Lead generation is a process of finding people that at some point could turn into your clients. «Finding» implies data gathering about these people. For instance, their names, emails, companies they work at. All of this can later be used to establish a business relationship with them. You can generate leads organically and/or invest depending on your resources.
«Cold» leads – you have contacts of people, but they’re not yet interested in buying your product or never heard of it.
«Warm» leads – these people found out about your product through an ad or some other source and are in need of it.
«Hot» leads – people are willing to buy a product from you.
Lead generation effectiveness is guaranteed to be higher if you separate your client base into segments built around their behavior and come up with different scenarios for every single segment. Your goal is to show a user an offer that is the most profitable and attractive for them and in order to do that you have to gather as much data as possible.
No doubt lead generation is a useful tool, but does everyone need it? Some business spheres are reliant on it, some aren’t. The trick is to approach with caution.
If you hold a web market then lead generation is the way to go. Unlike offline market here you can easily tell if a person is interested and get their contacts. Lead generation is especially effective for those who sell expensive products or use a wholesale system.
People that sell pre-selection products can use it too. These are products you don’t buy thoughtlessly due to their importance and high prices. This category includes cars, consulting services, tour tickets, etc. It will take a long time for a customer to pick something he wants. He’s likely to go over a lot of thinking in the process, comparing prices and closing and returning to your website back and forth. Your job is to make them want to pick your market and not someone else’s.
A waste of money
There are 2 scenarios in which leads generation isn’t needed:
– You sell something cheap that can be found anywhere
– You sell something very expensive and rare and expect a customer to know everything about it beforehand
In both cases your earnings are not going to measure up to your effort, wasted time and investments.
You can generate leads with 2 ways: outgoing and incoming. Both are there to draw a potential customer for you, but there are difference in how the two actually work.
Outgoing method is kind of like asking a pretty girl for a dance. You’re the initiator and until you start acting she might not even know you exist.
The most popular sources of outgoing marketing are phone calls and physical mail. To cover more audience some companies use billboards, printed ad, TV or a radio commercial. A lot is dependent on the budget, media connections and your marketing capabilities.
Ingoing method is used to draw clients with online-content. You create a website or a blog and optimize it for the internet search system with the help of SEO so that a customer with a particular set of keywords could respond to your target audience. The moment your content starts to draw new people they become your leads. Whether they become your clients or not is up on you.
There was a time when generating leads used to be simple. Marketers used to do one of the following:
– Start a TV ad
– Start a magazine ad
– Buy a base of emails and send ad to those
But come on now. It’s 2019, for crying out loud. A grandpa on an electric scooter is nothing to write home about and those methods aren’t relevant anymore.
Before the internet was in every house a consumer had very little information. The info they consumed was controlled by large media-companies that controlled all media. Now back to 2019. Everyone not only has the access to any information they could possibly want, but also is bombed by countless brands trying to sell you everything, from a toothbrush to a flamethrower. With that being said even though consumers are now less attentive, they’re more knowledgeable about products of their interest.
Try to recall your last visit to social media. Did you read every single post from your friends, look up through every ad? Probably not. Same goes for B2B and B2C clients. It’s easy to see why people ignore most of the ads: they’re simply overwhelmed. So, to draw some attention you’ll have to master the ingoing methods we talked about.
Lead generation, just like every other marketing tool, has its pros and cons. Main pros are, of course, measurability of expenses and payback. Cons are often related to a wrong approach to this method.
– You know the exact price of one lead. Payment is only produced for leads, not the views.
– You know the exact budget of a commercial: how much to spend, where to invest to get leads
– Quick profit
– Without pre-calculation and pre-analysis you’re just wasting money
– If a contractor is turned out to be not that good of a person you can lose your money. Say, he bills you twice for the same lead or generates fraud (a person hired just to fool you into believing you draw lots of people) or spam leads.
In order for lead generation to actually make profit one needs approach systematically. For instance, you can monitor your lead generation with these:
Conversion Rate shows how much visitors of your website perform the target action.
Cost Per Acquisition is the amount of money invested into drawing a lead with an advertising campaign.
Average Order Value is the average checkout. Decrease or increase of it is a sign of clients changing their preferences. The higher it is the better for you.
Payment for generating leads can be done in 2 ways:
– PPC (Pay Per Click)
– PPA (Pay Per Action)
PPC is a payment from an advertiser for clicking on an ad or going to a website. A nice ad is good sometimes, but there’s a big chance that people are going to click on it only out of pure curiosity, not out of interest. In this case high conversion isn’t going to happen.
PPA is a payment from an advertiser for a particular set of actions he wants, like pay per order, per install, per lead, per download.
If you have a web market, the main sign of the effectiveness of your lead generation is a buying conversion. If the numbers are low the right thing would be to do is to check you site for usability, navigation, access to the information. Users may be genuinely interested in buying something from you, but if the interface is confusing and overwhelming, they’ll probably go to another site.
B2B sphere is more about offline, so we recommend to monitor your leads through gathered contacts. To gather contacts you’ll need to make an exchange offer. You can share a training manual, a webinar recording, a selection of articles or adorable kitty pictures.
Significant changes in consumer’s advertisement perception means it’s time for companies to adapt, start building new tactics to draw leads. You’ll need to systematically test and implant multiple strategies to choose the ones that work for you the best. Let’s get through some of the most important aspects one has to concentrate on.
If you don’t have a website you’re non-existent. Well, at least people who can’t find you on the internet think so. With a website you can provide your target audience with tons of useful content.
Make your contact info visible and use the contact form
When developing a website make sure every decision is targeted to drawing leads. Navigation must be intuitive. Make a space for your contact info. After all, generating leads is a hard and expensive deal. It would be sad to lose a potential client over a forgotten contact form.
Use consent forms
«Quid pro quo, Clarissa, quid pro quo», these are the words of the infamous Hannibal Lecter. Just like Lecter, those who visit your page want something in exchange for their contacts. It is essential to have not only a form of subscription, but also a reason for a user to leave his phone number or an email. An offer must be relevant to your audience: something like a free trial.
Landing and CTA
Unlike a multipaged website landing is clear, concise and built primarily for marketing. The target page is the most important element of a successful strategy for generating leads, because here you gather contacts of your potential clients.
Quality of a landing is going to determine a campaign’s success or lack of it, so make sure to design it as good as possible.
The target pages must have a clear message that will attract people and demonstrate the value of your offer.
Exclude all the information you feel is not needed and has nothing to do with the offer you suggest. The only thing it does is distract potential clients.
When developing CTA (Call-To-Action) you want to check if it:
– makes people want to perform the target action
– is logically arranged
– is noticeable
Email-marketing and other communication channels
Even if you did convince a user to leave their email in exchange for a free trial it doesn’t mean they’re already into your product. Your job is to make an email campaign that is going to be read. Messages should be informative and useful, subtly pushing a user into buying something from you. If you feel like emails aren’t doing their job very good, try phone messages, different messengers, web pushes. One never knows what might do the trick.
One of many options for maximizing every nickel you invest into generating leads is to use retargeting campaigns. Don’t just drop every lead that left your website when first opened it. This person has already showed some interest in your product and you can get him back by sending another email and drawing his attention with something special.
Remember that one time you googled, on accident (!), that Ed Sheeran song and it just kept following you everywhere you went? Well that’s not just God’s idea of a joke. It’s called retargeting.
Content as a strategy for generating leads works because of certain reasons. If you’re willing to use it as the prime force you’ll need to spend as much time promoting it as creating.
What is the main goal of your content?
Your strategy must be based on establishing a relationship with the right people – with those who eventually might turn into your potential clients. So before you jump straight into blogging determine your motives for creating content and think over how want to pull that off. Beforehand answer these questions:
– What client problems can I solve without charging them anything?
– Does my content measure up to the competitor’s?
– Where do my target clients spend time online? Do they even read other blogs?
– Do I have the necessary experience and knowledge for creating a quality content? If not, where can I get the right people for creating it?
If your blog doesn’t help clients to solve real problems, it’s probably worthless.
How can clients find your content?
Promoting your content is just as important as creating it. In order for the content to work you’ll need to make sure your potential clients can easily find it.
The best decision would be to make content that hits all the right notes to be in the top of search results by keywords. To get there you’ll have to work very hard. Besides increasing organic rating of your content for days and even months there are other ways to find leads.
Try connecting to online-communities where your leads usually spend their time, make some videos for YouTube, share as much information as needed on social media. And don’t forget to avoid clients that don’t really respond to your target audience. Also try guest posts on websites with similar audience.
Combine videos with your blog posts to kill two birds with one stone: you’ll add an additional channel for gathering leads and provide people with an option between reading and watching.
Audio content (podcasts and audiobooks)
Podcasts are getting more and more attention with time. Even if you do have a large audience, that’s just a chance to communicate more with your clients. You can launch a podcast whilst going to the work, during lunch or at the gym. It will help you to strengthen relationship with people. If you feel really invested and excited try turning your most popular text posts into an audio format.
There’s also an additional tactics for generating leads like sending your readers a thematic set of your best posts.
In B2B everyone likes to use templates and cases that proved to be the best at the starting point of learning and experimenting with tactics and finding the inspiration. They work good, because they’re designed to solve a certain problem.
Online-courses are especially great for generating leads due to their versatility of delivering content. If you’re in charge of a digital marketing agency and want to create an online-course, dig through serious problems your clients dealt with. Like these:
– How to make an advertising campaign on Facebook that will actually work?
For that you can create a course about advanced methods of making profit on Facebook
– I know how to write posts in my blog, but know nothing about promoting them
Here try creating a course about top 10 strategies for promoting content
You’ll need to create a course to help your target audience solve their problems
Offline-ideas for generating leads
Don’t push everything lead-related onto your online-campaign. Generating leads can be quite successful outside the web as well.
Show up on events and conferences
One of the best ways to make your own brand and boost your leadership in a sphere is to show up on different events: local and international ones.
Conduct constant meetings
Meetings with real and possible clients can work extremely well. The important thing is to make sure a potential client can learn something new from you. Besides the obvious advantages of drawing new people by conducting meetings, such gatherings also help strengthen your community and increase the level of loyalty to your brand.
Lead generation is useful for many kinds of business. Try effective channels, use the possibilities of modern technology, cooperate with goodwilling contractors. With all that it won’t take long for your number of leads to increase greatly. 🙂