform better than others, and it all boils down to how relevant the anchor text CTA (and thus the offer it promotes) is to the content of the blog post.

What About Slide-In CTAs?

A slide-in CTA is a CTA that slides into the page as the reader scrolls down. Ours typically include copy, an image, and a "download" button, like you see here ... 

slide-in-cta-example.png

Based on my analysis, slide-in CTAs do seem to perform better than end-of-post CTAs. This makes sense since visitors see them sooner (they slide in at about 25%-50% of the way down the post), and they're more interactive (they slide out at the visitor and catch their eye). That said, they still don't come close to matching the effectiveness of text-based CTAs. 

Putting Anchor Text CTAs to the Test 

Once we knew how valuable anchor text CTAs were for generating leads from our blog, we doubled down and added them to about 80 other old, high-traffic blog posts that didn't already have them.

The increase in conversion rates we witnessed is only proof that these CTA are the silver bullet for our blog ...

The view-to-lead conversion rate of posts that didn't previously have an anchor text CTA increased by an average of 121% when anchor text CTAs were added.

Jackpot. 

But With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility ... 

While we now know how valuable anchor text CTAs are, our team is still very selective about which posts we add them to. We mainly target old posts that rank in search because it allows us to identify which keywords searchers are using to find those posts and match that intent with a highly relevant offer/anchor text CTA. 

We also know that the majority (68%) of traffic we get to our blog comes from organic search, and the majority of that organic search traffic (74%) is made up of brand new site visitors who can't possibly be leads in our database. This means our older posts, which pull in all that organic search traffic, have the highest potential to generate new leads. 

On the flip side, we know that the majority (60%-70%) of initial traffic we generate to a brand new post we publish comes from our email subscribers. We also know that 80% of the email traffic to the blog is made up of returning visitors, and 79% of our email subscribers are already leads in our database. In other words, our brand new content doesn't have as much potential to generate leads because of the type of traffic it attracts.

As a result, we purposely limit our use of anchor text CTAs on brand new posts, because most of the traffic we get to those posts are A) already leads, and B) some of the biggest fans of our content, whom we want to have the best possible user experience.

One Final Note About "Best Practices"

Remember, while we've found that end-of-post banner CTAs don't perform very well for our particular blog, that doesn't mean they won't for yours. Each blog is unique, attracting different types of audiences and publishing different types of content -- among a slew of other variables. 

In a perfect world, every blog manager would run this CTA study and conduct a lot of testing themselves to determine the best conversion strategy for their individual blog. But it's also important to understand that not every blog has access to the resources necessary -- like a dedicated optimization team and a high volume of traffic -- to do a lot of in-depth testing.  

So while conversion rate optimization experts warn against relying on "best practices," taking direction from them isn't a bad approach when you're just getting started with a new tactic or you don't have a lot of resources, time, or traffic to test things out for yourself.  

At the very least, maybe we've opened your eyes to a promising type of call-to-action (which just so happens to be very easy to create) you can try on your own blog :-) 

free guide to historical blog optimization

16 apps that will seriously raise your Instagram game

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Now that Instagram is moving toward a Facebook-like algorithmic feed, creating photos that stand out just became a lot more important. And as great as the app's built-in filters and editing features are (there are 40 now!) they aren't nearly as powerful as the ones you can get from third-party apps.

Third-party apps for creating and editing photos and videos usually offer more tools and precision over the look of your posts, which, in turn, can bring in more likes.

To help your posts stand out (and hopefully gain a bunch of new followers and likes), we've cherry-picked our 16 favorite apps that can take your Insta-game to the next level. Most of them are free, too! Read more...

More about Apps, Photo Editing, Video Editing, Instagram, and Facebook

Which Email Clients Are People Using Most? An Analysis of 13 Billion Email Opens [Infographic]

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As more and more people use their mobile phones to surf the internet, marketers have had to rethink how and where we create, share, and optimize content on the web -- including email.

In the past year or two, we've seen a number of notable changes in the way people check and read their email. For example, many folks who bought the Apple Watch often use it to check email; Office 365 replaced Outlook.com; and more people than ever are using email apps on their smartphones.

How has this affected email client market share?

As part of their 2016 "State of Email" report, the folks at Litmus analyzed over 13 billion email opens to see where subscribers are opening and reading emails. Check out the resulting infographic below to learn how email client market share statistics have changed in the past year, why these changes happened, and how they might affect your email campaigns.

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optimizing email marketing ebook

A 5-Step Plan for Finding & Engaging With Influential People Online

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These days, collecting email addresses from people isn’t easy. After enduring their fair share of spammy messages, people have become hesitant about handing their information over to just anyone.

For marketers, this presents a unique challenge. When people aren't willing to open up a line of communication with you, it becomes difficult to stay in touch with them. How will you notify them when you publish new content? How will you keep your traffic numbers afloat without their support?

When you're building out your online presence, having a strong email list can really help you expand your reach. However, it's not the only way to get the word out about your content. Think about it: What’s easier? Connecting with 1,000 people and getting their email individually or getting to know one influencer with 100,000 connections?

Building relationships with people who already have a large network can open up a ton of growth opportunities. Wondering how to get started? I'll walk you through it.

How to Find and Engage With Influential People Online

Step 1: Identify the right platform to connect with them.

Influencers hang out in a ton of different online settings, however, I've found that email, Twitter, and Facebook groups have proven to be hot spots for this type of engagement. (I'm currently exploring Snapchat, too!)

Of these options, I lean heavily on Twitter for building connections, as it works great for real-time interactions. When I see an influencer tweet something, I use the information to drive a discussion with them while their interest in the topic is still fresh.

Keep in mind that the relationship isn't built after you send one tweet. Engaging an influencer on Twitter takes time, so be patient. And if you're having trouble coming up with a way to connect with them, check out this helpful guide for tips on effective outreach.

Step 2: Identify who you want to connect with.

When looking for people to connect with, keep this rule in mind: Never view someone as somebody to use, but instead someone you can help. Yes, we have goals, but if you can start by helping them, they'll be more inclined to help you. This is commonly referred to as the concept of reciprocity. And it's much easier to help one another when you have something in common.

Which leads me to my next exercise ...

To narrow your focus and identify influencers that you share common ground with, start by grabbing a piece of paper or opening a fresh Google Doc. Then, begin writing words that describe your brand. For example, here's what I would write:

  1. SEO
  2. Entrepreneur
  3. WordPress
  4. Blogging
  5. Email List Builder

Based on the keywords, I’m your average marketing blogger. I’m someone who wants to build an email list, which requires me to generate traffic.

Now that you have this information, pull up your Twitter account and start typing these keywords into the search bar. (You can also add hashtags to the words: #SEO, #Entrepreneur, and so on.) Then, click on the "Accounts" tab to pull up accounts that are tied to your keywords and start connecting with people.

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Think your work is over? Not quite. To keep your social circle strong, you'll need to maintain those connections beyond just following them. How do you do this with hundreds of people? It’s simple.

Step 3: Maintain your relationships.

With Twitter, maintaining relationships isn’t that hard. In order to remain connected to the folks you just followed, you'll want to start by creating a list.

To do so, simply visit a user's profile and click the gear symbol and select "Add or remove from lists..." from the menu.

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Then, add them to an existing list by checking the box next to it, or create a brand new one. If you're starting a new list, I ’d suggest creating the list based on their expertise, such as SEO. That way you'll know what to focus on when engaging with members from that list.

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Now that you have this down, you need to pump up your exposure. It's helpful if you can convince someone to follow you back, as that will provide you with an opportunity to appear their feed and to make another impression on them. How do you get people to follow you? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Retweet them. "The influencers you target will receive notifications each time you retweet them. You’ll still making your face and name familiar," according to the folks at Social Caffeine.
  • Write posts that mention them. Whip up a list post for your blog that features an example from their website or portfolio. Then, send them a tweet to put the post on their radar.
  • Add color to your message. Researchers found that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%, so try adding a colorful image to your message.
  • Do your research. Find out when the influencers that you are targeting spend the most time on social media and reach out to them during those hours.

Step 4: Take the relationship to the next level.

You’ve been staying in front of them with Twitter, and from there you know who responds the most. Based on this information, the next step is to turn that social conversation into an email exchange, invite, call, contract, wave of traffic, or whatever you need.

To initiate this, try sending them a simple tweet telling them you have a proposal and request that they follow you to receive a DM. If that doesn't work, start by subscribing to their email list and begin engaging with their emails. If you like something they sent out, tell them. If you run into a 404 error page after clicking one of their links, let them know. If they publish something about a challenge they overcame, share a story with them about how you dealt with a similar situation.

When I interviewed Social Media Examiner's Mike Stelzner on my podcast , he told me that the best way to get an influencer's attention is by making them a video and sharing your message that way. He said out of 10,000 emails a month, it was rare to get a message this way. The lesson? Often the best way to stand out is to study what everyone is doing, and do something different.

Step 5: Set a connection goal.

You now know all the steps it takes to effectively engage with an influencer -- from identifying the right platform to building out the initial relationship. Now what?

It's time to set a connection goal. This goal will make it easier for you to hold yourself accountable for conducting regular outreach. Personally, I try to aim for 10-20 a day. Do I always hit this number? No. But it helps me continue to make steady progress. And that's what it's all about, right?

Working towards my goal has helped me to not only land guest posting opportunities and initiate some consulting inquires, but also connect with influencers such as Neil Patel.

What can this process help you achieve? Give it a try to find out for yourself.

free guide to influencer marketing

First Cambodian gets jailed over anti-government Facebook post

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A Cambodian has become the first person to be convicted in the country over a social media post.

A 24-year-old university student, Kong Raya, was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Tuesday, after being found guilty of inciting crimes with an anti-government post he made on Facebook, a Phnom Penh court said.

A translated version of Raya's post, made on Aug. 7, 2015, reportedly read: "Does anyone dare to make a colour revolution with me? One day, in the future, I will make a colour revolution to change the regime for Khmer society, and even if I’m jailed or killed, I will still make it." Read more...

More about Social Media, Facebook, Censorship, Cambodia, and World

Bringing you courtside for #MarchMadness

With Selection Sunday behind us, 68 college basketball teams are now playing to cut the nets down and win the #NationalChampionship in Houston. Follow all of the live #MarchMadness action on and off the court.

Join the conversation

The best and fastest way to join the live conversation and connect directly with the teams and fellow fans is to search for and Tweet with #MarchMadness.

Google launches HTTPS Transparency Report, says over 75% of requests to its servers are now encrypted

6088467882_57605b0239_o Google today added a new section to its Transparency Report that focuses on the use of encryption on Google’s own sites and across the web. The company says over 75 percent of requests to its own servers are now using encrypted connections (though traffic to YouTube is not included in this report). Read More

7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics

ThinkstockPhotos-179225452-938101-edited.jpgAs companies adopt inbound marketing as a way to generate more leads, the importance of having an effective lead nurturing strategy becomes very clear. In most cases only a relatively small percentage of your inbound leads will be ready to make an immediate purchase, leaving upwards of 90% of your inbound leads on the table.

Implementing an effective lead nurturing strategy can have a huge impact on the results of your inbound marketing strategy. Research conducted by Forrester has shown that marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs non-nurtured leads. Furthermore, the research also reveals that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost (Source: Forrester, 2014).

Despite the clear benefits of lead nurturing, a study by MarketingSherpa indicates that only 36% of marketers actively nurture their sales leads (Source: 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report). Without question, this means that there’s a huge opportunity for savvy marketers like you to implement effective lead nurturing strategies and gain an advantage over your competition.

So you are probably wondering…

  • Which lead nurturing tactics work best? 
  • What do super successful marketers do differently?
  • Or how do I get started with lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing is of course just one component that goes into executing an inbound marketing strategy. If you’d like to learn what super successful inbound marketers are doing differently to attract traffic, convert leads and close customers you can check out this comprehensive resource – An Epic Guide to Creating an Inbound Marketing Strategy.

Now let’s get down to it – we’ve read through dozens of reports, dug into the most recent data about lead nurturing and compiled this list of the seven amazingly effective lead nurturing tactics. 

7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics

1) Targeted content - Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20% (Tweet this stat)

When it comes to lead nurturing, one size certainly does not fit all. As the research proves, strategically nurturing your leads using targeted content can significantly improve the results of your inbound marketing strategy.

Using targeted content for lead nurturing may seem obvious, but it’s something that marketers are struggling with. Last year Forrester Research reported that 33% of B2B marketers cite “targeted delivery of content” (i.e., delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time) as their biggest lead nurturing challenge.

There are a few prerequisites for using targeted content for lead nurturing. First of all, you need to understand each of your unique buyer personas. Of course, you then need to create an assortment of targeted content designed to nurture each of your personas based on their interests, goals, objectives, and marketing triggers. Lastly, you need to have a marketing automation platform in place to help you identify, segment and target your unique buyer personas as you scale your inbound marketing strategy.  

2) Multi-channel lead nurturing – Four out of five marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20%. It’s time to think beyond the inbox. (Tweet this stat)

In the past, most lead nurturing strategies involved setting up a simple email drip campaign that would send out generic emails to a list of prospects. These day, email-only lead nurturing strategies have a few inherent problems.

For one thing, almost four out of five marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20% (Source: The State of B2B Lead Nurturing Survey, Oracle). On top of that, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. A lack of effective lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance (Source: MarketingSherpa).

Today, marketers like you are looking for new lead nurturing tactics and technologies that go beyond the limits of email. With the help of powerful marketing automation platforms, savvy marketers are now executing multi-channel lead nurturing strategies.

Effective multi-channel lead nurturing most commonly involve a combination of marketing automation, email marketing, social media, paid retargeting, dynamic website content and direct sales outreach. Because there are so many tactics involved, to execute this properly, you really need to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are well aligned and working cohesively.

3) Multiple Touches - Prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel until they’re a closed-won customer (Tweet this stat)

While the buyers journey for every product and service can be quite different, research from the Marketing Lead Management Report indicates that on average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they’re a closed won customers.

Interestingly, another research study from Demand Gen suggests that 49% of marketers include less than five touches in their lead nurturing programs (Source: 2015 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study). If you’re in this category, it might be time to revamp your lead nurturing efforts a bit. 

As you can imagine, the most successful lead nurturing strategies deliver content that helps prospects progress through the buyer’s journey by addressing common questions and concerns. In addition to email tactics, consider how you can use a mix of content types like social media, blog posts, whitepapers, interactive calculators, or even direct mail, to nurture your prospects into customers. 

4) Timely Follow Ups - The odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website (Tweet this stat)

The benefits of immediate follow up calls seem quite evident, but most organizations still aren’t acting very quickly. A recent article in Harvard Business Review highlighted the surprisingly slow response times of most US based companies. Here are a few benchmarks from the study which included feedback from more than 2,240 US companies:

  • The average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours
  • Only 37% of companies responded to their leads within an hour
  • 24% of companies took more than 24 hours
  • 23% of the companies never responded at all

Automated lead nurturing can help you reach large groups of prospects, but a timely followup email or a phone call is still quite often the best way to convert inbound leads into qualified sales opportunities. As several research studies have shown, the odds of converting a lead into a sales opportunity are exponentially higher when the lead is contacted immediately following a website conversion.

When you make a timely, well researched call to an inbound lead it’s far more effective than any volume of cold calling. You know exactly what the prospects is researching based their recent browsing behaviour and you also have enough information about the prospect to do some initial research about the organization they work for and their specific role within the company.

5) Personalized emails - Personalized emails generate up to 6 times higher revenue per email than non-personalized emails do (Tweet this stat)

Several research studies indicate that email marketing continues to be the most effective tactic for lead nurturing.  The research also consistently shows that personalized emails tend to produce significantly better results than generic email blasts. In fact, a recent study by Experian indicated that personalized emails can generate up to six times higher revenue per email than non-personalized campaigns do (Source: Experian Email Marketing Study).

As highlighted in this helpful blog post, there are all kinds of ways you can personalize your emails to improve your lead nurturing strategy. You can send triggered emails when someone downloads your gated content, clicks on links in your emails, visits certain pages on your website, or when they demonstrate a high level of engagement. When you combine the power of marketing personalization with behavioral triggered emails you can deliver the right marketing messages to the right people, at exactly the right times.

6) Lead Scoring - 68% of successful marketers cite lead scoring based on content and engagement as the most effective tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing (Tweet this stat)

As the 2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study revealed, 68% of successful marketers cite lead scoring based on content and engagement as the most effective tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing. With compelling research like that you’d think that everyone would be adopting lead scoring, but a recent study by MarketingSherpa indicates that only 21% of B2B marketers are using lead scoring.

For those who are new to the concept of lead scoring, it is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. Lead scoring can be implemented in most marketing automation platforms by assigning numeric values to certain website browsing behaviours, conversion events, or even social media interactions. The resulting score is used to determine which leads should be followed up with directly by a sales rep or which leads need to be nurtured further down the funnel. 

Based on this research, it seems as though lead scoring is an effective lead nurturing tactic that most marketers simply aren’t taking advantage of yet. 

7) Sales and Marketing Alignment - 89% of companies that align their sales and marketing lead nurturing efforts report measurable increases in the number of sales opportunities generated (Tweet this stat)

According to a study by market research firm CSO Insights, when both sales and marketing share responsibility for lead nurturing, companies experience a significant increase in conversion rates. As the 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study revealed, 89% of companies that aligned sales and marketing lead generation efforts reported measurable increases in the number of leads that turned to opportunities as a result of continuous nurturing (Source: Sales Performance Optimization Study).

In order for both sales and marketing to contribute to lead nurturing you’ll need to identity when prospects should be transitioned between teams as they progress through the funnel. In creating your lead nurturing strategy, think about how you can use triggers like lead scoring, pageviews, workflow enrollment, conversion events or sales contact to transition leads from automation to direct one-on-one outreach.

The shared expectations, responsibilities and goals for this collaboration between sales and marketing should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating a formal sales and marketing SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers.

In review, let’s quickly recap the seven most effective lead nurturing tactics:

1) Targeted content – Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%

2) Multi-channel lead nurturing – Four out of five marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20%. It’s time to think beyond the inbox.

3) Multiple Touches - Prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel until they’re a closed-won customer.

4) Timely Follow Ups - The odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.

5) Personalized emails - Personalized emails generate up to 6 times higher revenue per email than non-personalized emails do.

6) Lead Scoring - 68% of successful marketers cite lead scoring based on content and engagement as the most effective tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing. 

7) Sales and Marketing Alignment - 89% of companies that align their sales and marketing lead nurturing efforts report measurable increases in the number of sales opportunities generated.

Want some more tips & tricks to boost the results of your inbound marketing strategy?

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