Every day, companies juggle the need for high-quality lead generation required to grow the business and the time it takes to actually run the business. As the hours tick by, it can feel like you must choose between new business generation or responding to the latest DM on Twitter.
Sacrifice one, and you miss an opportunity to connect with interested prospects. Sacrifice the other, and your digital customer experience goes down the drain.
Luckily, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds. Your service-based website can connect with interested prospects without a massive time commitment.
The solution? Marketing automation tools for small businesses that prioritize conversion optimization.
When it comes to converting prospects into paying clients, we already know that response times matter. But who has the time?
Data shows that conversions spike when companies attempt to reach leads in 60 minutes or less. But given that only seven percent of companies polled in a Drift survey responded to form submissions within five minutes, there’s a huge opportunity for companies to outperform their competition by simply engaging with leads and prospects fast.
There’s only one problem.
Booking an appointment request or sending a trigger email based on user behavior requires a human behind the screen, available to respond at the ready, or risk losing the opportunity.
So you implement passive lead generation and marketing automation tools into your website and hope a few high-quality leads trickle in while you’re out doing what you do — because that’s what the experts said.
Traditional inbound marketing strategies taught new business owners to put their best content (information, value propositions, lead magnets) behind a “gate” to drive more leads and optimize conversion rates.
“Forms!” they shouted. “Hide your gated content behind form submissions and landing page CTAs. Then, watch your conversion optimization rates spike without lifting a finger!”
Never mind what these “hide and seek” tactics requiring a name and email do for your online customer experience. (Hint: it’s not great.)
Forms as a means of lead generation and conversion are outdated and inefficient.
The good news is that tech has evolved into better ways of collecting information and generating leads without wreaking havoc on your digital customer experience.
Customers love websites that implement support systems. Timely, informative responses ensure positive user experiences. But constant online availability isn’t always an option for business owners stuck on the road or in meetings all day.
Features like live chat, for example, grow sales and spike customer loyalty because it gives clients immediate assistance and prompt feedback.
But again, small businesses don’t have the time to designate a sole employee to monitoring these types of features. Plus, hiring a full-time support person is costly.
Companies hoping to secure the best of both worlds (increased availability and new business generation) should take the best features of live chat and automate them using marketing automation tools.
Automation tech tools and solutions help you free up space to grow the business and connect with new and existing clients.
Here are five of the most valuable tools small businesses should use to engage and convert clients in less time with less effort.
Let visitors book appointments immediately without having to leave your site or wait for a follow-up.
Platforms like WordPress and Shopify have customizable form plugins that integrate seamlessly to your calendar apps. Other sites like Squarespace allow users to embed Appointment Scheduling Blocks like Acuity Scheduling into your site.
Both are quick and easy solutions for non-coders who want to cut out repetitive, manual tasks and focus on more profitable actions.
Live chat requires constant maintenance, staff, and attention. Automating some of the features live support software typically addresses will put time back in your pocket without preventing prospects from getting the info they need.
ChipBot promotes a positive digital customer experience while also nurturing new leads. With features like automation, buyer insight, and immediate support via question capturing, it’s the perfect marketing automation software for small businesses hoping to generate sales from your website.
When social media managers aren’t on the payroll just yet, enlisting the help of a social media scheduling tool that also incorporates social listening features will help your business discover new clients, create targeted ads, and keep a watch on your competition — with little effort.
Social listening tools like Awario track your mentions, retweets, and other brand activity on all your social sites. Then, this data gets streamlined into one inclusive report highlighting exactly where your social advertising and prospecting opportunities lay.
It’d be nice to track user features and find out what’s making your visitors leave. But it can be tough to justify payment for advanced lead nurturing software for lead scoring and segmentation on a start-up budget.
A more cost-effective solution is to find a service that helps AB test your website through the eyes of your visitors. Smartlook allows users to watch videos to discover where your visitors interact and what makes them leave, with features like heat maps, automatic event tracking, and conversion funnels.
Email blasts are more effective when aimed at a specific target. Marketing automation tools will fire off targeted messages following a specific event or user behavior (a trigger).
The idea here is to nurture leads with a more personalized approach … using a robot. Sure, it sounds ironic, but SendX will help your business design, schedule, and track automated email campaigns based on user activity — an approach that ultimately drives sales.
*Opportunity alert* A whopping 43 percent of marketers are not using automatic trigger email tools, which leaves plenty of room for newcomers to take advantage of their benefits.
When promoting a new business online, time is money. So if your small business is in dire need of a few time-saving lead generation strategies, consider ditching outdated conversion tactics and leveraging automation tools available to convert and engage clients faster and more effectively.
Lauren Hamer is a Digital Content Writer and Copy Editor who helps top companies and small start-ups to define their brand through quality, conversational content.