Here are four common reasons you may be missing good advertising and sponsorship prospects, as well as members.
U.S. businesses spend billions of dollars generating sales
leads only to lose more than 70 percent of them simply because they don’t make contact
quickly enough, according to one study. But that’s not the only way they’re
losing out on opportunities, says Brandon Stuerke, president of Advisors Edge
Marketing, a specialist in marketing strategy and automation.
"A study of more than 600 companies by Dr. James Oldroyd of
MIT found that the odds of a lead entering the sales process were 21 times
greater if the business made contact within 5 minutes of generating the lead
versus contact in 30 minutes,” Stuerke says. "Another study, this one by the
Harvard Business Review, found that the average response time by businesses to
a generated lead is 42 hours – and that’s just for responses that occurred
within 30 days.”
Whether it’s members, advertisers, sponsors, or customers, generating
leads is big business, he says, with more than $23 billion spent on internet
leads alone. Stuerke, who began developing innovative marketing strategies
while working as a financial advisor, says he has found four ways professionals
commonly lose sales leads.
1. Advertising calls-to-action that are all-or-nothing. Most
sales people offer only a face-to-face meeting or a telephone appointment as
their call-to-action in their promotions. But that’s asking a lot of prospects
who are simply exploring options and aren’t yet ready for that level of
commitment. Those are leads that, three to six months from now, may become
sales – but they’re lost early in the process. Instead, offer a less committed
option such as "download this free report” in exchange for their information for
2. No lead capture on your website. This is a huge problem,
says Stuerke. Many sites have no strategy for capturing information about
visitors to the site, such as an email address. As a result, organizations spend
thousands of dollars driving traffic to their websites, but capturing none of
the prospects’ information. As a result, those prospects come to the site and
leave and the organization never knows they were there. A free report, or
series of reports or videos with useful information based on your association’s
expertise are good lead-capture tools. Potential members and advertisers turn
to the web for information while doing research, so that's what you should give
them. Offering free resources in exchange for a small bit of information is a
great way to do that.
3. Indifference in interactions. No matter what industry you
serve, it’s likely you’ve got a lot of competition. If your interactions with advertising
or sponsorship prospects fail to wow them, they will quickly move on. But most association
professionals don’t have a storyboarded plan for giving prospects that
experience, which is what is needed for consistent results. An automated system
that delivers carefully planned interactions is a great way to achieve this.
4. Using social media without a plan. Many organizations
have discovered that delivering useful content through social media is an
effective means of attracting followers and cultivating prospects. However, one
of the biggest problems with how associations and other organizations use
social media is that they post a lot of high-level, one-way communication with
no call-to-action.Having a call-to-action in your posts leading prospects
back to a website designed to capture leads is critical for producing tangible
results through social media.
A lot of these issues stem from a common problem: organizations
focusing only on the hottest leads – the people who are ready to buy today,
"Instead of allowing those ‘cooler’ leads to fall by the
wayside, organizations should capture and cultivate them,” he says. Eventually,
he says, associations will find that instead of constantly chasing leads,
they’re harvesting new prospects.
Brandon Stuerke is a business coach, marketing strategist, and
founder and president of Advisors Edge Marketing, Inc.