Are You Using Landing Pages? If Not, Maybe You Should Be.

February 8, 2012

No matter what kind of promotion you’re doing, when going after the professional tradesmen, the bottom line is you want them to ask for more info and ultimately a sale. You can’t do that in an ad(print or digital) by itself. You need those that are interested in whatever it is you’re selling to go somewhere to get more info.

A landing page is ideal for a next step in the lead process. A good landing page will target a particular audience using a unique page that allows visitors to download the appropriate content (you wouldn’t have the same offer for say a tradesman and for a design engineer). They also help you track and monitor activity by offers so you know what works and what doesn’t.

I recently downloaded an e-book, Optimizing Landing Pages by Sarah Goliger from Hubspot that outlines the basics on what needs to be included, how to get them shared, using them as a lead nurturing tool and thanking them for responding.

Here are some highlights:

  • By directing them to a specific page with an offer and the appropriate form to fill out, it makes it more likely that they will complete the form and convert to a lead.
  • If your visitors decide to download your offer, why not invite them to share your content?
  • Lead nurturing is a very important part of the process. 50% of those who respond aren’t ready to buy just yet.
  • 78% of sales that start with a web inquiry get won by the first company that responds.
  • By sending a follow-up thank you to those that downloaded material, you have the opportunity to offer them additional info and downloads, as well as asking them to share this with others via social media.

So if you’re not using landing pages, you may want to give them a try. I think you’ll see that you’ll not only get more leads, but better quality ones.

If you like this post you might like:

Product Landing Pages: Tips on How to Improve their Performance

The Best Way to Reach Professional Tradesmen: Drip or Closed Loop Marketing?


Tablets and Smartphones are Changing the Way Manufacturers Will be Reaching the Tradesmen

November 16, 2011

Today’s digital environment is rapidly evolving driven by the increase of devices people use to consume content. This holds true for the professional tradesman as well (remember they are consumers too).

With smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, consumers have become digital omnivores according to a new study out by comScore. Their new white paper, Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption. Findings include:

  • Consumption away from desktops and laptops is really growing.
  • Smartphones are the catalyst to mobile media consumption.
  • Tablet traffic is becoming  notable and rising quickly.

Download a copy of the white paper.


Are You Promoting Your Blog Outside Social Circles?

October 26, 2011

For those of us who are doing blogs, we sometimes get so focused on the social media side of things that we forget to use traditional methods of promotion to promote it.

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, 34 Ways to Raise Blog Readership Without Using Social Media. Although all her suggestions aren’t relevant to the manufacturing segment that’s trying to reach the professional tradesman, I’ve highlighted some of the points that hit home to me.

  • SEO - using keywords maximizes your reach.
  • Promote on your website - we even have the three most current posts on our home page to draw attention to the blog.
  • Do an email - to the appropriate audience with link.
  • Packaging - promote on outside of box.
  • Press release - not for every post, but certainly for important ones that have to do with industry research.
  • Include your blog on your business card and on your email signature.

If you’re doing a blog, what ways are you promoting it other than by social?


Podcast: Why Manufacturers Should Be Using QR Codes

October 18, 2011

I recently spoke with Scott Chapin from Circle 44 Mobile, a division of DigiKnow who is a strategic partner of ours, on how and why manufacturers should be using QR codes in their everyday marketing efforts.

Scott covers not only why they should use them, but gives some practical advice and best practices for those thinking of using them. If your end users are mobile, and most professional tradesmen are, then you need to listen to this informative interview.

Click here to listen.

If you like this post you may like:

What are you Doing to Insure a Successful QR Code Campaign?

Manufacturers: Are you Taking Advantage of QR Codes?


What Are You Doing to Reach the Young Professional Tradesmen?

September 6, 2011

I know one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers that we represent is getting to the young entrants in the trades. They know how to get to the old guys, they’ve been doing it for years and know that traditional things like trade ads and direct mail programs are effective tools to reach them.

But when you talk to these folks on how they plan on reaching the future generations of tradesmen, they are definitely puzzled as they know the traditional methods are probably not the best way to connect with them. They think of social media as one possible avenue to connect with these young people, but often neglect the mobile devices.

While that may not be surprising that young people are active in mobile devices, what might surprise you is that the baby boomers are also active in mobile, but just a different kind. Consider this: 91 million U.S. consumers use the internet through mobile devices at least once a month and that number continues to rise (Affinity reports that more than 24 million millennials plan on purchasing smart phones in the next 6 months).

Generation of US Consumers Most Likely to Own a Smartphone, Tablet or Ereader, 2011

So the question is:

  • Do you have a mobile strategy in place to reach your young targeted audiences?
  • Do you have a mobile friendly website?
  • Are you planning smart phone apps?
  • What’s your plan to start collecting e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers for future marketing programs?

Mobile will play an important part in communicating with the younger tradesmen. What’s your plan?


Relax…It’s Labor Day

September 5, 2011

 

Happy Labor Day! We need to take time to say thanks to all the tradesmen that we come into contact with on a regular basis. What would we do without the electricians, plumbers, HVAC professionals? How would our factories run smoothly without all the MRO professionals out there?

Sonnhalter salutes America’s professional tradesmen and laborers on this very special holiday. Our working force built this country. And it’s because of each and every American’s labors that we enjoy the freedoms we have today.

At Sonnhalter, we earn our own living by marketing to professional tradesmen in industries like yours…from construction to industrial to MRO. To show our appreciation for such hard-working individuals, we offer a tip of the hardhat and our sincere thanks.

However you celebrate your Labor Day, enjoy it. You’ve certainly earned it.


Smartphone Users: What Are They Using Them For?

June 28, 2011

As the world grows more mobile, it’s inevitable that smartphones are and will become a more intricate part of our daily routine. It’s my contention that in our world of reaching the professional tradesmen these phones are being used on a regular basis.

I don’t have the data to back that up since there have been no formalized studies done specifically on this market segment. But if you make the assumption that what we do in our everyday lives rolls over to our work day routines, then a new study out by Google that looks at the purchasing habits of smartphone users in the U.S. may be of interest to you.

Chris Crum from Webpronews.com outlines the highlights of the study. Among them are these points that I find interesting:

  • 89% of smartphone owners use their device throughout the day for a variety of activities.
  • 82% notice ads on their phones and half of them take action.
  • 77% use them for search.
  • 95% of users have looked for local information
  • 77% have contacted a business by either calling or visiting

What kinds of trends are you seeing out there?


10 Tips to Ensure a Successful Webinar Targeted at the Professional Tradesmen

May 26, 2011

We have used webinars successfully for several years now to promote new services and to share industry information and trends. They are a great tool to get the message out to many people at one time, and then you have the ability to archive them for people to come and view at their leisure.

Webinars are effective, and to get the most bang for your buck, you really need to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. There’s a lot that goes into a successful webinar starting with the topic itself. You need to give the professional tradesmen something they can take and make their own.

Andrew Spoeth from Marketo recently had an interesting post, How to Manage Successful Webinars: A Checklist that has several good points that you may want to look at.

I’m going to outline  my top 10 tips on ways to improve your webinars:

  1. Build a great landing page - Clearly state your value proposition up front so the reader can see what’s in it for him.
  2. Set the time for the webinar outside of normal business hours - Let’s face it, these contractors have to make a living and they have crews to supervise. Consider doing a webinar later in the day, say around 4 PM. That way a contractor may have some of his tradesmen also sit in on the session. It’s better to inconvenience you than your customer.
  3. Registration form - Make it easy and don’t ask 20 questions in order for them to sign up.
  4. Give them an option of getting a copy of the slides without attending the actual webinar - In the world of contractors, shit happens and they may not be able to attend. This will get you their contact info for further follow-up.
  5. Use Social media – Both in the actual sign-up form so they can invite their friends, but also use it to promote the event.
  6. Promote - You need to build a schedule and build a good series of reasons why these tradesmen need to attend.
  7. Get your sales force and distributors involved - Have them pass out postcard size flyers when making calls and talk it up. If a distributor does a monthly newsletter or has a site, have him put it on there as a co-sponsor. You do all the work and he shares in the credit.
  8. Practice, practice, practice - Try to keep the presentation 20-30 minutes long and allow time for questions even though they may be via e-mail.
  9. Design a follow-up e-mail- Have yourself graded on the topic, how it was presented and what they might like as future  topics.
  10. Get those names out to your sales force and distribution network for follow-up – Everyone should have at least had a phone message within a week.

Those are my thoughts. The key to a successful webinar is good planning.

If you like this post, you may want to read:

Webinars: Tips on How to Promote using E-mail.

Why Webinars are a Good Marketing Tool to Reach the Tradesman


5 Tips on Improving Your Email Marketing to Professional Tradesmen

May 19, 2011

Email marketing is still a very good B-to-B business tactic. But like anything else, you’re always fighting for the attention of the professional tradesmen. Contractor’s inboxes are just as loaded as the rest of ours, so what do we need to do to get him to open ours?

Here are 5 tips to consider:

  1. Identify yourself – If they don’t know you, they probably won’t open it.
  2. Attention-getting subject line - Keep it short and benefit oriented.
  3. Provide relevant copy - What’s in it for me?
  4. Keep your copy focused and short - Get to the point; use bold headlines and give them a call to action.
  5. Build a good list – Use your existing customer lists but also ask your sales force for a list of its prospects and don’t be afraid to rent  a reputable list.

Those are some of my tips. What’s working for you?

If you like this post, you might also like:

5 Tips to Improve Your B-to-B Direct Marketing Efforts.


Mobile Marketing to the Professional Tradesman: What Are You Waiting For?

May 17, 2011

The professional tradesmen don’t go anywhere without their cell phones, and there’s a good chance that those phones are smartphones (50% of Americans will own a smartphone by the end of 2011). They depend on them everyday on the jobsite. So are you missing an opportunity?

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, 6 Must-Do Mobile Marketing Tactics that outlined some things for you to consider if you’re contemplating getting into mobile apps. Here are some highlights as they would apply to the professional tradesmen:

  • Understand your goals - You need to determine your strategy and how it fits into your existing marketing plan.
  • Know your market - Beyond identifying your audience, you need to figure out what kinds of things would be most useful for a contractor of a jobsite.
  • Mobile websites - Make sure your existing website is formatted for mobile. Make sure the content you do have there is applicable to the contractor’s “on the go” needs. Make fields larger, make sure you have your logo and encourage action.
  • Mobile search - Beyond your normal optimization, combine with mobile CTR. Don’t forget to to include local content like where the closest distributor of your products are.
  • Mobile e-mails - Since e-mails are the most used application, why not develop an e-mail plan specifically for mobile? If your sales guys are demoing a new product at a local Depot, let them know about it and offer them a discount coupon for stopping by.

These are just some ideas on how to capitalize on mobile. If you’ve got an existing mobile program going on, I’d like to hear what you’re doing.

If you like this post you might like:

Mobile Marketing for B-to-B: Change in the Air(waves)

56 Mobile Marketing Facts


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