How to Generate Qualified Leads Through LinkedIn

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In this article we will focus on what LinkedIn has to offer for businesses and merchants that are looking for leads. We will not only focus on LinkedIn’s tools and functions available for companies and business.  In addition, we will try to draw out strategies to generate leads and to draft a potential plan to utilize and to make the most out of the tools and functions of LinkedIn.

over 300 million members on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Tools / Functions

1. Complete and Beef Up Your Profile

This is the very basic function of LinkedIn.  In fact, this is the very first set of fields that most users need to fill up. At this point, it is important that one should take time when filling up this portion. This may seem like a no-brainer but the rule of the thumb is complete your profile.

The first step in customizing your profile is by uploading a formal photo of yourself.  Then you will want to edit your LinkedIn URL to make sure that it shows your name and something in relation to your profession or company but never about your company along or anything vague.  Make sure that you also add your contact information which allows you to connect your LinkedIn profile to your Twitter account.

Going down is your Background Summary. Just like in your CV or resume, you will have to be creative in this section. Remember that you will have at most 30 seconds to sell yourself, your company, and your services.  We highly recommend that you add a link to your web site or blog at this portion.

Then complete the rest of your profile- your experience, education, and additional information. Check out also those that are recommended for you and be sure to fill those out, as well, to beef up your profile.


LinkedIn Profile

2. Grow Your Network

LinkedIn has various tools and functions for the purpose of growing your network. These are actually helpful in building out your leads list.

Connections: LinkedIn’s Connections, itself, has three sections that will serve specific functions and they never overlap – something that makes LinkedIn awesome in targeting quality potential leads. The “Keep in Touch” portion allows you to follow current clients, customers, and prospects.

My personal favourite is the “Add Connections” part which is one function that allows accurate targeting because it uses email addresses instead of any generic name of individuals or companies.  The “Find Alumni” is like a semi-Facebook because it brings back people from the past that will make great prospects and leads.

Groups: There are various ways that you can make use of LinkedIn Groups.  First of all, you choose to participate.  Then try to connect, as well, with mutual groups to possibly able to send out invitations.  Once joined, make it a habit to participate in discussions.

Skills:  In your profile, there is this Skills & Endorsements section.  Here, you don’t only advertise what you can do but you can also recommend others for their skills.  In return, you might be able to get recommendations that can be equivalent to a positive customer feedback.  This portion also allows your to celebrate the accomplishment and skills or endorsements made by others to you or to other companies.  As a matter of fact, this is where “meet and greet” happens.

LinkedIn Skills

3. Post an Update Daily

Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn poses a more formal platform for its users.  This signify that you will have to post or to share updates that add value to your expertise instead of outrightly selling yourself and your company’s services or products.  When posting updates, relevance is key in addition to timing.

LinkedIn Updates also allow you to “Like” and to “Comment“.  Even though we still can’t incorporate emoticons into the updates posted, the ability to add links into the updates are more than enough to speak countless words of invitation in the world of lead prospecting.

Most importantly, when a connection of yours gains a new connection it brings you another potential lead and the story goes on and on.  It’s like an endless lead prospecting with LinkedIn Updates.

4. Keep Right

So far, we’ve just discussed what we see at the top, bottom, and left portions of LinkedIn.  Now, let’s see what’s in store for us at the right-hand portion of LinkedIn.  If you hover from top to bottom at this section, you will realize that there is nothing useless at this portion.

The sections like “People“, “Ads“, “Views“, “Groups“, and “Companies“, spell a whole lot of potential qualified leads and a vast pool of prospects.  So make sure that you check out this section regularly so you won’t miss any.

Now that you are already familiar with the tools and functions of LinkedIn, it’s now time to draft a plan on how to effectively use each of these tools.  This way, you won’t miss any of the tool or function.

Below is just a recommendation but we highly recommend that you also draft your own plan to ensure that what you have is relevant to your company’s vision and objectives.

S.P.I (Schedule, Plan, and Implement)

Monday – Since it’s the start of your work week, you might want to post a fresh update and start a new discussion in Groups you’ve joined.  Make sure that you have something new and never-before-seen topics, updates, or questions prepared for this day.

Tuesday – Make new Connections, join relevant Groups, and participate by answering questions, endorse connections, and commenting in other connection’s updates.

Wednesday – Call this your profile’s Spa Day. Update your profile by adding additional skills, apps, and DirectAds.

Thursday – Check if your past 3 days have gained you at least 5 new connections, leads, or prospects.  If yes, then plan out for Friday’s tasks.  Otherwise, repeat everything that you did from Monday to Tuesday.

Friday – Flashback Friday as it is, you might want to impress current and former leads and prospects by keeping in touch.

Saturday & Sunday – Unless you really work on weekends, you can leave these days off to allow your Monday to Friday tasks to generate output for next week.

Try to modify our recommended or sample plan. Pair that up with keen and regular check up of LinkedIn’s new tools every now and then.

And you’re on your way to getting a bottomless list of qualified leads.  Most importantly, don’t forget to install that Mobile App.

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Get More Qualified Leads By A/B Testing Your Email Campaigns

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If your business relies on email campaigns and newsletters for lead generation, then you know how important it is that your email recipients actually open your email and see your offer. How else will you turn those leads into new or repeat customers?

That’s why it’s so important to improve your email open rate and click through rates by testing various parts of your email through split testing, also known as A/B testing. The truth is, most businesses should spend a lot more time testing their email marketing campaigns which means you can stand out from the crowd by being one of the companies that does.

You’re probably thinking “A/B testing my email campaigns is hard!” or you might be wondering “What do I even test?”. Let’s take a closer look at the things you can test in your email campaign that will result in more qualified leads.

Email A/B testing, it’s simply a process where you test two versions of an email by sending version A out to a randomly selected part of your audience and version B out to a second randomly selected part of your audience. Once you determine which version performed better, you then send the better performing email to the remaining part of your email list. The goal is to determine what elements of an email need to change in order to generate better results.

First decide what to test in an email split test

Before you even create an A/B split test, you need to first decide what you want to test. Anything goes when it comes to testing email campaigns. If you are just starting out, try to focus your tests around areas you consider important and which are more likely to have a big impact on conversion rate. And remember, each test will have a different effect on different parts of your conversion process.

To give you an idea of what you can test, here are a few things you can experiment with.

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** Note: There are certain do’s and don’ts with A/B testing. See best practices at end of this article.

Test Email subject line

Your email subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. It’s the first thing your reader sees in their in box and changing just one word can increase open rates and conversion rates dramatically. Here are but a few examples of things you can test in your email subject line.

· Test personalization (Example: “Hi Joe” vs. “Mr. Jones”)

· Test subject line purely on length (Example; less than 50 characters or more than 50 characters)

· Test different wording

Test the content within the body of your email.

Once you get your subscriber to open your email, you want them to do some desired action like click on your offer or sign up for something, so you should also test different content within the body of the email. There are many things you could test, so start off by testing a few things that you think will resonate with your audience the best. Here are but a few things you can test:
· CTA: Do more people click on a call to action button that says “Buy Now!” vs. an image that shows the Plans & Pricing?

· The specific offer: Which offer gets more click on the buy button?( e.g. “save 15%” vs. “get free shipping”)

· Testimonials: Do testimonials generate more trust and therefore more leads?

· Closing text: what effect does changing this have on converting prospects?

Email Design

Don’t forget to test certain design elements of your email to see if it improves your click through rate or goal of the email. Some design elements you can test include:

· HTML or TEXT: Do text emails get better results than sending an HTML email?

· Layout of your message: What happens if you change the layout from a single column vs. two columns?

· Images: Are subscribers more likely to click a linked image or linked text?

· Bolding: Does bolding certain text affect conversion?

Other things you can test

Don’t limit yourself to just testing which email subject lines to use or which copy converts better. Also consider:
Timing: Sometimes just changing the frequency or the day and time you send your email can have a dramatic effect on click through rates and conversion rates. For example, your audience might consist largely of VP’s and directors with desk jobs who check email early on weekday’s vs checking in the evening or on the weekends.

Frequency: Studies have shown that you can significantly impact the click-through rates and unsubscribe rates by simply increasing or decreasing the amount of email you send.

Test the “From Name”: Are your prospects more likely to open your email if the “from” name is an actual person or simply your company name?

Best Practices for testing email campaigns

When testing, there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel: here are some proven best practices to follow when testing your email campaigns.

· Test simultaneously: Always start and end you’re A/B tests at the same time. This will reduce the chance your results will be skewed by time-based factors.

· Test large samples if possible: You’ll get more statistically significant results using a list of 1,000 subscribers than you will from a list of 100 subscribers.

· Use available tools: For quicker and easier testing, use the testing tools provided by your email marketing service provider rather than trying to cobble everything together yourself.

· Test often: Your audience is dynamic so It’s best to continually test and improve your email campaigns to discover new ways to improve your conversion rates

· Only test one variable at a time: You might be tempted to test more than one element at a time but it is important to TEST ONLY one thing at a time and to maintain a CONTROL GROUP to truly understand if those changes actually affect response rates.

Making time to test

Split testing your email marketing campaigns demands patience and time but higher response rates will make it all worthwhile. Just make sure to keep detailed records about your tests so you can better understand what worked and what did not. Among other things, you should keep track are the following:

· The name and date of the email campaign

· Target list details: the number of recipients, what segment of your list (if any), etc.

· Response rates: who responded to what email.

Keeping track of all this can be done using something as simple as a spreadsheet, or as intricate as an email marketing management tool such as Hubspot.com or Salesforce.com. If you’re a busy executive or manager than consider handing this job off to a personal assistant or making it part of the job of an existing employee or outsourcing the entire process.

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