Your team has been working hard at content marketing for the last twelve months and they’ve built up your mailing / email list, but do you know how good your list is? Once your team has collected all this data – people’s names, titles, company names, company sizes, interests – they should be mining your list for gold and finding leads, then passing them onto your sales team. Often times the marketing team does share this list with the sales team, but the sales team comes back and says that the people on the list were not good leads and this cycle ends ups repeating over and over and over again. Why? Because we don’t take the time to truly understand our lists.

Getting Sales and Marketing on the same side

Here are the three steps your sales and marketing teams can take to understand your lists and determine whether or not your list is solid gold or just gold-plated.

Identify your ideal clients

Knowing who your ideal clients are is crucial. The best way to identify these ideal clients is by taking a close look at who your best customers are today, which will then help you uncover your buyer personas. Once you have confirmed your buyer personas you will be able to determine who your ideal prospect is and who you should be targeting your content at. Every buyer persona has very specific content needs during the buying process. And when this is properly understood, you can use your content marketing strategy to your advantage by developing content that will gain trust and support from each of these types of buyers.

Analyze your email lists

  • Have your marketing team review your contact list.
  • Pull out all of the contacts that fall into one of your buyer persona categories. For example, if one of your buyer personas are IT Directors of companies with more than 100 employees, extract all contacts with IT Director as their title and company size of 100+ employees.
  • Add these contacts to a ‘Prospects’ list.
  • Take a look at where these contacts came from. Did they download some content from your website, then subscribe to your email list? If so, which content did they download? Did they subscribe when you met them at a tradeshow or other networking event? Did they connect with you on LinkedIn? Once you have determined where these prospects came from, create a plan to do more of these types of tactics.
  • Analyze their behaviour i.e. when did they last open an email, which emails did they open and which links did they click on.
  • Create an engagement report, which identifies the prospects who:
    • Opened at least one email in the last two months (if you send out email blasts at least twice a month) or one email in the last year (if you send out email blasts twice a year) or
    • Opened at least three emails in the last six months (if you send out email blasts at least twice a month)
  • Provide this report to your sales team.
  • Update this report 2 to 3 days after each email blast and send to your sales team.
  • Create another report which identifies the email topics that resonated most with your prospects and update your Editorial Calendar to reflect content that builds on these popular topics.

The above process can be accomplished with an email marketing platform like Constant Contact and Excel spreadsheets. However, Marketing Automation and CRM software can automate most of this process, save your teams a considerable amount of time and provide even more insight into how people engage with your site. You’ll not only be able to track when someone comes to your site, you’ll also be able to identify who they are (after they’ve filled out a form on your site), which pages they visit, how long they stay and when they come back.

If you don’t have a Marketing Automation tool, but are considering implementing one, get in touch with us or download our Marketing Automation Guide to determine whether or not your company is ready for and actually needs it.

Follow up with the contacts on your prospects list

From a sales perspective, contacts who engage with email blasts are considered warm leads. By doing some research on the companies and looking at the email topics the prospects engaged with you may get an indication of what their pain points are or at the very least you’ll have a conversation starter. Start with a personal email to each of the contacts listed in the report the marketing team provided you with, then give them a call 5 to 7 business days later if you haven’t heard back from them. Keep your CRM and/or report updated and share it with the marketing team. They will also keep updating and sharing the engagement activity with you, so you can keep following up with the email marketing leads.

Mining for gold is a process…

This is not a one and done thing, it’s a process. A process that requires constant testing, analysis and fine-tuning. Just like mining for gold, it takes a lot of hard work and you may dig down and come up empty handed a number of times, but when you hit the mother load it’ll be worth it in the end!

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