For some companies, it seems like business almost comes to a halt in the summertime. On top of that normal summer slowdown, business has become unpredictable for many companies due to the effects of COVID-19.
For us, slowdowns can mean fewer people visiting our website, fewer people filling out contact forms, or people filling out contact forms asking to learn more but then not following through with getting on the phone. Or some leads who do get on the phone say something like, "This is something I'm interested in, but reach out closer to the end of the year."
If you've found that you tend to experience a "summer lull" or if you've seen business slow down in our current economic climate, this period could be the perfect time to reevaluate your inbound marketing toolkit. That way, you can set up your company to generate a healthy number of leads when business starts to pick up again.
To amplify the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy, consider implementing these tools for inbound marketing:
Influence & Co. has always invested in inbound marketing efforts, but we really doubled down when we developed an inbound sales development rep role on our team (this is the role I'm in now!). An inbound SDR can help you qualify leads, nurture them, and hand them off to the sales team when they're likely to convert into customers.
The way we reach out to leads has become a lot more consistent now that my role focuses solely on inbound sales efforts, and we've seen some impressive growth as a result. For example, multiple members of our sales team used to set up calls with leads who had filled out contact forms. But when I took over this responsibility in 2019, we saw a 65% increase in the calls we set up with contact form leads.
Our content is the No. 1 inbound marketing tool in my arsenal. My job is made so much easier because we have a piece of content to address almost every question or obstacle I can think of. And on the rare occasion we don't have a resource for whatever I need, we have a great process to make sure it's on the list to get created.
When you're developing and executing on a content marketing strategy, plan in quarterly sprints. Each quarter, evaluate what content you need. When you're thinking through what content would be beneficial for your inbound marketing efforts, think about what questions your sales team gets asked the most or what about your services stands out or gets customers most excited. For example, in my outreach, the emails that get the most responses are always the ones focused on our publication relationships and how we handle content distribution because those areas tend to be what our leads are the most unclear on.
Email can be a great way to keep in touch with older leads who might have been on your mailing list for years but with whom you've never had conversations. While business is slower and fewer people might be visiting your website, take the opportunity to send emails to these leads to update them on your new services they might not know about or to let them in on any summer offers you have running. When Influence & Co. does this, we tend to get great responses, and it's nice to tap into a set of leads we already have!
Speaking of email, this tool is clutch for me. Outreach gives me visibility into which emails are working best, it allows me to easily personalize emails or skip certain emails in a sequence, it gives me the option to connect with folks on LinkedIn, and it helps me keep track of engagement without leaving the platform. If you're looking for ways to make email creation and evaluation simple, give this tool a try.
Boomerang for Gmail is another easy tool to use for emails. When I get those messages that say, "Reach back out in six months," I can use this tool to remind me to reach out again. Sure, tons of tools can send reminders, but I love how Boomerang's reminders come right back to my inbox like new emails. It makes follow-ups as easy as pie.
We use HubSpot in so many ways to execute on and measure our marketing and sales strategies. We use it for gathering leads' information, determining which content resonates the most, automated lead scoring, keeping track of where leads and deals are in our pipeline, and pinpointing what sources drive the most leads for our business. By understanding information like this, you can figure out what strategies are effective and work to continually improve your results.
Now that business might be slower, it might be a great time to take a look at your inbound marketing tool kit to make sure it's as effective as it can be. Start by considering these six inbound marketing tools to get your strategy moving toward your goals.
I'm a VP at Influence & Co. I love the St. Louis Cardinals, Mr. Pibb, and Reese's. My favorite things to do are spend time with my family, play outside, and wrestle with my Great Dane.