How about pop up video advertisements you’re forced to watch before getting to the website content you really wanted to view?
At first pop-ups were an occasional annoyance along a few stops on the internet. Then national brands and publishers began forcing pop up advertisements to play before they let you see the web content. Don’t they know we don’t like it? Haven’t the in-bound marketing experts joined friends for coffee or a beer and heard the moans and groans about the ‘stupid pop ups’?
They’re almost as annoying as the pre-recorded sales call that have become the norm for cold calling on business land lines. With robo-calls you can hang up right away (it’s not rude if it’s not a live person, right?). With the pop-up internet ad you have to sit through to see desired content- well, unless you are as impatient – I mean busy – as I am and you click over to check email while the ad is playing. (Don’t judge, you’ve done it.). Cursed pop-ups.
But if people are irritated by the pop-up alerts and pop-up email subscription forms why does it seem like every website is doing it?
It’s called inbound Marketing and it’s the hottest thing online.
To explain it simply, inbound marketing attempts to capture visitors, customers and prospects who have inquired about a product or service online. Pop-up forms grab the data and a list is born.
When visitors come to your company website:
- Do you know them by name?
- Do you know why they chose your site?
- Did they contact you or buy from you?
- Will they ever come back again?
When you study the Google analytics or other website tracking software for your small business you see all these website hits but you have no idea who they are. The ISP tracking isn’t associated with real people. (we do have a tool to track companies who come to your site, call or email about B2B website visitor tracking) You may be able to track pages that individuals visited on your site and the site or URL that referred them, but that’s it. True ships that pass in the night. Every sales representative and small business owner and manager wants to find out who their website visitors are, talk to them, thank them for stopping, and sell to them. But how?…
Of course we all know why nearly every website out there is demanding our email. We know it’s because they want to stay connected to us. But how can it be working when so many of us feel violated each time that pop-up flies on the screen?
In-bound marketing banks on those times you visit a website and love the product or service so much you want to stay connected with them. Subscribing to the RSS feed of a blog, subscribing to an e-mail list, or completing a contact form for the company to reach out to you via phone, snail mail or email allows this. Your information feeds their database and you get to hear from them on a regular basis. Your inquiry came into their site and they have put systems in place so they may communicate with you in the form(s) you have selected, email, phone, etc.
Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute, Connection Group is an integrated marketing firm, that uses inbound marketing tactics, and responsive website design solutions. Haven’t you jumped on the in-bound marketing wagon and start pushing pop-ups?
- not all in-bound marketing tactics are for everyone or every business
- we don’t push trends just because it’s the hot new strategy
- we don’t like the pop-up tactic interrupting our web experience
There are ways to integrate inbound marketing tactics into internet marketing efforts without being intrusive to the viewer.
- when a visitor has been on a page a while. – They must be interested because they’re still on the site, maybe they like you and want to stay connected?
- when someone is leaving the site – Thank them for visiting and suggest related pages based on what they have viewed.
- on exit – The exit pop-up can remind them to stay connected and leave their email, phone number, etc. to receive updates, coupons, warranty information, etc.
- custom to audience – design inbound marketing tactics and pop-ups as an integral non-intrusive website element.
When inbound marketing works
There are times when a pop-up comes up on a website with great content and I sign up willingly. I am grateful they have a newsletter or a list I can join. I can continue to receive their content will little to no effort – love that. I may get reeled in by a free download of an e-book, or e-news sign up. They give me something of value and exchange my contact information. A relationship is born.
Why do many pop-ups rattle our cage?
- on websites that are serving as distractions for the moment
- on websites with products and services that we don’t use often
- on websites (brands} that haven’t earned our trust yet
Build a relationship first. Jumping in and pushing for personal information when the visitor first arrives is like proposing marriage on the first date. Slow down there bucko.
There are many facets to inbound marketing, pop up forms are just one small feature. Integrating inbound marketing as an online marketing strategy for business to business (B2B) companies and especially business to consumer (B2C) companies can be highly effective. It can also be be very costly depending on the company you choose to work with. Companies such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot (used within Salesforce the popular CRM software) have software and contracts available. These companies provide the software but you still have to do the work – and there is a steep learning curve. The time and cost investment can be higher than many small business owners and managers can add on.
Share comments, is inbound marketing a good solution for your business or customers? Or shoot a call or email with questions. We promise not to throw a pop-up in your face.
Of course, if you already know you want to continue our relationship subscribe to our email for small business tips plus marketing and design tips you can use.
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (Leap, Inc.) has combined with Great Lakes Entrepreneurial Quest (GLEQ) to bring aspiring entrepreneurs two days of inspring presentations, Angel funding session, points on securing government contracts, tips on marketing, notes on protecting intellectual property and many more critical topics of value to entrepreneurs.
On Thursday, June 9, enjoy a day of presentations and breakout sessions and virtual tours of Michigan’s business incubators and the GLEQ Business Plan Competition Awards Banquet that evening. On Friday, you’ll have the option of participating in numerous networking and educational activities and exploring the displays in the exhibit hall (please stop by Connection Group table and let us know you read this post to receive a special gift!).
The agenda on both days encourages meeting and learning from other entrepreneurs, investors, business professionals and resource experts. Contact LEAP to secure small conference rooms that are available at no additional cost on a first-come, first-served basis for small meetings and private conversations. Visit Entrepreneur Connect to read more about the session available and reserve your place. Participate in the events and activities as best fits your schedule and interests.
I hope to see you there and look forward to this great opportunity to meet and support business in Michigan. Even though Connection Group opened our doors over 14 years ago, business continues to evolve because we keep learning. If all we offered were the graphic design services for print marketing that was our base in 1997 we could not have sustained the business. Because we paid attention to trends and consulted experts, we have continually expanded our product offerings to meet the market. Internet marketing, website design and consulting quickly became a larger segment of client sales, even in those early days.
The ability to learn and excel is a critical component to business success. Because we have stayed in touch with customer needs and honed our skills, Connection Group has become recognized as a brand marketing resource. When our customers need to engage in social media we develop social media strategies for them, custom designed Facebook fan pages, landing pages, and custom website design and development as part of the marketing services mix. We don’t know what the future will bring, but we will be one of the first to learn about it as we continue to attend great events such as Entrepreneur Connect.
As Miche Suboski shared, “Summer is usually a sleepy time for business, but not for Entrepreneurs! At least the one’s that are out making stuff happen….Entrepreneur Connect has many… excellent opportunities (all in one event!) for you to get out there and continue to build your brand or make connections that will help you take the next step with your venture.”