I have a suite of tools (such as Office 365, Google Apps, Dropbox for Business, and more) I like to use, which work well in the majority of the businesses I serve. However, there are times those solutions won’t fit. In those situations, as all these tools have open API, I’m able to develop custom add-ons for them.
I work with a lot of retailers, as well as businesses in the service industry who have field staff (like electricians, plumbers and so on).
I named my company after the official tree of my home state, the Magnolia, because I wanted it to sound familiar. I didn’t want it to sound like a technology business, as plenty of small businesses are turned off by that. The goal is to be a resource for companies who are struggling to figure out technology.
Generating consistent leads
Like any business, generating leads is an important task. I use three main approaches to build leads and clientele, all of which I find equally powerful:
The first is through trade shows. I spend a lot of my time flying out to different trade shows and setting up booths. Most of the time I'm splitting the cost with the company I'm representing, which works out really well for both of us, and generates plenty of leads.
Another way is by being listed as an expert on the software companies’ websites. I get a lot of leads from their own website directing them back to me, as it adds credibility to my company.
My third method is making some of my add-ons available to the public. Some are free, some are paid, but either way, people use them and they bring in leads and business.
I also use content marketing and, depending on the customer and their situation, I’ve found it can be extremely effective. For example, I’ve found white papers good for people who’re moving from paper-based solutions to cloud solutions. They can show the benefits of the cloud while getting people accustomed to the idea of subscription-based services and monthly fees.
Scaling the business
My business had grown to the point I was thinking about hiring someone else to help out. Around that time, I started getting emails from this particular person offering a service. The service wasn’t something I was interested in, but these emails really stood out. They were slick and personalized, and it felt like he had really taken his time with it.
After a few of these emails, I reached out and said I thought that while his service looked great, I didn’t know if it would work for my company. However, I’d like to know how he got my address and how he was sending these emails.
The funny thing is somebody else had been asking him the same questions, and he’d written up this huge document outlining his process and shared it with me. Reply was part of that process. So I started thinking it through and realized that, rather than hiring someone else to take care of email, why not leverage Reply’s service to do it for me?
I looked at Reply and one other option. I knew exactly what I needed to do and that’s what Reply offered. The other solution did the same thing and a whole lot more, but it was also a whole lot more expensive.
Reply was the right fit for me and my company.
Why I chose Reply
My absolute favorite feature about Reply is that I can't add the same person more than once to any one campaign. Before Reply I’d often end up bombarding leads with emails because I didn't really have a way to track who I was sending them to. Reply has helped me deliver the right emails to the right person, the right number of times.
I also use their AI based email quality check service, which measures how likely you are to get a response to your email. I use it to help me gauge the content of my emails because I tend to be a little wordy and I don't ask many questions. I use that service to scale back what I'm writing and try and make it more engaging.
Reply helps me to stay organized in my marketing efforts and to nurture warm leads.
If I could no longer use Reply, I’d miss knowing my leads are being engaged. My company is just like anybody else’s — if leads aren't being converted that means my company isn’t growing. So knowing those leads are being contacted on a regular basis with my message is a big advantage.
Nurturing warm leads
I don't do any kind of cold outreach. Instead, I focus on nurturing warm leads. The leads I work with are ones that in some way or another have engaged with me in the past. For the first email I send, I’ll use one of the templates in the Reply library. I’ll change some of the wording to fit the software and solutions I’m working with. They’re automatically spaced out well time-wise, which I find works well.
As I said, I only email people I’ve had some kind of contact with before, so a lot of times that means reminding people where we met. So I’ll create campaigns based on whatever shows I’ve attended. This carries over to all the ad campaigns that we run on Facebook and other platforms are all specific to how I met the leads.
You can learn more about Magnolia Innovative Solutions and how they can help you implement cloud solutions in your business here.
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