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B2B Website Visitor Identification – It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Turning anonymous website visitors into qualified leads requires staying power and tactical savvy.
Learn why it’s nevertheless worth the effort.
B2B website visitor identification can bring great advantages well beyond the benefits of conventional sales activities. From digitally measuring the success of classical “offline” marketing campaigns to optimizing customer and partner relationships, it offers myriad possibilities. But what’s the chance of acquiring a B2B website visitor as a customer, if they don’t make themselves known via a contact form and had no previous contact with your company? The road from identifying a B2B visitor on your website to turning them into a high-quality and promising lead can be long and rocky. Some users of B2B tracking are therefore right in asking: Is it worth it?
The early bird catches the lead: identify demand before your competitors
Company identification is the starting point for situational lead nurturing and a corresponding lead qualification process – to “separate the wheat from the chaff.” In other words, the genuine business opportunities must be filtered from a large number of website visitors who may or may not need your products or services and who may or may not intend to buy them.
Many of the website visitors identified will be somewhere along the customer journey – and will therefore be in your sales funnel – in most cases, still right at the start. This is where there is an exceptional opportunity, because when B2B companies identify potential customers through their website visit, they get them onto their radar early on – ideally, before the competition. At the same time, this earliness means questions about the urgency of the need, the available budget, and the specifics of the project are usually still unanswered.
Thanks to website visitor identification you can, on the one hand, identify and acquire potential customers at a very early stage. On the other hand, you may find yourself at the beginning of a long and time-consuming sales process.
Furthermore, the process is all the more protracted, because website visitor detection only turns up leads with an indistinct profile: B2B tracking only ever identifies the organization but not the specific employee who is surfing the Net. Depending on the size of the organization, it can be difficult to identify a suitable contact. This applies particularly to the more conservative target industries, whose employees do not tend to be members of business networks like LinkedIn.
How can you exploit the lead potential of newly identified website visitors?
How can you anticipate the longer sales cycle in lead processing and how do you find reliable and relevant contacts in the first instance? The following three tips can help you establish effective lead qualification measures.
1. Contact research: utilize your team resources
As a rule, we recommend that you take an economical approach to committing existing resources to the research and qualification process. Are there teams, departments, or employees (for example, in administration, business development, or call centers) whose workloads fluctuate? If so, they can devote temporarily free capacities to the lead nurturing process.
Service or customer care departments are good examples. Even though their work usually entails telephoning customers, they might have quieter periods. For precisely such phases, these departments can be assigned new B2B leads from visitor identification. Employees can then research the leads and contact them by telephone.
Another option is to use continuity-based forms of lead nurturing, known as drip marketing. Here, multi-tiered printed direct mail campaigns are sent out at regular intervals according to a previously defined plan. These campaigns comprise brochures, flyers, or similar materials. From a legal (EU GDPR) perspective, this is the least risky form of marketing communication. Another idea is to target contacts in specific companies with LinkedIn lead generation ads.
In the EU you should check on an individual basis whether lead nurturing emails, for example, are acceptable, despite insufficient consent from recipients to receive advertising emails. Only once you have filtered the identified companies for “marketing qualified leads” using lead nurturing is it worth passing them on to your sales department for the next steps.
Such drip marketing campaigns “feed” the upper levels of the lead funnel and thus ensure that you become successively visible to a large number of B2B website visitors. This increases the chance of being contacted precisely when a company is planning a purchase.
2. Better classification of leads through diversified content marketing
To come to grips with the problem of having too many leads whose interest or project orientation is not clear, you should consider honing your website content marketing.
If your website content and your page structure is strongly differentiated – according to products and depth of topic coverage – you are able to pinpoint which leads have particularly high potential. Provide content that targets specific stages in the decision-making process. Next, use strong reference structures and let visitors drill down to related or more detailed content. In this way, you can, over time, measure increasingly accurately what specific product or service a potential customer is interested in, how great this interest is, and how far along the procurement process they are.
In addition, blog posts that appear prominently in long-tail keyword searches on search engine results pages are highly valuable – because people who have concrete ideas and possibly active projects use just such keywords when they search for information. These long-tail keywords can often be matched precisely to a certain subject and a certain funnel phase.
3. If the number of leads is still “too much of a good thing” – show no mercy!
Should your capacities be overstretched despite following the steps above, there is another fix: Go back to your visitor identification tool and set certain page and key-figure filters to be stricter in their criteria for initial lead definition. If there are too many leads in the sales funnel, the requirements for entering each phase of the funnel should be narrowed until the amount of leads can be adequately processed and the conversion rate becomes acceptable.
Stricter criteria can be, for example: Visitors are only contacted when they have visited second- or third-level product pages. The duration of a visit or the profile of the target company (industry, sales, number of employees) are also criteria that can be narrowed or widened.
Conclusion: Turning the raw material of B2B website tracking – that is, the corporate visitors you identify – into high-quality leads and later into customers will not happen on its own and will not happen overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. However, if you are aware of the challenges, reliable methods can be found to meet them and to exploit the full potential of B2B website visitor identification.