Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Lead capture landing page

A lead capture page is a type of post-click landing page differentiated by an optimized lead capture form. This form allows you to collect leads for your respective offers and nurture them down your marketing funnel.

To be successful collecting leads, your capture pages need to have the right balance of “ask” and “reward.” The “ask” are the form fields you use, and the “reward” is the offer you’re promoting.

A lead capture page that asks visitors for irrelevant information to the offer is abandoned because a poorly-optimized lead capture form is one of the leading causes of post-click landing page friction. Ideally, your form should not ask for more than basic contact information on the user’s first interaction with your business.

For example, if you’re offering a more top-of-the-marketing-funnel resource such as a free ebook or webinar; your lead capture form should have no more than three form fields. Anything more and you risk scaring them away on your first interaction. You can create a more detailed form if you’re offering something such as a free trial or a product demonstration. The length of the form also depends on how far down your customers are in your funnel.

Using a CRM

A customer relationship management (or CRM) tool is the largest and fastest-growing enterprise application software category, and worldwide spending on CRMs is expected to reach USD $114.4 billion by the year 2027.

The CRM that I currently use is HubSpot, primarily because its free tier is perfect for what I need. They also have paid options, but unless if you’re making close to $1 million in sales, it has little benefits. I have also use Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Copper, but none top HubSpot for its price and performance. My recommendation is to try them all under a trial and see what works for what you need for your business.

A CRM system can give you a clear overview of your customers. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s history, the status of their orders, outstanding customer service issues, and more.

You can even choose to include information from their public social media activity — their likes and dislikes, what they are saying and sharing about you or your competitors.

Mailerlite Refund Policy and Reviews

If you’ve ever tried to use an email marketing campaign software, they all have their policies and guidelines. But, should you be subjected to those policies if you never actually send a campaign? Obviously, I talk a lot about the can-spam act in my other entries and making certain that you don’t send an email to someone that never signed up to receive that email. It’s just wrong and can get your email or server shut down if it happens too often.

However, Mailerlite, a company that I recently tried uploading a list to, took this a step further with their policy. Mailerlite will charge you for the number of contacts you want to send your email to and then decide if they actually want to offer you their email marketing service. You see the problem? First, you pay Mailerlite, then they may let you play if THEY decide. Of course, at their discretion and if they like your email list. Because, if they don’t… well, there goes your money. No service is included on your way to a canceled account.

We recently tried to use Mailerlite by uploading an email marketing campaign and purchasing the 10k user tier from Mailerlite. Due to the number of contacts, Mailerlite support and policy needed to approve the 10k list first, which was ok and responsible for Mailerlite to protect their servers. But, here is where it gets manipulated by Mailerlite- in asking for a refund because the company did not default us to sending to a list of 10k, the company did not want to award us the refund. Instead of giving a refund because they couldn’t offer us what we wanted, they instead changed the target to, “well, tell us more about the people you intend to email in this list you have.” As if the list were important, which it should not have been considering we had only reached out to Mailerlite to cancel our account because we had no intentions of using it. At this point, we figured we’d tell them the list was from our partner company, which we found was against their policy. But, again, it shouldn’t matter because we never intended to use Mailerlite’s email marketing service at this point.

Instead of offering a refund, Mailerlite decides to take advantage of this opportunity and states they weren’t going to offer a refund because our list was not approved and went against their policy and refund policy. We understood and asked for a refund as no campaign was actually sent. At that point, Mailerlite continued to argue it was against their policy to provide a refund because the list we uploaded was no good and went against their policy.

Obviously, this didn’t make any sense considering no campaign was actually sent from Mailerlite and we had only uploaded a list of contacts and wanted to cancel the order and not actually use Mailerlite’s service at all. So, why would Mailerlite decide to not refund and then cancel our account for a service we never used and a Mailerlite policy/term we never broke. Where was the harm done? Moreover, why would Mailerlite manipulate the situation as if we hadn’t already asked for cancelation of the order.

My review for Mailerlite email service is 0/5 for their support and policies and fraudulent activity. It seems that Mailerlite’s policy is to steal money and give back at their discretion. Or, should we blame ourselves for telling Mailerlite the truth?

If you’re interested in Mailerlite as a service, use only their free tier. Do not give Mailerlite your money else you jeopardize your campaign and time again Mailerlite’s refund policy.

Organizing your data

Businesses of all sizes—regardless of industry, product, or service—are facing an increasingly complex situation when it comes to managing all of their data. Customer data can be especially difficult to manage; yet, it’s the most important type of data that a business owns.

What you should do to effectively manage all of your customer data is to Implement a CRM. That being said, simply signing up for a new piece of software (or switching CRMs) is no guarantee for success.

To reduce risk of failure and maximize the impact of customer data, forward-thinking businesses take a strategic approach by proactively organizing and centralizing their customer data.

One of the most challenging aspects of managing customer data is knowing the right way to structure it.

Creating an email list

An accurate mailing list of current customers is a goldmine. These lists are important as they provide leads for generating sales, testing new products, and providing feedback.

An email list is simply a list of emails that businesses have gathered from visitors or customers that either selected or would like to receive information, updates, discounts, and other details about your business in a digital format that is sent to their email inbox.

Email marketing is the best way to connect with customers. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

To take advantage of connecting with customers through your compiled email lists, you need to work on email list building, which is the act of getting more people to subscribe to your emails. The more you encourage visitors to subscribe to your email, the stronger your email list will be.

Cleaning your email list of leads

I recommend cleaning your email list every three months to start. Think of it as your quarterly cleaning. As your list gets bigger, shorten the intervals between scrubbings to keep up with the increase in volume.

In addition to setting specific timeframes for email list cleaning, you should also watch out for red flags that indicate your list is getting a bit bloated.

For example, your Open Rates Are Lower Than Ever. A low open rate suggests that many of your subscribers don’t want to read your marketing messages. There are many reasons that this happens; they may have selected another provider, already bought your product, or simply don’t need the service any longer. However, the reason doesn’t matter because you can’t control it. But, you can limit the fallout by cleaning your email list.

Before You Start Cleaning Your List, Check for Hard and Soft Bounces. There are two types of bounces in email marketing: soft and hard. A soft bounce indicates a temporary deliverability issue. Your email service should attempt to send the email again, and it will most likely go through.

Hard bounces, however, are bounces that never go through. The email address is wrong, the domain no longer exists, or the email server has blocked delivery.

Many email services will automatically clean hard bounces. Others will force you to clean your list to get rid of addresses.

Should you purchase leads?

‘Buying leads’ is when you use a provider’s database to purchase leads that match your buyer criteria.

Sounds like a winning situation, right? While you’ll meet those target numbers and have plenty to work with, it’s important to remember that nothing is perfect.

However, 68% of businesses are struggling with lead generation, so it makes sense that purchasing lists is still a common practice for generating leads.

In order to survive (and thrive), every business needs a steady stream of new leads, which will keep you busy and help to push your revenues higher.

Finding new leads isn’t always an easy task. To uncover them, businesses must adopt a range of lead generation techniques, and they’ll absolutely have to know when to buy leads, and how. It’s often essential to the very survival of their business.

So if you’re planning to purchase a lead list, don’t feel ashamed about it. It happens. It is important that you understand, however, exactly what you’re getting yourself into. In order to get the most value from your list, you’ll need a clear and concise plan for the data once you obtain it.

Adding your business to directories

A business directory is an online list of businesses within a particular niche, location, or category. One way local businesses can get found by online searchers is through inclusion in business directories.

The reason this matters is because, getting your local business’ NAP (or Name, Address, Phone number) information listed on directories, online business listing sites, and citation sites helps to improve visibility, but backlinks from these sites can also have a benefit to search engine optimization (or SEO).

I typically use directories to quickly get my business out to the masses. This could be either traditional phone books, search engines, business directories, etc. However, I do this not just to gain new customers, but also because I may need the website traffic. If no one knows I exist, then there is no way that I can sell my product or service. Not only that, but directories, unlike social media, have users that are looking for my services. No one goes to social media and searches for a business consultant. They likely use directories and search engines for these searches, and I absolutely need to be listed to take advantage of the situation.

Should you record phone calls?

Call recording is something that I live by. It’s valuable for businesses of all sizes for training, customer service, and performance.

Simply put, I use it not just for employee monitoring, but also for marketing and content when needed. For example, if I record a consulting call, I may want to use that call for a podcast if it has good content. Of course I edit out personal information, but often I have excellent conversations that I like to transcribe or share.

Furthering on the transcribing, if I’m also doing a consultation or interview on the phone where I ask the client questions and they answer those questions for the benefit of adding the information to their plan or strategy, then that recorded call is also a great tool for gathering the information. Through the years, I’ve found that a recorded phone call is much better than any notes that I take.

Increasingly, organizations are opting for cloud-based call recording software as an alternative to premises-based call recording systems. Cloud-based call recording is what’s known as software-as-a-service (or SaaS). It offers transparent pricing, compatibility with existing software, easy management, and simple solutions for data storage and backup.

There are specific laws in place for recording phone calls. The laws tend to vary between states, and they dictate how businesses must approach topics of knowledge and consent before capturing recorded calls, computer usage, email exchanges, or wireless communications.

Doing a competitive analysis

In getting started with selling and promoting your business, one of the most important items that I consider is monitoring and analyzing my competition. In business marketing this is what is known as a competitive analysis.

When it comes to generating sales or leads, one of the biggest worries is, how do I get new customers, is my product good enough, is my price point good, is my resume good, do the customers know I even exist?

Fortunately, most of these questions can be answered by looking at your competition. If they’re successful, or not successful, you can simply follow or not follow their lead. There is more to it, of course. But, if you really take a look at your competitor with a fine-tooth comb, you can see where their strengths and weaknesses are and use them to your advantage.

However, this all starts with a competitor analysis, which is a strategy where you identify major competitors and research their products, sales, and marketing strategies. By doing this, you can create a business strategy that improves upon your competitor’s.

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