Posts Tagged seo

Is Direct Mail Marketing Dead?

There is a lively discussion going on over at MSPmentor regarding the effectiveness of using Direct Mail in general marketing efforts. In his post, Joe talks about Nine Lives Media Inc.'s (MSPmentor's parent) Google Adwords account and how they utilize it, and then writes "But when I walked down my driveway and reached into my physical mailbox today, I pulled out a catchy direct mail piece from Google. It was a four-page overview that offered me more tips on using Google Adwords. I’m keeping the mailer and plan to give it a closer read tonight."

Joe goes on to inquire in his post "What type of return on investment can direct mail offer?". You can read his entire post by clicking the link above, along with the excellent feedback from his respondents. I also posted the following feedback:

Joe, great post – and all respondents, excellent feedback.

Just to recap the feedback and add a few thoughts, it’s all about the number of marketing touches delivered – not only to prospects, but also to existing clients that fills the pipeline. And utilizing a variety of vehicles to conduct the marketing touches is key, along with delivering a compelling message that piques interest and generates curiosity, as well as the timing of the message. 

The IT Solution or Managed Services Provider marketer needs to deliver their marketing messages in the way that the recipient prefers to receive them – hence direct mail letters, postcards and telemarketing efforts should be included in a marketing strategy along with email marketing, newsletter marketing, pay per click advertising (or organic SEO to improve search results), and newsletters, case studies and business-win messaging. 

All messaging should be created to generate interest, pique curiosity and recommend a call to action – and always lead the recipient back to the marketer’s website. The website is hands-down the most effective and cost-effective marketing tool at the marketer’s disposal – when designed, positioned and utilized correctly. 

The website should have specific landing pages for each individual marketing campaign – if the Provider is marketing VoiP, then the landing page their messages direct visitors to should be a specific VoiP landing page designed to continue the marketing message and facilitate the conversion process from prospect to qualified prospect – not the home page, and the landing page has to continue to influence visitors to a call to action – pick up the phone, fill out a contact form in exchange for a return call, case study or white paper, sign up for a newsletter, webinar, event, etc. 

All of these activities are designed to capture contact information to be used in follow up efforts. And video is the next frontier – all appropriate pages should have a short video that can be tagged and indexed by search engines, helping in SEO efforts and providing a more compelling way to deliver a marketing message to visitors and prospects. 

Live Chat is definitely an effective, highly recommended addition to the website as well, as it allows the ability to immediately interact with a visitor and collect information about what they are doing on the site, in order to offer assistance or qualify them for the product or service they are currently browsing. 

For existing clients, the marketer should also create and execute a continual retention campaign, messaging not only the products and services they offer that they may not have had the opportunity to share with their clients, but also business wins (good for both prospects and clients), reflecting their success, growth and capability to deliver these additional services, along with case studies and newsletters.

An important element to include in a retention campaign are holiday, birthday and special anniversary messages for their clients – this shows the Provider cares about the client and is keeping track of meaningful events in their business. 

One more thought – appointment setting and thank you cards and emails also provide additional marketing touches for prospects and clients, and continue to reflect the image and professionalism of the Provider – this is especially beneficial during the pre-sales and sales process for new prospects. 

Whichever marketing vehicles and messaging the marketer settles on for a new campaign, they then must schedule each event that comprises their marketing campaign in a logical manner that continues to generate interest, pique curiosity and prepares the prospect for the sales process that is to come – we don’t want to execute all of our marketing tasks on the same day, but rather create a long-term campaign to continue to touch our prospects and clients numerous times. 

So a representative campaign may look like this: 

  • Day 1 – Send Postcards/DM (we prefer oversize postcards that stick out of a pile of mail) 
  • Day 3 – Send Email 
  • Day 4 – Telemarketing Call-Down 
  • Day 7 – Send Newsletter 
  • Day 9 – Send Postcard/DM 2 (vary the message, same solution/service) 
  • Day 12 – Send Email 2 (vary the message, same solution/service) 
  • Day 13 – Telemarketing Call-Down 2 

During this campaign, it is expected that the prospect will visit the marketer’s Website. This is an opportunity for them to exchange their contact information for a white paper or case study, review the information about the solution or service that drove them there, watch a short video and potentially engage with the Provider during a Live Chat session. 

Now count all of those marketing touches – the fact is that the more we touch our prospects and clients, the better chance we have that they will do business with us. This is why we should never stop marketing, and include direct mail as well as all other types of marketing vehicles we can muster to help us touch our prospects and clients in as many ways as possible through our marketing campaigns. 

This is an extremely important topic, Joe – thanks for covering it. Let’s face it – without an effective lead generation strategy, sales suffer. That’s why MSP University delivers a full 3 days of Marketing education and training covering these topics in depth at our free Managed Services Boot Camps, with the next one in Nashville on April 6th-8th. Visit www.mspu.us to register today!

See you in Nashville!

Erick Simpson
MSP University
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Posted in: Boot Camps, Marketing, Sales, Sales & Marketing

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Targeting and Tracking Website Visitors for Managed Services Providers

Managed Services Providers are in a unique position where they not only provide certain services to clients but also benefit by applying the same techniques within their own businesses. Clients who utilize Managed Services count on their provider to offer a full range of services from security and data backup to managing their website.  Successful businesses understand that having an online presence is necessary to remain competitive.  Managed Services Providers must not only know how to promote their own businesses on the web but also provide the same services to the clients with whom they have achieved Trusted Advisor status – true business partners that entrust them with numerous facets of their business for improvement. 

Despite the fact that millions of people use the Internet daily to find products, services, news stories or other tidbits of information, many of these users do not know exactly what happens when you enter information into a search engine.  The same applies to business owners and managers who may not have to time or interest to learn how visitors get to their website.  This is where knowledge in search engine optimization (SEO) comes in handy.  But before you tackle SEO, there are other important factors to consider.  Before you can reap the most rewards from your website, you must first know a few things about the people that are visiting your site and the people you want to visit your site.  After all, if the wrong people are getting to your website, neither party benefits.  Ask the following three questions before you focus on SEO:

  • Who is visiting your website? 
  • Are the customers visiting your website the type of customer your sales team would try to sell products or services to?
  • Are there changes you can make to your website that would weed out the inquiries that are not resulting in sales?

Basically, you want to determine if your website design and content are attracting the right visitors to the site.  The goal is to provide potential clients with information needed to make an informed decision as to whether or not they can benefit from your services, and provide additional supporting information (such as testimonials and case studies) that can build credibility in these prospects.  

How are people finding your website?

Another important piece of information that you will need to know is how visitors are arriving at your website.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • Ask new clients how they found your website.  You are specifically interested in learning what keywords or phrases they entered into a search engine to find your company.
  • Ask established clients what words or phrases they would enter into a search engine to find your company. 
  • Use online analytics tools such as Google Analytics to track how people are finding your website. 

Once you have this basic information you are now in a better position to focus on SEO.  Experiment with different keywords or phrases and track the results.  Your goal is to use the information and tools at your disposal to target qualified customers and position yourself so those customers can easily locate your website.

Erick Simpson
MSP University
Check out our FREE live training schedule here
Visit our Mobile Site here
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Join MSP University FREE for all things Managed Services

MSP University helps solution providers succeed…period.

Posted in: General Business, Marketing

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