Lead Conversion: How to Convert Online Leads into Paying Customers

A digital presence can maximize marketing outcomes, but without actual sales from digital marketing activities, your CEO is going to less-than-thrilled. That’s why lead-to-customer conversion must be a top priority for your organization. In fact, 74% of marketing and sales teams focus most of their marketing efforts on converting leads into customers, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 report.

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If you struggle to manage outcomes with marketing endeavors, consider updating your conversion activities. Related: Get your complete copy of the State of Inbound 2016 report. Download the report now.

Top Methods for Converting Leads into Customers Online

Your brand may invest in regular blog updates, adding metadata to every page, and even monitoring a social media site, but these activities may or may not deliver lucrative sales numbers. When it comes to digital lead nurturing, many businesses accidentally drop the ball. Acquiring interested leads is one thing, and securing their business is another. The State of Inbound report offers real insight into marketing endeavors. Here are our takeaways from the report for streamlining the gap between marketing and sales:

1. Keep your value proposition front and center.

For selling consumer products, apps, services, and ideas, let customers know what sets your brand apart. If your price is higher than the closest competitor, what makes your brand offering more valuable? Modern customers are interested in supporting businesses that align with their personal values and showcase the level of care and support they receive when choosing your brand.

Every blog, landing page, and CTA should speak to your ideal buyer’s needs. Emotionally and practically connect with leads through content, and your sales team can focus on customer service rather than closing the deal.

2. Encourage marketers and sales teams to work together.

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Today, marketing and sales activities overlap. Marketers constantly speak about the importance of the customer experience, and integration among marketing, sales, and even customer service can make or break the customer experience.

Sales representatives should understand the company’s marketing campaigns, and marketers should know the approaches used by sales representatives. Transparency between customer-facing departments informs campaigns and individual interactions for an improved customer experience. Happy customers boost sales.

3. Relevant content is crucial.

In addition to an overarching value proposition, companies must deliver relevant content. The voice, flow, and subject matter should speak to consumers during every part of the sales cycle. If your website currently caters to lead acquisition and provides no value to warm leads and existing customers, you may lose out on an opportunity to close the deal. Strategically create content that nudges leads toward your brand offering. Avoid creating content for the sole purpose of boosting SEO rankings.

4. Embrace A/B testing.

What you like and what works often sit on opposite sides of the fence. Use A/B testing to assess marketing campaign language, headlines, website landing pages, promotions, and even your value proposition. As the report suggests, focus on what resonates with your audience to see improved sales ROI from digital activities.

5. Meet qualified leads in a non-confrontational space.

Lead nurturing is about supporting a customer through the purchasing decision, not pushing the sale on a skeptical prospect. Take advantage of email, mobile messaging, interactive webinars, and online chat to maintain personalized engagement and encourage prospects to close the deal, themselves.

6. Engage with happy customers and use data to your advantage.

Online reviews, referrals, and interactive data such as current page view counts and trending services/products can also boost sales. Make leaving a review as easy and painless as possible for your current customers, and focus on real-time metrics that give readers a sense of scarcity and/or popularity.

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Digital marketing does more than generate leads. Focus your digital presence on lead-nurturing and personalized engagement opportunities for improved ROI into 2017 and beyond.

Insights from the State of Inbound 2016 report showcase marketing and sales priorities, such as converting leads to customers. Inbound marketing activities empower consumers and give businesses an opportunity to demonstrate their value in the best light. For more great insights, download your copy of the report today.

HubSpot's State of Inbound 2016 Report

About the Author

Frank Cowell

Frank Cowell

@frankcowell

Frank Cowell is President at Elevator, a digital brand strategy agency based in the San Diego, California area. He works regularly with CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of Marketing who are looking to create amazing brand experiences while driving inbound leads. A self-taught programmer with a deep understanding of technology, Frank enjoys a unique blend of brand development and marketing savvy that enables him to offer fresh perspectives on often-complex marketing concepts that he distills into actionable, easy-to-understand language. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to branding and digital marketing.

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