A local SEO strategy is vital for every small business, drawing in website visitors and customers searching for goods and services in their own cities or towns. According to Google, 46 percent of all search queries have a local intent. For any local business, if you aren’t optimizing your website for local searches, you’re missing out on a valuable source of new clients and customers.
While search engine optimization can improve your positioning in Google’s page-ranking system, it’s important to take a step back to view the bigger picture: The goal of SEO is to increase quality traffic organically to your site and this is where having a good click-through rate (CTR) comes in. CTR is a metric measuring how many people click on your search engine listing and visit your site.
Improving click-through rate for local searches isn’t a complex process, but it helps to understand search optimization terminology. Here’s a brief glossary of the terms you’ll run across in this article:
- Conversions: A conversion occurs whenever someone clicks on one of your web page’s search results and stays on your website or performs some type of activity on it.
- Impressions: Impressions refer to how many times your website appears in search results for specific search queries.
- Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are highly specific three- or four-word phrases describing your product, service, and/or location. While they may produce less traffic than shorter keywords, the CTR on long-tail keywords tends to be higher as site visitors often use highly targeted search queries to find the goods, services, or information they want.
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are short summaries of web page content embedded in a page’s HTML code. Google often displays meta descriptions in search results.
- On-page SEO: On-page SEO refers to optimizing a web page to boost search engine rankings. (Learn more about search engine optimization by brushing up on the definition of SEO and how it affects your web page ranking.)
- Organic search: An organic search, or natural search, refers to unpaid search results that match search queries based on relevance rather than paid advertisement results.
- Search engine: A search engine is a program that searches web pages for specific keywords and information. Bing and Yahoo are examples of search engines, but let’s face it—the only search engine that really counts for commercial traffic is Google. (When was the last time you read an article about how to optimize a page for Bing? We never have.)
- Title tags: Title tags are HTML content that display web page titles. A search engine will display title tags as clickable links in search results.
Increase in click-through rates leads to increase in business
More website traffic results in more leads and more conversions. Given Google’s estimation that 46 percent of all search engine queries are local, having your social media pages, GMB listing, title tags, and long-tail keywords optimized for local traffic makes sense—otherwise, you’re closing yourself off to new customers. Moz suggests a twofold increase in CTR increases conversion rates by as much as 50 percent.
Different websites will consider different CTRs as successes. A small, highly specialized company might be happy seeing a CTR only three to four clicks higher than their original rate, while a more general business may need a much higher increase.
How to improve click-through rates in local search
Having your site rank within the first few positions in the search results can feel like a challenge, but with local search having far less competition to battle with and Google’s Local Pack as an added feature in SERPs, ranking locally is much easier than it sounds. Local search results are primarily based on three things:
- Relevance: Relevance to the searcher’s query
- Distance: Proximity to the searcher’s know location
- Prominence: How well known your business is (links, online listings & directories, reviews, etc.)
Focus on covering these factors and you’ll be part of the local game. The challenge from here is learning ways stand out from your competition to increase your own CTR.
Think about what makes sense to your users: How do they search for your services? What do they want to find with their queries? Consider what would encourage them to click through to your site and ways you could stand out in the pack. And remember, search engine optimization is part art, part science, and takes time to put into effect. Start with the basics and make note of the changes you’ve made along the way.
1. Register with Google My Business
This should be your first priority in the hopes of appearing in local search results. Registering with Google My Business puts your business and location on Google Maps and brings you a step closer to being represented in the Local 3-pack. This means when users search with local intent for your business or your industry, your map location may show up above search results in the Local Pack.
Clicking on the map location will redirect users to Google Maps and your business information. From there, they can gather further information about your business and may choose to phone you, click through to your website, or visit your physical location.
For the best results, Google recommends your listing :
- Represent your business as accurately and consistently as it is on and offline
- Display accurate location and/or service area
- Specify your business category (choose the fewest number of categories & the most specific)
To increase your appearances on search result maps, make use of proximity keywords such as “coffee near me” or “coffee in Atlanta.”
2. Manage your online business listings
You’ve created or claimed your business listing with Google my Business, but don’t stop there. It’s time to promote yourself and not just through Google. Depending on what type of local business you operate, create and claim listings on third-party review sites and other local business directories to increase the likelihood of being found online. Adding more listings across the web will also increase your prominence, proving to Google that you are in fact a legitimate business in the area you claim.
Here’s a few online listing sites to get started:
3. Ratings and Reviews
This one circles back to the first two. Reviews, specifically Google reviews, are prominent in local search and will more often than not will influence users to click or not click-through to your listing for further information. According to a Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal, 56% of consumers select a business if it has positive ratings and reviews displayed in Google Local Pack and further information shows positive reputation can actually boost search ranking, drive more clicks and build trust among consumers.
4. Revisit your title tags
Your on-page SEO should always include title tags, which help search engines and users alike understand what your pages are about. Your title tags are the clickable text seen on search-results pages.
But what makes your site stand out from the rest of the results? Writing an engaging title for your content is one of the most important aspects of creating content that does well in search engines. Be clear and concise in your title when describing the page users would click-through to, but engaging enough in your language to pull them into your site.
Google will only display the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. Anything longer will be cut off, so try to keep your title tag under sixty characters, and include the name of your city or town.
5. Write effective meta descriptions
Meta descriptions make up most of your search-engine results page (SERP) entry and as such offer an opportunity to tell potential visitors about your site or the content that’s appearing in their query.
Use this very short paragraph as an opportunity to describe the content of the page its about and ensure people you’re locally based. Consider testing out a call-to-action like “Get information on” and “Learn about” to entice users to click through for more information.
6. Participate and engage on social media
A social media presence is important for building your brand and increasing your marketing range. People who learn to trust your brand through social media content are more likely to click through to your site when you show up in organic search results.
Additionally, Facebook and Twitter offer relatively inexpensive social media ads you can use to increase your marketing effect. Remember that direct marketing is not the goal of building a social media presence—instead, focus on creating a consistent brand voice and providing users with helpful information and solutions.
6. Be mobile friendly
Make sure your website is optimized for smartphones and tablets. According to a 2019 study by Uberall, 69 percent of smartphone users use their phones to shop, with 82 percent of that group performing “near me” searches. Trying to navigate website content not optimized for mobile devices frustrates potential customers, especially if content takes too long to load on their devices. (When pages take more than three seconds to load on mobile devices, 40 percent of consumers will bounce out of the site.)
How to measure local search click-through rates
Search engines measure every click-through a website receives. You can access this data through the Google Search Console (GSC), which provides you with an organic search performance report that includes the following information needed to calculate CTRs:
- Average page positions
Through Search Console, you can track your site’s keywords, how well they perform, and whether users find your site through organic search queries, pay-per-click ads, social media, or other sources.
GSC can also help you find local keywords relevant to your business. Start by filtering queries in the GSC to find location-based keywords, which include your city or locale. Also look for queries that use “near me” to narrow down the right keywords.
You’ll need your localized long-tail keywords (such as “cleaning service in atlanta” and “lawyers of atlanta”) and the number of clicks per keyword. All of this can be found in the GCS, along with impressions, conversions, and additional data.
To measure your CTR, tally up the number of clicks that localized keywords generate, and divide that number by the number of impressions those same keywords generate per month. Multiply the result by one hundred to generate your local SEO CTR:
(Clicks on local keyword search queries / Impressions) × 100 = Local SEO CTR
For example, if the keyword “funeral homes in Atlanta” generates thirteen clicks per one hundred impressions, you’d wind up with a CTR of 13 percent.
Tools to help your improve you analyze CTR and improve performance
Online tools are available to optimize meta descriptions, research long-tail keywords, and improve other aspects of SEO strategy. While few of these tools deal specifically with local-search optimization, they are nonetheless useful aids for polishing your content and on-page SEO.
Google Ads Keyword Planner allows you to research how often long-tail keywords are used over time and suggests the most relevant keywords for your business.
Google Analytics is one of your most powerful SEO strategy tools, allowing you to generate reports on reams of data on how users find your site, impressions, conversations, and more.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool quickly analyzes whether your website is optimized for smartphones and mobile devices and offers suggestions to make your site more mobile friendly.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of web pages and suggests how to improve the loading speed of pages across multiple devices.
Google Search Console provides an easy-to-use dashboard for measuring a website’s traffic and performance.
AnswerThePublic searches for questions related to a keyword, generating a graphic of the questions and phrases people use to search for those keywords. If you’re trying to get your site into a Google Infobox, this is an excellent resource.
MozBar is a Chrome add-on that provides metrics on any page or search result page you view and includes a data-export option for converting search engine analysis into CSV files.
SmallSEOtools Meta Tags Analyzer quickly checks your meta descriptions and title tags for correct length and placement. The tool also lets you enter the URL of your competitors so you can quickly compare their meta tags to your own.
If you’re an outpatient PT, you need to have strong relationships with referring physicians—whether you like it or not. Creating solid relationships with MDs brings a lot of benefits to the table. For example, physicians can help you:
- get POC signatures when you’re in a bind;
- improve outcomes (excellent care coordination is powerful medicine—pun intended); and
- maintain a steady stream of patient referrals to your clinic.
But, a tepid referral relationship isn’t going to cut it. To make your referral relationships work for you, you have to put in the work (i.e., communicate regularly and continually build rapport). Remember, good referral relationships don’t pop out of the ground like daisies—and they, like any other relationship in life, require attention and care. With that in mind, let’s talk about the three stages of building lasting referral relationships.
1. Stage One: Making a Good First Impression
As with any relationship, first impressions are key. Some people even say that the first impression is the last impression—and when you’re courting physicians who have countless other specialists seeking their attention, this is doubly true.
Do your homework.
The best first impression in the world won’t mean a thing if you and your referral source aren’t a good fit. For example, a sports PT will have a heck of a time soliciting referrals from a physician who mostly treats elderly patients.
Before you reach out, check out the practice’s marketing to get an idea about the patients and audience it serves. Along those same lines, make sure your potential referral source accepts at least some of the same payers that you do.
This is also when you should identify your referral gatekeepers. Nowadays, doctors are so busy that their clinics often employ full-time liaisons who manage referrals. So, it’s totally possible that you need to focus first on impressing the liaison—not the physician him- or herself.
Make a patient-centric pitch.
Once you zero in on your target—that is, once you find a physician who might be a good referral fit—you need to prove that your care will benefit that physician’s patients. Have your outcomes and NPS® data on hand so you can show how patients measurably improve when they come to see you.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that some physicians may consider other factors when assessing potential referral partners. That’s why Healthcare Success recommends simply cutting to the chase and asking: ‘What’s most important to you regarding how we take care of your patient?” This demonstrates that you really care about this physician’s patients, and it helps make sure that you’re both on the same page with respect to overall goals.
Have a human touch.
At the end of the day, physicians are people, too. (I know—wild, right?) Data is a crucial piece of the referral relationship-building process, but having a warm conversation with a physician will go a long way, too. Remember, you’re probably not the only provider who’s trying to get referrals from any given physician, and you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle.
2. Stage Two: Building Trust
Okay, you’ve made a good first impression, which means you’ve laid the foundation for a good referral relationship. Now, you have to build up the rest of the house.
Hopefully, by this point, the physician has sent a patient or two over to your practice. This is when you get to do what you do best: heal patients through movement. As you provide excellent care to these patients, make sure you continue recording data like outcomes scores and NPS. Additionally, ensure your documentation thoroughly explains the progress and results these patients achieve under your care.
Close the loop.
Your work is not done once you receive referrals from a physician. In fact, this is where many referral relationships turn sour. Providers assume that, because the physician is giving referrals, everything is hunky-dory, and they can just continue treating like normal while simultaneously receiving a never-ending stream of patients from a physician they never talk to.
That’s not the case. If you want to build rapport and trust with a referring provider, you have to close the communication loop and give him or her meaningful information (like the aforementioned outcomes and NPS data) that affirms his or her decision to send patients to your practice. And you can’t stop doing this after one or two patients. You’ll want to continue conducting periodic outreach to help bolster your relationship with the referral source and reinforce the value you’re providing his or her patients.
3. Stage Three: Maintaining Connections
The third and final macro stage of building time-tested referral relationships is to maintain those relationships. I touched on this a little bit in the previous section, but it’s very important that you keep yourself top-of-mind. This article from Dignity Health recommends sending information to your referral sources whenever you add to or otherwise change your service offerings. This source even recommends reaching out with a phone call or an email on occasion—or maybe even to arrange a lunch appointment: “The rule is to just keep the communication channels open!”
Monitor your relationships.
Of course, doing all of this relationship management by hand is tough for therapists who are already swamped with high patient loads and tedious documentation requirements. Luckily, there are plenty of referral relationship management solutions out there to help therapists manage this process by keeping tabs on things like:
- Active referrals,
- Referral source contact frequency, and
- Revenue by referral source.
Check out some of the options available here.
Building strong, long-lasting referral relationships is an art. It’s one part data, two parts good connection, and ten parts social finesse. Basically, it’s hard to do—but it’s an important part of helping your clinic stay financially viable. What referral relationship approaches do you think work best? Feel free to drop a comment below and share your expertise!
The post The 3 Stages of Building Referral Relationships that Last appeared first on WebPT.
When your sales team scores a conversion for your company, it’s rarely an event that occurs in isolation. Sales professionals may dream of a perfect one-touch conversion with a new client, but the reality is much more complex: multiple touches, multiple channels, and an organizational headache when it comes to assigning credit for the victory.
Think about the core tenant of sales enablement: providing the sales team the tools they need to be more successful in their engagements with prospects.
If you have a sales enablement program up and running at your organization, you need to have an attribution model in place to measure success in not just your marketing campaigns, but in your entire funnel.
While opinions abound, there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to choosing an attribution model.
Instead, organizations have to pick an attribution method that aligns with their measurement goals, as well as the specific characteristics of their sales enablement program. Struggling to know how to approach this decision? You’re not alone. Let’s review the types of attribution you may want to consider, and the questions you should ask before you commit to a model.
The importance of accurate attribution for sales enablement
Choosing an attribution model is an imperfect science, but it’s a crucial step if you’re serious about analyzing performance and optimizing your sales strategy for better results in the future. When you have an attribution model in place, that strategy informs your sales analytics, helping you place sales performance in context and identify strengths and weaknesses relative to your established KPIs.
It’s important to understand that attribution isn’t aimed at figuring out who deserves credit for what sale. It offers a more holistic value to sales enablement programs, providing data-driven insights not only about the conversion stage of sales, but about the entire sales funnel, and the relationships between these different stages.
Organizations implement sales attribution models because they want to fill knowledge gaps that are inhibiting their understanding, and thus their performance, regarding the sale process. By choosing a given attribution model, you’re essentially indicating that you are seeking a specific type of knowledge about your sales program that will hopefully inspire better results in the future.
5 types of attribution modeling to consider for sales analytics
Each attribution model offers its own strengths and limitations when it comes to gaining visibility into sales enablement program. Here are some common models you may want to consider to give your sales team more detail about how prospects are entering your funnel and what triggers marketing to hand them off over to sales.
1. First-touch attribution
This attribution model gives all of a conversion’s credit to the very first point of contact. While there are obvious limitations created by ignoring all of the other interactions that take place on the customer journey, first-touch attribution is a valuable tool for analyzing performance across your top-of-funnel activities.
If you’re struggling with lead generation, for example, first-touch attribution can help you see which channels and strategies are creating the most opportunities for your sales team. You can then use this information to allocate resources and training in an effort to improve lead generation in poor-performing areas, while also leaning into the success you’ve created through your highest-performing channels.
2. Last-touch attribution
This provides a similar function as first-touch attribution, except instead of delivering insights regarding your top-of-funnel performance, it illuminates your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to closing the deal.
The most common use case for last-touch attribution is when your organization is generating a lot of leads and experiencing multiple interactions with customers, but you’re struggling to generate conversions at a satisfactory clip. With last-touch attribution, you isolate the last point of contact with prospects to see which channels and strategies are effectively closing the deal, and which ones are struggling to make that final push to turn prospects into customers.
Once you’ve identified your areas of struggle, you can start exploring why this is the case, and implement new sales enablement strategies to improve performance in the future.
3. Linear attribution
Curious whether there are any gaps in your full-funnel sales strategy, or whether you’re suffering from particularly poor performance through specific stages or channels? Linear attribution can help identify these areas of weakness. By assigning value evenly across each point of contact with a prospect, your organization can help weed out performance gaps that are inhibiting your sales success.
For example, linear attribution can tell you whether one specific channel — social media, or email — is frequently involved as a point of contact in successful sales efforts. In a long chain of interactions, these interactions can easily get lost in the shuffle, and they get overlooked by a lot of different attribution models. Linear attribution gives them equal credit. While this might not be the most accurate assignment of value per channel, it can improve visibility of steps and channels that might otherwise get lost in the attribution shuffle.
4. Time-decay attribution
This is another type of multi-touch attribution that assigns value to interactions based on their recency. The last point of interaction gets the largest percentage of credit, while the first point of contact gets the smallest.
This can be an excellent attribution model if you’re confident in your lead generation efforts, but you’re struggling with advancement down the sales funnel. Time-day attribution weighs bottom-funnel activities with greater value, placing an emphasis on how your sales enablement program is supporting strategies that target the consideration and conversion stages.
5. Position-based attribution
This model splits 80% of the total credit evenly between the first and last point of contact. The remaining 20% gets divided evenly among all of the interactions in between first and last touch. Sales teams can use this strategy to evaluate the lead gen and closing efforts that are starting and finishing the sales process, while acknowledging that the customer journey in between those interactions can be winding and complex.
In addition to these basic attribution models, sales analytics tools may also offer algorithmic and machine learning-enabled attribution models that are more complex and customized to your organization’s sales enablement strategy. They can also be capable of tracking channels and data points, such as call tracking strategies, that may not be accessible through more basic attribution tools.
While these solutions are more technical in nature and require specialized analytics, they can potentially provide better insights than a general attribution model — although the models listed above are still very useful for analyzing aspects of your sales enablement program.
Questions to ask when choosing an attribution model
As you evaluate your options with different attribution models, you need to take a close look at your current sales performance. A close evaluation of your sales enablement program should help you narrow your attribution options to a few obvious choices.
Here are some questions to ask in this process:
- What is your No. 1 weakness in the program? In what areas do you feel sales enablement is struggling to uplift sales performance at your company?
- What is your No. 1 strength in the program? Where have you been most successful in using your program to deliver better results? Consider not just individual salesperson performance but also overall conversion rates, account-based targeting success, and other factors.
- Do you have data to support those claims? Make sure analytics-driven insights are part of your program review process.
- What resources do you love to use in the sales process? What about in the marketing funnel?
- What resources have proven most effective, or get the biggest reaction from leads? What about prospects?
- Where do you see the greatest drop off in your sales process? For example, does your company have great success with top-of-funnel activities, only to struggle to close the deal? Or vice versa?
- What communication methods are most effective for closing sales? Specifically, what channels are delivering the best results for your sales team? Offer hypotheses for why this might be the case.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of questions, but it offers a useful framework for understanding your attribution needs, and identifying which types of models might offer the best value for your organization.
When choosing an attribution model, it’s important to consider your present needs. You aren’t locked into an attribution model forever. For that reason, you should focus on finding an approach to attribution that offers visibility and insight to address your current struggles and areas of need.
The post How to choose the right attribution model to assess your sales enablement programs appeared first on CallRail.
Businesses live or die by the quality of their leads — it’s a fact. And if there aren’t enough qualified leads, sales just won’t happen. There’s nothing worse than Marketing believing they are delivering the best gift of all time – a sure sales – that doesn’t materialize. Sales loses confidence in Marketing. Marketing’s frustration grows.
This leads me to a critical question – “How do we qualify?” How do we build an engine that’s efficient and has the guardrails and governance to set a company up for success. The key to this endeavor is collaboration. A connected, integrated, healthy-kind-of-debate type of partnership. Not everyone will agree and it requires collaboration by both Marketing and Sales to create an effective engine that acquires leads, qualifies them, and passes them to sales ready to close.
I’ve seen this first hand at CallRail. Marketing will work diligently to generate demand, and Sales gets exhilarated by the thought of leads that are going to blow out this month’s goals. The sad part is, without the discipline to follow these mystical guardrails and governance that I mentioned, what seemed like a sure thing, results in: Nothing. Nada. Zilch. A big fat good egg. And the sad part is, both teams start to resent the other.
But the exciting news is – it doesn’t have to be this way. By coming together collectively and creating that partnership, all sides are saying, “Yeah, you’re right. We know that’s not really a qualified lead,” or “No, that does align with our scoring model, we should’ve been working harder on those engagement leads.” Accountability exists on both sides of the fence and it works. It’s so much easier to identify what went wrong where and why.
There’s no point in trying to sell to somebody who will never buy your products. That’s why lead qualification is such an important business practice. In fact, it’s a key component to having a successful revenue generating business.
You firstly need to make sure that you’re marketing to the right sort of person. Does this individual match the type of buyer for my business? Are they showing intent based on their behavior with my website or marketing assets? You need to think about your lead scoring methodology. Is it setup to flag high quality leads? Once it is, what is your process to get those leads to the finish line? When does Sales come into the conversation?
Once this has been identified, you’ve laid some of the ground work to qualify leads. But let’s get more granular into what they really means.
In this piece, we will cover every aspect of how to qualify marketing leads, including:
- What is lead classification?
- What is lead qualification?
- What are the different types of lead qualification?
- The difference between marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs)
- What are the best lead generation tools?
- What are the best resources for lead generation?
What is lead classification?
Lead classification is the name given to the general principle of categorizing leads. Leads are usually classified according to how close they are to purchasing one of your products. You’ve likely heard of “cold leads” and “hot leads” before — this is one very generalized form of lead classification.
Effective lead classification drastically improves an organization’s conversion rate. There’s little sense in trying to sell to a cold lead the same way you’d sell to a hot lead — by accurately categorizing each prospect, businesses can be more strategic in their marketing and sales efforts.
This goes back to the lead scoring methodology. If a prospect clicks on your website, goes to the pricing page, and engages with a case study, does that mean they’re a hot lead? You’ll have to define those behaviors and continually make adjustments to stay ahead of the curve.
What is lead qualification?
Whereas lead classification refers to the general principle of differentiating leads, lead qualification is a little more detailed. In short, it’s the process of confirming that a lead is a valid business prospect — and that they deserve your time and attention.
You see, not all leads are necessarily equal. You might have some people who are very interested in what your company’s up to because they’re a competitor, or because they’re interested in the industry — but they’re never actually going to buy from you.
When each new lead comes in, you need to first verify that they might actually buy from you. It might not be today, this week or this month, but you need to identify if they have a need that your company — and its products — can solve.
This is especially complex in B2B circles. The person you speak to might not, for instance, actually be able to purchase anything on the company’s behalf — there’s little likelihood that a junior executive will be making decisions regarding their company’s wider tech stack.
Or, alternatively, you might be a marketing attribution software provider whose technology requires a certain level of yearly advertising spend to generate valuable business insights.
In these events, you can’t spend time, money, and energy pitching to everybody who shows the slightest amount of interest in your company. When you have a clearly-defined target persona in mind, you should immediately disqualify any prospect who doesn’t meet these criteria.
To help out with this process, IBM devised the BANT (budget, authority, need, timing) system. You need to identify if your prospects/their organization have the money, the authority, and the need for your product — if the answer to all these questions is yes, then you need to work out roughly when they’ll want/need to purchase it. This is typically the function of the Sales team. They are required to have this information before they accept a lead into their pipeline.
B2C lead qualification generally isn’t as complex as this. You can be fairly sure that most people have the authority to make a purchase (unless of course you’re speaking to young children), and most global retailers will sell their goods to anyone, regardless of demographic criteria.
Why lead qualification is important
Lost sales result from sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers before taking them through the full sales process. This leads to an immense amount of frustration as well as wasted time, money, and effort.
Effective lead qualification is the backbone of any good sales process. Not only will it help you identify valid business prospects, but you’ll also discern where they are in their buyer journey and how best to market to them.
Cold leads require different marketing and sales strategies than hot leads. Likewise, recently-acquired leads, shouldn’t immediately be contacted by a sales representative. New leads should be warmed by marketing activities to get them to the point where they are ready for Sales interaction.
How are leads qualified?
In a nutshell, leads are initially qualified by successfully answering a number of questions which marks them out as a viable prospect. Once they’ve proven that they’re the right sort of lead, they’re further qualified — and move through the sales funnel — by showing ongoing interest in your company and engaging in a number of specific actions.
Arguably the most important factor in qualifying leads is lead scoring. Regardless of the framework you use or the questions you ask when working out who’s ready to buy from you, every lead should have a quantifiable numerical score attached to them.
It’s all well and good thinking or feeling that a lead is qualifiable and will end up becoming a customer. However, it’s not as easy to work out precisely where they are in the funnel without a standardized scoring system.
Lead scoring provides you with a certifiable measurement to discern the lifecycle of a prospect. Who’s an NQL, an EQL, an MQL, and who’s an SQL. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of some of these acronyms before — we’ll touch on this in more depth later on.
Collaboration is the key to having a successful lead scoring process, marketing and sales teams need to come together to discuss what precise score — correlating to a certain level of activity/interest — makes an MQL and an SQL.
In general, there are two main factors that come into play with lead scoring (which each have their own subfactors).
The first is demographic information. All buyers need to fit the correct profile to be qualified as a lead (think BANT). There may well be degrees to this. For instance, if the lead is a C-suite executive, then they’ll probably have a higher lead score than a manager.
Make sure to weave this into your lead generation process. For instance, if you have a piece of gated content, make sure you include question fields asking about this demographic information.
This way, you can easily discern who is — and who isn’t — a viable prospect as soon as they’ve downloaded the resource.
You might have to manually come up with definitions for MQLs and SQLs. However, once this has been worked out, you can then map this into your CRM system — which will automate this process for you going forward.
Plus, the best CRMs on the market will scrape the internet to find out any publicly-available data which may help with the qualification process. You shouldn’t spend your time scouring LinkedIn to find out more about your leads — instead use Lead Enrichment platforms to provide additional information you haven’t already acquired.
The other key part of lead qualification is their engagement. What marketing resources have they engaged with? How often do they visit your website? How long do they spend on it?
Lead scoring should be an automatic process. For instance, our CallScore feature allows you to automatically score inbound leads according to our advanced machine-learning algorithm, while CallScribe identifies keywords during your conversation and scores leads based on these.
What are the steps to qualifying marketing leads?
1. Analyze historical customer data
Your first step should be to analyze historic customer information when looking to qualify marketing and sales leads. Look for key trends that indicate potential buyers — what did your previous customers do prior to purchasing? At what rough stage do prospects go from being someone who’s vaguely interested in your organization to being incredibly interested?
2. Set MQL parameters
Once you have a good idea of what marks out a good lead, and the rough map of the buyer’s journey (or journeys), you can then begin to set specific MQL parameters. Sit down with the marketing team and work out what precisely you’re looking for. Are you going to split qualified leads into EQLs (those who have engaged on some level but haven’t shown ongoing interest) and MQLs (leads who have consistently engaged with your marketing materials and shown an ongoing interest in your brand)?
If you don’t have EQLs, then you need to work out the minimum threshold for an MQL. They will obviously have to meet the minimum criteria in order to be qualified in the first place (have the budget, authority, and need for your product), but what else?
You might well say that everybody who fits the right demographic criteria is a marketing-qualified lead. In order to know that they fit the bill, they’ve engaged with your brand before and have given you their information in one form or another. Therefore, this shows that they’re ready to learn more about your products or services.
Or maybe you’ve had difficulty before nurturing MQLs down the funnel. Someone might have signed up for a thought leadership webinar your company ran,q but they were only interested in the content itself and not how you could help solve their pain points. Alternatively, they might’ve exchanged their details in return for the chance to win a prize.
3. Sit down with the sales team
Marketing and sales need to come together when deciding what constitutes an MQL and what makes an SQL. Marketing needs to know when to hand over a prospect to sales or when more attention is needed before sales can close the deal. If they end up passing over poor quality leads, then that will lead to an erosion of trust between the two departments.
4. Refine as you go along
This process requires ongoing refinement. New technologies and products will significantly change the market — affecting how buyers see and purchase your goods. In fact, your products and services will probably change along with the market. Amidst all this change, it’s highly unlikely that your ideal customer’s profile or buying journey will stay the same.
Getting consistent feedback from your sales team is crucial if you’re to stay on top of all these changes and generate good-quality leads on an ongoing basis.
What are the differences between MQLs and SQLs
The main difference between an MQL and an SQL is how close the prospect is to purchasing. If they still need to learn more about your company and aren’t yet ready to purchase, then they’re an MQL. If they meet the BANT criteria, can’t wait to buy your product, and want to speak to a sales representative immediately, then they’re a SQL.
Once they’ve moved down the funnel and reached a pre-designated lead score, let’s say 100 points, they’ll then become MQLs and go into your sales team’s pipeline.
The average B2B buying cycle is twice as long as it was six years ago. This means that effectively working your leads from MQLs into SQLs is more important than ever.
So, in short, MQLs and SQLs are different in three main areas:
- Activity to-date
- Where they are in the funnel
- Who’s responsible for nurturing — or closing — them
What are the different types of lead qualification?
There are roughly five different stages to lead qualification, all based on the approach that the buyer’s journey is basically a funnel. Therefore, these leads all need to be treated with an approach that’s appropriate to their position in the funnel.
1. NQL (non-qualified lead)
Unfortunately, non-qualified leads are useless to your company — at least for now. Maybe you’ve thoroughly vetted them and they have neither the budget, authority, or need to purchase your product. In this case, it’s best to simply walk away with a smile and hope that they come back to you in the future if their situation changes.
Alternatively, maybe you simply don’t have enough information to classify them as qualified. You might’ve exchanged email addresses at an event but have no idea of their position or what their company does. In this instance, they’re not worth forgetting about, but you’ll need to have more information before you can qualify them as a viable lead.
2. EQL (engagement-qualified lead)
Engagement-qualified leads have demonstrated an interest in your company through a certain action (or actions). For instance, they might’ve downloaded a whitepaper or attended a talk given by someone at your organization.
Some organizations skip out EQLs entirely and would instead classify them as MQLs. Depending on the complexity of your customers’ buying journeys, the industry, and more, you can decide for yourselves whether or not you need EQLs.
On the one hand, it can be good to differentiate between qualified leads before they go off to sales. Someone who has attended one talk isn’t nearly as likely to purchase as someone who has engaged with multiple marketing materials and visited your website on many occasions. By classifying leads as EQLs, you can tailor your marketing outreach according to precisely how qualified each lead is.
On the other hand, many organizations find classifying EQLs an unnecessary complication. If a prospect has voluntarily engaged with your company, then they deserve to be treated as any other qualified lead — and so should receive the same sort of marketing materials as other MQLs.
3. MQL (marketing-qualified lead)
Marketing-qualified leads are well on their way to becoming customers. They’ve usually achieved a certain, pre-determined lead score — demonstrating ongoing interest in your brand by engaging with a number of marketing materials.
Marketing-qualified leads are middle-of-the-funnel. Once they’ve demonstrated enough sustained interest, they then become sales-qualified leads.
4.SQL (sales-qualified lead)
Sales-qualified leads should, in theory, be ready to purchase there and then. It’s not the sales team’s job to pique their interest in your brand or to convince them about the benefits of your products. In an ideal world, that would’ve already been completed due to the marketing team’s efforts.
This isn’t always the case, and sometimes salespeople need more time to close the deal. However, sales-qualified leads should still be handed over to the sales team as close to the point of purchase as possible. You want your sales team to provide leads with a welcome voice (or face) to your brand — a brand they already know and love.
What are the best lead generation tools?
Qualifying leads is irrelevant if you don’t have any — or enough — leads in the first place. This is where many businesses struggle.
Given their importance, you can understand why getting an ongoing supply of good quality leads is such a priority for organizations of all shapes and sizes. But what are the best tools to help you with this?
It may seem slightly obvious, but the best tools are usually your internal marketing practices. For most businesses, the bulk of your leads should come internally — if not, and you have to rely on external agencies or organizations, then you’re in a slightly precarious position, and might need to rethink your wider marketing strategy.
Here are some key ways in which your organization can generate ongoing leads:
1. Have a great reputation
If you’re an established player, then you can somewhat rely on your reputation to generate an ongoing series of leads. For example, whilst they do engage in advertising campaigns, companies like Apple and Nike would still receive a significant amount of leads due to their reputation even if for one year they stopped all marketing efforts.
Whilst not every organization will have this sort of global reputation, you can still generate ongoing interest from buyers by building a reputation for having great products, fantastic customer service, and a reasonable pricing model.
2. Be present at large-scale industry events
Events are another great way to showcase your organization’s offerings and brand message. Think about setting up a stand at every big industry event, and make the stand as visually eye-catching as possible.
You could also think about providing an incentive for people to visit your stand and speak to a sales representative — many companies offer freebies at their stand to attract attention. It may seem like a slightly cheap trick, but believe us, it works.
As well as having a physical stand, you can also arrange for a senior member of your organization to speak at an event. This is a great way to get a large number of industry professionals — many of whom will fit your ideal customer profile — in the same room as you. However, remember to not simply make it a sales pitch.
Instead, focus on providing an engaging thought leadership presentation that will inform and educate all attendees. Ideally, you’d have a few slides at the end explaining how your product solves the pain points that you raised, or makes the most out of the opportunities that you identified. However, make sure this is short, sweet, and relevant to the rest of the talk.
3. Engage in content marketing
The content marketing industry is due to be worth $412bn by 2021. Given its growing importance, content marketing simply cannot be ignored. Gone are the days when consumers will trust a brand because of a single advert — there’s too much competition, and consumers are more skeptical than they were in the past about trusting slogans. These days, consumers want to trust that brands actually know what they’re talking about.
Content marketing does all this and more. By explaining the nitty-gritty aspects of an industry, brands can highlight that they’re worth listening to — that they’re genuine experts — and, in turn, that their products are worth trusting. This is especially important in the B2B space as 47% of B2B buyers now consume three to five pieces of content before even engaging with a salesperson.
Content marketing works especially well on social media. Nobody from outside your company is necessarily that concerned about the ins-and-outs of your organization, but they’ll be far more interested in thought-leadership content which you create and share.
That’s not to say that advertising is done and dusted. Creative, engaging adverts still definitely have a place within any company’s lead generation process. We’re now inundated with adverts wherever we go — when we watch television, when we’re on social media, when we travel on public transport, and when we’re driving along the highway. It’s inescapable.
This means that your adverts have to stand out. Think of the Superbowl adverts each year — because there are so many people watching, and it costs so much, the companies that do run adverts pull out all the stops.
Produce a memorable advert, and not only will you attract leads there and then, but your brand’s reputation will also grow as a result.
5. Partnerships with industry leaders
Of course, partnerships will also help increase your brand’s visibility — especially if you partner with an industry leader. When we partnered with HubSpot in 2018, our lead generation strengthened. Not only did we demonstrate that we were a key tool that could drastically help existing HubSpot users, but we also proved to the industry at large that we were an incredibly useful tool.
But our partnership wasn’t only useful in bringing us new leads. In fact, CallRail and HubSpot users were blown away by the impact it had. For example, Baker Labs saw a stunning 200% rise in their lead generation, as well as gaining deeper insight into the leads themselves.
What are the best resources for lead qualification?
However, once you’ve generated your leads, you then obviously need to qualify them. So what are the best tools for lead qualification?
It’s important that your entire end-to-end lead qualification system is mapped out on your CRM. If you don’t have this mapped — or you can’t map it — then this may highlight that you don’t actually have a set lead qualification process to begin with.
Your CRM should automatically take care of the lead scoring process, meaning that every touchpoint (or interaction your prospect has with your organization) is taken into account when qualifying a lead appropriately.
For instance, Hubspot’s automatic lead qualification uses predictive scoring — based on a machine-learning algorithm — to identify where individual leads are in their buyer’s journey. Likewise, we use machine-learning models to auto-qualify leads using CallScore.
Our conversation intelligence features, CallScribe and Keyword Spotting, automatically classify and score leads whilst they come in. As you’re speaking, these features will automatically apply a lead score based on your organization’s criteria.
By: Bianca Buliga, Senior Marketing Manager
Disrupting industries from public health to financial literacy, meet the newest cohort of 11 ventures accepted into the Spring 2020 Impact Accelerator in Washington, DC!
On January 31st, SEED SPOT kicked off its Spring 2020 Impact Accelerator in DC, a program designed specifically for entrepreneurs that are preparing to fundraise and scale. Each week, ventures will be guided through SEED SPOT’s proprietary social impact curriculum and be supported by content experts, experienced mentors, and peers to make meaningful and scalable impact in DC and beyond.
Throughout the program, entrepreneurs will refine their pitches at three separate Venture Thursday events which will be open to the public. Venture Thursdays will take place on February 13th, February 27th, and March 12th. The Impact Accelerator will culminate with Demo Day hosted at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company on Tuesday, April 14th, where ventures will pitch to a community audience and win prizes.
Meet the Ventures!
Sarah Sandelius is the founder of The Ability Challenge, a venture working to redefine improvement in special education and elevate outcomes for students with diverse learning needs. By connecting data with outcomes, schools are empowered to develop personalized improvement plans, track progress, and make informed programming decisions that benefit all students.
Jamie Bowerman is the inventor of bowerbags, a venture that creates essential combinations of travel kits that provide innovative carrying solutions for military personnel, medics and first responders.
Audrey Henson is the founder of College to Congress, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, to create a more inclusive and effective Congress by empowering the next generation of public servants.
Vishal Chintawar and Timothy Guinan have teamed up to create Givhero, Inc., an all-in-one health, workout, and donation app that makes it simple and fun to set goals, track your progress, and raise money for charity.
Charlene Fadirepo is the founder of Guidefi, a web platform that connects millennials with credible vetted financial advisors including financial planners, credit/debt specialists, estate attorneys, small business attorneys, insurance agents, tax accountants, real estate agents and wealth managers.
Just Results saw that too many projects in global development over the last 75 years have been wasteful and ineffective. Alex Macdonald and Hamza Mighri are combating this by working directly with governments and business leaders in the areas of investment climate, agriculture, and youth employment to deliver results-based work.
Adrienne Prentice and Cait Zogby are the co-founders of MotherNation, a support system that brings mothers together online and in their neighborhoods to empathize with each other and collectively advocate for the care that all mothers deserve.
Hector Ocasio and Jason Hanny are the co-founders of Pet Connect, a one-stop shop for pet owners in need of resources and a suite of business solutions for pet businesses to promote their brands and sell their services. Pet Connect aims to reduce pet euthanasia, while also improving the economics of small-market pet businesses!
Victor Ehienulo and Madiagne Sarr are the co-founders of PLUGGED. Using innovative software, PLUGGED connects students, recruiters, and career service professionals to improve their on-campus diversity recruitment experience.
Darren Smith and Austin Auclair are on a mission to promote and preserve historic areas and independent merchants. They are doing this by working with local tourism agencies, business development organizations, and cultural institutions to host gamified tours in their app. You can sign up for one of their tours of the Capitol Riverfront here.
Kaveto Tjatjara and Hilkka Mlunga are the co-founders of Worldview Technology, a social enterprise building waterless toilets for people living in areas without sewage facilities. They are currently running a pilot in Namibian households to validate their product and business model!
Meet the Facilitator
The entrepreneurs in this cohort will be guided by Dana Ward, SEED SPOT’s DC Program Manager, who has played a critical role in overseeing program recruitment efforts and coordinating logistics, and will provide hands-on support to entrepreneurs.
Dana has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Economics, and has started several businesses herself. She won a pitch competition at the University of Colorado Boulder for her idea to make inexpensive ballet flats accessible to women wearing uncomfortable shoes through placement in vending machines.
She also developed social enterprise PANYA that worked with women in Cameroon to sell bags made from vibrant Cameroonian fabrics. By partnering with locals and training Cameroonian girls and women on sewing and tailoring skills, PANYA helped them achieve economic independence. Since then, Ward has worked for B Corporation ThinkImpact and managed programs for the Young African Leaders Initiative and the Fulbright Teacher Exchanges.
“I look forward to supporting ventures across the DMV in growing their solutions and making a greater impact by equipping them with resources, potential customers, mentors, and access to experts,” says Dana. “I will push each entrepreneur to scale their company faster and sustainably for long-term success, and leverage my network and experience to make that happen.”
Join the ventures on their journey – mark your calendars for these upcoming opportunities to get involved:
- Thursday, February 13th: Venture Thursday #1
- Thursday, February 27th: Venture Thursday #2
- Thursday, March 12th: Venture Thursday #3
- Tuesday, April 14th: Demo Day
The post Meet the 11 Ventures Selected for SEED SPOT’s 2020 Impact Accelerator in Washington, DC appeared first on SEED SPOT.
Combined Sections Meeting 2020
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
Title: Meet the WebPT crew at CSM 2020!
We’ve been hard at work, and we’re so excited to introduce you to our new and improved SOAP notes. Stop by booth #1013 to learn more!
Have questions about WebPT? Want to see what’s new? Schedule a meeting with an expert!
Are you a PT Student attending CSM?
WebPT is teaming up with People Joy to bring you our very first PT School Pride Challenge.
What is People Joy?
People Joy helps you take control of your student loan debt!
Manage your student loans, find the best repayment options and more! Regain your power as a borrower and work toward your financial goals. PeopleJoy helps you get there!
What is the PT School Pride Challenge?
With over 4,000 students in attendance, we want to know. Who has the MOST PT PRIDE? Now is your chance to make a splash at CSM!
How can you rep your school?
- Swing by our booth and take a photo in front of the PT School Pride Challenge wall.
- Post that photo on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter using the following hashtags:
- #Your school’s hashtag (e.g., #ASU)
- Make sure you’re connected with WebPT if your accounts are set to private.
- Your posts will be compiled and showcased on our PT School Pride Challenge wall. The more unique users post photos with your school’s hashtag, the higher up your school will be. So, encourage your friends to participate!
The school with the most representation at the end of CSM will receive some sweet WebPT Swag and all participants from your school will win a FREE YEAR of PEOPLE JOY!
Businesses invested in their marketing and sales processes can gain much from attribution reports. The data yielded by lead attribution can drive new marketing strategies, inform current campaigns, and ensure that underperforming channels aren’t languishing.
These marketing analytics come with one little problem: To the average client, they might seem too advanced. Although the various models aren’t as difficult to decipher as they might initially appear, your customers may come back to you wondering, “What is lead attribution?”
Proactive marketing agencies don’t just deliver great results — they educate and inform clients to not only help them better understand the tactics an agency uses, but also strengthen collaboration and trust between both parties. Attribution reporting is one resource that, besides delivering powerful metrics, makes clients smarter about the strategies that drive marketing success.
You likely already know the power of lead attribution and what can be learned from these reports. The tricky part becomes explaining all that to clients. Here are some tips for touting attribution reporting to your customers:
Why attribution reporting is vital
Attribution reporting tracks every touchpoint that prospects and leads make when interacting with your brand. Did someone see a paid ad on Facebook and click to reach the client’s site? That’s a key touchpoint. Did someone type in the client’s web address directly into a browser? That’s another important touchpoint. Did someone request a demo from a product page on the website? Again, that’s a touchpoint that carries strategic value beyond the move toward a sale.
Basic lead attribution provides a basic picture of where and how people are finding your client. However, when all the touchpoints are analyzed together, the paths leads are taking to learn more about the brand — and, ideally, to become customers — comes into sharper focus. Rarely does just one marketing strategy produce all your conversions, nor do conversions occur on just one touchpoint. Attribution reporting shows the journey leads are taking through the client’s website and brand — and what everybody can learn and apply from this data is invaluable.
At first, keep it simple
Clients not familiar with what lead reporting is might myopically — and understandably — focus on the first or last touchpoint of a conversion or sale, ignoring everything in between that may be working but is not individually coming across as successful. Your job is to show how the dots connect, as well as the value of those connections.
However, if you jump too deep into multi-channel attribution reporting with a client that’s still trying to understand the basics, you risk causing even more confusion and potentially losing a little confidence in your strategy. Therefore, simpler initial models — at least for the client — may build the expertise and confidence needed to move toward more advanced reporting.
Some straightforward models that are great for introducing clients to attribution reporting and the data that can be learned from the tactic include:
First-touch model: Whatever a lead clicks or visits first gets much of the attribution credit in this reporting strategy. This model is effective in tracking which outward-facing campaigns — such as pay per click, paid social, and organic — are drawing people to the client’s website. It also works well for companies with longer sales cycles by identifying what’s attracting leads to the first touchpoint of what ends up being a multistep journey.
Last-touch model: This bottom-line approach tracks the last touchpoint before a lead converts. Last-touch attribution reporting is helpful in identifying what marketing activities help seal the deal, but it is less effective in determining what worked along the way before that last step. Still, this model works well for short sales cycles for which quick wins are the norm.
50/50 model: This is sort of a combination of the previous two approaches, assigning half the credit to the first touchpoint and half to the last touchpoint before a conversion. The 50/50 model works well as an introduction to multi-channel attribution, and though it misses everything in between the start and finish of the conversion, it works well for shorter conversion paths that often require only two touchpoints.
Linear model: This attribution reporting is also straightforward, with every touchpoint getting equal credit for the conversion. It is simple in its application, yet effective in acknowledging that every step of the lead’s journey may have contributed to the successful result.
The attribution models become more advanced as you further divvy up credit for a conversion across various touchpoints. Once your client is ready for the deeper data, the patterns of what’s working will become more apparent — and that’s when you can comfortably take campaigns and channel strategies to the next level.
The channels you use ideally produce a return on investment, either directly or through the touchpoint they take the lead to next … and every touchpoint thereafter. Showing the client a high ROI both on individual channels and through elongated conversion paths is a clear way to reinforce your marketing strategy while making the case for lead attribution.
That said, showing channels that are producing a low ROI — if any at all — also highlights the value of attribution reporting. For example, a client that loves its brochures may not realize how average they are in actually getting people to convert or even visit its website. Multi-channel reporting can show the efficacy of those brochures both as a first touchpoint and further down the buyer’s journey.
By comparing ROI, you can pinpoint the strategies that are clearly producing for your client, readjust on channels that aren’t, and maybe even figure out a better way to use those beloved brochures so they convert at a better clip.
Emphasize goals and strategy
Your clients have goals — objectives they bring to the client-agency relationship as well as ones, through your agency’s expertise, you recommend and implement — that provide the overarching framework for everything you do. Although instinct and expertise are valuable in your role as an agency, strong data forms the foundation that goals and strategies are built upon. Attribution reporting provides some of this data and points the way toward success.
Sometimes, overcoming the “client is always right” approach is difficult when everything is suggesting the client is at least a little bit wrong. Lead reporting provides evidence that a strategy is working or not working, and that progress is being made toward the client’s marketing and sales goals. Although you don’t ever want to create an antagonistic relationship with a client, attribution data helps both parties pivot their strategy, adjust goals, and plan — together — where the retainer should go next week as well as next year.
The advanced nature of lead attribution also encourages clients to actively engage in all aspects of campaigns. Although some of your customers might be content to just see how your efforts impact the bottom line, some may benefit from learning about the ins and outs of conversion paths and what they can do to help. In this way, clients become more immersed in the marketing strategies you are driving, as well as trust you more.
Expand beyond online channels
Of course, the challenge many agencies find with multi-channel attribution is that accurately reporting on non-digital sources, such as billboards, print ads, and the aforementioned brochures, is difficult because you’re never quite sure which “traditional” channel inspired the prospect to call, email, or visit the client’s website. The data from this attribution reporting is crucial to proving (or disproving) the effectiveness of these channels, yet many agencies and their clients can only guess how well their efforts are contributing to their strategy.
Call tracking software from CallRail overcomes this challenge. Our platform gives agencies advanced analytics to help them determine not only which campaigns and channels are contributing to success, but also which keywords and ads are specifically driving leads.
Moreover, the CallRail solution seamlessly incorporates offline lead attribution with online reporting applications to deliver unparalleled marketing intelligence. In this way, your strategy thrives, gaps are addressed, and clients realize more ROI by working with your agency.
The post How to talk to your clients about lead attribution reporting appeared first on CallRail.
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“I think the most critical piece of CallRail here is it enables us to understand exactly how well we’re doing and communicate that back to our end clients.
My name is Conrad Saam. I run Mockingbird. We’re an agency that focuses exclusively on the legal market.
So, we had this great opportunity with a large client, and I was up in their boardroom. Twenty lawyers, I walked into the four-hour presentation, managing partner looks at me, and says, “Conrad, why shouldn’t we fire you today?”
Their perspective was they had been spending tens of thousands of dollars a month on marketing and were
convinced that it wasn’t working. Now, our data really showed that it was, and in fact, it was CallRail data, and we had not turned on the call recording yet, and so what we knew where we were generating inquiries,
we didn’t know about the quality of those inquiries.
What we found really quickly was their intake was so poor, their front desk was so bad that in June the voicemail for the law firm still referenced the law firm being closed for the Christmas Holiday. I played that back to the attorney three months later, we retained the client.
The old adage about half of my money’s wasted, I just don’t know which half. In the internet, that’s no longer true, and you add CallRail on top of your reporting infrastructure to really make a very quantifiable understanding of how well your marketing is actually performing. The beauty of CallRail is you can actually
see things right off the bat.
I think one of the difficulties that we find though is if a client doesn’t have a sophisticated reporting infrastructure set up the data, you’re just building a benchmark on day one. And so, it’s really a matter of, how does that data change over time? That’s what you’re really interested in looking at.
In technology, there’s so much that changes all the time. There’s new things that are coming out. There’s things that used to work that don’t work anymore. We have to stay on top of that because the marketing that we do really dictates the overall success of our clients.
CallRail has really been able to transition us from just a marketing, creative, or technology agency into more of a business consultancy. Being able to understand not the marketing metrics. We delivered this number of impressions, or we had this click-through rate, or the bounce rate went from X to Y. That’s not really relevant to our client’s end business.
The really relevant thing is how frequently are people contacting me, and from what marketing channels, and not just what marketing channel, but what actual creative is driving change for us? And so, being able to sit down with the law firm and say, you know what?
“We spent $12,000 last month on these 7 different marketing channels, and they performed like X, Y, and Z. We recommend that for marketing channel Z, we should just cut that budget entirely because we know, from the CallRail data, that it’s actually not driving any inbound increase.”
Conversely, this other channel over here, you’re killing it here. No one else is working there, and we can
absolutely double up on that budget, and we know mathematically this is going to work because we have that inquiry data.
That’s been key, and it changes us from just a website developer, or PPC shop, or any other marketing agency to really sitting down with the clients and talking about the business metrics that matter to them.”
The post Mockingbird Marketing shares their CallRail Journey appeared first on CallRail.
We know automated text, phone, and email reminders improve patient attendance rates and help prevent cancellations and no-shows. But, what is the ideal send time and frequency for each type of reminder? Are text message appointment reminders the most effective, or do patients prefer to receive phone messages? According to our in-house experts, most rehab therapy clinics achieve good results by sending a reminder the day before a patient’s appointment. There’s much more to it than that, though. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about implementing the most effective patient appointment reminder system for your practice.
1. Automate appointment reminders. Full stop.
In today’s busy clinic environment, it’s simply not feasible to assign the appointment reminder task to an actual human being. Not only is this a surefire way to exhaust your front-office personnel (seriously, who wants to call 100-plus patients to confirm their appointments—and then do it again the next day?), but it’s also not cost-effective or efficient. That’s especially true considering there are software solutions that automate the entire process and ensure no patients fall through the cracks. It’s imperative that you unburden your staff from this mundane and repetitive task and give them something more important to do—preferably something that requires a human touch, like making the check-in and check-out process a lovely experience for your patients. But first, adopt a software that takes care of reminders (it’s super simple if your EMR has integrated scheduling and automated appointment reminder functionality, because that way, everything is already in one system).
2. Ask patients how they would like to be contacted.
Instead of assuming your patients want to be contacted via phone, email, or text, make it a point to ask. This can be as easy as adding an extra question to your intake form. Then, only provide reminders via each patient’s preferred delivery method to ensure those patients feel heard and respected. While some patients may really appreciate a phone call reminder, others will send that call straight to an already-full voicemail box, and that won’t do you—or them—any good.
3. Test the three-three-three rule—and skip the immediate reminder.
Last year, researchers studied 20 million patient appointments to determine the optimal reminder frequency. First, they found that an initial reminder sent immediately after the patient schedules an appointment has no effect on whether the patient will appear for that appointment. Good to know, right?
Conversely, reminders sent three weeks out from the date of the appointment were the most effective (79% of patients who received a reminder three weeks before their appointment confirmed that they would attend). However, keep in mind that this time frame may not be appropriate for PT, OT, or SLP patients who schedule appointments at a faster cadence.
Three (to Five) Days
Sending another reminder three to five days before the scheduled appointment resulted in even higher confirmation rates. This is perhaps because, as the author of the above-cited article notes, this is the minimum notice people require to adjust their work schedules around the appointment time.
Additionally, while sending a final reminder three hours before the appointment didn’t improve confirmation rates, it did help patients remember to attend their appointment that day.
4. Opt for afternoon reminders.
According to Doug Severson, AT Ret., WebPT Director of Product Management, and Frank Jones, PTA, ATC, WebPT Member Advocate, the most common practice for PT, OT, and SLP clinics is to send an appointment reminder the day before a patient’s scheduled appointment, which generally produces good results. So, if you’re not up for trying the three-three-three method—or even the three-three method, which would entail sending a reminder three to five days before as well as three hours before—then at the very least, remind patients the day before each appointment.
Severson and Jones also suggest sending reminders in the afternoon, because patients are more likely to remember to check their schedule and adjust it for the next day. On the contrary, if you send a reminder in the morning, patients may forget about it by the time they get home from work. If you’re a WebPT Member, you can easily change the settings on your automatic appointment reminders so they only go out between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM, as pictured below.
Severson and Jones say they’ve seen a big shift over the last five years, with the majority of appointment reminders going out via text (as opposed to phone), which makes sense—but we still recommend confirming each patient’s preference to ensure the best results.
Have your own reminder system or cadence that works for your practice? We’d love to hear about it below. Or, if you implement any of the strategies listed here, let us know how they work for you.
The post How Many and How Often: When to Send Patient Appointment Reminders appeared first on WebPT.