Imagine being a surgeon who has somehow never opened an anatomy book. There’s absolutely no way to successfully complete a surgical procedure if you have no idea what anything looks like on the inside of a patient. Likewise, there’s very little chance of success for a mechanic who doesn’t know what an engine looks like.
The most basic element of successfully putting anything together is to know what the finished product should look like. It’s the reason jigsaw puzzles come with pictures on the boxes, and it’s why Internet marketers should know what the ecosystem of lead generation looks like.
For all the work Internet marketers put into attracting clicks, an incomplete campaign means much of that effort could be wasted because critical elements of the campaign are missing or not functioning properly.
Understanding Lead Generation Success
At Straight North, we’ve been focused on examining successful lead generation campaigns (and finding out what makes them tick) in an effort to help our professionals and clients better understand them. We’ve spent a great deal of time dissecting these campaigns and pulling apart all of the different elements that go into them.
To say that Internet marketing campaigns are complex would be an understatement — a successful lead generation campaign has dozens of moving pieces that need to fit together perfectly in order for them to be successful. These elements fall into different categories, all flowing into the main website and then triggering the lead generation process which is, on its own, a complicated and intricate system.
Infographic created by Straight North, an internet marketing services provider.
Building A Blueprint
Having a blueprint is essential for building any complex system or product, so we’ve consolidated our extensive research on the subject of successful lead generation campaigns into a visual representation of what we’ve come to regard as the ecosystem of Internet marketing lead generation.
Originally, this schematic was developed for internal training purposes, but in time we discovered the benefits of using the infographic as a tool to help clients visualize and understand their campaigns so they could, in turn, help us deliver the most optimized campaign possible.
By following this blueprint, Internet marketers can see how all of the various elements that go into a lead generation campaign fit together and influence each other, leading to success. As is the case with complex systems such as the human body or a high-performance car engine, there are numerous components that factor into its success.
Like those complex systems, this ecosystem can seem impenetrable at first glance. However, by delving deep into the inner workings and breaking down its component pieces, understanding it becomes a lot easier.
Working In Sync
As the flowchart makes apparent, a lead generation campaign’s elements each serve a specific purpose within the process as a whole, working together to generate new sales leads. If any of those elements are missing for any reason, there is real risk that the campaign will function at far less efficacy, or even stop functioning altogether.
For Internet marketers seeking to build the most effective and efficient lead generation campaign, this blueprint could be the difference between a highly successful campaign and one that is doomed to failure. By incorporating proven sales lead generation strategies, the ecosystem we’ve visualized here represents the most full-featured and effective form of a lead generation campaign.
This is essential to have because the sheer number of complicated and varied components that go into the typical lead generation campaign means Internet marketing professionals or their clients can easily overlook or neglect certain specific elements as they assemble their campaigns.
For example, many campaigns neglect to include a lead validation component, leaving the information they collect about their campaigns lacking — and ultimately wasting their efforts. That’s an essential component that is easy to miss without a reminder.
If you’re developing a lead generation campaign, or if you have one in place that you feel could be operating at a higher level, compare it to this ecosystem infographic. Having the visualization of a successful campaign may be critical in helping you understand what yours should look like and help you identify any overlooked or neglected elements.
It’s nearly impossible to fix something complex without instructions, and this flowchart can be a good place for you to start with your lead generation campaign.
Running a PPC campaign involves so many tasks and can’t-miss details that having a checklist is necessary to keep from overlooking an important step. But, often, a comprehensive PPC checklist can turn into multiple pages of bullets and sub-bullets. Surely, every PPC professional dreams of editing the list down! But how is that possible without losing crucial details? The answer is automation. As you’ll see below, implementing a single point of automation can eliminate multiple steps, and in many cases, optimize performance for better results.
Triggered emails/texts: If you totaled up all the time you spend monitoring simple milestones for accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether it’s checking in on spend, key performance indicators, or troubleshooting red flags, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming. Triggered emails do all the work for you, sending updates and alerts so you can combat over/under spend, make adjustments mid-run, and anticipate problems before they happen.
Automated bidding: You’re not alone in feeling that bidding can be overwhelming and confusing. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer bidding options that let you set your goals for CPA, CPC, CPM, and specific objectives, in the case of Facebook. And because both bidding systems continue optimizing 24/7, you can feel confident you’re getting the most for your money without having to monitor and tweak around the clock.
If/Then logic: It’s always exciting to reach a milestone in a PPC campaign, but mindlessly clicking buttons to keep things moving can be a buzzkill. Optimization rules built on if/then logic will automatically roll progress along. For example, if you’re A/B testing ads and want to divert remaining budget to the better performing ad once it crosses a certain threshold, you can set an optimization rule instead of logging in, monitoring, clicking, tweaking, and so forth.
Dayparting and flighting: Scheduling is one area where it’s extra nice to set it and forget it. Instead of logging in to manually launch ads, you can set your calendar for an entire campaign before the first ad is even published.
Bulk action cleanups: Click. Click. Click. Click. When you have bigger fish to fry, performing the same action over and over can be infuriating. With automation, you can perform bulk actions, so you can get rid of the old and getting started again with a clean slate quickly.
A/B split tests: Any good marketer knows testing ads before pulling the big trigger is a must. But running multiple mini-campaigns at once is just double, or triple, or even quincentuple the work depending on how many ads you’re testing. Automating A/B split tests allows you to set up many ads in one go, and pull one complete report.
Fresh creative: We’ve talked about ad fatigue in previous posts, but what can be equally tiring is manually shuffling new creative into the mix when performance stalls. Your dreams of an easier way to keep creative fresh have come true thanks to automation. Set your KPIs, load your creative, then watch as customers are wowed by a seemingly never-ending stream of new ads.
Custom optimization rules: The core of your PPC checklist might not change, but you’re likely constantly making revisions and additions based on your own data and learnings. Revising your checklist takes time, and you’re probably only expanding it as you add more details. With automation, you can plug in your data to create custom optimization rules, cutting out tiresome manual steps and ensuring you’ve saved valuable information for future campaigns.
One control center: Even with saved passwords, logging into dozens of accounts to make the same change is tedious. Automation software lets you adjust your ads on different networks from one account. This capability makes it much easier to be nimble, and test without investing a ton of time.
There’s no magic wand to eliminate all the to-dos on your PPC checklist, but letting automation take care of the small stuff means you have more time to focus on the big stuff. Adstage offers powerful automation tools to help you save time and optimize performance. With Adstage’s Automation, HIRED has decreased CPA by over 30%, and Inflow has used simple if/then logic-based rules to increase conversions by over 20%. Test it out with a 14-Day Free Trial, or request a demo.
I learned about Net Promoter Score in business school and, when I joined AdStage a few years ago as VP of Product, I thought this would be a great chance to put that skill to use. After all, Net Promoter Score is known as a universal measure for customer experience management. Once I went through the process of actually attempting to measure customer experience, however, it became clear that while the score might not be universally useful, the lessons learned in the process can be.
Getting to Know Your Users
When I first joined AdStage, step one was to make sure I truly understood our user base. Why do they use our product? What pain do we cure? How do they feel when they use it? That meant doing my best impression of a journalist delving into the complexities of a story. By the end of step one I had developed a true sense of empathy for our customers.
Step two was to go to the game film. This meant watching users as they attempted to use our product. I did this by combing through event data, user logs and even spending some time in our customers’ offices doing physical user shadow sessions. It doesn’t take long to realize users say they do one thing but actually do something very different. Ask a user if they like a feature and they’ll confidently say, “yes.” Yet you then watch them awkwardly scan the page and it’s pretty obvious they have never used that feature before.
Once I logged enough hours I felt like I had a great grasp of their workflows, mindset and behavior.
When Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys
Like many B2B companies, we started with a handful of customers that used our product. It didn’t take long to connect with almost all of our users to learn their stories. Fortunately, that handful of customers grew to thousands. That meant I was no longer able to personally know every single customer and their challenges. I needed to put something in place to formally collect feedback.
How to Set Up Your Net Promoter Score Survey
There are lots of tools to automate your NPS survey (we use AskNicely) so it is sent to the right people at the right time. We wait 60 days after a customer has started paying for our product. This gives our customers enough time to use the product and give meaningful feedback. Remember: you want complete honesty, not a vanity metric. We then check in with another survey every 6 months.
With a little work you can also rig your customer communication tools (we use Intercom) to generate automated responses so you message Promoters, Passives and Detractors with a relevant and timely message. In my experience about 50% of people respond to my automated email asking for more detailed feedback. You can learn how to set up the Intercom Asknice.ly integration here.
The Question Itself:
A lot of people recommend changing the wording of your NPS survey question beyond the classic “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” However, in my experience, it seems like customers ignore the actual question text and just think of the 0–10 rating as a way to express general satisfaction. If there’s one thing NPS has done, it’s created a standard feedback mechanism that users complete at a higher rate than traditional satisfaction surveys. So I feel it is better to leave the standard question so users quickly and honestly respond. Rewording the question forces people to read and think. Both things they hate to do.
Why Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys
The classic Net Promoter Score survey is calculated using the answer to the survey question regarding likelihood of recommending your product and a 10-point scale. Many believe this to be the core measurement for customer experience management programs worldwide and it can work if you’re a B2C company with tons of engaged users and a huge sample size.
However, we’re a B2B platform and we simply don’t have the same scale as a consumer app. And we don’t like touting data that we don’t have a high enough sample size to back. As a result, we use the Net Promoter Score survey as a means to collect qualitative feedback and as an early warning system to discover if a user is unhappy.
In the end, we don’t use the actual “score” in Net Promoter Score. However the survey and automated messaging we set up to send and manage NPS turned into a efficient way to illicit quick and honest sentiment from our users on a regular basis. To go back to my journalist analogy, it is the tip-line that points me in the direction of a user that I need to sit down with and interview.