Improve your Adwords ROI through lead nurturing on Pardot

I tell a story to all our new clients when we are training them how to generate reports in Salesforce CRM. This story is told to illustrate how to look for trends in Salesforce, and then take corrective action if necessary.

The story goes something like this;

We see a lot of our clients that start to use reports from Salesforce to track the source of their leads. In a lot of cases, these reports will show that the main driver of new leads is Google Adwords. The second report that we show them is the source of closed sales, and in this case, it's not uncommon to see that Adwords delivers a far lower percentage of the revenue that would be expected, particularly from a high volume of leads.

The point of the story is - what do you do next?

We're not Google Adwords specialist in Tenacre, but we do have a lot of experience in helping companies with their inbound marketing through Pardot marketing automation, lead generation and tracking the conversion rate of leads through to closed sales. On this basis, we've been able to see how companies have reacted when faced with the issue of spending lots of money on Adwords to generate high lead volumes but low conversion rates.

The five common actions points are as follows.

One: Don't quit, decide to get better

Google Adwords is a great way to keep your company visible when your prospects search for your product or service online. When faced with poor conversion rates, the temptation is to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater' and quit working with Adwords. The better reaction might be to make a decision to work with your marketing manager or external agency to improve the performance of each campaign. With small improvements across various points of the Adwords activity, you could make a big impact on the conversion from leads to closed sales. Online marketing campaigns give you the chance to measure the impact of each small change that you make to your work. Deciding to experiment with alternative settings on your Adwords campaigns is a sound long-term investment.

Two: Understand the measurement metrics

With all online advertising, there are a number of key metrics that have meaning. These metrics are often used by online marketing experts to show the success of the campaign or activity that they are undertaking. Most campaigns on Google Adwords are designed to generate leads that convert to sales, ultimately that's the only metric that counts. Salesforce reports and dashboards allow you to track the lead lifecycle from the first click (Adwords campaign) through to the Yes / No purchase decision.

Three: Track leads from source to buying decision

There are many stages where a potential client can fall out of your sales pipeline. For many companies, the point where this happens (and the reason) isn't always being tracked. Knowing where the 'leaks' are in your AdWords conversion process will help you to fix these issues and improve the overall conversion rates. Your landing page design and form is always a good place to look for drop off's. There's a great article here that talks about landing page optimisation, try to incorporate some of these features into your own Adwords landing pages.

The second area that we have found worthwhile tracking is the 'lost opportunity' report from Salesforce. This is a sales report that Tenacre sets up for all our clients so that each deal that's lost from your sales pipeline is saved with the reason for the client not doing business with you. We've seen some interesting feedback from these reports that show that prospects dropped out due to misunderstanding the nature of the service or product that was offered by our client. When we cross-reference this information with the Adwords campaigns, we can usually identify areas to tighten up such as search terms, use of negative keywords and consistency between the copy of the ad and the landing page.

Four: Create a lead nurturing programme

I've written recently about the massive opportunity that exists in working on the middle of the sales funnel through lead nurturing programmes. Tenacre has implemented Pardot Dubai for many clients that want to create ongoing lead nurturing programmes so that leads that enter the top of the sale funnel, via Google Adwords or other sources, are given the time and communication necessary to qualify through to a genuine sales opportunity.

One of the main reasons that many leads generated by your online marketing activity don't convert to sales is down to time. If the prospect isn't ready to buy from you in the short term, many companies don't invest in lead nurturing programmes to provide a communication (explaining, demonstrating, showing case studies) over the long term.

Five: Support Adwords campaigns with content marketing

Recently, two of our clients for Salesforce CRM made the decision to invest further in their inbound marketing activity and took out a license for Pardot marketing automation. The decision to invest in Pardot was made in both cases on the back of ongoing mediocre results from paid online advertising. The strategy for these companies is to create great content, and then use the marketing automation tools within Pardot to push out the content to the prospects that are in the sales pipeline.

Content marketing (at least good content marketing!) is a great way to build up your company's reputation online, and consequently the ranking that your website will get from the search engines. From our experience, when companies use Pardot Dubai with Google Adwords and good content marketing the conversion rates increase dramatically.