5 Marketing Tactics for Growing ISOs

1. Find your “so what?”

ISOs are everywhere, they all look the same, tout the same old terminals (which were sold in with a 3-year lease), and count on the promises of better pricing than anyone else with merchants. As long as an ISO has better pricing, the merchant will follow. The machine keeps on turning, merchants keep churning, and meanwhile ISOs scratch their heads wondering why the size of their portfolio keeps shrinking quarter over quarter.

Without your unique differentiator or value-add, your ISO gets lost in a sea of other companies that are all selling the same services, competing for merchants who want lower pricing. With a valuable differentiator, your ISO could be closing new merchant accounts on the basis of offering strong technology that not only processes their transactions, but also solves their problems. These problems could be anything from staying on top of product inventory to minimize waste, tracking sales at the touch of a button, and even providing strong marketing tools that automate every side of their digital presence.

The needs of individual merchants are growing beyond having a way to process payments at a low cost. The market is saturated, and merchants are starting to look for ISOs that can offer unique products, exceptional service, and overall going above and beyond the expectations of a payment processor.

The point: find what makes your ISO unique and leverage that advantage to close accounts instead of lowering fees.

2. Make A Great First Impression with Your Website

Having a sexy website is more than just a way to keep your marketing team busy. A professional, elegant, thoughtful website is the digital age way of “dressing to impress.”

Chances are, the first thing your potential merchants are doing after you walk away is searching you on Google to see what they find. If all they’re seeing is a 5-year old website stuffed with your spread of 20 models of terminals, they are going to be less-than-impressed.

For most ISOs, websites tend to be wasted real-estate that got left behind. In fact, your company website is an ultimate tool your business can use to harvest new leads, market to them, and keep them coming back for more.  

Having a strong website to attract and close new merchants isn’t just a theory, it’s a fact.

By the Numbers

  • 34% of customers are unlikely to shop with a business if it does not have a website
  • Even worse, 45% of customers are unlikely to buy from a business with a poorly designed website

Source: 2016 Digital Impact Report, VistaPrint.com

3. In Marketing, More is More

It’s easy to focus on the one marketing channel that is most likely to bring in the most merchant accounts with as little effort as possible. According to Salesforce.com, it takes an average of 6 to 7 touches to generate a viable sales lead. That means that while a prospect may have seen your services through a print advertisement, it will take another 5 to 6 touches before they actually become a qualified sales lead that’s ready to make a purchasing decision.

To maximize the number of qualified sales leads, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary tools to get in front of your prospects and engage with them at the right time. Here’s an example of what a marketing strategy should look like to fully close a merchant:

  1. Merchant sees a paid advertisement on a print advertisement
  2. Merchant visits a unique landing page designed for leads from the paid advertisement
  3. Merchant doesn’t take an action on that landing page, and leaves
  4. A re-marketing ad is seen by the merchant on YouTube
  5. The merchant clicks on the landing page again, fills out a lead form
  6. Merchant receives “Thank-You” email, is contacted by sales team within 24-48 business hours


4. Automate Touch Points to Close More

How many hours per week does your business development team on following up with prospects and getting in touch with cold leads? Automating this process could drastically reduce the time your team spends on this and even increase closing ratios. By using industry-class tools like Pardot, your sales team will be freed up from following up every day. Tools can be automated to send scheduled personalized follow-ups to prospects after demo and pitch calls, follow-up with prospects that have gone cold, or just send them a check-in email every few months. Automation can take care of feeding the sales funnel while your team can focus on closing the sales!

5. Create a Winning Sales Presentation

How much thought has gone into the sales presentation that is used to close new merchant accounts? When was the last time your team took some time to go through it, clean it up, and make it as strong as it can possibly be to ensure every merchant fully grasps the value your business brings to the table? It’s important to note that a long presentation does not equal an effective presentation.

An effective sales presentation that wins new merchant accounts is designed


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