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Choosing the Best Lead Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in lead management software, from Haven Nexus to Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot and others

00-choosing-the-best-lead-management-software-for-publishers

Make money by giving content away.

That statement sounds odd to many people in publishing and downright heretical to anyone in the subscription business, but there is no denying that it can work. More than one publisher has developed this business model where an entire website is dedicated to converting random visitors into known users – a lead generation website.

The function is to gather contact information, usually an email address, from a visitor in exchange for something with no other strings attached, usually some form of valuable content. This kind of exchange makes a ton of sense for publishers. Many will brag about the number of visitors they get to their website, but what are you doing with those visitors?

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01-choosing-the-best-lead-management-software-for-publishersBy capturing an email address, you can allow visitors to sample some of your great content, and then feed them more of your content regularly. Now you have a relationship with a reader and a much stronger basis to make them an offer for a paid product that makes more sense to them.

But that’s not the only model that works. Many publishers have developed a revenue stream associated with generating leads for outside organizations. Many types of businesses are eager to find an engaged audience, and publishers have the tools and skill sets to deliver that kind of audience.

On a Mequoda Rapid Conversion Landing Page (RCLP) the thing given away is a free report or other content. At Investing News Network (INN), a Mequoda Gold Member client, companies give away “investing kits,” which are detailed financial reports on that company.

On the INN site, plenty of free content surrounds the offers for these kits to give the site plenty of user value. After visitors provide an email address, INN sends them a confirmation email with the corresponding links for the investing kit with the information they requested. Now the company has a name and email address and a qualified lead for any other offers they wish to make. Or to recruit as a customer for them.

Generating leads for revenue is a model entirely made possible by the Internet, and it can work very well when managed correctly. Before the web, generating leads meant finding potential customers in person, or getting them to return a postcard from a print product, to get a free report.

Although that model worked, web and email works far better. A 2014 study found that the most used lead generation tools are email (78%), followed by event marketing (73%) and content marketing (67%). And, even better, it can work for both B2B and B2C publishers.

For many publishers, paying attention to which free downloads did best is a great indicator of what your audience demands. Publishers can identify which content and channels bring in the most qualified leads and focus their marketing activities based on that data.

Mequoda’s lead management software: Haven Capture

02-choosing-the-best-lead-management-software-for-publishersAt Mequoda we are firm believers in the idea that new email subscribers are your best leads. So, we created the Haven Capture module for the Haven Nexus system, which helps capture the email address of visitors and exports all leads for a product or given download (for both new and exiting subscribers) into a CSV file and emails them to a designated contact on a regular basis. This makes lead management much easier and can increase revenue through timely marketing efforts. Haven Capture includes four components that we’d like to highlight here: RCLP Templates, Registration Manager, Lead Manager and Company Profile Manager.

RCLP Templates

Mequoda uses RCLPs to build a lead database of free newsletter subscribers. The main purpose of an RCLP is to drive traffic from search in order to build your email list. We call them Rapid Conversion Landing Pages because they are designed to rapidly convert the reader into an email subscriber. Publishers create a free report, or use some other type of white paper or other valuable piece of content, and offer it free-of-charge with a simple sales letter.

Registration Manager

The Haven Registration Manager allows users to login to your website with an email address and password, rather than asking the user to create a username and password. It also helps publishers create custom registration and user login forms, so publishers can capture exactly the information they want.

Lead Manager

The Haven Lead Manager tracks all free report downloads and/or webinar signups and exports the list into a CSV file (including date, email, name, IP, and phone, if available). The file is then automatically emailed to a designated contact.

The person who receives the list of leads can be an inside sales professional looking to upsell the leads into the publisher’s own product line. Or, the list can be emailed to a contact for a third party. This is the model INN follows. INN also uses the Haven Company Profile Manager that publishes custom company profiles offering the free investor kits used for lead generation.

These two components are what allow INN to deliver the leads to their sponsoring companies through an automated system. The publisher sets the criteria in the system, and the rest happens automatically as leads come in.

The publisher can even determine whether all sponsors get all emails or if the file should be split evenly between multiple sponsors. Reports can be sent weekly, monthly or quarterly, along with a cover email providing stats for the number of leads being delivered.

Other à la carte lead management systems

03-choosing-the-best-lead-management-software-for-publishersThere are lots of lead management software options available for publishers through the myriad of CRM and marketing automation software packages on the market.

Oracle Eloqua, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, and Pardot are marketing automation systems that have lead management and scoring capabilities. Generally speaking they allow you to keep all your contacts in one place, and can help automate workflows and nurture leads. Like Haven, they also fully integrate email, social media, and offline channels to build relationships and nurture leads. And, because all connect to a CRM, messages to nurture leads can be personalized.

From an integration standpoint, it’s a well-worn path to integrate these tools with a popular CRM application like NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics. But if you have your own custom-built CRM, it’s going to be more difficult. As always, when evaluating new software applications, determining how it will integrate with your existing solutions is a key factor.

Make sure the marketing automation software you choose has an application programming interface (API). With an API, you should be able to feed information from your CRM to the marketing automation software. And remember that if any of the separate applications gets a significant update or changes, the rest of your system workflow can be affected.

Haven Nexus is built with efficiency in mind

Haven Nexus CXMS is a state-of-the-art SaaS content management, content marketing, and content publishing tool—built, owned and maintained by Mequoda—to enable all the functionality that multiplatform publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable.

Unlike retrofitted websites with disparate systems that make customer service and reporting more difficult, Haven Nexus gives you a complete, central database that informs your marketing decisions and helps you maximize the lifetime value of each subscriber. We manage all the infrastructure, so you never have to look under the hood.

We’ve even identified the best partners so you don’t have to research software, email, hosting, and other functions on your own, or take stabs in the dark. When you put your system management into the hands of the industry’s only strategy-centric provider, your organization reaps the benefits of stress-free technology, content-focused implementation and ongoing profitability.

Schedule a 30-minute complimentary consult with Mequoda’s founder Don Nicholas to learn more about Haven Nexus.

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