Steps Towards Fool-Proof Lead Generation
Inbound marketing is now something of a universal standard these days. At one point in history, all you really needed to get a given demographic’s attention was enough capital to spend on some kind of big, flashy ad. However, all that’s changed over the past decade or so. Today, your audience doesn’t want businesses to simply buy their attention anymore – they want them to put in the work and earn it! Because of this shift in attitude, your lead generation tactics need to be changed to accommodate. Once you’ve drafted and published your content, you need to know how to leverage it best to generate the leads your business needs. Here’s how to go about this…
In all likelihood, half of your visitors won’t come back to your site unless you put a little work into capturing some information around them. One of the best things a marketer can ask for in terms of lead capture is an active email address. Obviously though, visitors aren’t always all that inclined to give up this kind of information. Most of us get enough spam as it is, after all! Big, obvious call-to-action buttons saying things like “sign up here” have become a pretty effective way for businesses to scare off potential leads, which has meant all good marketers now have to try a different approach to sourcing all that important information. When obtaining visitors’ information from here on, you need to present some value to your visitors before you ask anything of them, and make sure all your promotions and ads present this value as effectively as possible. It’s pretty hard to believe now, but there was a time when everyone wanted to sign-up to email updates. Today, web users are getting buried in information, and can’t find a way to fend it all off! However, modern marketers are gradually finding ways to break down that stigma which is tied to the “sign up here” button, and using totally new opt-in methods to rake in that information, which benefits both the business and the target market. No matter what niche you’re in, your target market is going to want you to give before you take. This brings me onto the next point…
A good customer lifecycle means fine-tuning the process to convert your website visitors into actual leads. You may already be aware of this big, annoying hole between the phases of traffic generation and lead generation, which can often land you with one-off visitors who hold fast to their information, and never go back to your site again. The best way to seal up this hole is through the use of lead magnets. Lead magnets, if you weren’t aware, are various tools which give your visitors value in exchange for their contact information. A lot of businesses these days will use lead magnets including email opt-ins, social media follows, subscriptions and so on to fish for interest in their site visitors. The end goal here is to get permission from your visitors to follow up. Common lead magnets include offers of free trials, eBooks, white papers, webinars and training videos. These kinds of free educational tools will show your visitors exactly what you’re offering, and give you an in to not only obtain their information, but also educate them further on your business. While lead magnets can be pretty easy to come up with in the B2B arena, certain niches will find it a little harder to find something that’s both relevant and high-value to their target audience. However, dangling these kinds of offers in front of your market is essential for more effective inbound marketing in the long run.
Landing Page Conversion
Landing pages are another big asset when you’re trying to convert your passive visitors into leads. These can be any of the pages which someone has a chance of landing on having clicked one of your marketing links. If you’re not a marketing expert, then it’s also important to note the fact that landing pages exist separately from the website itself, and are usually deployed as a tool for one marketing campaign. When you look through some of the best landing page designs, it can seem like there’s really not that much to them. However, there are a lot of nuances and best practices which go into landing pages that really work for the campaign. While all landing pages have a certain role in all strategies for leads, they can always be divided into two main types. Lead generation landing pages are mainly used to capture a company or individual’s information in exchange for something they can gain from entering it. Click-through landing pages, on the other hand, are intended to attract a visitor to a specific product or service that you’re trying to sell. Here, you should be giving the user enough information for them to follow through and make a purchase. Disregarding these nuances, one thing that landing pages have in common is that they all have a single call-to-action in mind. Instead of bombarding your visitors with information on the all the different products or services you’re selling, you should simplify the whole plan, and narrow your focus to a single specific goal. Go through the page, cut out any kind of information that isn’t absolutely necessary to the campaign, and only include a single link or call-to-action per landing page for the user to click.
Now, your landing page could have the cleverest and most psychologically pleasing design ever formulated. However, if it fails to deliver whatever promise your original ad made, then it’s not going to be much of a success. Let’s say that the text for your ad read: “Get 30% off your first order here”. The user needs to be reassured that the landing page can deliver on this promise as soon as possible after reaching it. One great way of doing this is making the call-to-action in your ad the title of the landing page. Another good tactic is ensuring that the font, color and images that you applied when designing your ad make up part of your landing page to some degree. With the sheer volume of modern advertising that we’re all exposed to, people are usually pretty skeptical when it comes to ads and the following landing pages. If you’re not able to put their doubts to rest as soon as possible, then you’re going to have real trouble capturing and retaining new business.
Scoring, the final phase of good lead generation, is a common feature of marketing automation programs, and helps companies to prioritize the leads they have according to how much they’re engaging with the brand’s inbound marketing content. This will ultimately give you a clearer idea of who’s ready to buy and who still needs a little more time in the oven. Scoring will also help you to figure out what exactly about your content your market are interested in. These resources can also be used to quantify the interactions which prospects have with your content, assigning different points for different forms of engagement. Anything positive will increase the lead’s value, and anything negative will decrease it. Here’s an example of different types of engagement and the varying point values assigned to them:
View Infographic: + 4 points
Watch a Product Video: + 6 points
Sign Up to Newsletter: + 8 points
Visit Page Without Clicking Video: - 4 points
Demographic Not a Good Match: - 6 points
Unsubscribe from Mailing List: - 8 points
Not every business owner is on board with lead scoring, especially within the B2B sector. However, it’s certainly something that you should be thinking about as part of your lead generation. This will provide you and your marketing guys with a wealth of real-time feedback on how responsive all your leads are being to all your marketing ploys. It can also point you towards people and demographics who are ripe to become buyers, but haven’t had any contact with your brand so far. Understandably, you might assume that it’s too small of an organizational change to make much of a difference to your lead-generation success. However, using this kind of points-based approach when trying to pin down and analyze your company’s best leads will save you a lot of time and money when it comes to reaching out to your target demographics and capitalizing on new opportunities. Having identified the best leads you have, you’ll have much more confidence communicating with them, riding on the knowledge that they’re already aware of your business, and at least somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
These days, lead generation plays a massive role in every business’s overall marketing strategy, and yours is no exception! Put on your consumer hat for a second, and think about all the different sites you’ve been to which you’ll never bother with again. These businesses not only failed to grab your attention from the offset, but also to reconnect with you and follow up later. Don’t let your site become one of these!