Lead generation is essential for every business. You may create the most amazing content in the world, enjoy likes and shares, but it is the conversion that really matters. With lead generation, you can attract potential buyers and nurture them with your marketing software. This is how you take them from initial introduction to purchasing decision.
Once you have a lead, you can tell them more about your product or service and gradually convince them to buy from you. But before we dive deeper into sales funnel best practices let’s cover the basics.
What is lead generation?
Who is a lead? A lead is a person who has expressed an interest in your offer. They have not yet bought anything but they shared their contact details. In other words, a lead is someone who has just entered your sales funnel.
Once you have their details, you can contact them, send them relevant content, invite them to events - something to convince them that you are the best choice for resolving their problem. This is called lead nurturing.
Lead generation is the process to get those leads. Your lead generation strategy should determine how you get potential buyers interested in your product.
Having a lead generation strategy in place will make your business more stable and predictable. Clearly, there are a lot of potential buyers in the web space. Yet knowing how to reach the right people is a challenge. With a lead generation strategy, you can create a consistent flow of new clients. This means consistent revenue growth - just what any business needs.
Very few people are willing to buy your product or service right away, but when you capture them and build a relationship, they are much more likely to become paying clients.
To successfully convert leads into clients you need to attract the right people from the start. So identify who is a lead for your business. Is it an individual or a company representative? If it is an individual, what do you need to know about them? For example, if you sell sports shoes, you may need to know what kind of activities they do. There are different shoes for running, trekking, skating and so on. If it is a company, you may need to know what industry are they in or how many employees they have.
All the information you collect will make it easier for you to turn a lead into a client. However, avoid asking for too much information. The more fields a lead form has the lower the conversion rate. You need to only ask for the information that will help your sales process. So that based on these fields you can make a better offer, more tailored to your lead’s needs.
If your product is more complex and your sales process requires more information to make a great pitch, it is a good idea to collect information in stages. Like collecting an email address and a company first. Then, once you got the lead, invite them to an event and collect more information. People usually don’t feel comfortable giving away personal information at once. But they will share it once they get to know you and your brand.
To define your lead form fields it may be useful to look at your buyer persona - an imaginary person that possesses the traits of your ideal client. For successful marketing, you need to tailor your messaging, your content strategy, and your unique selling points to your buyer persona. This way you make sure you speak the same language as your audience.
Knowing your buyer persona will also help you to a compelling offer. There is no such thing as an ideal product for everyone. But when you are talking to a specific audience you can address their needs and get personal.
How to get leads for your business
There are two ways of lead generation: inbound and outbound.
Outbound lead generation is when you reach out to potential buyers. You can do this by cold calling, messaging on social media, and so on.
Inbound lead generation involves creating valuable content for your target audience. Once they get interested, they can sign up for your newsletter. So instead of you contacting potential buyers, they contact you. This is why it is called inbound.
Very often business owners offer an exclusive piece of content in exchange for a subscription. This is called a lead magnet. You can offer your lead magnet right on your website or create a dedicated landing page for it. You can also combine both approaches.
There are a few ways to collect more leads.
1. Add a CTA (call-to-action) to your homepage
Your homepage is likely the most popular page on your website. If you are serious about your digital presence, your landing page most probably lists your services, qualifications, testimonial, and many other elements. To generate even more leads right from the homepage, you want to make it easy for visitors to leave their information. You can do this by adding a contact form (send a message) or a subscription form (sign up for the newsletter). You can simply add a “contact me button” and link it to a form on another page, but this is going to be less effective. Remember, the more actions people have to take, the lower goes the conversion rate.
2. Add a CTA to your content
If you have a blog or a vlog make sure to include them in your lead generation strategy. The people going through your content are already interested in your offer. The next logical step would be to encourage them to sign up or get a freebie. Just make sure your lead magnet is relevant to the content. If you don’t have a freebie yet, you can still generate leads from your content. Just offer them to send you a message or book a free call.
3. Take part in a podcast
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. They are useful and convenient. You can listen to a podcast while driving to work or exercising, so a lot of people listen to podcasts every day. Speaking at someone else’s podcast helps you reach new audience who is already interested in what you do. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and showcase your knowledge on the subject. Most importantly, you can present your very irresistible offer. Just make sure you tell people how to get in touch.
4. Host a webinar
Webinars are an extremely effective way to generate new leads. First of all, video is the most popular communication channel. In fact, video accounts for more than 80% of internet traffic. Second, the webinar brings people together using the power of community to drive more engagement. As we all know, most of us make decisions emotionally. An engaged audience is more likely to show interest in your offer. Third, a webinar is held on a particular date and time. If somebody has reserved a spot in their schedule to hear what you have to say, they are definitely interested. So you can be sure you are talking to a warm audience. They are a lot of great tools to run a successful webinar. But if you are just getting started, you can simply use your social media or Zoom.
5. Get active on social media
Everyone is on social media nowadays. Facebook alone has nearly 3 billion users. There are a few ways to generate leads from social media.
Create a business page or profile if you still don’t have one. You can promote your free and paid offers there. This is also an easy way for people to reach out to you.
Join the relevant groups and discussions. Avoid being too salesy. Remember the golden rule: value first. Openly share your expertise and only offer your products or services where it’s relevant. When interacting in roups, free offers, such as posts, events, or discovery calls are more welcome than paid offers. Starting off with a sale may be too soon. You want to establish a connection first.
Create your own group. This will help you build community and raise brand awareness at the same time. Groups are generally more engaging than business pages. Encourage discussions, ask questions and interact with your audience. It will also help you to know your audience better. So you can constantly improve your offer.
Run paid ads
If you look at my website nomaddiva.com you will see that I am promoting my lead magnet - a free editable landing page - in 3 ways.
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Analyze your lead generation performance
After running a lead generation campaign, you need to analyze it. Look at the results and identify what worked well and what needs improvement.
Some digital channels may prove very effective, while others may be a waste of time and money. The sooner you spot this the better. So never forget to do your marketing analytics. Here are some key metrics to look at.
The number of viewers
This shows how many people saw your page and how many times. Note there are two types of views or visits: total views and unique views. Total views show all visits from everybody. If someone came back to your page 10 times, this will count as 10 visits. Despite the fact that it is the same person. On the contrary, unique views will only count one person once, even if they came back to your page a few times.
Which one is more important. Unique views definitely give you a better picture of your reach. They are also more informative for calculating the conversion rate. However, total views when the number is a lot higher than unique views indicates interest in your content. If people come back to look at it several times, they are definitely considering your offer. Besides, a growing number of returning visitors positively affects your Google ranking.
A conversion is a desired action taken by your visitor, such as an e-book download, an event registration, or a newsletter subscription. Basically, anything that helps you to get the contact details. This is the step that converts a visitor into a lead. In outbound marketing, a conversion will show how many cold calls resulted in a meeting. Or how many messages resulted in a video call.
Conversions are the ultimate goal of your lead generation campaigns. So you need to have a good analytics tool in place, to make sure you track them properly. You also want to make sure this data are securely stored and automatically added to CRM.
Conversion rate = conversions/number of views x 100%
This metric shows how effective your lead generation strategy is. Of course, you want this number to be as high as possible. At the same time, it is important to set realistic expectations. A conversion rate to target depends on your offer. Freebies generally have a higher conversion rate than paid offers. Email generally converts better, than other channels, especially with a good nurturing sequence in place. An average conversion rate is anywhere between 0.6 to 5.5% depending on the industry.
Cost per lead
Cost per lead = lead generation expenses / number of acquired leads
This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your spending. This metric is especially important if you run paid advertising. But even if you don’t, there are still resources you invest into lead generation. For example, if you have an e-book as a free opt-in and a landing page to promote it and collect leads, you can calculate the production cost. How much did you invest in the content and design of the ebook and the landing page? How much are you paying for the email marketing software? How much did you pay to promote your offer? Then divide the sum by the number of leads you got and here is your cost per lead.
Return on investment (ROI)
Return on investment = profit earned by investment / marketing expenses x100%
The most important marketing metric. This shows if your marketing campaigns are effective overall. You can calculate ROI for the entire company or for specific marketing campaigns or channels. The latter will show you what marketing channels you should focus on.
What is next? Lead nurturing
As you see, lead generation involves a lot of work and resources. So don’t let your leads just hang in that excel sheet without bringing profit. Remember, lead generation is the first step of your sales funnel.
Once you have the lead, you want to convince them that you can offer the best solution. Nurture your leads, with great content, engage them in discussions, and invite them to events. Most lead nurturing is done through email, that’s why you collect their emails in the lead form. This is incredibly useful because you can automate your lead nurturing process. Instead of sending bulk messages to your entire email list, consider targeted personalized emails tailored to individual needs. Email marketing automation tools will let you do that on autopilot.