We defined Inbound Marketing in the first chapter of the inbound marketing guide. We also did an inbound marketing vs outbound marketing comparison. As you may recall, the main difference is that with inbound marketing, you’re using stellar content to draw the customers in. With outbound marketing, all the onus is on you to reach out and find more leads.
Leads, web visitors, potential customers - whatever you call them - are the only target of your inbound marketing campaigns. To keep up the inflow of leads and maintain a high conversion rate, you must make the effort to engage with all your leads throughout the customer journey. Conversions in marketing refers to engaging with potential customers until they become paying customers.
Every online business (or marketing) firm dreams of having such an engaged audience. Inbound marketing is one of the most useful ways to get there. In this chapter, we will give you the tools you need to build and retain your very own engaged audience.
Some marketers believe you can only have one or the other: an engaged audience or a high-converting audience. You can have both but you shouldn’t focus exclusively on engagement; conversions don't come unless you actively apply conversion optimization tactics.
Ben Shwartz at Crazy Egg defines several types of marketing engagement strategies: brand engagement, social media engagement, website engagement, and landing page engagement. These are all rather self-explanatory except for brand engagement. It is simply how much in tune your audience is with your company’s brand.
One or more of these different types of engagements will be your goal at some point or the other. Initially you might want to improve your brand engagement. At other times, you’ll want your landing pages or even your website to be the star of the show.
Lead engagement and lead conversions can go hand-in-hand. If your audience is already reading your content and getting value from it, they may be more receptive to your offers. Whatever the offer may be, you can get higher conversions if you already have a high level of engagement.
Be aware of the thin line between keeping in touch with your audience and overdoing it. If you have an abstractly-designed or over-interactive website that posts on social media a dozen times a day, it can fall into in the "spammy website" category.
For a great engagement campaign, implement any or all of these tried-and-tested marketing techniques:
Web forms, also known as conversion forms, are a great way for driving engagement. These forms are often formatted as easy and quick-to-answer quizzes. A lead only has to click a few buttons, type in their contact information, and hit the submit button.
The way you design your web forms can increase or decrease engagement. Here are some best practices for designing these forms:
If you want to know how to write killer landing pages customized for your type of business, you should definitely check out EngageBay’s landing page guide. You can read it here. To recap, here are a few pointers for your landing page design:
Email marketing is the backbone of visitor engagement. The links you insert into your emails will get the leads clicking, reading, and hopefully buying. There are so many rules about when to email and how often. According to our landing page guide and the much-cited infographic from CoSchedule, it’s recommended you send messages at the following times:
The best days for high email engagement are Tuesdays, but Wednesdays and Thursdays work as well.
You should split your audience into segments based on their interests. You can then tailor your emails to each bucket just the way you write content based on buyer personas.
Many of the same copywriting tricks described in the landing page guide and above come into play here. You need short, snappy writing, storytelling elements, and cliffhangers that get the lead eager to click a link to learn more.
Avoid making provocative content (think religious, political, or sexual content) or clickbait to get people reading. These emails might lure people in, but they will not keep them coming back. With these tactics, you will fail to build the kind of long-term engagement you seek.
Not sure how engaged your audience is? There are plenty of tools and tactics you can use to track engagement over the short and the long term. Take a look:
Everyone wants better marketing engagement, because an engaged audience reads your content and supports your company. These leads are also much likelier to buy your products and services.
You’re already off to a good start if you can differentiate quality engagement from spamming. You want to create web forms, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns that convert. What we discussed in this chapter are inbound marketing best practices for engaging with leads and improving conversions.
In the next chapter, we will talk about advanced tools such as lead scoring, targeted email campaigns and email automation to drive even higher conversion rates. Keep reading.