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Inbound Marketing Services: Converting Leads to Customers

Dustin Brackett
February 26, 2016

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This is the next post in our series taking a look at inbound marketing services and the stages involved. If you haven't had a chance to read our others you can check them out below to get up to speed.
So we've gone through how you can start to attract new traffic to your website. We've also looked at ways to convert that traffic into leads. There is no point to collecting leads if you're not going to do anything with them. Now that you've converted these visitors to leads, let's work to convert them to customers! Here we will talk about the third step in HubSpot's Inbound Methodology - CLOSE.
Closing the sale is everyone's favorite part. It's why you're doing all this work, right?

So by now you've used your blog, social media, and keywords to attract visits to your website. You've excited those visitors and gave them a reason to convert into a lead with calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms. Now we will work on nurturing those leads to create new customers. By this time in the buyer's cycle, the lead has most likely determined that they have a problem and they've started researching solutions. Now is the time that we help them realize that the best way to solve that problem is with your product or service.

1. Email

Now that the lead is familiar with your business and they've filled out a form to become a lead, it's important to have them included in segmented contact lists in order to provide them with content that they've identified as relevant to them. Once this is done, provide them with helpful resources and information. 

EXPERT TIP: Remember, no one likes to be bombarded with sales pitches. Just because someone has identified themself as a lead it doesn't give you free reign to dominate their inbox with ads and coupons. Continue to be helpful, educational, and answer their questions and leads will convert to sales.

EXPERT TIP 2: The sweetest word to each person is their own name. Take the time to input tokens to address each person in your email list by their name. It will make them feel special and less like you just sent that email to 1,000 people.

2. Workflows

A workflow is a list of events that is initiated by an action by the lead. For example, someone filling out a form on a landing page can be set up as the start to a workflow. Anyone that fills out that form will automatically be enrolled in it. Setting up a workflow is a great way to nurture leads, make them feel important, and supply them with answers and information that they want. A workflow would be set up something like this:

Enroll in workflow by filling out form A > 2 days later an email is sent to lead thanking them for downloading your content offer and supplying the download link again > 2 days after that they get an email asking if they found it helpful & providing a call-to-action for another offer 

The goal of this workflow is to get your lead to fill out another form (the additional form should have additional fields that were not included in the first form that help you identify if this is a good lead for you. There can be as many steps as necessary, and each step should be customized to fit your business and leads.

EXPERT TIP: Be smart about the goal that you set up for each workflow and analyze your success at each stage of the workflow. If your leads are not moving past a certain point, reevaluate that point.

3. Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the process of assigning numerical values to each action that a lead could take. This could include a Facebook like, email click, form fill, etc. No matter what you're using to manage your leads, there is a lot of information that you can gather by lead scoring. It will give you the ability to identify the leads that are closest to becoming a customer so that they can be focused on first. It can also help you identify if someone is further away from closing than you may have thought. Statistics don't lie. 

EXPERT TIP: You can assign positive and negative values to help you determine good and bad leads. 

4. CRM

A CRM system is vitally important to lead nurturing. You can't nurture leads if you don't know anything about them. In our eyes, a CRM is mandatory no matter what business you're in. Whether you use Base CRM, Salesforce, Zoho, or our favorite, HubSpot CRM...USE SOMETHING! And please - don't try to do it in Excel. HubSpot is a FREE CRM. You literally have no reason not to use it.

Closing the sale is the part of the process that gets the most attention (it is, of course, the end goal), but with most businesses, rushing for the close before someone is ready can end up ruining the potential sale. As with every part of the sales journey, it's important to be helpful. There is a part of the journey that being helpful includes being promotional, but it's important to get a good understanding of your leads before taking that approach. Sending your lead promotional information like pricing, package information, vendor comparisons, etc. is great content, but only to those that are ready for it.

In our next post in this series, we'll discuss delighting your customers so they become promoters!

Don't want to wait for the next blog post?

Get more information about Inbound Marketing Services today! Find out if it is right for your business!

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