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Network Marketing Lead Generation

I was on the phone with a network marketer yesterday talking about lead generation for network marketing.

She knew what she was doing, but was frustrated at the speed of filling her down line.

There was only one glaring flaw I noticed in her strategy. She was too focused on her product and now focused enough on building her community.

What I mean is this. She was driving her network marketing leads to her network marketing landing page instead of getting them on a list and then offering them a variety of options.

By building the list, you will be able to offer different network marketing products to people and let them by into the one that appeals to them the most.

You can also make money offering your network of people various tools to help them market their network marketing business.  This could really boost your income.

When you are doing lead generation for your network marketing produce, add the extra step in your lead generation system to add them to an email list and build a relationship with them that will be far more profitable down the road.

Marketing Experiments

I am a huge fan of marketing experiments.

I have tested different price points for Buzzoodle Lead Generation in the past, and found that the $67 is more profitable than the $47 pricing model, for example.

However, I have never tested a truly low (below $10 per month) price and I have decided to run a short experiment on that.  So head on over if you would like a complex system of blogging tools, SERP reporting and link building built into one software package.

Now this price is only going to last two weeks and then I will move it back up to $67 most likely.  However, those that join during this special will keep the lower price.

I know more people will join, but what I am measuring is the number of people that stay in the program and actually use it.

Because our lead generation system does take some effort and takes time to build up, many people give up within a month or two.  However, by minimizing the monthly investment I want to see if they stick to the system longer to the point where it becomes wildly profitable for them.

I am posting this in March 2011 and if you are reading this later on, chances are the pricing special is gone but go over and see what we decided to make it.

Cheap Lead Capture and Followup

I frequently get people looking for lead capture software and that is the one thing our Buzzoodle lead generation system does not do.  The reason is simple.  Lead capture should be done with your sales software, not a separate form that then needs to be ported over to your sales system.

Now for some people, a simple and cheap lead capture form is all they need and to those people I recommend aWeber Autoresponder.  Now keep in mind, it is better to use a good CRM like Salesforce or InfusionSoft, but if you need a cheap lead capture system and you want to maximize your investment, you cannot go wrong with aWeber.

Now you may wonder why not a free lead capture software solution, which is possible with a WordPress lead capture plugin.  You can go that route, for sure, but for a small monthly fee you can use the aWeber Autoresponder to build nicer forms, capture any data you want, get great reports and schedule follow up emails with your new leads.  This last point is so important.  If you can automate your sales process you will be more productive, sell more and work less.  Sounds good, right?

So go check out aWeber and if you really have to, use a free lead capture software solution but as soon as you can, make the switch to something that is going to get you better results.

Hiring Blog Writers

Hiring a blog writer is a great investment if you have a sound strategy and you are using blogging tools to target lead generation.

But blog writers are as diverse as graphic designers.  Some are super, but expensive.  And some cheap blog writers are not worth their cheap wage.

But this is not a situation where there is a right and a wrong.  It depends on your site, the quality of the blog posts you want and your tolerances for less quality blog posts.

Keeping a well targeted blog fresh by posting light articles regularly is important.  But if you are using your blog to be an industry expert, you cannot just hire anyone to do that.

If you are not in the Internet marketing industry, you may not be aware that there are blog writing software tools that grab content from other sites and let you lightly rewrite it and post it as original. That might be OK if you do not care about quality and accuracy, but it is not appropriate for quality blogs.

So if you are trying to build a good blog site, how do you hire blog writers that will do a good job for you?

You can begin by running ads in trade magazines or spending time in industry forums.  Decide what a good article is worth to you and pay a flat fee per article and hire a few people to write for your blog.

This is not the cheapest way to get content, but it is very effective at getting quality blog content at a manageable price.   And you will be surprised how many people are out there looking for a side blog writer job.

Data Entry for Marketing

Data entry plays an important roll in marketingmarketing is mostly the act of building lists, ideally targeted lists with a lot of really good information like email and phone and mailing addresses.

When a company is out marketing, they might go to a trade organization, show or other event where they get great lists and they have the best intention of entering all that valuable information into excel or some other database or a CRM.

But time goes by and the marketing data entry never gets done and the potential leads get cold.

It was not until recently that I realized that big data entry companies actually will often do a smaller job like just described as well.  In fact, I am currently working with a data entry company and they are doing a number of smaller jobs that surprised me.  They can enter survey results when you have collected paper surveys.  They will enter information for publishers when they get subscription cards back.  They can process rebate cards, customize mailings and key data from paper or electronic directories.

This might not be surprising to you.  But what did surprise me is that they are very efficient and much more affordable than I expected.  I see projects done for as little as $25 which in my world does not seem like it would be worth doing, but for a company that only does data entry, it is just one more project.

Especially if you are looking for a local, Ohio Data Entry Company, please go check out Coleman Data Solutions and get a quote.  They provide an important service for marketing firms in the Akron area and throughout Ohio.  No marketing agency should be doing data entry themselves.  Leave that part of the project to expert data entry professionals.  The nice thing about Coleman is that it is also a Non profit data entry business and proceeds go to funding mental health issues in Ohio.

Free Lead Capture Software

The idea that you can pick from many lead capture options that are free is a loaded idea.

What I mean is, yes there are many free lead capture software options but you may be better off paying for something because it will look more professional and you can count on it a bit more.

One of my favorite free lead capture tools is Google Docs, as long as you do not mind it being branded by Google Docs and you are not looking for anything other than capturing the lead information.  You just choose the “forms” option and Google docs will build your a form, embed script to add it to your website and a Spreadsheet to capture the data.  I always set it to email me whenever the form is updates so that I know when I generate a lead.

Next would be the many WordPress lead capture plugins (search forms) that you can find.  My advice here is to test carefully and retest often.  All too often I have done an update on WordPress or on a plugin and then gone months not realizing that the form was no longer working.  It is a free lead capture option but I never really trust it.

Next would be to use a Free CRM like Sugar CRM.  This is not for the faint of heart as setting it up and configuring it can take some tech skills, but these tools, vTiger is another, also will give you free lead capture and an actual system for moving the lead through the sales process.

Lastly, you can use a low cost option like aWeber where you can capture the lead and set up automatic responses to them, as many as you want for as long as you want.  This is very effective at generating leads and is a great low cost lead capture option.  You can also get something like SalesForce.com or Zoho CRM and it will cost more, but they have support and reliable sales lead capture services.

Sales Funnel for Marketing Funnel

Everything is a funnel.  When you are promoting your business or product you are out casting a net and bringing people that are interested or meet certain criteria into a funneling process.

I see a lot of small businesses fail because they are focused on building a better marketing funnel when they have not defined and refined their sales funnel yet.

Things that can be included in your sales funnel are:

CRM – I have used many CRM’s and they are critical to building a good sales funnel.  There are free CRM systems and higher priced ones with more features.

Productize – Even if you are a service company, create products for your services.  Give them names and definitions so you can talk about them and explain them in a way that is clear and easy in the sales process.

Templates – You have to have great templates, because once people are in the sales process they will start asking for more information on parts, and being able to quickly send them things is essential.

Case Studies – In many cases you want to have case studies you can use in your sales funnel.

There are more thing as well, but this is a good start.  Think about the process of selling and everything you might need along that path.  Find ways to illustrate your value and make the sale easier.  Keep refining your sales funnel all the time.

Then, once you get your sales funnel fully defined and running well, that is the time to start building your marketing funnels.  Internet marketing will be one marketing funnel, but you should look at where your ideal prospects are and build multiple marketing funnels and measure things like lead generation, revenue, profitability, cost per lead, etc.  These will help you identify your best source of leads in your marketing funnels and focus on them, increasing profitability.

Too often the small business owner thinks of this as all one big funnel.  You can never identify your best marketing funnels unless you define each one separately.

Technology Specialization

While primarily a marketing guy now, my background is in technology.  But what does technology mean and how has is changed?

Honestly, if used to be frustrating because people would call me to fix their computer – and I was a coder.  I enjoyed troubleshooting a computer as much as I enjoy changing the oil on my car.

But most people did not realize that a person that codes is not the same person that fixes computers, although they may be able to help you with the basics.

Then in the coding world, there were several camps.  There were the hard core coders, game developers and then there were the software developers in two camps.  Enterprise Tools such as MicroSoft and Open Source Software such as WordPress, Sugar CRM and others.

But today I look around and I feel a bit sad.  I would love to work on the many devices that are out there but software development has become so fractured that it is impossible to do everything.  You have to specialize in certain technologies or you cannot be good at them.  For example, do you want someone building an app for your car that was just building a kitten website last week?

In many ways it has gotten easier to pick up the languages and tools – but because there are so many different things, including different devices, it is very hard to manage all the issues with all of them.

For your project, do not hire someone to help you because they are technical.  You need the technology specialization that comes with your particular project.  And the idea that one firm has those people on staff for every different possible option is not realistic.  Outsourcing to specialists is now required.

What I Want for Christmas

I do not usually mix non profit and business.  However, I have been involved with Coleman Professional Services for five years now and the time has come to give this a shot.

Between now and Dec. 25th, I am going to match donations that are given to Coleman through their Web Form up to the first $100 if you put Buzzoodle in the “This gift is in honor of…” field.

If you would have sent me a card or something, just go make the donation there instead of $5 or more.  It really does help people that need it.

Coleman Professional Services helps people all over Northeast Ohio with Behavioral Health.  I have had a chance to meet many of the people involved with the organization   This is not your average non profit, by the way.  They are very professional and really work hard to keep administrative costs down.  I believe around 90% of your donation goes to helping people directly.

I get hundreds of visitors per day to this website and I hope a few of you each day can spare $5 to help me meet this challenge.  Click Here to Give.

Thanks and have a wonderful holiday season.

Buying Leads vs Building a Lead Generation Website

What is the difference between buying leads and building your own lead generation website?

A lot.  However, this does not have to be a decision.  If you are buying leads from a lead generation company and making a positive ROI on the purchases, then you should never stop buying leads from them.  It is all about if you are getting quality leads and if you are successfully converting leads to customers.

However,  just because that works does not mean you should not build your own lead generation website for your company.

The good thing about building your own lead generation website is that you can generate free leads that are exclusively yours.  Again, this should not mean that you turn off your other lead generation efforts.  The disadvantage of building your lead generation website is that it takes time to get going, it takes some regular effort of writing some articles and getting links, and it requires some time and expertise to set up.

The Buzzoodle lead generation system does make it faster, easier and more effective because it has video on how to set things up and publishing tools to help you improve your publishing, linking and social media integration that will increase your inbound marketing effectiveness.

The good news is that generating leads on the web is not difficult.  But it does take a few months to get set up and to start seeing results – and most people give up before it kicks in.  That said, it is not going to usually produce large numbers of leads a day usually.  When executed properly, online lead generation can produce highly targeted leads that are likely to buy your product, but how many depends on your market and your competition.

Because of the low cost of building a lead generation site, every business serious about growth should have its own lead generation website, but they should also consider other lead generation strategies as well.

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Online Lead Generation