Your product aside.
You can make it fancier or lowball all your competitors by offering the best price ever. But unless your product gets in front of prospective customers, then there isn’t much to look forward to.
A good number of businesses crash and burn within the first few years of operation. And the only ones that survive are those that have invested a great deal in lead generation.
It doesn’t matter if your product is average. If you’re generating enough leads, then that alone is enough to set you on the right path to success.
This post looks at all the possible ways to generate more leads for your business and drive sales. And the more leads you’re able to generate, the more you’re able to rake in more profits.
What’s lead generation and why is it important?
A lead is basically a term for any person or party with a vested interest in the products or services you’re offering.
From a leader’s perspective, you can expect to be contacted by a company you had earlier on opened the lines of communication with – rather than from a random company you’ve never been in touch with.
A common example is when you take an online survey of the things you wish to learn– like handling a repair. If the company decides to contact you afterward with information on how they can be of help to you, then you’re likely to find the interaction less intrusive as opposed to them just calling you out of the blue without prior attempt to find out what you’re really interested in.
From a business standpoint, the information collected via the survey or before making a point to contact you is meant to gather as much information as possible from you so the company can personalize your interactions or get to address your problems more appropriately.
So essentially, lead generation is the process involved in attracting and converting prospective customers into potential buyers of a product or service you’re offering. There is numerous way to get this done, but more common is through job applications, coupons, online content, click funnels, live events, and blog posts.
It’s through a lead generation that your prospects warm up to your business, thus setting them up to a path that might eventually get them to consider buying or taking an action.
Why is It Important?
Lead generation ensures a smooth transition from a total stranger to a potential customer.
Placed in the second stage of the methodologies people apply in inbound marketing, lead generation is what comes next after you’ve successfully managed to attract an audience and are looking for a way to convert them into active leads.
So basically, lead generation is all about ensuring a smooth and natural transition from a visitor to an active customer.
Step by Step Lead Generation Guide
Now that you understand where to fit lead generation in your inbound marketing methodology, let’s jump right into how you can get it done.
First and foremost, a targeted visitor comes to find out about your business through one of your inbound marketing channels such as a blog, social media or website.
They then click on your Call to Action (CTA) – message, button, or image that encourages them to take action. The CTA will then direct them to a landing page, which is essentially a page aimed at capturing lead information in exchange for what you’re offering.
Among the things to offer you have content, eBooks, templates or anything of value to the people you’re targeting. The whole point is to ensure your visitors find the offer valuable enough and worthy of them exchanging their personal information for a piece of it.
There are different ways to structure your landing page. The common one is creating a form with a series of fields that your visitors will be required to fill in in exchange for what you’re offering. It’s NOT necessarily important that you host the forms on your landing page. If anything, you can still choose to technically embed them anywhere on the site.
That way, any person that lands on your website can have an easy time tracing them, and just in case they decide to go ahead and fill it – you’d have gotten yourself a new lead.
Here’s a compressed summary of how everything fits in place:
Someone visiting your website clicks on the CTA. They’re then directed to a landing page where there’ll be a form waiting for them to fill in and enjoy the offer. Once they’ve filled the form, they’re automatically converted into leads.
For WordPress users, you have a free lead generation tool that you could use to generate the lead forms directly on your website without much strain on your part. The tool is designed to make it a cinch for you to create the forms, besides generating one of the most visually appealing forms you can find online.
Marketing through Lead Generation
Once you have everything pieced together, it’s possible to drive massive traffic to your landing page using the various promotional channels you can use to generate leads.
So what channels should you be using?
Your options are far-reaching. But let’s start by focusing on front end lead generation, or lead gen marketing as it’s also known.
The channels you use to direct visitors to your landing page so you can convert them into leads are NOT limited. Here’s a compressed list of the top channels you can use:
It’s extremely easy to drive traffic to your landing page using the content. All you have to do is come up with a valuable and informative piece of content for your visitors, and somewhere in between or at the bottom of the content, remember to include a Call to Action and you’re good to go.
Do this and you’d be surprised by the sheer volume of visitors that land on your site after following the content you post. If you’re creative enough, you should be able to figure a surefire way to direct a great majority of the visitors your content is attracting to click through your Call-to-Action and be directed to your landing page.
The people you reach via email are the ones that have already interacted with your business. These people know a great deal about your products and services and all they need to make up their mind and shell out cold hard cash is a little convincing.
You should, therefore, have an easy time getting them to take an action, considering these people have already made a voluntary step to subscribe to your mailing list.
And since emails tend to be a little stilt and cluttered, it’s advisable to take a playful approach while placing your CTA. Try to make it eye-catching and as compelling as possible to get a visitor to take an action.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms offer the easiest way to direct your online followers to click through your CTA. For Instagram, you have the swipe up option, whereas Facebook allows you to include a link on your bio. Goes without mentioning the bitly URLs for Twitter, and the list continues.
Another trick is to creatively place a link into your post. Nothing complicated, just a simple, but naturally inserted CTA message prompting your followers to take an action.
There’s no harm in using your blog post to promote your services or products. So long as you don’t make them over-sales, your blog posts can serve as one of the most effective ways to get the bulk of your online visitors to take action.
Even better, this option allows you to tailor your content to meet your end goal. For instance, let’s say you’re offering an instructional video on how to set up a Google Search Console. Then why NOT make a blog post about how to select a marketing metric?
This will help to make your blog post relevant to what you’re offering, which goes a long way to ensure the CTA is even more clickable.
Ads and Retargeting
Ads and retargets are meant to drive visitors into making a decision to buy. That’s the whole reason for spending your cold hard cash.
What’s important is that you make your landing page match up the ad to the core. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time convincing users to take action.
Referrals mostly occur through word of mouth. Your past customers simply recommend you to their friends, family, acquaintances, and social media connects.
In other word, they help expose your business to strangers who’ve never heard or had a chance to interact with you. More often, those referring your business will have something to positive to say about it, thus increasing the odds of generating even more leads.
The end goal is to direct every single one of the prospects you get to your landing page where they’ll be directed on what to do next.
Samples and Product Trials
Samples and trials help to eliminate obvious hurdles standing between your products or services and the decision to take an action.
Prospects just want to be sure that your products are top-notch and NOT all-hype. They want to be encouraged to buy. But mostly importantly, they want all their doubts quashed so they can have a reason to trust your business with their hard-earned money.
Free trials offer you a chance to capture the attention of potential customers. So it’s important that you remember to include your brand in the sample you’re offering and get to fully capitalize on it.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Leads
There’s a shortcut to almost everything. The problem is the risk factor involved – speaking of which, lead generation is NO exception.
Well, let’s begin by saying there exists lead vendors. These are the people that promise to sell leads, thus saving you the trouble of generating them organically.
While this may work, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. The core being, these people don’t actually know you. What happens is that these people opted in to some other site that is entirely different from your site and consequently very irrelevant to what you’re offering.
Which is to say, they might NOT be really interested in the message you send – no matter how interesting and valuable your content reads.
The fact that the prospect has never visited your site to clearly understand the nature of your business, then getting them to folk over their cash for something they barely know or a business they’ve never heard off is the next thing to impossible.
Buying leads only increases the odds of your message being flagged as spam – which puts your business at a greater danger considering people will never live to understand the real value of your business.
As a marketer, the last thing you want to do is get blacklisted. Come to think of it, no one ever bothers getting anyone off their blacklist. Meaning theirs a fair chance that some of the prospects you’re targeting may never live to read any of your messages again.
Weighing the Level of Interest a Lead Has
Anyone with some vested interest in what you’re offering qualifies as a lead. But that’s NOT to say that all leads are equal, considering each one of them comes with varying levels of interest.
So how can you gauge the level of interest a lead has?
Here are a couple of scenarios to ponder to get a clear picture on the level of user interest:
Job applicants are never hesitant to fill out a job application form. They’re always willing to share as much personal information as possible so they can be considered for the position being offered.
By filling out the form, that alone goes to show that they’re really interested in securing the job. This also qualifies the person as a lead to the recruiter.
This applies to coupon that require visitors to enter their email address and name for the code. The information provided may NOT be that much. But it’s enough to prove to you that the person has some vested interest in the products you’re offering.
Unlike coupons and job applications, content aren’t a direct giveaway for interest, and it’s all because it doesn’t communicate the exact nature of a person’s interest. You’re therefore required to dig in for more information regarding the visitor. A simple trick is to include a call to action in the content you publish, and in the event that the visitor decides to take action, then that’s proof enough that they’re actually interested in what you’re offering.
EPiServer is designed to analyze web content report for lead generation. Essentially, it aims at collecting six different pieces of information from potential leads:
ü Full name: Good for personalizing the interactions you have with a prospective lead.
ü Email: This is an off-the-wall identifier. It also serves as a channel or mean to contact a potential lead.
ü Company: This allows you to make necessary calibrations to the message you send. It should help you figure out the best way possible to structure your message and highlight all the possible ways the company is likely to benefit by taking an action.
ü Role: What’s the role of the person in the company they work for? By understanding the role they play, you’ll have an easy time figuring out the best way to plan for your interactions. Every single one of your stakeholders will have a more unique approach and take on your offering.
ü Country: The country information provided should help you pick the most appropriate time to contact a prospect, depending on their time zone.
ü State: By knowing which state a prospect hails from, you can figure out the best way possible to qualify them.
It’s a Wrap
There’s it goes, folks – just about everything you need to know about lead generation. You still have a whole lot to wrap your head around, but that should be enough to get you on track.
This post covers only the basics of what you need to know about lead generation. But just in case you want to learn more about the subject at hand, make a point to reach out to MediaOne today for more clarification or free SEO consultation as well as digital marketing service in Singapore.