I don’t know how to convert leads through marketing

i don't know how to convert leads through marketing header

i don't know how to convert leads through marketing header

Sales and Marketing should work in harmony. With marketing creating your leads, and sales closing them. However, in smaller companies, sales and marketing can be the same function. Meaning you have to carefully consider and create your marketing, and close the sale too.

So what can you do within your marketing to convert leads earlier? We have 7 points that will help you get more out of your marketing, driving more leads to convert.


Understand the buyer

Understand the buyer journey and that not every lead is the same. If you know generally what your buyer journey is, you know when to go for the sale, and when to leave it for another week.

Not every lead is the same. Some will come in red hot, others will take a long time to even become warm. But if you understand where on the journey they are, you can prioritise and personalise your own actions towards them.


Gain pleasure, avoid pain

It is said as humans we are driven by two things, to gain pleasure and avoid pain. So when trying to appeal to your target audience, bear this in mind. What will drive people to listen to you, or even contact you themselves, is if you offer something that will give you great pleasure and happiness, or that will let them avoid pain or negativity.

For example, Amazon, the huge retail giant that they are, are still always looking to improve the customer experience. One pain their customers were experiencing was not being home for their deliveries. Or worrying it may not be left in a safe place. Amazon introduced ‘amazon lockers’ in convenient locations. So people could grab their delivery in their lunch break or on their way home. Customers who may not have bought that extra purchase as they couldn’t guarantee the delivery day, now have a safe, and easy alternative. Taking away those second thoughts of whether they should buy.

Or Pantene released an app to combat the ‘bad hair day’. By analysing the weather reports, they were able to advise which products and styles people should go for. By suggesting the products people should use, and allowing them to see what is available in the Pantene range. They increase their brand awareness, as well as gain extra sales from those suffering a bad hair day!


Make people feel significant

People like to feel like they matter. When you make a purchase you like to feel like the company is thankful for your custom. When you make a big purchase, you like to feel like the effort and energy in the build up has been appreciated. And let’s face it, if a company can make you feel like you are the only person in the world that they appreciate buying their product. And make a big deal about you, you are more likely to go back to them.

It comes down to basic customer service, and making people feel appreciated. It has been found that 60% of consumers will pay more for a better experience. 89% of consumers will begin doing business with a competitor if they receive poor customer service.

This can start off with the basics. Be polite and don’t ignore people. It is all too easy in the fast paced world of social media to ignore posts, but it also quite rude, and effects that customer’s experience. If there are excited about their experience, join in!

For example, Sainsburys made the headlines for their name change of Tiger Bread to Giraffe Bread, all due to a 3 year olds letter. Spotting the similarities between the Giraffes pattern and the pattern on the bread, Lily Robinson (with a little help from her parents) wrote to Sainsburys. Here, Sainsburys could of ignored this letter, put it to one side, as they have no need to change the name. They have other things to be getting on with. But by changing the name and responding to Lily, they proved they care about the opinions of all their customers. Even the little ones, and they value their opinion. By showing that appreciation, Lily’s mom praised the company online, and the story went viral. Which goes to show even the smallest acts of responding to customers, can come back to you in a big way.


Take the time to explain but simplify your solution

Most company’s make 1 of 2 mistakes when talking about their products and services.

They either don’t explain any of what they do, and expect people to understand. Jargon and all, which leaves prospects baffled.

Or they over explain, with a lot of tedious, unnecessary information. Leaving prospects over saturated with information, and looking for the nearest exit.

You need to ensure that your lead knows what you do. But cut the waffle! Keep your solution simple. As the saying goes, if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it. So if you cannot explain if simply, how do you then expect your prospect to understand it?


Qualify people up front

By qualifying leads at the very beginning of the process you save yourself a lot of time. We have all been there. Where someone has shown a vague interest in your product, and you follow up for months with calls and emails, hoping they will become a sale. But this takes time, effort, and may ultimately annoy your prospect in to not responding.

If you know they are not going to convert just yet, but they probably will in the future, focus on marketing to them. If you are not actively pursuing them, you give them chance to soak up your marketing. To learn more about your company and its products. So when the time comes that they require the product or service you sell, they will come to you.


Lead generation systems

Lead generation systems are systems that track the visitors to your website. This has it’s pros and its cons, but it’s something that you may want to consider.

The Pros being that you have companies who have actually visited your website, straight to your inbox, a pre-made list for the day. Dependent on the system, you may already have your contact information already provided for you. So no time needed to put together a prospect list.

The Cons? You do not know who in that company has looked at your website, and you may never know. Someone may have just taken a look at your blogs on their break, and so are not actually qualified to progress to a sale.

You can find a number of lead generation systems online, but a few examples are Lead Forensics, OnMonitoring and wow analytics.




Email automation can take a lot of marketing time off your hands. Whilst still leading prospects further through the buying cycle.

Email automation works with emails that are triggered by a click, a visit to a certain page or a time limit. For example, you have probably experienced when you buy something online, a few days after your purchase, you receive a thank you email, perhaps with a discount off your next purchase. This is a great use of automation, by making the customer feel valued and enticing them to come back and shop again. You can use this for your company but catered to your own services and products.

So there are a few ways you can use email automation. Here on some examples on using it for money off deals, to thank people for visiting, to get them to share their experience or feedback, to get them to buy their saved basket, and to buy a product again.

The Money Off Deal

A money off deal is great for a number of reasons. Your customers feel valued and appreciated, and you can prompt customers to spend with you again quite quickly.

Here, Achica use automation to send a seasonally relevant promotion, which is clear, easy to remember, and gives you two options of browsing or shopping. Customers feel valued, and you increase your sales with their next order.

example of achica email marketing


Saving your basket

Example of homebase email marketing

After being bought to the nation’s attention by a Barclaycard advert, companies can send money off emails to customers who have filled their basket, but left the site, to prompt them to come back and complete the sale. Though money off isn’t always needed, sometimes just the knowledge that they have saved your basket and you can return to it when you wish is all you need, as Homebase do above.

Thank You

These is a great one for continuing a great experience. If someone has used your service, and the moment has now passed, remind them of the great time they had with a thank you email. By leaving a couple of days before sending this, it gives time for the customer to return to normality, before you remind them of the great times they had, and leave a link where they can book or buy again.

Example of dominoes email marketing

A great example of this would be Dominos Pizza. Not that I eat a lot of pizza (cough) but I receive a fair few of these. A day after eating my lovely pizza, I always receive a thank you email, that thanks me for purchasing, hopes that I enjoyed the order, and I am prompted to order again. If you are still full from last nights pizza (as I usually am) they also give you the opportunity to win free pizza for a year by completing their feedback survey. The button’s right there, so why not just fill it in? And if you can’t even summon the energy to type, they’ve included their blog too, so you can go and have a read instead.

Example of harry potter email marketing

Harry Potter World reintroduce the excitement back to the customer, and offer plenty of opportunities to keep on interacting, such as sharing their photos, writing on trip advisor, and even the chance to win a prize.

Share your experience

Sometimes you don’t necessarily want another sale straight away. You know the customer has spent money with you, and it may be a while before they spend money again. But by asking for their feedback or opinion on your product or service, you are still showing them appreciation of their service and gaining good data for yourselves.

Example of New Look email marketing

New Look haven’t done their best here. From a very plain email to a very messy link, it doesn’t really entice customers to fill out the form. If you are sending an email, make the effort, as this devalues the customer rather than hyping them up.

Example of F&F email marketing

F&F does a better job of getting feedback, offering the chance to review every item you bought, with the pictures to remind you and subtly leave the links back to their shopping pages at the top of the email, to encourage customers to shop again.

Buy it again

Example of amazon email marketing

If you offer a product or service that needs to be renewed frequently, you may benefit from the buy it again email, prompting customers to buy products they have already brought. This really would have to be for relevant for products, as you do run the risk of annoying customers by asking them to spend and spend, without really thanking them for their custom.

Amazon do a great job of this here, by offering a prompt rather than a direct sell. However they do link directly back to the products, making it a very easy journey for users.

The best example we’ve seen

Best example of email marketing

With Photojojo, the communication is good, gives the customer all the information they need. They make them feel good about it, and they’ve made it look good as well. Rosie also received a free plastic dinosaur with the order too, which we feel is great customer service as well as automation at it’s best.

You must remember though, automation is not a substitute for actual contact, it is just a useful tool that can provide help. Ensure you keep a good balance of the actual and the automated to keep your customers happy.


So there you have it, seven things that will hopefully ensure your marketing efforts converts to sales.

If you are struggling with your marketing, or just need some extra advice on how to get the best for your company, then why not give us a call today on 01543 495752.


Where should you begin with Google AdWords?

where should you begin with adwords

where should you begin with adwords

Google AdWords works because it is complex, and because every single part of your campaign is a variable. Which is what makes it work for so many companies, but what confuses a lot more. So we’ve put together some basic stages for you to follow. To get you started and keep you on track during your AdWords campaign.

As it can be hard to follow sometimes, I will be using the example of the ‘Cheese and things café’ to help you visualise what’s been explained. (Apologies to all of you reading this just before your lunch break!)

Before you begin – Define your purpose

Before you even open your google AdWords account, you need to define three things.

  • What your main aim is to get out of a campaign (more sales/more exposure/more leads)
  • How much time you are going to allow to manage this
  • How much budget you are willing to put in to this

If you do not have a clear answer for each of these, it may not be the right time for you to be considering AdWords. Your aim will determine how you structure your campaign and your ads. Who they are targeted towards and what form of bidding you use.

If you haven’t given enough time to AdWords, you will find yourself with a lagging campaign. AdWords works because you have real time results, and can adapt your campaign to be more profitable constantly. This takes a lot of monitoring. So if you can only commit to the time it takes to set an account and your initial campaign up, maybe it’s time to consider an agency. Otherwise you will find yourself throwing a lot of money at a campaign that may not work.

Which leads us nicely to budget. You need to establish the budget of your campaign or campaigns. How much you are willing to go up to, to reach your goal. Some industries are more competitive than others, so you will have to spend more to appear in front of your potential customers at first. Ensure you have done some research so you have an idea of budget to start with. If your budget doesn’t stretch to getting you seen in your industry just yet, then perhaps continue working on your own marketing first, and revisit AdWords later.

So our little café is wanting to push the sales of their toasties for lunchtime delivery. They’re willing to spend £10 a day, which is around £300 a month. Bob who does their lunchtime delivery is going to spend some time after his deliveries has finished looking at their AdWords clicks for that day, and what worked, and making adjustments for tomorrows searches.

Put together your keywords

Keywords you will have heard over and over again when it comes to anything to do with being seen by the right potential customers on the internet.

For your ads, you want to look at 10-20 keywords that are quite specific to that advert. So for examples your aim is to get more toasties ordered through your website. You may look to do ads for ‘toasted sandwiches’ ‘cheese toasties’ ‘lunch delivery’ with each having 10 keywords specific to that advert. All of them will take the user back to your toasties landing page, but you can see which approach works best.

Google’s keyword planner is a great tool for getting an idea of your keywords. It will give you similar suggestions, estimated searches, estimated bid, and an idea of competition. This will not be 100% accurate, so don’t take this as certain. As mentioned, a lot of factors will make up your bid, so prices will change. Certain trends or topics may change search patterns, and new businesses are always starting, so competition will constantly change. But this tool is the closest information you will get without actually running the campaign.

Create or update your landing page

Before you set up your campaign, you will need somewhere for all those lovely new visitors to land. So take time to either improve your current web pages, or create a unique landing page where potential customers will be lead to.

This landing page will need to be relevant. The more relevant, the more google will like your ad. As you are giving your customers a good experience. So let’s take our cheese toastie example. If someone has searched for a ham and cheese toastie delivery, and clicked on to your ad, they would not expect to land on a page about your jacket potatoes. They would expect to come through to a page on various cheese toastie options that are available for delivery.

Ensure your landing page is easy to use. So it has enough information about the topic, there is a clear call to action (‘order here’ ‘call now to order’ etc) and where possible no obvious links to the rest of your site. As you want these potential customers to convert, you don’t want them to go wondering off until after they’ve placed an order.

Set up your account and get organised

Get started on your AdWords account. Set it up and get acquainted with the page, as you will be spending a lot of time here.

Having a structured account is key to keeping organised on AdWords. Once again, google have a best practise for this to keep you on track. It is suggested that you follow the layout of your website, possibly like this:

Account Cheese and Things Café
Campaigns Toasties Jacket potatoes Sandwiches
Adverts Cheese toasties toasted sandwiches lunch delivery Cheese and beans jacket potato Jacket potato delivery office lunch deliveries Sandwich delivery Cheese and pickle sandwiches Lunch time sandwiches


You will have your company as your account, your pages as your campaigns, and your offerings on those pages as adverts.

Though you may only run one campaign at first, having this style of layout means you can keep organised for future campaigns.

Create your ads

It is worth doing your research here. Search some of your keywords and see what ads are making it onto the first page. What draws you in, what extra information are they including? How does your company differ? This is where you can really set yourself aside from your competition, so take the time to see what they are saying.

So let’s take a look at what comes up for cheese toastie delivery

example of google adwords ads

Once you have an idea of what’s out there, and what you want to say, you need to make sure you match AdWords best practise for ads. Especially when it comes to character limits. You only have 25 characters for your headline, and 35 characters each for your 2 description lines.

Assign the keywords you picked earlier to the relevant ad, and enter a general bid. From this you will be able to see an estimate of how many clicks you could expect for your daily budget. If you are happy with it, then set your ad live. You are now live.

Track your performance

AdWords is thorough. Very thorough. You can track every part of your campaign to see when people clicked through and why. So you can identify the times and places you are most successful, and replicate that in future campaigns.

So for example, Bob could find that on Thursdays and Friday their clicks go up by 30%. So he can use that information when it comes to adjustments, and spending the budget more wisely.

You can also link your AdWords and analytics accounts to get even more data, which may seem a little much at first, but as you get more experienced, it will help you to really take apart your campaign and see what works and why.

Adjust when necessary

There are so many different ways you can adjust your ads, so keep experimenting until you find which brings you return on your investment.

Adjusting is necessary to make your campaign successful. So even if they are only small changes, make them. If a keyword is performing well, put some more money on the bid to get it shown more times. If a keyword isn’t performing well, scrap it and stop wasting money.  If you want to try adjusting your bids, but don’t want to commit just yet, then try experiments. Which will apply your changes to a small portion of your ads, so you can see if it works well or not before fully committing.

So Bob, who now knows they get more clicks on a Thursday and Friday, may show his ads only on those days. So there is more budget behind it, meaning more clicks-through’s.

You will want to keep making adjustments until your campaign becomes profitable. Then you can put more money behind it to make it more profitable.


And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AdWords. There are literally hundreds of resources to guide you through every part of your campaign, especially from Google themselves. So don’t stay stuck, take a look at what information is out there.

If you do find yourself really stuck when it comes to AdWords, or perhaps you just don’t have the time, let us take a look at it for you. Call us on 01543 495752 for more information on how we can get you more leads.

How to avoid wasting money on marketing your small business

how to avoid wasting money on marketing your small business

how to avoid wasting money on marketing your small business

We are often asked how to identify which marketing activities will provide the best ROI, and how to stop wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work.

In a small business, any purchase is a big purchase, so committing to marketing campaigns can be a huge decision. We’ve put together 6 tips on ensuring you get the best value for your money.


Know your market

This may seem obvious, but when you are busy trying to build business it can easy to overlook the time you should have spent on getting to understand your market. By completing these 3 simple steps, you will put yourself in a much better position to understand what marketing will help you as a company.

Step 1: You have to start by knowing yourself. Take the time to define your aims, your values and your ethic. You will not truly know your competitors, until you know what you are trying to achieve.

Step 2: Find your competition. Use local directories and web searches to discover who is around you, and what they are doing. Though you may not consider Mr Joe Bloggs Freelancer or Big Corp Corporation a competitor, as they are not the same size as you. If they are offering any of the same services as you, you need to understand their business, and why customers may pick them over you.

Step 3. Know your own audience. To grow your audience, you need to understand the customers you already have. Unless you are in a very niche business, most companies cannot follow a ‘one approach fits all’ method. You need to define your ‘buying personas’ the people who buy from you, why they buy, how they buy, when they buy. Once you know these traits, you will be able to appeal directly to other people with these traits.

Once you have defined these 3 steps you should have a good idea of how you should approach your buying personas, how your competitors are approaching their audience, and why you are different. These will all help to then define your activities.


Be up front about budget

Talking about money is always awkward, especially if you are just growing and the money just isn’t there yet.

Even so, you may find yourself swept away by a sweet talking sales rep into taking on the fanciest direct mail campaign you have ever seen. Where every recipient receives their promotional letter with a free mug with your company logo on, delivered by the earliest post so they can use the mug for their morning cuppa etc but if you don’t have the budget, then don’t commit to it just yet.

There is always an element of risk in marketing, as we humans can be quite fickle, and we can change what we like to react to as quickly as the weather. So almost bankrupting yourself for one campaign is usually not worth it, even if it does sound pretty amazing.

If you want to do the big campaigns, prove yourself through the little campaigns first. Use what you have put together from knowing your market, to try some ideas out. Spend a little of your budget to gain knowledge of what works, and hopefully make a profit. You will be in a much better place to start your first big campaign.


Dedicate time

It can be a common misconception, as you’ve seen above, that if you throw a large amount of money at a marketing activity or campaign, you are guaranteed good results. This is just not the case.

Marketing works on the psychology of people, and what they will react well too. If you just throw anything out there you cannot predict what the results will be, so taking the time to work through your marketing messages is essential.

Let’s take the example above. You’ve been pitched to about this brilliant direct mail campaign; everyone’s going to get mugs, everyone’s going to have their morning cuppa in them, or take them to work, and your company logo is going to be everywhere, and you will be swarmed with calls. But what if your buying persona is actual fitness focused, does not drink caffeine, and goes out for a morning run before work? The phone may be a little quieter.

If you know your buying personas, you know what type of person they are. You know if they prefer to be contacted by letter, email or phone.

Take the time to consider what you are trying to say, and how your audience will best take that in. Throwing money at marketing is not a substitute for time. Sit down with your colleague, team or agency, and it will produce better results and give you more return in the long run.


Be persistent

This is something we say quite frequently, but it is true.

If you have completed the above, you should have a good idea of when your campaign should start paying off. However, it can sometimes take a little longer to work, especially if you are looking at something involving social media.

Not everything is instant. This doesn’t mean the campaign hasn’t worked.

If you follow the below step, you should know when is time to move on to the next campaign. But if you still aren’t sure, wait another day, and look at the results again.


Monitor the results of your efforts

You will never know the outcome of your expenditure unless you actually monitor what you are doing.

There are many ways to measure, and it doesn’t necessarily matter which you use, just as long as you are measuring. Once you start, you will learn the best ways or software to monitor, but you just have to get started.

By doing the above you should know what to expect, whether that’s an influx of calls, meetings or actual sales. You can then monitor to conversions, and see how much money you actually made off one campaign. If you don’t do this, you will never truly know if you are wasting your budget or not.


Make the most of free marketing consultations which most agencies offer

The majority are no obligation and can pinpoint where your efforts should go for your specific company. If you have done the first few tips, you should be able to get some advice quite quickly. The agency will discuss ideas with you on what they think is best and you can go from there.

And remember, though you can tackle some things on your own, if you are looking at a campaign bigger than what you have done before, or are just not sure what messages to send in your marketing, maybe it’s best to pass it to the professionals.


If you want to take advantage of our free marketing consultation, call one of our friendly team now on 01543 495752, and you can have a cuppa, cuddle with the dogs and maybe even a slice of cake.

I don’t know if my marketing is working

i don't know if my marketing is working

i don't know if my marketing is working

When many businesses first come to us, they often say “I don’t know if my marketing is working.” They’ve tried a few different things, but it doesn’t appear to be doing anything other than costing them money. Does that sound familiar?

It’s important that you can show the Return on Investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts. If something is working, you need to be able to show that. And if it doesn’t work, you need to be able to prove that so you don’t waste further time and money on something that doesn’t work.

When businesses come to us and say “I don’t know if my marketing is working”, we evaluate these 6 things to find out what might be the cause of the problem.

Have you set a goal? If so, what was it?

While all of these points are important, this is a huge one. If you haven’t got a goal, how can you possibly know whether your marketing is working?

When setting goals, follow the SMART method to create goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely


How are you tracking your marketing activities?

Once you know what you’re working towards, you need a way of tracking activity produced by your marketing campaign. If you aren’t tracking what’s happening, you won’t know if your marketing activities are working or not.

Tracking and monitoring needs to be considered before you begin marketing as you may need to implement something before you campaign begins, such as setting up a dedicated phone number, or setting up goal tracking in your analytics software.

Exactly how you track your marketing campaign will depend on what you’re doing:

  • If you’re running a special offer, you might look at orders using the offer code in an email you sent out
  • If you’re getting people to call you, you would track phone calls to a dedicated number, or you could ask people where they saw your number
  • If you’re at an event, you might just track the number of people who put their email address down on your email marketing form

By tracking your marketing activities, you will easily be able to identify whether or not you are reaching your goal.


How strong was your campaign and call to action?

Your call to action (CTA) is the most important part of any marketing campaign because it tells your target audience what you want them to do next.

If your CTA is weak, unclear, confusing, or if you have multiple CTAs, your audience won’t know what to do. Best practice is to have one CTA that is focused on getting someone to take the next step.

Keep your CTA succinct and use verbs to encourage your target audience to take action as soon as possible.

The rest of the copy should back up the CTA and encourage your audience to take action by focusing on their pain points and telling them how your product / service can remove that pain.


What did your marketing activity look and feel like?

The way things look, and feel if they are physical things your audience can hold, is incredibly important. Especially if this is the first contact someone will ever have with your brand.

Think about the junk mail you get through your letterbox at home. I bet you’ve received a cheap and nasty looking leaflet from a local takeaway that you’ve never heard of before. It’s confusing on the eyes, there are probably lots of dark colours, bad editing, the paper feels thin, and just looking at it makes you feel like you might get food poisoning. What do you do? You throw it out.

Now, it might be that the takeaway makes delicious food, but if you judged it on that piece of marketing material alone, it certainly didn’t give you the impression of delicious, filling food.

It’s not just the first time you contact your audience that you need to make a great impression; you need to make a great impression every time you contact your audience and customers.

A great impression can remind loyal customers why they are a customer of yours, encourage them to purchase from you again, and hopefully remind them to tell their friends about you.

If that’s not enough to convince you that your marketing to existing customers needs to be high quality, this statistic might: 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers.


Is it your audience’s preferred method of communication?

This is where a thorough understand of your audience is helpful and will help you.

Where your marketing material appears is important. If your audience are 16-25 year olds who regularly use the internet, then online is the best place to target them.

If your audience are 70+ olds who don’t use the internet, then offline marketing activities will suit them better.


What’s your brand like? Is it putting people off?

The way your brand looks can play a large part in whether or not your audience pay attention to your marketing.

As a consumer, you probably understand this yourself.

If you see a brand that looks small, unprofessional, outdated, and maybe even a bit dodgy, you will probably steer clear of it. No matter how good an offer it is. You don’t want to risk being ripped off, or receiving a faulty product.

If you see a brand that looks clean and professional, it will automatically come across as much more trustworthy than a brand that looks bad. It will give you confidence that the business knows what they’re doing. That you’re likely to get a product which fulfils your needs.


If just one of the points above isn’t right it can prevent your marketing activities from being effective, which means it’s wasting your time and money.

To find out if your brand might be putting your audience off, read 4 signs you need to rebrand your business.