In our last webinar, we had a great discussion on Facebook Lead Gen Tactics for the Smart Marketer. LeadSquared’s Digital Marketing Manager, Meenu Joshi ran the session. Those of you who missed it, you can find a summary of some session below:

View the Recording

Here are some of the questions that were asked by the attendees:

Question 1

Is it possible to show the ad to a Facebook group only?

Yes, it is possible. You can select the group of audience for whom your ads can be served and you can do this by selecting them from the “Audience Targeting” options.

Question 2

What do you mean by lookalike audience?

Lookalike audience is a set of audience who matches a list of people you have already created (looks like your custom audience – matching interests, behaviours, and so on).

Question 3

What are the full forms of CPV and CTR?

  • CPV is Cost-per-view
  • CTR is Click-through rate

Question 4

What is CTA

A call-to-action (in short also known as CTA) is an image, text or a button that ‘calls’ and prompts visitors to take an ‘action’. Call to action buttons aid in eliciting a response from website visitors. “Click to know more” or “Register now” are a few examples.

Question 5

What are options for organic leads from Facebook if we have a lot of fans?

Here are two options for generating organic leads from Facebook:

  • You can keep sharing interesting content from your Facebook account. Share content that people will engage with.
  • On the cover image on your timeline, there’s an option to put a CTA there. Using the CTA, you can send people to your website. It’s free and you can ask them to take a particular action like, buy something, sign up, subscribe, etc.

Question 6

Is it okay to run multiple campaigns for the same audience?

If you are running multiple campaigns for the same audience, try to have it as different ads instead of different campaigns because if you run it as different campaigns, they will compete with each other. If you run it as ads, then also they will compete, but it will be better that way. You would at least be able to figure out which particular ad or offer is working better for you.

Question 7

How can we send a message to all those who have liked our Facebook page?

I don’t think it is possible to send bulk messages. You can surely post a message on your wall for everyone to see, but I doubt you can send private messages to everyone together.

Question 8

How can we ensure that our post reaches at least half of our audience on Facebook (at least 50 percent)? 

This goes way back. Initially, if you ran some sort of ‘page like’ campaign, where you did not do the targeting right, you would have got a lot of likes that are not relevant to you. Those people would not engage with you either. The first thing to do is to try and get rid of these unwanted, fake or bot likes. This webinar on Facebook Ad Updates will guide you through the process.

Facebook Lead Gen

Question 9

How can we make sure that two of our campaign are not conflicting with each other?

When you are creating your campaigns, the campaign creation would depend on the sort of objective you are choosing. When you go to the ‘Ad Set’ level, you would be choosing different targets, demographics there. If you do that, in that manner, your campaigns will not conflict with each other.

Question 10

Is it necessary to run paid ads on Facebook? Can’t we manage through unpaid activities?

It’s not necessary to run paid ads on Facebook. If you are able to get good engagement on your Facebook page, then you don’t really need to. But if your aim is generating good leads for what you are trying to sell, then I think you will have to spend some money on it. If you run it properly, it is worth because Facebook ads are not at all expensive. You just have to monitor them really well.

Question 11

Can you elaborate on Business Account Manager?

You can create a Business Account yourself. It would make sense for you if

  • you manage a lot of different Facebook pages, or
  • a lot of people in your team have the admin rights to your Facebook business page, or
  • you just want to monitor how stuff works.

There’s no harm in signing up for it. You will definitely be able to get a better view of it.

Question 12

What is the minimum budget to start off with for paid ads?

You need to make sure that the budget is double of the cost of one-click. You can start off with something as low as 1$-2$. For good results, you’ll have to do the reverse calculation.

Question 13

Can we save our Facebook ads as we do in Google Adwords, if we don’t want to add payment at that time?

No, you can’t run the ads and then add a payment method.

Question 14

Can I permit/assign more than one candidate to be the Ads Manager?

Yes, you can give others permission to create ads in your page. You can choose that from the ‘Ad Settings’ and pick the role you want him/her to play. This person can then login through his own account and then create ads for the page. He/she need not use your account for it.

Question 15

Do we have a LeadSquared form which we can use in Facebook for surveys or lead generation?

You can use LeadSquared landing pages in Facebook ads. We have an app as well that allows you to pull a landing page from elsewhere onto Facebook itself. However, the latter is not a very good option because ‘Custom Tabs’ take a long time to load. Instead, send people off to a landing page and get their details from there.

What did I get out of a vacation in Thailand? You would think amazing memories and brilliant pictures!

You are right. For a place that looks like this, its not a big deal.

Conversion Optimization Tips

But being a marketer, I also got a few interesting conversion optimization strategies. It’s true!! If you look closely, all popular travel destinations have one thing in common (other than clueless tourists) – mind blowing marketing strategies that result in great conversion. My trip to Thailand was no different and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!

It happened at Bangkok airport…

I had just finished collecting my boarding pass and was heading for security check to leave for Phuket. Right then, a gentleman in a very formal outfit and sporting various important looking badges stopped me and asked to see my passport. I immediately handed it to him along with my boarding pass. He quickly checked the flight timings and then asked me whether it was the first time I was travelling to Phuket. When I said yes, he exclaimed enthusiastically and told me that I was going to have a lot of fun. He spoke of the various activities I can do there and how many tourists actually miss out on doing stuff or get fleeced because they don’t have the right information. He also pointed out a tourism desk a few paces away and offered to take me there to know more.

Let’s discuss what just happened here.

Requesting the right information

He asked me for my passport!

Had he asked where I was going, or my name or something as mundane as whether it was my first time in Thailand, I would have given a vague answer and brushed him off to be on my way.

Had he requested for some more complicated information, like my itinerary or a ticket print out, I would have had to fish for it in my handbag (which let me tell you would have taken forever) and again lost interest quickly.

Worse, had he asked if I was travelling alone, I would have been properly creeped out and beat a hasty retreat.

That is lesson numero uno for us.

Asking the right information, which your prospect can supply with ease. This of course applies to the lead capture forms that appear on site. Leads might not want to share their weight or their examination marks or their salary details at the first go! Asking a lot of information that might not be handy, or information they might not be comfortable sharing would either result in drop offs or a frustrating user experience. You can question them to your heart’s content if they book a free consultation with you. Till then, less is more!

Conversion Optimization- correct landing page

The information should also make sense to you!! From my passport and boarding pass, he easily knew where I was going, how I was getting there and that it was indeed my first time (no stamping see?!). Similarly, getting the contact and name of your lead might make more sense than asking for half their bio-data and their grandmother’s name. So, forms with less fields. Got it?

Requesting at the right place 

What do you think would have happened had he spoken to me before I collected my boarding pass? Or after I have reached the boarding gate? Or infact, outside the airport? Why, I would either be too preoccupied to give him my attention or he would not have been able to know my destination (no boarding pass then, yeah?) or even worse, I would have been too far away to walk to that tourism desk nearby.  In any case, I would become a lost opportunity.

To relate this to your online lead capture strategy, take a look at the image below.

Conversion optimization - cta

The take away my dear marketer is that your lead capture forms and CTA should be strategically positioned. Do not place a CTA for an analytics course registration in a page that talks about lead generation. Is that what you want to find after you read this post (am going to go with No.)?! Place it where they are more likely to click on it. Place it where they can see it.  Place it where it gives you maximum benefit. That is a key to capturing the most leads.

Presenting the right way

Would you handover your passport to just anybody at the airport?! A man wearing shorts and torn tee? Someone looking scruffy and like he hasn’t bathed in days? Well, I sincerely hope not. And the majority of your leads can also be credited with that much common sense.

Nobody would want to give away personal details to a website that doesn’t have enough credibility or that looks amateurish. Are you in the travel or hospitality business? Then get TripAdvisor certification. In the health and wellness business? Get reviews from customers. In the education industry? Certification from schools or education boards might do the trick… and so on.

Building credibility for conversion optimization

Making a good first impression matters! Something like that suit and badges that gives you an air of authority and credibility. You get one shot at it. So make it count!

Providing the right information

See how he engaged me by providing intelligent information? He spoke at length about the activities that I can do there and what I would generally miss out on. Let me tell you, I am a smart traveler. That means I read up about every single thing there and am well armed with information, especially when I go to a place for the first time (or because of it). So I would have known had he been stringing me along!

Your leads would be no different. Like Ogilvy famously said “The customer is not a moron – she is your wife”. Credit them with some basic intelligence and accept the fact that they might already know what you are telling them. Make sure you give them correct information. Ensure that your lead engagement happens with information that actually adds value. Not only will they be more inclined to trust you but they would be more liable to convert.

Respecting choice 

The best thing I liked about the whole debacle was that he offered me a choice. He told me that he could possibly help me, pointed out how and waited for me to make up my mind.

That is the learning here. Some of your leads don’t want to lose weight now, or get started on becoming a whole new themselves. They might not want to learn that new course right away or plan for their future that minute. And that’s OK. Give them the luxury of making that decision, be polite about it and be courteous enough to respect their choice.

That means, smart – alec options like “I shall remain uninformed for now” are not advised. Keep it simple. Be nice, but not banal. Like so –

Conversion optimization

Try nurturing them with information instead of stuffing your offer down their throats. Chances are that they would convert later and be happier about it. Otherwise, they could feel hustled into it and have morning-after regrets. Don’t you think so?

Well, the rest is history! I said “Yes”. I was ushered to their travel desk and was provided with more information, like pricing, the itinerary and so on and eventually opted for their package (they gave me awesome discounts and a free tour as well!). To top it all, they delivered! And made an impression on me, that was deep enough for me to write about.

My dear readers, they just took the trophy home!

And you can too! These strategies are simple enough to be adapted to your business with minimum cost and drastically improve conversions that will make people wonder about your conversion optimization strategies. The icing on the cake? You didn’t have to travel half way across the world for them…You’re welcome.

Also read:

In our last webinar, we discussed how to optimize your Google Adwords campaign for lead gen success. The session was followed by an interesting discussion on benefits and best practices for marketers using Google Adwords to generate leads. The attendees had several questions, most of which were answered by Adwords expert and co-founder of AdNabu, Salil Panikkaveettil. In case you missed it, you can watch the webinar recording here:

View the Recording

Here’s a summary of some of the questions asked during the session

Question 1

Can we run Adwords campaigns for Adsense approved website?

You can but make sure it does not violate any terms and conditions by Google. However, mostly I have not seen this work since the average CPC from search ads are always high compared to what you can generate from AdSense.

Question 2

Can you explain why running search and display search together is a bad practice, if possible with an example? We are into a service which is very niche. In keywords, we do mention the location but still get huge impressions from even 2 tier cities. How can I save on those impressions?

You might need to look at the location targeting and campaign. Most probably, by default, the campaigns are run worldwide. If you want to reduce that coverage to specific cities, you can specify those cities in the location targeting. You’ll find it in the Campaign Settings tab.

Let’s say you only want to focus on Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai – select these four cities in the location targeting and only people from those locations can see your ad.

how to optimize your google adwords campaign

Conversion ratios of search and display campaigns are vastly different. It’s better to run them as separate campaigns to optimize them better. Here’s an example: If you are advertising for ‘hotels,’ your ad might show up on sites having content related to hotels which might not convert as well as people who search for it online.

Question 3

What is smart pricing feature in display?

Here’s DailyBlogTips answer: Smart pricing is a feature that Google has inside its AdWords platform (which is where advertisers can buy clicks and impressions both on Google search results and on the content network) to ensure that advertisers will get a good value for their money. You can find more information about it here.

Question 4

How to improve CTR?

I recommend the following two strategies:

  1. Have an ad that is very relevant to what the user is searching for: Look at the search trend the keyword might trigger for. Although your keyword might say Apple iPhone, the searches for the ad that will trigger, can be a lot of things, like Apple iPhone 5, Apple iPhone 6 and so on. One good way to improve a CTR is to have an ad that is highly relevant to what the user is searching for.
  2. Use the extensions: Extensions will enable you to get more real estate for your ads. If you are using site-link extensions or call out extensions, your ad will look much more prominent, than your competitor’s. Extensions will help in increasing the chance of people clicking on it and getting you a higher CTR.

Example of Site-link Extensions:

how to optimize your google adwords campaign

Example of Call-out Extensions:

how to optimize your google adwords campaign

Question 5

How can AdWords violate the guidelines in tech support related business?

Google is cracking down on tech support advertisers because of high fraud rate. Some advertisers can get whitelisted, but it is slightly difficult.

Question 6

I am running two types of campaigns. One is search and the other is display. The problem is that I am getting huge impressions and clicks from the display campaign but not from the search campaign and the keywords bid is so high. In this case, what would be good for IT offshoring services?

Before display, run search campaigns. Once you have run search campaigns for a while, you can run display campaigns. However, in display campaigns, make sure your targeting is really relevant, otherwise, you’ll get a lot of unwanted random clicks. Once you have run display for a while, you can try remarketing.

Question 7

Is landing page always necessary for Google ads? If not, what are the other alternatives for landing page?

There are ‘call only’ ads.

Question 8

What are the best marketing research practices before AdWords Campaign creation?

You need to have a proper strategy on how to group keywords together, how to group ad groups together and how to create campaigns.

For instance, if you are an advertiser and you are selling phones, you can create different campaigns for different brands. So Apple could be one campaign, Samsung could be another campaign, and in the ad groups, you can specify the individual models.

Inside the Apple campaign, there could be Apple iPhone 5, another could be Apple iPhone 6, and so on. Inside these ad groups, you’ll have only the keywords which are related to Apple iPhone 5 – like ‘buy Apple iPhone 5’, ‘best Apple iPhone price’ and so on.

In other words, you can create ads which are very relevant to what people are searching for. You don’t want to be in a situation where user is searching for Apple iPhone 6 and you are showing a generic ad of ‘buy an Apple iPhone.’ You can be more specific and take the user to a landing page which talks about Apple iPhone 6 rather than just Apple iPhone. This is more about the campaign creation part.

I’d also suggest you always use Phrase and Exact more than Broad and if you are very keen on using Broad, use Broad Match Modifier than the Broad Match Type. Here are a few other pointers:

  • Use all match types
  • Use negative keywords
  • Have less keywords per ad group
  • Have highly relevant ads
  • Always have multiple ads in an ad group
  • Always use extensions

What is also important is understanding what your user wants and creating the strategy around that. Group them appropriately in your campaigns. For example, in case of an education business, the same person may search for free test papers and some other products for competitive examination. Now, the intent is different in both the searches and therefore, the ad needs to be served appropriately.

Question 9

What are best competitor analysis practices for AdWords, unlike natural SERP results for determining the Organic SEO competition? Is it keyword analysis or any other practices? 

There are tools, like SpyFu that allow you to do that. Within Adwords, go to Campaign / Ad Group Tabs and look at Auction insights report. There, you will find who else is bidding for that keyword and how it is performing. Within keyword search also you’ll come to know how many people are searching for that keyword. If there’s more competition, bids will be higher.

Question 10

How can you make the URL builder work so that we can track the keywords performance?

In the URL builder form, you will notice certain compulsory fields that you will have to fill up. (See below)

how to optimize your google adwords campaign

If you are using Campaign Term (marked above), you’ll be able to identify which keywords are bringing you more traffic.

Question 11

Where do we begin for good lead generation by Google AdWords?

Identify the keywords first. Look at keywords which your potential customers might be searching for online.

Question 12

How effective are Google Adwords for quality B2B lead generation for professional services?

I have seen advertisers use Google Adwords successfully for professional services. But the catch here is that sales cycle is slightly longer. You might be able to generate leads but the conversion of leads into sales might take longer than a B2C provider.

However, it’s important to know that people are still actively searching for your product. So it makes sense to be in front of your audience who are searching about your features, about your competitors, about you in particular, or something that can be related to your field.

In B2B, the sale cycle tends to be longer. However, it’s not only about generating leads and closing leads, there is a potential of building relationships, sharing past experiences, case studies and so on, all of which will contribute in making a sale.

If your ticket size in a B2B space is small and you spend a lot more money in generating high-quality leads, then you might want to rethink that strategy. But otherwise, if you are getting people to your website or landing pages and generating leads, then you should be able to use variety of lead nurturing techniques to make sure you are in front of those potential customers even if they are not ready to buy from you, at that time.

Question 13

Is Facebook advertising good for lead generation?

I have seen some advertisers crack Facebook well. It really depends on what you are advertising. If it is a product users can buy casually, like t-shirts, Facebook might work really well.

Question 14

If I have a new website, for which ad type I should go PPC or PPM

Go for PPC as you are paying for performance than just impressions.

Question 15

Which type of keywords are best for affiliate marketing, Broad, Exact or Phrase?

Broad will give a huge reach compared to Exact or Phrase, but it might give you a lot of irrelevant clicks also. A better way is to use a hybrid approach. Use Exact, Phrase and Broad in your account. There are some best practices while doing so, such as, use of negative keywords to reduce competition between match types.

how to optimize your google adwords campaign

Question 16

I have a services business in Chennai, but my target group is NRIs. How do I choose location and keywords?

It is a slightly difficult situation. If it’s a real estate product, you can choose keywords with Chennai in it. For example, “Apartments in Chennai” and location as all locations with India in negative. In that case, your ads will only be shown to people outside India searching about Chennai.

Show ads for keywords that have the location in it like ‘real estate Chennai’, ‘apartments Chennai’, etc and the targeted location in your campaign setting should be USA and not India. India should essentially be a negative keyword there. Whenever a person in USA searches for ‘real estate in Chennai’, only then show your ad.

However, it’s important to understand that the way people search for outside India might be completely different from what they are doing in India.

Question 17

What type of keyword matches do you suggest for an e-commerce website when the targets are both branding and lead generation?

Use a hybrid approach. Have separate campaigns for branding and lead generation.

Question 18

In display network, how do our extensions work?

Social extensions (Google plus followers) might work (Google decides this). Most other extensions are specific for search network.

Question 19

For existing Google Adwords account, the user doesn’t have any promotional coupon offers?

Not now.

Question 20

I’m a newbie at a startup. Which keywords should I use: Small and Medium Businesses or SMB? (also applying to expansions and short forms in general)

You should use both.

Question 21

Where will I get the option to select the type of keywords?

By default, all keywords are in Broad, adding double quotes makes it Phrase. For example: “best hotels”; adding square brackets makes it Exact match – [best hotels]. For BMM, add + in front of words – +best +hotels.

Question 22

Can we use dynamic keywords depending on the search term?

Dynamic keyword injection essentially replaces your text in ads with what user is searching for. For example, if ad text is {KeyWord:Best Hotels in Bangalore} and the user is searching for ‘Best Hotels in Koramangala’, your ad will show Koramangala instead of Bangalore. You should always keep caution as you wouldn’t want to use dynamic keyword injection for competitor keywords.

Question 23

How should you check to see if your ads are still running on Google?

Go to Tools > Ad Preview > Diagnosis. There, you can check whether your ads are running at a particular location or not for keywords of your choice.

Health and wellness websites - online presence tips

Yes, you read that right! It’s time for change folks… and I don’t mean that nursery rhyme (or even the new google logo). I am referring to your online presence. Being in the Health and Wellness business, I am sure you are wondering “Why?! Most of my leads are walk –ins or word of mouth referrals anyway”. Well, the reason for that could be that you don’t have a convincing online presence yet! Increase your online footfalls and watch your lead generation soar up! Do these five simple things for your health and wellness websites, to begin with and create a Legen-Dary presence online! Want to know more?! Well, of course you do! So read on..

When was the last time you picked up the yellow pages to look up something? Wouldn’t you rather google that on your mobile phone? Well, if it is that is how it works for you, you can be reasonably sure that it is the same for the majority of your audience. Which means, to find a spa or a salon in the locality, most users would just punch in the requirements in their phones and ask Google to fetch it. Google has become the world’s favorite go to guy and if you are not ranked there, chances are that you won’t be found. So get a Google My Business account first. Its free, it’s simple and it gives you visibility. It puts you on the map, quite literally and acts like a ready reckoner for leads to check out your basic info (like your contact details, location, work hours etc.). This is how a knowledge graph for a business that is ranked on Google My Business looks like.

Health and wellness websites - online presence pointers

A huge plus is that if your lead is using a mobile phone (as we just established they might be), then he can directly call you through the listing, thus making it a lot simpler for him. For a business that depends on calls from leads, enabling easy calling would be wise don’t you think?

Now dear reader, we seem to have forgotten an important fact: you need to be listed in the first page of Google organic search. Let’s face it, no user takes the time to look beyond the first page. How to get there you ask? Well, choosing the right keyword is a start. Between these two keywords “Spa” and “Best Spa”, which one would you choose? That’s right – “Best spa” would be more appropriate. Don’t worry, there are certain tools that can help you with it. Check out Google’s keyword planner (it’s free) to begin with.  Here is an example of how Keyword planner can help you:

Health and wellness websites - tips for online presence

This shows you that, on an average, users search the term “best spas in bangalore” 210 times in a month. It also tells you that not many people are using that as a keyword (as competition is medium) and a bidding price is suggested. Cool eh? Others tools like Wordstream, Spyfu and Wordtracker are also helpful (these ones are paid).

Ok, time for a home truth: Not all Health and Wellness websites that are listed on the first page get clicked! Those that have an attractive listing are the ones that the users tend to choose. This means that your work of wooing your customers begin right from the time your name comes up on the google search. This means that you have to make a great first impression. This means that you have to put a lot of thought into what you want the user to see. As a rule of thumb, check these two aspects first:

  • The meta title and meta data description: It should be catchy, precise and simple. It should tell the user right then what you are all about.For eg. “SPA XYZ – For the beautiful you” would generate more interest than just a bland “SPA XYZ”. The same goes for the meta data…am sure you catch my drift.
  • Including site links: This is a bunch of useful links that appear right below your meta data description. It allows the user to directly click on the link he is interested in, without having to go through the website. Naah, don’t scoff. It does make a difference. Remember how drop-offs keep increasing with every click? Well, this is a sure shot way to avoid that. Make it easier for the user to access links that will push him toward conversion (like “Services”, “Contact us”, “Testimonials”). The simpler it is for him, the more likely he is to convert.

Here is an example of a business that highlights the above aspects.

Health and wellness websites - online presence pointers

Riding the social media wave

Successful online presence cannot be achieved without tapping into the social media. Interesting and frequent tweets on Twitter, well placed ads and posts on Facebook can go a long way in boosting your image.  Not only will your leads use it to check your popularity, it will also increase your credibility factor. Remember, your audience get to read opinions and reviews from other customers who can give them an unbiased perspective.

Health and wellness websites - tips for online presence

Tell me frankly, would you want to pass up this advantage?

Ruling the third party sites

Well, social media advertising is all fine and dandy, so long as you have the right strategy in place. It requires a hefty investment of time, money and technical know – how to pull off a successful campaign. The good news is, you can get a similar kind of visibility, without such investments. That’s right! Number of  websites have been specifically designed for users to catalog their experience, rate the establishment, read what others have shared and so on. All you need to do is gently nudge your customers to leave a review about you in those sites and you are done! A word to the wise though: you might sometimes get bad reviews. Instead of ignoring them or deleting them, try to address the issue and mention that you shall look into the problem. Increases that credibility factor again!

Health and wellness websites - tips for online presence

Numerous third party websites also provide listings of spas and salons. They also help the user to book a spa appointment or find a salon suitable for their needs. Being listed in such websites that are relevant for your business is crucial. It will definitely bring in some leads and can just be the edge that helps you one up your competition.

Yes, I know what you are thinking “Do these simple things really matter?!”. The truth is, YES! They do!! They can have a huge impact on your online presence. The fact that they are simple doesn’t make them useless, it just makes you lucky!

So, go ahead tweak your online presence and watch your lead generation improve! Also, tell us what you think about it!!!

Spa marketing strategy - Marketing software

In our last webinar “The Revenue Formula – Sales and Marketing Alignment,” we had a very good discussion about how both the teams can be aligned to work towards the same objective – revenue.  In case you missed it, you can watch the recording here

View the Recording

We got really great questions as well that I have compiled in this post:

Question 1

For start-ups which are sales heavy, how long should marketing keep nurturing the lead, keeping in mind the revenue target for the year?

Now, this would depend on the individual business – the revenue goals you have come up with after doing a bottom-up analysis and the length of your average sales cycle. From your experience, you would know that maybe a course you are trying to sell typically sells in 20 days time. So, your marketing team should continue to send your leads value-adding content (relevant to their course of interest) for at least 20 days.

Now, it’s common sense that you shouldn’t send out emails daily – space them out. In the past we have seen that students (prospects for an education client) did not mind emails twice a week – in fact they look forward to it. That might not be the case for all business types.

Now, even after these 20 days pass by, you should keep on nurturing leads in some manner, because frankly, different leads would have different motivations and different urgency of buying things from you; so you can keep these people subscribed to your offer/newsletter list, and send them discounts and relevant content from time to time. So, unless you have disqualified a lead completely from your sales cycle, they should stay under your marketing team’s ownership.

According to the sort of budget you have, and the kind of automation/email marketing tool you have deployed, you’ll be able to send at least a few emails to them from time to time without messing up your sales budgets, so it should be all right.

Question 2

How to generate sales leads for a homeopathic treatment portal?

So, there can be multiple ways for you to generate sales-ready leads.

Offline media

I think homeopathy treatments should rely on traditional offline media as well – radio ads, newspaper ads etc, because there isn’t a set age group you are targeting – it transcends the demographic boundary that exists in say education businesses. The key though, is how well are you prepared to capture these leads, who reach out to you after seeing an ad in the papers, or after seeing a billboard – have a phone lead capture system in place for that. In any case, for healthcare services, people generally like to make a phone call, specially when they are trying a new service.

Online media – website

Coming to the online media, I looked at your website, and it’s pretty good in the sense that it has multiple relevant lead capture points – you have live chat, which is a very good idea for health portals, and you have multiple forms as well.

Now, you can allocate some advertising budgets based on the past trends you have seen – do you get high-quality leads from Adwords, Facebook, inbound phone calls?

Online media – Adwords

Now putting money on Adwords can be a good option as well. I have looked at search term report for “homeopathic medicine” and there are 27,000 searches worldwide.

Sales and marketing alignment webinar - Keyword analysis

You can make these keywords long tailed as well and bid on special kinds of treatments people might be looking for, for instance “homeopathic medicine for thyroid.”

You can also take Google trends’/adwords’ help to find more keywords worth bidding on:

Sales and marketing alignment - Related-Searches

Same applies for other advertising platforms as well.

Online media – blog

Now, the blog that you have maintained is also good – it’s updated regularly and is well laid out. However, what you are missing here is calls to action. For instance, when you are writing a post for diabetes, you can include an offer on the right side-bar that says “The do and do not guide for Diabetics.”

These are just a few points of course.

Question 3

How to bridge the gap between marketing pitch and sales pitch? The differences in both cause lots of miscommunication and low conversion.

Now essentially the pitch should be the same – along the lines of solving the prospective customers’ problems. The difference is in how it’s handled. Sales, for instance, would deal with immediate pain points, and marketing would handle all sorts of hesitations that exist even in the subconscious.

For instance, if you are asking people to invest in stocks, your sales people would tell them (in one-on-one conversations) that they’d be able to make more money, save up for their children etc. Marketing, instead of pitching anything directly would help sales alleviate these concerns by sending relevant content from time to time.

So, marketing in its “pitches” educates, while sales addresses the immediate concerns.

The first step in bridging this gap is having transparency in the system that you are using, for instance, something like LeadSquared. The sales actions should be directed based on what marketing communications are the leads interacting with. For instance, if you see that these people visited a particular course on the website, then your marketing communications should be automated based on that interest point, and sales pitches/follow-ups should make reference to that too.

With a proper system in place, and with an intelligent, collaborative team, you should be able to bridge this gap.

Question 4

How to reignite communication with the old leads for better closures?

You must remember that leads are never stale; they get stale only if they do not hear from you, or if they hear from you of stuff that’s of no value to them. So, nurture them with relevant content, and even if they are not ready to buy from you yet, you would definitely stay in their minds, and become a possible alternative for them when they decide to make the purchase.

In addition to normal nurturing, From time to time you can send across an offer email / SMS campaign, to get them excited. Referral rewards also work well for them. For instance, if you are selling to high school students, send them a reminder to join an online demo class, or refer a friend, and if they do, they get a recharge for 50 bucks. This offer would depend on the demography you are trying to target.

Question 5

What steps do we take to have closed loop reporting mechanism in a team with strong sales and marketing alignment?

Reporting would depend on the objectives of your sales and marketing teams, and if objectives are the same (revenue/more customers), then the reporting would be better aligned. So, make both the teams accountable for the revenue (unlike the traditional method, where marketing is responsible for the number of leads and sales is responsible for the number of closures).

Question 6

Have you noticed/come across a campaign where a strong correlation between lead score & actual conversions existed?

We have seen a couple of examples, and we believe that engagement score (that considers recency as well) is a better-correlated metric.

Having said that, one of our clients in the real estate industry has set a sales readiness threshold. When the lead score reaches 200, the leads are handed over to the sales team, because that’s when the leads become sales ready (according to his observation).

Now, to make sure that there’s a correlation between both, you have to be very careful about which particular activities you are including in lead scoring, and how much score these activities hold, and what’s the recency of these activities. The accuracy of your scoring-closure relationship would depend on how accurately you set the rules.

Question 7

Is it necessary to have an offer for online marketing content?

An offer is something you give to your leads in exchange for their information, or in exchange of an action (for instance, giving them an e-book if they tweet your offer). It isn’t necessarily a tangible offer, but some sort of a benefit.

So yes, when you are trying to generate leads for your business, you need to give away something of value in exchange, otherwise why would people trust you, why would people fill out your forms. It can be a demo, it can be an e-book, a whitepaper, a simple response to a chat question – everything here is an offer.

Question 8

Offline marketing channels have more touch points as compared to online marketing channels; is it true?

Yes, the touch points vary for both, but there’s a strong overlap between both the channels. For instance, discovery may be offline (if they see a billboard/newspaper ad), but they might approach you offline (by visiting in person) or online (email/call etc.).

Question 9

In your opinion for education, what should be the time period from offer to conversion?

The conversion cycle is usually long-drawn for education businesses (to compensate, you can generate a high lead volume by aggressively targeting multiple platforms).

The cycle would also depend on the kind of education you are trying to sell – if it’s an online part-time course (low ticket as well, say 10,000 bucks), then the time period for closure would be less; however, in case of high-ticket courses (10 lakh worth of MBA course) the time period may be higher.

Also, if it’s university education, then the prospect would check out several universities simultaneously; it’s not easy to dedicate 2/3/4 years of your life to a course without some research/decision-making time involved. The experience that your sales + marketing team combined is able to give him would affect his decision-making time as well.

Now in businesses like abroad education, where people get paid only after the student takes the admission, the sales duration can last to even a year.

Question 10

For a startup like us in the education sector in India, should we go to a marketplace like UDEMY or through our own platform or owned one like WizIQ?

I am a strong supporter of not building your house completely on borrowed land, so I would say that you should have your own platform as well. However, as these are established marketplaces, you can use them to test the waters and see how many takers you have. You should look at these platforms from “getting discovered” perspective – have a free / low cost product there. If you have takers, you’d be able to get their details and build credibility with them; then sell your actual product. Also, look at YouTube from this perspective.

For startups, it would do you a whole lot of good if you are listed on all the free listing platforms like Sulekha, Shiksha, Justdial and everything else out there.

Question 11

Marketing should help in segmenting the customer base and develop relevant content, right? But, could you share how to segment your customers in detail?

Segmentation should be by demographic details, firmographic details, interest details and intent details. You can identify the demographics of your prospects by looking at your Google Analytics data (also common knowledge about your own product and its takers).

Sales and marketing alignment - Know your Prospect

You could segment your customers based on geography, type of business, industry, source/channel from where they came (website, social media, ads, etc), size of the business and so on.

You should be able to capture some of the firmographic details in your landing pages and forms, and the interest/intent data would be captured by tracking the website visits, and interactions with the marketing communication – like email opens, e-book downloads etc. Again, by bottom-up analysis, you can find out which segment you should be concentrating the most on:

Sales and marketing alignment - Detailed-Revenue-Analysis

Intent based segmentation is also very important – some people might want a career hike for instance, because of which they are opting for a course. Their motivators would be highly different from people who are just pursuing higher education.

Question 12

How do you make sales guys accountable to the marketing guys?

It’s hard. But when you set the same objectives – revenue, and reward both the teams based on that metric alone, then both teams would be motivated to help each other out. Like, set a rule, that the sales person would get his incentives only if it clearly reflects which source/offer got him the conversion.

Have you ever wondered why your Facebook ads don’t perform as expected? It was well thought out, had enough funds behind it and it still wasn’t a success? One reason for that could have been the choice of the campaign objective. You see, creating effective Facebook ads involve picking the right objective. It is the first among numerous choices you have to make (for your Facebook ad, not in life) that can hugely impact your campaign performance. Yes, it can be a bit tricky. But lucky for you, this blog post is there to help!

Facebook provides you with nine objectives to choose from:

Objectives for Effective Facebook Ads

As you can see, the objectives seem pretty self-explanatory. I mean “Boost your posts” will obviously boost your post (duh!). And the helpful dialogue boxes that appear do explain a bit about the outcome that you can generate. However, the key question is, is that what you need? Will the outcome of boosting your posts really be a wise one for your business? Knowing that can make all the difference to your ad campaign! And that is what we are here to discuss, the whole nine yards.

Option # 1 – Boost your posts

Let us suppose that you are in the hospitality business and are managing a chain of hotels. Your primary need would then be not just generate awareness for your brand, but provide frequent reminders to your audience. Therefore, you have to increase the number of times people see your post. “Boost your posts” objective now makes sense for you! Your audience is constantly reminded of you and is more prone to think of you while considering booking a hotel. A classic example of this can be seen with the Deltin Group of Hotels. They put up a simple post with excellent images that showcased the kind of rooms they have. That post did not talk about a special package or a weekend getaway. It was a straightforward post that showed what the Deltin group of hotels had to offer. It was used to generate awareness. Which it did. In spades! That post got more than 200 shares and even a higher number of likes!!

Objective for effective facebook ads

The biggest advantage with boosting a post is that there is no word limit. This means that you get a lot more space to sell your brand than with a regular ad. So if you have opened up a new resort or hotel, all you have to do is create a post with attractive pictures and write an introductory note. Then boost this post so that a lot more people can see it and you are done!

However, this is not the only use case. Remember how companies encourage you to check-in on Facebook when you visit them? Well, how do you think they do that? Why, by boosting their posts of course! By repeatedly announcing the benefits of checking in with them, they gently nudge you into visiting them and checking in, and in the process build visibility for themselves.

Quick tip:  Remember to use high quality images and great visuals for this post. You want to make a great impression and woo your audience into visiting you!

Option #2 – Promote your page

Let’s face it, a lead who has seen your post will hesitate to invest in you unless you turn out to be credible. Credibility in the Facebook world means more relevant likes. This is where promote your page objective comes in: to primarily generate more likes so that you can build the trust factor.

Creating effective facebook ads

Having said that, let me remind you that the eventual goal of running Facebook ads is to capture more leads. Not likes. Therefore, if you are short on budget, this might not be a good option for you. Say that you run normal lead capture ads, people would like your page through that as well, right? You get both leads and likes with the same post! So, promoting your page would be a good option for new businesses getting started on Facebook to get relevant likes, through a list of select targeted audience. Check out this blog post: for more information on audience targeting.

Quick tip: Target your audience wisely, otherwise you will end up with Likes that are not relevant for your business. This will of course reduce the trust factor!

Option # 3 – Send people to your website

Let us consider another scenario: You have hit a milestone in your business (perhaps you won the best hotels or resorts award or you have the best reviews on third party sites) and you immediately post it one your website. The purpose of this exercise would be to ensure the people who visit the site know your achievements. But how would people know about this unless they visit your website? So you carry out an ad campaign through Facebook and the objective for this campaign would be to send people to your website.

In a nutshell, the objective “send people to your website” is used to generate more traffic so that your audience can come to know the changes you put up on site! They could come and check out your new blog post or see what accreditation you have or just browse around to get to know you better.

Quick tip: Ensure that your website is easy to load and navigate so that you don’t lose out on traffic that way. Even better, if you have lead capture points there – for instance I promote this webinar post, and if there is a webinar subscription box there, I will be able to capture this traffic as leads as well.

Objective for effective Facebook Ads

Option # 4 – Increase conversions on your website

Inbound lead generation happens with website conversions! So the objective “getting more conversions” is the most useful option for all marketers. Want more enrollments for a new course you are offering? Pick this objective. Need to promote an offer on your new tour package? This is what you need. Looking to encourage more patrons to visit your spa? Choose this one.  Those who see the ad would not only visit your website, but they would be more inclined towards filling up a form to avail the offer. Discounts for them; Conversions for you. Savvy?

Quick tip: The website pixel you generate should be pasted on the page that appears after the form is filled. Only this can capture true conversions.

Option # 5 – Get installs of your app

The ultimate objective for “Get installs of your app” objective, is lead generation. Imagine yourself having a language coaching center that helps students improve their vocabulary. How do you identify them though? I mean, students don’t generally announce “looking to strengthen vocabulary” in their interests or in their profile.

Well, this is where you get smart. You come up with an app that quizzes people on their language skills. That section of the population who are looking to improve their vocabulary will download it and be captured as leads. You can go on to make your promotions to them!

Objectives to creating effective facebook ads

Once people click on the “Install Now” button, they will be directed to the app store page. Before the take the final step, they will of course check out the app thoroughly. Therefore, it is essential that the App store page is optimized (ASO): the app description, the average rating, the icon, the screenshots, page alignment, the works. Otherwise inspite of the effective Facebook ad, people who visit the store will simply not download it. We don’t want that now, do we?!

(Source: Thank you for your informative post!)

Quick tip: Remember the more tech savvy part of the population install your app. They are your portals to the technologically handicapped section. Eg. A kid who downloads this app might show it to his elder brother and get him interested.

Option # 6 – Increase engagement in your app

Ever heard of one time wonders? For a particular period of time your new app is what everyone is talking about. It is the new shizz in town, till suddenly it is not. For people are no longer interested. To keep them with you dear reader, you should keep them engaged. Take for instance E-commerce companies like Flipkart. They keep announcing app only offers that ensures that people don’t get tired of it.

Increasing engagement through your app is also an amazing way to get repeat customers. Consider the same spa example as above. A customer who got a service from you is using the app less and less. You promote a special discount through the app for him and encourage him to try you out again – Lead to customer conversion ahoy!

Quick tip: You can use this as part of your lead nurturing strategy, but again, only if you have the budget for it!

Option # 7 – Raise attendance at your event

Increase attendance for your event is obviously to encourage participation at your event and cannot be considered an ideal lead generation strategy. I will tell you why. Suppose you have orchestrated a play and have created it as an event on Facebook page. You will promote this event to gain as much visibility as possible. The event page can be used for carrying out discussions about it, can show you who else is attending it and even allow you to invite friends (with a single click!). All in all, good publicity. However, to buy tickets for the said event, the visitors will have to go click on a separate link where the tickets are sold, which might again redirect them to another site. This means more steps to register for the event, resulting in drop offs with every added click. So lesser leads captured. Get it?   You will use this objective to gain more engagement and visibility for your event.

Objectives for effective facebook ads

Quick tip: Use this only increase visibility for your event not as a primary lead generation strategy

Option # 8 – Get people to claim your offer

Who doesn’t like free stuff, or at least things on discount? That is precisely the rationale that marketers use when they entice their audience to spend with them by introducing an offer. Assuming you are one of those smart marketers in e commerce who is looking to woo customers with great deals, the objective of your ad campaign would of course be to promote my offer. You paste the website from where you can redeem the offer, punch in an offer code and give a limit (if required) for the number of people who can redeem the offer. You can also specify a time line for this and you are all set to publish! Sit back and watch your audience clicking away at your offer and visiting your website to avail the discount.

Objective for creating effective Facebook ads

Objectives for effective facebook ads

Quick tip: This could be a great method to get new and repeat customers!

Option # 9 – Get video views

Remember what I said about page likes? About how it increases your credibility in the eyes of a skeptical lead? Well, another way to do that is to upload a client testimonial or video footage of your customers appreciating your services. It will help in improving your brand image and making a human connect. You can also add a Call to Action button under the video to encourage immediate sign ups. This means, by getting more video views, you target improving the credibility of your brand, getting better reach and more sign-ups, all in one go!

Quick tip: This objective is for people who have the budget for a good video or for travel businesses that can crowd source people’s experiences into a video.

There you go! A complete break-down of the various objectives so that you can create effective Facebook Ads. Try them out and let us know how they work for you.