An inbound methodology is a customer-centric approach that focuses on turning customers into promoters. I first learned about the inbound methodology when I was working at a small startup. We were always looking for ways to improve our customer relationships and grow our business. The inbound methodology seemed like the perfect fit for us. I’m excited to share what are the stages in the inbound methodology and how you can use it to benefit your business.
What Are the Stages in the Inbound Methodology?
In inbound marketing, you help customers through the buying cycle by providing them with relevant, helpful content that helps them solve their problems.
What are the stages in the inbound methodology? has four stages: attract, convert, close, and delight.
The attract stage is all about getting found by the right people. This is done through SEO, blogging, and social media.
The convert stage is all about getting those people to take action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a white paper.
The close stage is all about getting those people to become paying customers.
And the delight stage is all about keeping those customers happy so they continue to do business with you.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is all about providing potential customers with valuable information, and you do this without directly selling to them.
Working with your marketing team to profile your target audience. This could include questions such as:
- Who is our ideal customer?
- How much do they earn?
- Which demographic do they belong to?
- How does our product or service solve a problem they have?
After you’ve identified your buyer’s personas, you can move on to creating a marketing plan. There are four stages of inbound marketing methodology.
In inbound marketing, you attract customers by providing them with great, personalized content that interests them.
Outbound marketing, such as telesales, can be intrusive and annoying. It’s often hard to know if the person you’re talking to is even interested in what you’re selling.
In inbound marketing, you focus on building trust so you can turn them into loyal brand advocates.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved in an inbound strategy, the four stages that an effective one will go through, and why it’s so important.
4 Inbound Methodology Stages
The goal of any business is to bring in new customers. This goes far beyond a simple greeting or transaction.
The inbound methodology is a great way to grow your business by building meaningful relationships with potential customers. By providing them with valuable content and resources, you can create a rapport that will eventually lead to conversions.
If you’re a business looking to empower your clients with effective marketing, you should invest in inbound marketing. Inbound is a simple yet powerful process that can attract, engage, and convert customers.
Each step of the process has its own tactics and strategies to attract customers.
1. Attract: Turn Strangers Into Prospects
Your first goal should be to make your prospects aware of what your business does and the types of products and services you offer.
If you want people to visit your online properties such as a website, blog, or social media profiles, consider creating content that will attract them. This may involve writing blog posts that answer common questions or creating videos that demonstrate your product. By building trust with your audience, you can eventually convert them into paying customers.
Some of the topics that can raise awareness for any industry are things like pricing, which companies are best, reviews, and comparisons.
Many business owners are hesitant about publishing this type of information on their websites, but we’ve found that doing so actually helps build trust and weeds out customers who aren’t a good fit.
If you’re in the senior care business, does your site give visitors a clear idea of what your care services are, what levels of support you provide, and what your living arrangements are like?
Have you created some content that you thought was great, but ended up not generating any traffic?
If you want your business to attract new customers, you need to publish and promote content on traditional media, blogs, and social media. You should also use other distribution channels that you own.
Inbound marketing is focused on reaching specific groups of people, called buyer personas.
A successful marketing campaign involves only contacting people who are likely to be interested in your product and excludes those who aren’t.
If you want your B2B marketing to reach 10 to 50 million dollar companies in the Northeast, you need to publish content that appeals to those businesses and publish it in a format that will reach them.
Guest posts on BuzzFeed won’t necessarily get you any quality sales, but guest posts on a highly targeted website like ThomasNet.com will.
Your secret weapon to attract visitors: relevant, optimized content for search, and promotion in strategic, high-visibility locations.
How do you convert complete strangers into paying customers?
The inbound marketing methodology is an effective way to guide your prospects through the four stages of the buyer’s journey: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
The series of steps, from generating leads to converting them into paying customers, has its own tactics, and its own corresponding metric to measure success.
2. Convert: Turn Prospects Into Leads
Once you have successfully converted a qualified lead into a sale, you can move on to the next.
The best way to get a prospect’s information so you can call them is by asking them for it. This is usually done by having them enter their email, phone, or some other type of contact info. Once you have their info, you have an inbound prospect!
Congratulations, you have officially converted a prospect into a lead!
The catch is, you can’t just ask for an email address. You need to offer something of value in return for it.
A great example of a cold-call offer is a free consultation.
To turn a prospect into a lead, you need to have a specific offer for their business. Having multiple types of offerings allows you to attract different buyers at various stages in the sales process.
As a company, it’s crucial to make offers that cover the whole buyer’s journey, from generating new leads to closing deals. By consistently doing this, you create a predictable stream of customers that can be turned into revenue.
By providing TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU leads to your sales team, you will be providing them with a consistent stream of qualified leads that are primed for conversion.
Your secret to converting your prospect: A compelling, relevant, and customized pitch that speaks to your buyer’s needs.
3. Close: Turn Leads Into Customers
It matters not that you have a lot of leads to follow up with, but whether or not those leads are closed into customers. Likely, the seed you planted won’t grow if you don’t water it.
It’s crucial to give your customers the right amount of attention. If you give them too much, they’ll be annoyed and unsubscribe. If you give them too little, they’ll forget who you are.
While frequency is important, it’s not the only piece to the puzzle. The right content for the buyer personas you’re targeting and each prospect is just as important.
You rarely come across an email that speaks to you directly, but when you do, you can’t help but open it, read it, and take action.
Your secret weapon to close leads is CRM software. This software allows you to track and manage your customer relationships, so you can better understand which leads are converting into sales. By using CRM software, you can improve your sales process and close more deals.
4. Delight – Turn Customers into Promoters
Delight is the most important stage of inbound marketing, and companies that ignore it do so at their peril. By delighting customers and turning them into promoters, businesses can experience significant growth.
Look at how you’ve grown your company, and figure out which of your new clients were referred by current clients, which of your new customers were from increasing your sales of products to your current customers, and which of your newest customers are from new, non-related business.
Referrals and upselling to existing clients are major sources of revenue for most businesses. If you aren’t focusing on them, you are missing out on potential sales.
Delighting customers is essential for any business. By keeping in touch with your customers and making them feel special, you can increase loyalty and customer satisfaction. This, in turn, can lead to increased sales and profitability.
Send your customers newsletters, surveys, and personalized product offers based on their previous purchases. Also, engage with them on social media to get their feedback and create a connection.
Your best bet for delighting customers is to keep up with them on social media. By monitoring their activity, you can identify opportunities to connect. For example, if they’ve just won an award, sending a note congratulating them would be a great way to show your appreciation.
Did your client just receive an industry award? Send them a quick note to congratulate them!
What are the stages in the inbound methodology? Attract, convert, close, delight. By following these steps, you can turn customers into promoters who will help spread the word about your business.