What is a Lead Magnet?

If you have been listening to the term “Lead Magnet” lately and would like to know more about it, then you are at the right place. In this post, let’s learn what exactly a lead magnet is and how can it help you…

As the name suggests, Lead Magnets are some kind of resources which helps you attract leads. They are a type of marketing resources which helps you generate more leads. These resources provides something of value to the prospective customers due to which they are willing to share their contact information in exchange for the value provided in the resources.

Lead Magnet [Image credits]

Let’s learn this with an example.

  • Let’s say you are searching online to invest in a Real Estate property. You came across a website which had a well-researched whitepaper available with analysis of real estate prices across different localities.
  • From your perspective, this is a very useful resource available to you, however you need share your contact information on the website to receive the whitepaper.
  • If you find the content summary to be useful and you trust the website, you would willingly share your contact information.
  • Now, apart from sending you the whitepaper, the website seller (of course with appropriate permission) may also share you some more useful information or great deals which you might be interested in.

Here, the Whitepaper is a Lead Magnet, which helps generate leads via an opt-in form. This is an inbound way of marketing without having to push sell anything.

Businesses usually make use of this marketing tool to provide information & insights of value, to the prospect for free. This encourages the prospects to share their contact information on an opt-in form to receive more such relevant information. These contact information can be leveraged later to warm up the prospects through a marketing or sales funnel for nurturing the leads for a sales conversation.

Examples of Lead Magnets

If you want to create Lead magnets to generate leads, you can do so in many ways. Some of the examples of lead magnets are:

  1. Ebooks
  2. Whitepapers
  3. Free Trials of products and services
  4. Discount codes
  5. Webinars
  6. Videos
  7. Templates such as Business plan template, marketing plan templates, sales email templates, Pitch deck templates, etc.

You can prepare these resources by providing a comprehensive and informative content which is focused on a particular topic around your niche. These might be some problems which your target audiences are generally searching to solve. 

Here, you can provide more insights and solutions to the problems faced by your prospects. With these you can demonstrate strong expertise in your domain to establish a trust with your prospect, which will ultimately help improve your chances of getting any business in future.

Having said that, you should always remember that the goal of creating a lead magnet should always be to initiate a conversation with your audience instead of trying to strike a sales deal with them from day one. The goal is help your audience and nurture the relationship.

Hope you had a good time learning about Lead Magnets. If you are interested in trying out a CRM to track your leads, feel free to try out ToolsonCloud CRM. It’s free.

What is Smarketing?

What is Smarketing?

Smarketing refers to the practice of aligning Sales and Marketing teams in order to achieve a common organizational objective. This helps reach a synergy between both teams which work together as one team instead of treating each other as separate departments.

Why do organizations need Smarketing?

As per conventional organization structure, Sales and Marketing are organized under different departments. Due to this, both teams tend to work in siloes. When related teams work in siloes, it leads to a lack of effective communication leading to lower overall productivity. 

If the Marketing team is not aligned with the Sales team’s requirements, then this can lead to lower conversion because of low-quality Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL). Similarly, if the Sales team is not aligned with the Marketing team’s approach then this can lead to situations such as the loss of qualified leads due to a misunderstanding of client’s requirements or leads lost due to non-timely follow-ups, etc.

This necessitates that both teams work together and align their efforts toward their common objective for the benefit of the organization, be it increasing revenue or improving branding in order to increase better brand recall in the market.

How to align Sales & Marketing?

  • Improve access to information: Teams tend to be misaligned if both of them do not have shared understanding and information. Lack of communication happens when teams do not have the appropriate information and insights needed to support each other. Organizations should bring together both teams under the same umbrella with shared information. Using smarter tools such as CRM can help teams achieve that since they can get quick access to information they need to support each other.

  • Cross-functional teams: Instead of making Sales and Marketing operate independently under separate leadership, try to bring together professionals from both teams to work in smaller teams together. If this is not possible, then leaders can try to build a matrix structure where resources tend to experience working together with cross-functional teams. This helps build better bonding with team members and they tend to align their efforts toward common goals.
  • Communicate the Vision: Leaders should constantly communicate the common objective to both teams in order to keep the Sales and Marketing aligned. Communicating the goal and letting them know the expectation goes a long way in aligning two different departments.
  • Measure and Analyze regularly: Leaders should measure and closely analyze the efforts and performance of both teams. The best practice would be to have common meetings with both teams in order to keep everyone on the same page. 
  • Use good collaboration tools: Try to use good collaboration tools which improve communication with both teams. Tools such as cloud tools like Google Docs, Google sheets, Cloud-based CRMs, Instant chat messengers, etc, can help with that.

I hope this article helped you gain a better understanding of Smarketing, its importance, and some ways to achieve that.  By the way, if you are looking for a smart CRM for your team, do check out ToolsOnCloud Sales CRM.

What is Lead Nurturing and How to do it?

Lead Nurturing refers to the act of engaging with the your leads in order to develop a relationship. The purpose of lead nurturing is to create brand awareness and create a positive brand image of your organization in the minds of the prospect. 

Lead nurturing may not lead to immediate improvement in sales revenue figures. The objective of lead nurturing is not outright sales but to play a long term game of building brand trust and loyalty. 

Most of the leads which usually fall on the top of the marketing funnel are usually not ready to make a purchase immediately. Nurturing them helps to build an everlasting relationship due to which, whenever the prospect is ready to make a purchase, they shall choose your organization's products or services to make the purchase.

How to Nurture Leads?

Nurturing leads usually means engaging with the leads at various stages of his buying journey. This can be achieved by providing them the much needed information to solve his pain points. 

Buyers may have a needs of different types of information depending on the stage of his buying journey. Top of the funnel leads might be looking for information about his specific pain point awareness while the bottom of the funnel leads might have already done their research and would be in the stage of evaluating and comparing different products which may include yours as well as competitors' products. The goal of nurturing should be to quench the thirst of information for various leads depending on the stage of their buyer's journey.

Some of the ways by which you can nurture your leads are preparing contents around the pain points you are solving, the challenges faced in the Industry to which you are catering to, and the solutions which you offer to solve those pain points and challenges.

You can write blogs, prepare whitepapers, ebooks, social media posts, email newsletters, run sequence based email marketing campaigns, etc. One of the simplest approaches is also to create user guides or knowledgebase of your products which are available in the public domain or can be accessed easily via an email opt-in form. 

You may also try out by writing on topics which lead your customers to succeed. For e.g. ToolsonCloud is Sales CRM which helps to improve sales productivity of sales teams. This motivated us to write on topics which help our customers to improve their sales and sales productivity.

Sharing contents regularly to the leads serves two purposes. Firstly showing up regularly ensures that leads feel you are alive and they can trust you for a long term engagement. Secondly, when they find the content to be helpful for them to make purchase related research and decisions, it builds much needed brand awareness and builds loyalty.

I hope you liked reading this article, do let me know your thoughts on this.

By the way, If you run a startup or a small business and are looking for a Sales CRM software to track your leads better, then do try out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM. You will definitely love using it.

What is ATL, BTL and TTL Advertising?

If you are into Marketing, then you will surely come across the 3 terms ATL, BTL and TTL advertising. Do you know what exactly these 3 terms are and how they work?

By the way, these three terms were initially introduced by Proctor and Gamble (P&G) in the 1950s when they started paying differential rates to their marketing agencies based on the different categories of advertising being undertaken. 

In this post, we shall discover these three categories or strategies for advertising.

Marketing Image by Freepik

1. Above the Line (ATL)

Above the Line strategy primarily involves promotional communications which are broader in nature and have a large reach. The goal of this approach is widespread brand awareness in order to build a good Brand image and Goodwill in the market. Since it is done on a large scale, It is usually not targeted or focussed on any particular market segment.

This strategy may not generate any kind of instant sale or an instant intent to buy among the consumers but may generate awareness and interest over time.

Some of the examples of this strategy include Nationwide broadcasts on TV, Newspapers, Radio, Magazines, etc.

2. Below the Line (BTL)

Below the Line (BTL) promotional approach is more focussed and is targeted towards a particular segment. This strategy is used when the primary goal of advertising is to increase conversion. This is more aligned with a direct approach to marketing.

Some of the examples of this approach include Geo Localized Ads, Direct Marketing, PR, etc.

Here, Geo Localized Ads may include Billboards, Fliers, etc. In the case of Direct Marketing, it may include Targeted Email Marketing, Social Media Ads, SMS, Telecalling, Pamphlets, etc. 

PR may also be adopted in this case, but it has to be targeted and focussed Press releases.

In addition to the above examples, Sampling, In-store promotions, Visual Merchandising is also widely practiced. 

3. Through the Line (TTL)

Through the Line (TTL) approach is more of an integrated approach. In this approach, both ATL and BTL strategies are combined to generate interest and drive conversions. This strategy aims for 360-degree marketing. The brand tries to be present at every touchpoint in the customer's journey throughout their buying process..

Some of the examples of this strategy include TV, Newspaper, Social media posts, Contextual ads, emails, etc.

Hope this post will help you plan out your advertising strategy. Do let me know your thoughts.

By the way, If you are interested in trying out CRM software for your team, do check out ToolsonCloud CRM. It's free!

 How to prepare a Marketing Plan?

As a Marketing Manager or a Chief Marketing Officer at your organization, periodically you may be required to prepare a Marketing Plan presentation to various business stakeholders as well as your team. If you are not sure of how to go about it, then read this post to learn about the key elements of a perfect Marketing Plan.

Typically, your presentation should include these 10 pointers with each one in a separate slide.

Image credits - Get2Growth

1. Business Information

Include a brief summary of the business, your products, the industry you cater to and type of customers you sell your products to. This slide may appear redundant at first, but if you are a CMO presenting the plan to a group of Investors or board of directors who have been onboarded recently, then you may need this. Also if you are a Marketing consultant or an agency hired to do marketing for another business, then you may definitely need this slide so as to keep your team on the same page.

2. Define Goals

In this slide, try to define your long term and short term marketing goals. Ensure to keep reasonable yet challenging goals. You may use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) framework for creating goals. Having a clearly defined goal helps other business stakeholders and business unit heads to be aligned with your Goals and they shall align their departmental activities accordingly. 

3. SWOT Analysis

Before you go big bang executing any marketing plan, you should do a deep dive of your internal and external situation as well as current and future potential. Keep a slide with SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the business from a marketing perspective.

4. Competitive Analysis

Before planning out your marketing strategy, you may want to do a deep dive on the competitors who work in the similar space as yours. Explore what they are doing for Marketing, their standing in the market, comparison against your offerings, etc. In short you may want to have a summarized SWOT and key points you want to highlight to the stakeholders about the market competition.

5. Target Market

Often, marketing teams put a lot of efforts on marketing yet fail to get any traction or interest from prospects. Most of the time, the root cause of this problem lies in incorrect targeting. They tend to choose the wrong marketing channel which appears cool yet has little or no one from your ideal customer profile. Define your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and then commit to your Target Market. Include this slide in your marketing plan presentation to keep everyone on the same page.

6. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

When you start executing marketing campaigns, you may start getting a flow of leads who might be interested in your offerings. But often the deciding factor which helps your sales team to close the deal is a unique selling proposition which is attractive from the buyer's perspective. Define your USP and include it in the marketing plan. This will help the stakeholders from the Sales team to stay aligned and they would be able to provide their inputs during the presentation to iteratively carve out a perfect marketing plan.

7. Marketing Strategy

Use this slide in your deck to write about your Marketing strategy. This slide should be in line with the classic 4Ps of Marketing which are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. In case you are involved in a Service Business, then you may want to include another 3Ps of service marketing which are People, Process and Physical Evidence. Having a marketing strategy clearly defined under these heads prevents you and your team from getting misaligned and going off the track in future.

8. Marketing Channels

Distribution plays a crucial role in marketing execution. You may have the best product in the world with the best marketing content, yet it may fail due to bad distribution. The organizations who invest in building marketing channels and distribution tend to sustain longer in the business. Keep a small slider with your plans around marketing channels you want to pursue. 

9. KPIs for measuring progress

Lots of execution without performance measurement prevents you from getting to know what works and what doesn’t. Having a defined set of KPIs to measure your efforts and outcomes will help you deep dive into what works for you and where you may need to pivot in order to get expected outcome. Have a plan to monitor the KPIs frequently, say weekly, biweekly or monthly as per your context. Keep these KPIs in your slide so that your team will commit to meet those KPIs and align their efforts accordingly.

10. Conclusion & Summary

At the end, you can have a short conclusion and summary about your marketing plan to close the presentation.

Hope you found this post useful to prepare a marketing plan presentation. 

If you are looking for CRM software to help you track and manage your leads, deals, contacts, then do check out ToolsonCloud CRM which also comes with a free plan for startups.

 How to generate B2B Leads organically?

If you are into a business involving B2B clients, then you have landed at the right post. In this article, we will explore how you can generate B2B leads for your business via organic approaches.

Here is what you can do to get organic B2B leads…



1. Linkedin Outreach

Join Linkedin groups in your similar domain or groups having people with similar profiles as your ideal customer profile. Next, send them a connection request to add to your network. After a few days of the connection, you may send them a cold message for a short discovery call. You may be required to warm up your connection a bit for a few days with your LinkedIn posts to avoid getting ignored when you send a cold message.

2. Business Marketplace/Forums

If you sell a known B2B product that is not too complex to understand and doesn’t require an elevator pitch, then you may try this. Look out for joining various online marketplaces and forums dealing with B2B businesses. You will find B2B buyers and sellers in these marketplaces who are genuinely looking for both buy and sell business opportunities.

3. Join professional networking platforms

If you are a startup or building any B2B products for startups, then you may join professional networking platforms such as angel.co or other startup networking platforms. Try to network with various startup founders and executives to create a connection and get business opportunities.

4. In-person Business conferences

You may look out for various offline/In-person business conferences being organized in your Industry domain by various media houses, industry bodies, trade unions, government, etc. These conferences are attended by the leaders and executives of various companies with the sole motive of networking with fellow business leaders for business opportunities.

5. Cold Outreach like Cold Emails, Cold Calling

You may reach out to various businesses via Cold emails and Cold calls. If you are dealing with small and medium businesses, then you may get their contacts from various online business directories as well as their websites. If you are dealing with a large organization, then you may have to work a bit more to get the contact details of their stakeholders. 

6. Inbound Marketing/Content Marketing

Create the content on the topics around your business. This will attract readers who might be interested in your business. You may create content on Blogs, Social Media, Youtube, write Industry research papers, Whitepapers, Case studies, ebooks, etc. Ensure to write content that is useful to the readers having your ideal customer persona. 

Also, an important element of content marketing is to build distribution. If you do not plan out distribution well, then you may create high-quality content, but there won’t be anybody to read those contents immediately. This creates a longer feedback loop. So, whenever you create content, try to distribute it at more and more channels in order to reach more readers instantly.

7. Short Video Marketing 

In recent years, usage of short video apps such as Tiktok, Reels, Youtube shorts has skyrocketed making them yet another largest marketing channel. Short video platforms were initially apt for B2C products, however, in the recent past, it is becoming equally good for B2B business opportunities. You can make short video clips about your products to attract more B2B leads.

Also, read- Instagram Reels Ideas for Small Businesses

8. Tender Marketplaces/Portals/Blogs

There are some marketplaces that regularly publish tenders of government as well as public companies. This brings you a good opportunity to directly go ahead and bid on existing business opportunities without going through the hassles of business development efforts. 

Also read one of our case studies on How to get Organic leads using Social Media

I hope you liked reading this post. If you are interested in trying out CRM software for your business to track your leads, do check out ToolsonCloud CRM. It comes with a free plan for startups.