Thursday, April 30, 2015

How to Get Leads to Call You

old school rotary phone
“How do I get people to call me?” isn’t just a plea from the dating challenged. Marketers are realizing that that as mobile usage increases, phone calls are becoming more common and thus more valuable as a lead source.

But just because phone leads are more common now doesn't necessarily mean leads will automatically call you before they call your competitor. Cultivating leads is an art that requires you to make phone calls as easy as possible for your prospects.

Below are a couple ways you can encourage them to give you a call.

Use the Appropriate Type of Tracking Number

Keep in mind that selecting tracking numbers isn't an all-or-nothing decision. You can mix and match different types of numbers for specific purposes or locations (e.g., local numbers for franchises or regional offices and toll-free numbers for corporate headquarters).

As a bonus, using tracking numbers gives you access to valuable call data that you can use when analyzing your marketing campaigns.

Put Numbers Where People Can Find Them

White paper screenshotA hard-to-find number isn't much better than having no number at all. In a ConsumerReports survey, respondents expressed frustration over having to dig through a company’s website to find a phone number. Don’t make your prospects work any harder than they have to. Your goal should be for them to find out how to contact you in as few keystrokes as possible.

Helping future callers find your number is half the battle, but if you really want to encourage them to call you right then and there, make your numbers clickable. By giving them the option to get you on the phone at the click of a button rather than having to manually enter your number into their phone’s dialer, you increase the odds of making your phone ring.

Click-to-call functions, which are available from call tracking providers, also give you the option to display numbers as eye-catching graphics rather than plain text numbers, which is useful for creating call-to-action buttons.

Following these tips will up your odds of getting more phone calls from people who want to buy what you’re selling. But wait, there’s more! This post was adapted from the white paper we just released: "A Five-Step Guide to Turning Online Phone Leads Into Customers." Go download it here. You’ll get more tips for bringing in calls, plus advice on how to convert those callers into customers. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why Healthcare Professionals Need to Be on Social Media

What do you do when you feel a tickle in your throat, your muscle won’t stop spasming or you have a weird growth on your eyelid? Go to a doctor? Maybe eventually. If you’re like 40 percent of consumers, however, first you’re going turn to social media for advice on what to do next.

But while Jessica on Facebook, @RetweetsEverything on Twitter and Chase.R on Reddit might be well-meaning in their advice, there’s nothing like having a qualified professional answer your questions. In fact, 60 percent of social media users are most likely to trust social media posts and activity by doctors over any other group.

You’re going to have to do a little digging to find doctors on social media, though, because only 28 percent of hospitals in the U.S. post, share and tweet. Why so few, you ask?

The Diagnosis

Just like your diagnosis, social media situations in healthcare can be complicated. With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) putting strict guidelines on how healthcare providers are able to share patients’ health information, practices are wary of jumping into the land of oversharing.

However, healthcare professionals can and should have a social presence without breaking the rules. (For specific advice on how to avoid violating HIPAA on social media, we’re going to have to refer you to a specialist.) Part of the reason is that misinformation spreads fast — remember how social media blew up during the Ebola scare? Unfortunately, without access to reliable information sources, people are going to accept whatever information seems factual, even if it’s not.

The Treatment

In order for social media users to have access to more sources of reputable health-related resources, healthcare organizations need to create and share useful, accurate and timely content. Having a social media presence has some nice side effects for healthcare organizations too: It improves their brand recognition and builds trust with the patients they treat.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at Mayo Clinic, which is the poster child for healthcare social media. The top-ranked hospital system values social engagement as part of its corporate strategy and strives to give consumers what they want to see online. For example, to create a sense of transparency, Mayo Clinic posts YouTube videos of surgeons performing surgery and gives patients the option to ask doctors questions online.

Plus, Mayo Clinic regularly produces content for its blog and podcast. People clearly “like” (see what we did there?) what the organization is doing, because it has nearly 596,000 followers on Facebook and 1.14 million on Twitter.

Although healthcare providers do have to exercise caution in what they post on social media, social networking gives them valuable opportunities they shouldn’t overlook. When done right, having a social media presence allows practices to provide users with valuable information and build trust with patients.

What’s the best use of social media in the healthcare sector you’ve seen?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Make Sure Wins on the Track Turn into Wins in the Showroom

Race cars"Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" is one of the oldest automotive marketing catchphrases in the book. When the saying first took off in the 1950s, sales were known to spike following race weekends in Daytona and Indianapolis, but does it still hold true today?

Unlike 1950s car buyers, most modern consumers aren't looking for race cars, but experts say action on the track still brings customers to the showroom because motorsports fans are considered opinion leaders for other car buyers. With racing season firing up, a call tracking vendor can help you be prepared for an influx of revved up customers.

Marketing Is Money Well Spent

Auto manufacturers are going to great lengths to invest in motorsports programs and sponsorships, spending more than $5 billion globally in 2014 — and it's paid off. Chevrolet, the world's most active individual automotive brand in terms of motorsports sponsorship dollars spent, had its best July in seven years after a busy four-race weekend in Indianapolis last year.

Just as Chevrolet and other auto manufactures gauge returns on their sponsorship dollars by tracking sales, you can see where your marketing dollars are catching the most checkered flags by using an inbound lead tracker. With 94 percent of marketing budgets being spent to entice customers to call, knowing which ads are most successful will keep you going in the right direction.

Losing Hurts Too

Considered one of the most powerful brands in the world and easily the most successful team in Formula 1 history with 16 constructors' champions, Ferrari's winless 2014 season on motorsports' biggest stage tarnished its image in some eyes. The Italian company's production car business is as profitable as ever but it was still bumped from No. 1 to No. 9 in Brand Finance's annual Top 10 Brands earlier this year.

Just as Ferrari can take a hit from its losses, your dealership can take a hit from losing leads. Use a professional call evaluation service to make sure potential customers aren't racing to your competitors because of missed or mishandled calls.

Have Sunday's wins or losses had an effect on your dealership? Share your experiences in the comments.