B2B Marketing: Contact Us Best Practice

I ran across a great post by Seth Godin about B2B Marketing.  I am a big fan of Seth’s and his thinking about permission marketing, but sadly he doesn’t talk specifically about  B2B marketing very often (by my count fewer than 2% of his posts mention B2B).  I think he makes a terrific point in this post:

“I just went through the hassle of trying to get some B2B firms the details needed to give me an informed quote on a project.  I visited eight sites. Six of them hide their email address. They use forms of one sort of another. One firm refused to accept more than 500 characters in the “how can we help you” box, while three of them wanted to know what state I was in, etc.”

You can read the rest of Seth’s post here.

Here are 7 B2B Marketing Best Practice tips to help make Seth Godin a happier B2B customer

1. Put your contact information on the top of every page of your site and include your phone number.  For some customers your website is your directory listing in that great phone book called the web.  And if they want to talk to you, you should really want to talk to them!

2. Put a quick email address on every page of your site. Some customers (like Seth) often prefer email.  Make it easy.

3. Put your street address or a link to all your corporate locations in the footer of every page of your site.  In the world of digital it can help a customer trust you if they know that you really exist – somewhere.

4. Put your contact info on the top and bottom of every page.  Some customers look at the top and others look at the bottom.  It should be their choice, not yours.

5. Use a contact us button to make sure they can’t miss how to get a hold of you.  Ours is the green circle top right.  And make sure that they know a real person will get back to them right away!

5. Make it easy to opt-in.  Add RSS feeds, twitter links, newsletter subscriptions, or sharing buttons.  As Seth says, earn your permission by letting your customers opt-in and connect with you on their terms.  And you can only earn that trust if you can connect with them.  It is okay to start slow.  They key is to make sure you are always building and engaging your contact list.

6. Keep your forms short and easy.  Test just one field on your forms: an email opt-in (with opt-in control of what the customer will be sent, see the picture below for our opt-in list).  If you are feeling sure try capturing name and company.  But remember every additional field of data you ask for will suppress your response rate and scare away a potential customer.  And always include links to an email preferences center.  Finally use a good marketing automation system that lets you implement rolling or progressive forms and capture more information each time your customer comes back.  There are lots out there but here is a quick link to one we like called Pardot.

7. Use an email signature with your contact info.  Email Scott Armstrong and I will show you mine.  And make that a best practice for everyone in your company.  Back to the rule that if a customer wants to reach– you you want to make finding you easy.  And often customers will check the last email you sent for your contact info.  Make how they contact you their choice –there is lots of room in the signature so include all your numbers, street address, LinkedIn profile, twitter, even your favorite watering hole.  (Of course, with all these customers calling you won’t have time for that!)

Did we miss a B2B best practice?  Add it to our list in the comments or email Scott Armstrong, call me at 416 900 3310 or visit us at 386 Huron St, Toronto, ON, Canada.

2 responses to “B2B Marketing: Contact Us Best Practice”

  1.  To continue with the “Survey/Market
    Research” theme: (Nice blog spot here by the way)

    Honestly, every post that you see on the web
    describes the next BIG methodology when it comes to B2B Market Research/B2B/B2C
    Surveys. At my company Partner Source, which is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
    we approach the B2B Market Research/B2B/B2C Surveys subject with science, as it
    is our business. We have taken over 20 years of B2B Market Research/B2B/B2C
    Surveys historical data and the proof is in the pudding, you can’t argue the
    results.

    Here is what we offer, what do you think about
    this position?

    Telephone surveys from Partner Source can help
    your organization:
    • Obtain valuable feedback from hard-to-reach
    groups
    • Make intelligent business decisions
    • Acquire complete and reliable data

    Who has Partner Source provided this service for?

    We have successfully created and delivered survey
    campaigns for government agencies and businesses from around the world. If you
    are looking to better understand your customer or simply need to gather
    information from the population, we are your go-to provider. We have the
    ability to serve any customer, no matter the size, as we have delivered
    campaigns ranging from very complex to basic and simplistic.

    Telephone Research Surveys – An Important
    Methodology

    Savvy researchers understand telephone surveys
    still play an important role in market research, despite the growing popularity
    of online surveys.
    Telephone research surveys can be the ideal
    methodology for organizations that need to gather detailed data from
    hard-to-reach B2B, B2C, or customer groups. Through telephone surveys, your
    organization can:

    Sample at a local market level
    Reach specialized B2B contacts
    Connect with hard-to-reach customers
    Control the sequence in which survey questions are
    asked.
    Use probing techniques to obtain in-depth answers
    to open-ended questions.
    Ensure that all questions are answered.
    Gather data on more sensitive topics by
    alleviating some of the discomfort and reluctance respondents might present
    during a face-to-face interview.
    Clarify and substantiate unclear responses.
    Ask follow-up questions.

    Design, Administration and Analysis of Telephone
    Surveys

    At Partner Source, our goal is to equip your
    organization with bias-free telephone research that generates valid data and
    high response rates. All of our telephone surveys include the following steps:

    Design – Partner Source’s experienced researchers
    will work with you to design customized telephone surveys based on your
    specific objectives. We can work within our proven telephone survey templates,
    or can create entirely new telephone surveys “from scratch.”

    Administration – Using our proprietary methods,
    Partner Source takes your telephone surveys and administers them to your
    desired recipients. The interviewers adhere to best practices, ensuring data
    collection that’s free from bias while heeding to our clients’ unique
    requirements for security level, deadlines, incentives, etc. Throughout the
    administration phase, your data is made available online through Partner
    Source’s Real-Time Report Menu.

    Analysis – The raw data garnered from your
    telephone surveys is thoroughly analyzed and converted into actionable
    conclusions. We offer a variety of analysis packages for every budget.

    Our Team: The entire call team for these projects
    is located right here in Minneapolis,
    Minnesota, USA.
    We do have many additional resources if other languages are required besides
    English.

    Glenn Wright
    Partner Source (B2B Surveys & B2C Surveys
    (Phone Surveys/Market Research))
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    http://www.thepartnersource.co

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