E-commerce Link: Trigger Leads and Sales

Relevant email programs contribute significant growth for B-to-B and B-to-C marketers
Indie clothing e-tailer ModCloth immediately lets customers know when an item is out of stock and provides them with a simple way to register for an email notice once the item is back in stock.

Indie clothing e-tailer ModCloth immediately lets customers know when an item is out of stock and provides them with a simple way to register for an email notice once the item is back in stock.

Most marketers have a regular email program in place. However, if a company’s only forays into email are newsletters or promotional announcements, that marketer may miss the boat.

I want to focus on what relevant emails mean to B-to-B and B-to-C marketers. The applications are very different: B-to-B marketers can employ sophisticated lead nurturing programs while B-to-C marketers are more likely to zero in on driving a sale.

B-to-B Emails to 
Nurture Leads
In this category, one big challenge is how to nurture leads through the marketing funnel from awareness to interest to evaluation and then to commitment. Some highly focused email service providers and systems allow marketers to do this.

It starts with the lead capture form. Every business is different, but important data to collect in addition to first name, last name, company, location and email address are industry and title. Whenever possible, allow leads to select from a drop-down list, so that your data is standardized.

After you collect initial information, you can use a combination of registration information, email behavior and lead clickthrough behavior on your website to objectively determine when a lead is qualified enough to turn over to sales for direct contact. Today’s sophisticated platforms allow you to assign point scores to each data element and action in order to predict when a lead is likely to have moved into the consideration phase.

• Behavioral Scoring. Let’s first look at email and website behavior to see how this might apply. A lead has downloaded two whitepapers in the same general subject area (perhaps each download represents a score of 15 or a total of 30 points).

Regina (Reggie) Brady is president of her own e-marketing and direct marketing consultancy, Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions. She is a leading authority on Internet direct marketing and has held executive positions in Internet marketing at FloNetwork Inc. (subsequently acquired by DoubleClick), Acxiom/Direct Media and CompuServe.
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