7 Tips To Properly Manage Your Sales Funnel

Whether you’re just getting started in business, or have a successful business up and running the fact is that sales are your company’s lifeblood. In today’s digital world, creating a website that convert’s visitors into leads is only the first step. The inbound marketing/sales process is exactly that… a process, one which involves moving a lead from first contact, through to the close in a series of steps.

Lead nurturing requires management. Using various methods to continue to build trust, keep your business top of mind, provide prospects with specific valuable information, and finally offering solutions, takes time, tools, and proper management for success.

Here are some tips and tools for properly managing your sales/lead funnel in order to maximize conversions and gently guide your best prospects from first contact to the close!

What is A Sales Funnel

Ok, so this was probably covered in inbound marketing 101, but let’s recap. Your sales funnel is a “visual” representation of how you generate leads and nurture them through the sales process. If you imagine the nurturing process as a funnel, the widest part is at the top. This is basically the earliest and broadest approach you take for generating leads.

As you move through the funnel and the opening gets narrower, you are taking those original broad based leads and further defining them. By refining your approach as you learn more about your prospects, the information you provide becomes more directed and personalized. This builds trust and guides your prospect through their buying process as they gather information and seek solutions.

Managing your sales funnel is about providing exactly the right information at exactly the right time in the process to move prospects forward, towards the sale.

Improving And Managing Your Sales Funnel

There’s often more than one right answer and different solutions to common problems, some may work better for different organizations depending on their structure. Here are some tips for managing your sales funnel more effectively.

1. Don’t Lose Focus!

Many organizations center their sales funnel management on their need (sales) rather than on the customer’s wants and needs (solutions and results). Effective nurturing centers around asking the right questions, at the right time, to the right people. Sales managers need to ask their team the right questions, and salepeople need to be comfortable asking tough questions of their customers.

Once a lead has moved through the marketing process to “qualified” status and been passed to sales, nurturing needs to continue. The right questions can lead to the right solution, but the focus needs to remain on the customer, not the sale!

2. Don’t Neglect Payment Options!

Adding a simple way to purchase your product or service once your prospect has gone beyond the initial stages of contact can accelerate the buying process. By giving customer’s the option to buy early, using technology like Paypal or GoogleWallet can sometimes trigger sales.

Once you’ve established the lead as qualified, (second or third contact) offering an easy way to pay can often bypass the later stages of your funnel and prompt a sale earlier in the process. Of course, avoid the hard sell! You’re still providing information at this stage, but a customer may make an impulse purchase early if the email content is targeted and a payment option is offered!

3. Don’t “Turn-On” Your Sales Team Too Early!

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is “releasing the hounds” too early! The first two-thirds of the nurturing process belongs to marketing! At this point your funnel should be called a “marketing/sales funnel!” Your two teams need to work together during the nurturing process. Aligning the tasks and goals of marketing and sales can increase your close rate significantly!

Have a logical transition point. Marketing’s job is to provide useful information and guide a prospect through your funnel until such time as they indicate that they’re ready and willing to buy. At this point, the “qualified” lead should be turned over to sales for the close!

4. Your Marketing/Sales Funnel Doesn’t Address A Prospects “Fears”

This is relates to item one and item three. Your job in the initial stages of contact is to understand your prospect’s fears, needs and pain points and then work to address them. Their fear is what stalls them from puling the trigger. Each step of the process needs to be well thought out. Is your team:

  • Talking features and benefits too early instead of addressing your customers pain points and goals.
  • Not actively listening to a prospect’s concerns.
  • Not mirroring the customers words and instead using long sentences and jargon.
  • Avoiding their objections instead of seeing them as opportunities to offer solutions!

Like item one, this happens when your sales team loses their focus on the customer and instead focuses on their own fears or goals.

Tools To Help Manage Your Sales Funnel

We’ve all heard the phrase “the right tool for the job!” This applies when managing your sales funnel too. Providing your sales and marketing team with the proper tools is a key element for aligning your teams efforts. Here are a few great tools to help manage your sales funnel.

5. CRM: Customer Relationship Management System

A good CRM is the most important tool to manage every stage of your sales funnel. Using it can help you to track leads, open deals and your current customers. By cross sharing CRM data between marketing and sales you can effectively track customers from the marketing stages of your funnel and turn them over to sales when they meet certain pre-determined thresholds.

6. Email Tracking Software

Today, it’s getting harder to reach decision makers and get their attention. They’re probably receiving hundreds of emails every day, and you need to make yours stand out! You need a strategic approach with your content and to provide maximum value in every email, but you also have to be creative enough in your approach to get your emails opened.

The best way to accomplish this is by tracking your email’s open and click rates. This is pretty standard from a marketing standpoint, but these numbers were often segregated from the sales team. Part of aligning your sales and marketing teams is information sharing. By notifying sales each time a piece is opened, you give them the ability to structure their approach by understanding customer triggers. For example, offer A is generating 50% more opens than offer B. Your sales team can then focus the proper offer to the proper prospect, showing how your product can meet their needs and provide viable solutions.

7. Scheduling Software

This is a great tool. It used to take multiple emails to get a meeting booked. You sent your availability, they sent theirs and it went on and on. A scheduling tool can help you sync directly with your clients calendars and scheduling a meeting is as easy as clicking a button.

With the proper focus, alignment between marketing and sales, and the right tools you can effectively manage your sales funnel to create more leads, better qualified leads and close more sales. Aligning your marketing and sales efforts is an important step. Share data, goals and process and watch your conversions turn into customers!

50 Proven Ways To Grow Your Email List

1. Add a lightbox form to your site: One company experienced a 99% increase in subscriber growth after adding a pop-over opt-in form.

2. Create an amazing, value-packed opt-in incentive: A 1-page report just won’t cut it anymore; try a full-length eBook or white paper.

3. Host a free webinar, and make signing up a requirement for registration.

4. Offer the webinar recording as an opt-in incentive: Make signing up a requirement for downloading or viewing the recording.

5. Create multiple offers on your site to improve your segmentation: Offer several different opt-in incentives for different segments of your audience. This will increase the number of people who sign up, and improve the relevance of the emails you send to your subscribers.

6. Add a call to action at the end of your YouTube videos.

7. Link to an old newsletter on social media: Show your fans and followers what they’re missing out on by not subscribing to your emails.

8. Offer an exclusive subscriber-only discount and promote it on social media.

9. Mention an influential Twitter TWTR +0.94% user in your newsletter, and then tweet about it: Hopefully that influencer will then retweet it to his or her followers.

10. Amazing blog content + clear call to action = massive email list (source: BufferSocial)

11. Include a subscriber testimonial alongside your opt-in box.

12. Add a sign-up form to your Facebook Page.

13. Mention the benefit of joining your list: Make it clear what’s ‘in it for them’.

14. Hold a contest, and make joining your list a contest requirement.

15. Make your opt-in box a feature, not an add-on: Don’t hide your opt-in box in your sidebar…put it in a prominent place so your visitors can’t miss it.

16. Collect emails at offline events like tradeshows: Hold an on-site contest and make providing an email a contest requirement.

17. Include a call to action to join your list in your guest post author bios.

18. Cross-promote with a complimentary business in your niche: Agree to promote each other’s newsletters.

19. Offer must-have content via your newsletter: Be sure to offer exclusive, ‘hot’ content in your newsletter, and then let your social media audience know about it.

20. Ask your social media followers to join: Asking nicely never hurts!

21. Ask for as little info as possible: Include as few fields as possible on your sign-up form. This will increase the chances of someone actually signing up.

22. Be regular in how often you send out emails to your list: When people see that you regularly send out great content, they’re more likely to recommend your emails to their friends and colleagues.

23. Use a sponsor offer to entice people to join your list: If you offer advertising on your site, kill two birds with one stone…Promote a sponsor offer (like a discount or giveaway) in your newsletter, and let your followers and website visitors know about it.

24. Use a call to action after blog posts: Using a plugin like WordPress Calls to Action can help with this.

25. Offer an email course: Offer a multi-day email course like ’10 days to rock hard abs’.

26. Add a QR code to offline media like business cards and tradeshow posters.

27. Use a plugin like WP-TopBar to show a special opt-in message at the top (or bottom) of every page of your site.

28. Make your homepage all about the opt-in: Your homepage likely gets more traffic than the rest of your site, so make sure you showcase your sign up form in a prominent place.

29. Use the new Facebook call to action button to drive email sign-ups: According to Marketing Land, using this button has increased conversions for Dollar Shave Club by 2.5x.

30. Offer transparent segmenting: Let your subscribers choose what types of content they want to receive from you.

31. Create opt-in landing pages for social media referral traffic.

32. Include an opt-in radio button (checkbox) on your website’s contact form and About Us page.

33. Offer customers a discount on their next purchase with email sign-up.

34. Provide social proof alongside your opt-in box: “Join the # subscribers who already enjoy this newsletter”.

35. Incorporate social sharing buttons alongside your newsletter content, not just at the top or side of your site.

36. Gate some of your content: Show excerpts of this content, and then require email sign-up in order to view the whole article.

37. Offer PDF versions of popular blog content in exchange for email sign-up.

38. Provide your credentials when asking for opt-ins: What qualifies you as an expert in your field? Why should people trust you?

39. Offer flash discounts for new subscribers: This is a common tactic used by online fashion retailers. Offer a % discount for new, first-time subscribers.

40. Offer bonus information at the end of popular blog posts with email sign-up: For instance, if you have a blog post of the Top 10 Ways to Find New Clients, offer an additional 10 tips with email sign-up.

41. Offer the first 50, 100, 200, etc. subscribers a bonus gift or discount, and promote this offer to your social media followers.

42. Be relatable: Let potential subscribers know you’re a real person, not a nameless, faceless brand. This will instill trust and increase the likelihood they’ll hand over their email.

43. Make the sign-up as quick and painless as possible: Use a sign-up form rather than a link to a sign-up form, wherever possible. Every additional step you incorporate into the process is one more chance to lose your subscriber.

44. Add a sign-up radio box if you require blog commenters to sign in: This is risky as it may detract some visitors from commenting, but the payoff may be worth it.

45. Give potential subscribers a sneak peek of what they’ll be getting: Offer a sample newsletter or a screenshot of a typical email you send to subscribers.

46. Add an opt-in radio box in your e-commerce checkout.

47. Let potential subscribers know exactly what they’ll be getting and how often they’ll be getting it.

48. Ask…again and again: Buffer doubled their email list in 30 days by adding 9 additional opportunities to sign up. Before, they asked for sign-ups in a slideup form; after they also asked for it in a HelloBar, on their homepage, in a postscript, in their sidebar, on Twitter, on their SlideShares, on Facebook and Qzzr.

49. Include an anti-spam policy: Assure potential subscribers you’ll only send relevant info, and will never sell or share their personal info.

50. Run a survey, and gate the results: Pull the results together, add some graphs and charts, and then release it to your audience…with email sign up, of course!

Source: Forbes.com ~ By Jayson Demers

The Sooner You Adopt These 6 Entrepreneurial Mindsets the Likelier You Are to Succeed in Business

Everyone wants to be a winner in business and in life. But success isn’t just something that will come your way without a little work. If you really want to get ahead, there are certain practices you need to put into place.

To truly succeed in business, you need to cultivate good habits, develop a strong work ethic and adjust your overall mindset. Here, are six ways to really succeed in a business that you can put into practice right now:

1. Know what you want.

The first step to succeeding in business is defining what success means to you. After all, everybody has a different definition of what success looks like. What could you hope to achieve in your career that would make you feel as if you’ve “made it”? To do this, you’ll have to take a long, hard look at what it is you hope to achieve and why. This exercise will allow you to set specific goals which will give you direction in your career. This direction and focus are necessary to keep you motivated to improve, achieve and perform.

2. Be willing to do whatever it takes.

Once you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to get to work. If you want to really succeed in business, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true.

No, I don’t mean that you should be ruthless or unethical in your efforts to get ahead. But I do mean that you have to be willing to work longer and harder than anyone else you know. You need to do the tasks that nobody else wants to do. You need to make personal or social sacrifices so that you can work toward your dreams. You must make sure you’re working the right/efficient way. Are you willing to do these things?

3. Get a mentor.

Steve Jobs was a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, and just look at what he went on to accomplish. If you need proof of the power of a mentor, consider that.

A mentor is someone who is walking a similar career path to you, but who is further along in their journey. They have been through many of the same trials and errors that you will face. Learning from their experience is like hitting fast forward on progressing your career. Having a mentor can motivate you, give you direction in your career and help you from making mistakes. It’s a not-so-secret key to success.

4. Forge your own path.

Yes, it is important to look for guidance from a mentor and to look at what other successful people are doing to gain direction and inspiration. However, it’s important to discern that you should never try to follow someone else’s path exactly. After all, there will always factors in another person’s success you can’t duplicate, so why try? It’s a far better idea to gather all of the information and gain all of the knowledge that you can so that you can forge your own path forward in your career. Like Oscar Wilde is purported to have said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

5. Learn from criticism.

It’s a simple fact: as you continue in your career, you will undoubtedly encounter negative feedback at certain points. Instead of dismissing or shying away from criticism, try to learn from it.

Often enough, when you really take the time to consider criticism, it informs you about some way in which you could improve yourself. If you’re willing to make these improvements, you’ll ultimately become stronger and more powerful as a person, and this will shine through in your achievements.

6. Keep going.

Success rewards consistency. This means that even when things get tough — actually, especially when things get tough — you need to keep going. Do what you can to keep yourself motivated, including creating goals, networking, meeting with your mentor. But don’t give up. Success is truly the result of diligence and steady practice.

Source: Entrepreneur.com ~ By: Timothy Sykes

Pain Points: A Guide to Finding & Solving Your Customers’ Problems

Like belligerent seniors complaining about how the bad weather aggravates their arthritis, marketers always seem to be talking about pain points.

Customer pain points, 1-10 medical pain scale image, smiley face pain scale

Unlike a bum hip, however, the kind of pain points marketers typically encounter can be a little more complicated.

In this post, we’ll be diving into the world of customer pain points – specifically, what they are and how you can position your company as a potential solution. We’ll be taking a look at several real-world examples to see how marketers overcome some of the most common customer pain points, as well as general tips on how to make yourself indispensable to your prospects at the right time, in the right place.

Before we get to the examples, though, let’s start with the basics.

What Are Customer Pain Points?

A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. In other words, you can think of pain points as problems, plain and simple.

Customer pain points concept illustration

Like any problem, customer pain points are as diverse and varied as your prospective customers themselves. However, not all prospects will be aware of the pain point they’re experiencing, which can make marketing to these individuals difficult as you effectively have to help your prospects realize they have a problem and convince them that your product or service will help solve it.

Although you can think of pain points as simple problems, they’re often grouped into several broader categories. Here are the four main types of pain point:

  • Financial Pain Points: Your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce their spend
  • Productivity Pain Points: Your prospects are wasting too much time using their current provider/solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently
  • Process Pain Points: Your prospects want to improve internal processes, such as assigning leads to sales reps or nurturing lower-priority leads
  • Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process

Viewing customer pain points in these categories allows you to start thinking about how to position your company or product as a solution to your prospects’ problems. For example, if your prospects’ pain points are primarily financial, you could highlight the features of your product within the context of a lower monthly subscription plan, or emphasize the increased ROI your satisfied customers experience after becoming a client.

However, while this method of categorization is a good start, it’s not as simple as identifying price as a pain point before pointing out that your product or service is cheaper than the competition. Many prospective customers’ problems are layered and complex, and may combine issues from several of our categories above. That’s why you need to view your customers’ pain points holistically, and present your company as a solution to not just one particularly problematic pain point, but as a trusted partner that can help solve a variety of problems.

How Do I Identify My Customers’ Pain Points?

Now that we know what pain points are, we need to figure out how to actually identify them.

Although many of your prospects are likely experiencing the same or similar pain points, the root cause of these pain points can be as diverse as your clientele. That’s why qualitative research is a fundamental part of identifying customer pain points.

The reason you need to conduct qualitative research (which focuses on detailed, individualized responses to open-ended questions) as opposed to quantitative research (which favors standardized questions and representative, statistically significant sample sizes) is because your customers’ pain points are highly subjective. Even if two customers have exactly the same problem, the underlying causes of that problem could differ greatly from one customer to another.

There are two primary sources of the information you need to identify your customers’ pain points – your customers themselves, and your sales and support teams. Let’s take a look at how to get the information you need from your customers first.

Conducting Qualitative Customer Research

One of the best ways to learn your customers’ biggest problems is by really listening to them.

Recently, we held our first Customer Insight Round Table event, in which we invited 11 WordStream customers to spend some time at our offices in Boston to share their experiences – good and bad – with us openly and honestly.

Customer pain points WordStream customer roundtable

A WordStream client evaluates a series of problems and proposed solutions
during our first Customer Insight Round Table event

As part of this process, we asked attendees to participate in an Ideation & Design workshop, a collaborative, hands-on session in which our customers identified some of their biggest challenges as online advertisers. This helped attendees remain focused on the problems they shared as advertisers, rather than as individual entrepreneurs and business owners, and also allowed us to focus on solving problems that were within our control.

We learned things about our customers’ problems that even the most detailed questionnaire could never unearth, and it gave us the opportunity to discuss those issues within the context of wider problems that our customers are experiencing. This gave us a remarkably detailed view of our customers’ pain points as well as a broader view of how the current economic climate and other factors are affecting real businesses.

Customer pain points WordStream customer roundtable

This kind of event is invaluable to you as a business. Not only does it allow you to converse at length with the people who are actually using your products, it also creates an environment in which problem-solving is a collaborative process.

Conducting Qualitative Sales Research

The other research resource at your disposal is your sales team. Your sales reps work on the frontlines of the battle for the hearts and minds of your prospective customers every single day, which makes them an invaluable source of feedback on your prospects’ pain points.

However, as valuable as your sales team’s feedback can be, it’s important to distinguish your sales reps’ pain points from your prospects’ pain points; your sales reps’ problems may be very real, but you’re not building a product or providing a service to make your sales reps’ lives easier (at least, not in the context of this article).

It’s crucial to separate operational challenges from genuine customer pain points. For example, let’s say your reps are experiencing a slow quarter, and sales goals have been missed for two consecutive months. Here’s where things can get complicated. Facing the prospect of missing another sales target, your reps might be tempted to bemoan a lack of qualified leads or the quality of the leads assigned to them. While this may be a legitimate complaint, it’s got nothing at all to do with your customers’ pain, so you have to filter out the noise to get to the actual problem.

Customer pain points WordStream survey what would you do differently word cloud

This word cloud of things advertisers would change about their campaigns
offers us a lot of insight into our customers’ pain points

Now let’s say that your reps tell you that they’ve had several potential deals fall through because the prospect told them that PPC is “too complicated.” This is a genuine customer pain point. This speaks to several potential pain points, including a lack of experience or training, a poor understanding of PPC best practices, badly allocated ad budget, a fundamental misunderstanding about your product and what it does, and dozens of other potential problems.

Regardless of what’s causing the pain, you now have a pain point you can counter in your marketing. Remember our list of pain points from earlier in this post? Let’s take a look at the pain points we identified, and see how we could address them in our marketing:

  • Financial: Emphasize lower price point (if applicable), highlight the average savings of your client base, use language that reiterates better ROI
  • Productivity: Highlight reductions in wasted time experienced by current customers, emphasize ease-of-use features (such as at-a-glance overviews or a centralized dashboard)
  • Processes: Mention current/planned integrations with existing products/services (i.e. Slack’s integration with Dropbox and Salesforce), highlight how your product/service can make typically difficult/time-intensive tasks easier
  • Support: Help the prospect feel like a partner by highlighting your after-market support, use connecting language (“us,” “we” etc.) in your copy

It’s important to remember that you can’t “prove” you can ease your prospects’ pain, and what works for one customer may not work for another. That’s what makes social validation so crucial when using customer pain points in your marketing; word-of-mouth recommendations and user reviews become much more persuasive when a prospect already believes your product or service could make their life better.

Customer pain points social validation customer testimonial

That’s why you should be using customer testimonials and other social validation tools in your marketing – a great review or glowing testimonial can sell your product far more effectively than even the most silver-tongued salesperson.

Mini Case Study: WordStream for Agencies

When it comes to PPC, agencies face many unique challenges. From balancing account management with sourcing new clients to improving performance and demonstrating ROI, life is far from easy for agency PPC professionals.

In May last year, we set out to learn what makes the average internet marketing agency tick – with particular emphasis on the challenges agencies face – by conducting a survey of more than 200 internet marketing agencies specializing in paid search from all over the world.

The results were fascinating, if a little predictable in some cases.

Customer pain points WordStream agency survey biggest challenges

During our analysis of the survey data, we found that time management was the single greatest challenge facing agencies today. This was perhaps the least surprising of the survey’s results – it’s no secret that agencies are under tremendous pressure if they want to compete in today’s online advertising ecosystem. Even the most skilled PPC professional still has to spend time actually working in their clients’ accounts, making time management even more crucial for agency PPC managers.

We already knew that time management was a major pain point for agencies before we built WordStream Advisor for Agencies, but when we launched the tool, we wanted to really speak to our agency clients’ pain points. Take a look at this page intended specifically for prospective agency clients:

Customer pain points WordStream for Agencies page

Although we also highlight WordStream Advisor for Agencies’ range of tools and the ease of use offered by the platform, time savings take center-stage throughout this page precisely because time management is agencies’ top priority.

Almost all of the copy on this page reiterates how much time agency PPC professionals can save by using our software, and this benefit-driven approach shapes the style, tone, and language of the entire page. In fact, we take our agency prospects’ pain points even further as we progress down the page:

Customer pain points WordStream for Agencies benefits

We know that time management is our agency prospects’ biggest pain point, but this alone isn’t all our agency prospects are worried about. Remember how we said that balancing time between account management and finding new clients was another pain point experienced by many agencies? The screenshot above shows how we’ve directly addressed this particular pain point within the context of time management and efficiency – both Productivity and Process pain points that follow logically from the initial identification of time management as agencies’ major pain point.

Remember – it’s not just about identifying your prospects’ pain points, it’s also about emphasizing what solving this pain will help your prospects do. The clearer you can make this in your copy and campaigns, the more likely your prospects are to respond positively.

Leveraging Customer Pain Points in Online Ads

Now that we’ve explored the concept of pain points in a little more detail, let’s keep going with our examples of how to leverage this pain in your online ad campaigns.

Addressing Customer Pain Points in Paid Search Ads

You’ve conducted qualitative research into what pain points your prospects are experiencing, and now you’re ready to use this knowledge in your search campaigns. What does this look like?

Customer pain points ADP payroll PPC ad example

The image above is an ad that was served to me for the search query “payroll services” on Google. Unsurprisingly, the top ad was for ADP, one of the largest payroll providers in North America. If you’re not familiar with the fascinating world of payroll services, this ad might not look all that tantalizing, but to anyone who actually works with payroll on a regular basis, this ad could be very tempting.

One of the biggest financial challenges growing companies face is payroll. According to Paychex, payroll can cost anywhere between $20 and $100 per month in addition to a fee of up to $5 per employee per payroll run. This can make hiring new people a significant expense for some companies (especially when you factor in benefits and other costs), particularly newer, smaller businesses. From the get-go, this ad promises us two months of free payroll services, but that’s not what we’re interested in – we want to take a closer look at the ad copy.

The first line of copy – “Let ADP Take The Weight Off Your Business With Fast, Easy & Reliable Payroll” – hits all the right notes. For one, the use of the phrase “Let ADP Take The Weight Off Your Business” addresses the burden of payroll subtly and uses language that evokes relief, implying the relief prospects will feel when they let ADP handle their payroll.

The inclusion of “Fast, Easy, & Reliable” is also very clever, as these common adjectives all address pain points themselves, namely that payroll is a difficult, time-consuming pain in the ass that other companies can’t be entrusted with – not bad for three words of copy. Finally, you’ll notice the inclusion of several extensions offering that crucial social validation we mentioned earlier, as well as offers for a free quote, a demo of ADP’s payroll software, and the two-months-free offer highlighted in the headline.

Addressing Customer Pain Points in Social Ads

Social ads may be even more effective at addressing customer pain points than search ads. Why? Because many people browse social media sites like Twitter and Facebook in an aspirational way; we post updates that reflect the people we want to be, not necessarily the people we are right now.

As such, a well-designed social ad that directly addresses a prospect’s pain points could be powerfully persuasive.

We can see this principle in action in this Facebook ad for technical employment screening service Triplebyte:

Customer pain points Triplebyte Facebook ad example

This ad is particularly clever and an unusual combination of emotional triggers that addresses a very specific pain point – landing a new technical job.

If you know much about software development or are friends with any of the engineers in your office, you may already know that a developer’s choice of text editor – the software programs in which developers actually write their code – is a Very Big Deal, and this ad leverages this to great effect.

Firstly, the ad makes a bold, potentially controversial claim that developers who use Vim and Emacs, two of the oldest and most popular text editors out there, are twice as likely to pass a technical interview with Triplebyte than users of Eclipse, another text editor. Although this claim is based on real data, it’s also a clever emotional trigger. Developers who use Vim or Emacs might feel a smug sense of self-satisfaction when reading this ad, but it could also raise the hackles of developers who favor other text editors. This makes the ad very tempting to would-be Triplebyte clients, regardless of their text editor of choice.

Customer pain points Triplebyte technical interviews text editors infographic

Image/data via Triplebyte

Secondly, the ad addresses a very specific pain point among techies looking for a new gig – the fear of successfully passing a technical interview. Companies like Google are famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) for the deviousness of their technical interviews, and Triplebyte’s ad infers that by using Vim or Emacs, prospective candidates can put themselves ahead of the (ferocious) competition for top technical roles.

This might not be the most conventional use of leveraging pain points in a social ad, but it’s an excellent example of how well-crafted social ads can combine emotional triggers and address very specific pain points.

Addressing Customer Pain Points in Landing Pages

As our final example of how to leverage customer pain points in your marketing, we come to one of the most effective – and leakiest – parts of the conversion funnel, the humble landing page.

Landing pages are crucial to the success of many marketing campaigns, particularly PPC campaigns. Aligning your landing pages with the copy of your ads is a well-established PPC best practice, but your landing pages can also serve as another opportunity to reinforce why your product or service can ease your prospects’ pain.

Let’s take a look at how this works.

Below is a landing page for social analytics platform SimplyMeasured:

Customer pain points SimplyMeasured landing page example

This landing page is one of the best examples of addressing customer pain points I’ve come across. The headline is very effective (“How to Make Social Marketing Decisions Faster”) but the strapline below it is even better. Not only is it benefit-driven, it also addresses two specific pain points in a single line of copy: using time more effectively – which could be either a Productivity or Processes pain point – and establishing ones’ self as the go-to social analytics person in your office.

These benefits are further emphasized further down the landing page in the copy. In the bulleted list of what readers will learn from the download, one of the benefits listed is “Make quick stunning presentations for your stakeholders.” This reiterates the promise of the strapline, which is as much about perception as it is about productivity.

This landing page definitely isn’t perfect (there are many more web form fields included on this landing page than those shown above), but generally speaking, it’s a great example of how to leverage customer pain points in your copy and use emotional triggers to make your landing pages much more appealing.

No Pain, No Gain

By now, hopefully you have a better idea of what your customers are really trying to do when they’re looking for companies or products like yours. Although many customer pain points are similar, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to solving your customers’ pain. Fortunately, nobody knows your customers like you do, so dive into your research and start helping your customers accomplish what they really want to do.

What other tips do you have for helping customers overcome pain points?

Source: wordstream.com ~ By:  Dan Shewan

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