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The Fastest Paths to Online Sales Today

Courtenay Worcester

According to a recent Gartner CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets are 11.2 percent of company revenue. That’s a healthy budget. Clearly, the more marketing contributes to revenue, the higher the budget will be. Yet too often, marketers struggle with figuring out which online channels will deliver the fastest paths to sales. This gets even more complex given the variety of digital marketing tools available. The key is knowing which marketing lever to push at the right time.

Have a Primary Focus for Each Campaign

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It starts with having a primary focus for each campaign and not deviating from it. To illustrate the point, let’s consider a lead generation campaign. If you’re focused on generating leads, make sure every tactic aligns with achieving that goal. Otherwise, you limit your ability to achieve the maximum results for your efforts.

While many marketers do take a singular-focused approach to campaigns, it’s easy to get sidetracked. In this example, you can see how it could happen when early lead generation efforts result in sales. Of course, you’ll take the sale, but don’t lose sight of the campaign’s primary focus to generate leads.

Think of it this way; imagine you’ve set up a two week marketing campaign and the goal is to generate 150 leads. In the first week, you attract 70 leads and close six sales. You could get distracted by shifting into full sales mode and trying to close the remaining 64 leads or you could keep moving forward with your lead generation tactics to attract a total of 150 MQLs. From there, you can run a sales-focused campaign to close them. This begs the rhetorical question of, “Which is better, the opportunity to close an additional 144 leads or 64?”

Use Only the Marketing Tools with the Highest ROI

Once you have a campaign focus, use only the marketing tools that are proven to deliver the highest ROI and are easy to master. That path is going to consist of a combination of inbound and outbound marketing tools. The tools that fit that description today are email, webinars, and social media.

From that 11.2 percent marketing budget, invest in an integrated marketing platform. It speaks to the high ROI goal by making it a lot easier to link the channels, measure performance, manage your contacts, and make sure you’re compliant with industry regulations including GDPR and the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Reverse Engineer the Marketing Process

Yet marketing tools are only part of the equation. After all, their role is to execute the strategy. That strategy is mapped out by taking a closer look at the process of how customers find your business, engage with it online, and continue the conversation with you.

As you engage customers, some of them will opt out. This is actually a good thing because it allows you to focus on the customers that are most aligned with your business and are more likely to become long-term customers and sources of new business leads.

Also, the more engaged your target audience is, the easier it become to further segment them. This allows you to present even more targeted content and personalized offers that speak to their particular interests and needs. This takes a little more work up front, but it will pay off in terms of accelerating the sales process.

Bringing all of these elements together, you need to deliver the right message at the right time using the right marketing channels.

To figure how to do this, retrace the steps your customers took for the last campaign that had a similar offering and goals. By reverse engineering the process, you’ll find shortcuts to achieving your goals. From there, continuously revamp that proven path and you’ll see stronger results. An even faster shortcut is to use an automated funnel. It can show you the fastest paths to online sales and which marketing channel to use at the right time through the customer journey. And you can easily integrate it into your marketing platform.

Cultivate Your Customer Relationships

Every marketer knows how important it is to stay front and center with customers, especially after the sale. This doesn’t equate to bombarding them with offers. Instead, send a simple thank you or present a special offer for new customers. Along with starting your relationship on the right foot, it creates an opportunity to continue to engage them and helps drive word-of-mouth.

It’s easy to get distracted by a desire to generated thousands of leads and close hundreds of sales with each campaign. Yet the reality is that you only need a few simple and repeatable  steps executed with the right tools at the right time to create the fastest path to online sales.

Courtenay Worcester is the U.S. Director of Marketing for GetResponse. She is responsible for driving the company's marketing strategy in the U.S. including positioning, competitive analysis, lead generation, customer engagement, and brand awareness.  She brings more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing to GetResponse. Prior to joining GetResponse, Courtenay drove corporate events for Seismic Software, a leader in sales enablement and content management. She has additional corporate and digital marketing experience gained at Attend, Inc. where she developed traditional, digital, and event marketing strategies that attracted and engaged target segments.