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November 5, 2015

Cindy Penchina, President

How to Avoid Wasting Time on the Wrong Prospects

One of the cornerstones of how Hudson Fusion approaches inbound marketing – probably the cornerstone – is lead attraction. It’s something we like to think of ourselves as particularly good at, but sometimes, when you’re bringing in a lot of marketing prospects, well, you’re gonna get some clunkers in there. It’s a side effect of casting a wide net; you want to attract the right people, but the simple fact is that some of them won’t be. And that’s good! Better too many people than too few. The key is sorting them out so that you don’t spend all your time chasing the wrong leads down dead ends – while letting the people you want to do business with slip right out of your fingers.

Ok. So the first step is in minimizing bad leads and maximizing good ones. And while that can be a complicated process in itself, it boils down to figuring out who you want to do business with – in detail – and developing content that appeals to them. You do this through the development of comprehensive buyer personas, which we talk about here, that help you zero in on both the sorts of people you already work with and your ideal customers – which in turn lets you focus your lead generation efforts. If you decide that your ideal customers are single dads over forty, for example, a lead generation campaign focusing on beauty tips for young moms probably isn’t going to net you the right customers. And while that’s a pretty egregious example, buyer personas really do give you the insight you need to get a handle on what sort of content you need to pump out to bring in marketing-qualified leads.

But really laser-focusing your content is a multi-step process that doesn’t end with developing material based on your buyer personas. Because then you have to see if it worked. Did your “17 Better Ways to Sear a Steak” blog post successfully bring in single dads over forty? If you’re going through a CRM with a sophisticated analytics platform (and you should be) then you’ll be able to put together a meaningful picture of who they are as you nurture them over time, bringing them down the sales funnel from visitor to marketing-qualified lead – the sort of person who will be receptive to information about your product. Odds are that your blog post didn’t quite net your preferred demographic – but that’s ok! You can use subsequent efforts to whittle them down.

So. You know that your single-dads-over-forty target audience is particularly receptive to messaging that makes them feel competent in the kitchen. You can follow up your grilling blog with a call-to-action that says, say, “Want to Cook Like a Man?” that takes him to an ebook content offer called The Real Man’s Family Cookbook: Easy Meals to Feed the Whole Team. Your prospect clicks and converts, entering their contact information to download the book – and bam! Now you know. The person you’re talking to almost certainly fits your profile, and absent asking for awkward information like whether they’re widowed or divorced, you can be reasonably sure that this contact is ticking off enough boxes to be worth your time. And there’s when you know you have someone you can market to.

It’s then – and only­ then­ – that you start talking to them about who you are and what you do. At this point, they know about your company, so you can start talking to their pain points, explaining how your product can help solve it, even as you continue to offer him great free information which could continue to help you refine your lead. You could have additional ebooks that hit other aspects of the persona – The Single Dad’s Guide to Prom Dress Shopping, for example – that could help you further pin down who your best leads are and guide list segmentation. Imagine someone who converts on offers that highlight multiple aspects of your ideal client; you’d know that they were exactly the right fit for your service and offerings.

So there you go. When you do your lead generation campaign the right way – incrementally with content laser-focused to appeal to your ideal clients – you severely reduce the number of bad leads you end up with, allowing you to spend less time nurturing, and more time closing sales.

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