Gathering leads is one of the main objectives of any business, most of which actually allocate quite a vast budget for this to be achieved. Why? Because most companies have realized that the key to having good sales performance and bringing in ROI is having access to customers who have an interest in what they are offering so that chances for conversion are higher.
But of course, it is not as easy as it sounds because this involves a lot of steps and careful planning of lead generation strategies, starting with having a successful lead generation campaign.
How to Run A Successful Lead Generation Campaign
In the course of building a successful lead generation campaign, there are some things you will need to do. Let us tackle them one by one:
Make Your Objectives Clear
First of all, start by being clear on what you want to achieve. What are the objectives of your lead generation campaign? Think carefully and write these down into measurable goals. To give you a head start, examples of some common objectives would be:
- A target number of leads
- Revenue per lead
- Conversion rates
Define Your Audience
The next step is to determine who your target audience is. This is more than just saying your target market is women, around mid-twenties, or online shoppers. You need to zero in and be more specific. Keep in mind that the more you know your prospects, the more you can pinpoint their needs and wants; thereby, making you more effective in the plan and execution of your campaign.
Researching your audience is not easy but this guide questions could help you:
- Study demographics of your social media followers.
- Study demographics of your website visitors via Google Analytics.
- Refer to your sales team as to who purchases your products or avails of your services.
- Evaluate the buyers of your competitors and find out why they are being targeted.
- Conduct interviews and surveys with customers.
Plot Your Content
This part is the most critical in ensuring a successful lead generation campaign because it involves the alignment of your established objectives and targeted audience with the content you will publish. All of these considerations have to be in sync with each other in order to work effectively and seamlessly.
Where will you post your content? You can actually post them on more than one channel to ensure more viewers. These are:
- Social media accounts
- Audio and video channels
- Other platforms which allow customer interaction
The next thing to decide is will you be going for the pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertising or are you planning on going for organic research? Either way, you need to research your keywords to make them work for your campaign. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. Consider availing of free and paid keyword research tools or hiring an SEO specialist to work on these tasks for you.
Make Your Offer
For this part, you are already at the stage of laying your cards for your prospect. You are making your offer – whether it is a product they can purchase or a service they can avail of. It answers what you want your target to do which often includes any the following actions:
- Try/ purchase a product
- Get a coupon or discount
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Watch a video
- Download an e-book
- Sign up for a course
- Request a quote/ consultation/ demonstration
- Join a contest
- Register for an event
- Answer a survey
Promote Your Offer
For your offered product or service to be known by your target audience, you have to promote it. This means you can do so via free or paid advertising. Here are some examples that you can mix to make a successful lead generation campaign.
|Free Advertising||Paid Advertising|
|Email lists||Social media|
|Organic social media channels||Search engine advertising|
|PR and guest articles||Display advertising|
|Event activations||Native advertising|
Optimize Your Lead Capture Mechanisms
Ultimately, the pivotal point of a successful lead generation campaign is when you ask your target audience to act. Will they have a positive response to what you want them to do? Will they click on your call to action (CTA) and be directed to your landing page or pop-up?
Or if you have a form that they can fill out, are they going to willingly provide essential details for your qualified lead generation list such as name, contact number, email address, or credit card?
Test Your Components
Let us say that you have gone through all six steps successfully. If your lead generation campaign is to run for a certain duration, it is important to have this optimized. How? By evaluating the key metrics reflecting each component’s efficacy and by running A/B split tests for comparison of different iterations.
When you say split test, it involves testing your campaign’s elements via variant creation such as headlines, copy, CTAs, email subject lines, page design, and ad targeting.
Do Lead Scoring
What does lead scoring do? It assigns quality to each of your leads so that your sales team will know when and how to approach a potential buyer. This way, your salespeople can solely focus on leads that have the probability of converting.
There are different lead scoring models. To get started, go for models that have the following criteria:
- Fit – up to what degree does your prospect fit your buyer personas?
- Behavior – how did your prospect interact with your brand or content?
- Buying Stage – where is your prospect in your sales funnel?
Nurture Your Leads
If you take your cue from the word, “nurture,” you would not be surprised to know that lead nurturing serves as a guide for potential buyers through your sales funnel stages that not just lead to a sale but also beyond that. By beyond, it means retention, repeat business, additional purchases, patronage and loyalty, and word-of-mouth advertising.
Lead nurturing basically involves the provision of information, content, and offers to leads based on their needs at that particular moment in time. It has been proven that the most effective lead nurturing process is sending highly relevant emails that have any of the following content:
- Welcome emails
- Comes with offers
- Solution content/ comparisons
- Case studies
- Good purchase decisions
- Utilizing the most of your product or service
Close Your Deals
The final step of a successful lead generation campaign is to have your target audience convert – that is purchasing your product or availing of your services. Aside from ensuring that you follow all nine prior steps, one effective way of closing deals is to walk in the shoes of your customers.
Basically, this means using the “challenger-sale” mentality wherein brands are adept in demonstrating a strong understanding of their target audience’s life and the challenges that come with it so that they can deliver relatable and relevant content which can enable your salespeople to act as their coach or consultant. This, in turn, builds trust and will improve your relationship with your target audience greatly.
Why is Lead Generation Important for Your Business?
What is the importance of lead generation to your business? What critical role will it play to make it flourish? It all boils down to one word: Revenues.
For your sales to continue, your team needs to keep on generating new leads. Yes, you may have a steady flow of customers, or even patrons, who are buying your products or availing of your services but this is not enough. You still need new customers who have an interest in what you are offering. This is where lead generation comes into the picture.
Here are the top reasons for the importance of lead generation in digital marketing, whether you are a big, medium, or small business:
- It is timely as it is the current trend of digital marketing, which means there are many companies offering lead generation to companies regardless of their nature and size.
- It is easy for you to define and target your audience because they have criteria that help in narrowing this down: age, gender, location, occupation, interests, shopping behavior, pain points, etc.
- It may be a bit on the expensive side but the return of investment (ROI) is certain. Also, it is still less expensive than renting a billboard or advertising on print or on air.
In today’s digital era, it cannot be ignored that a customer’s buying behavior and the process have changed so much. Whereas before, a person had to visit a store to personally see, touch, and feel a brand, all he has to do now is visit the website of that brand with just a few clicks of his fingers.
Social media is also a partner of your website. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like enable potential leads to communicate with you directly. With this communication, they would be able to experience how you handle them and their feedback, whether positive or negative. They can also refer to reviews from testimonials of people who had already conducted business with you.
It can be recalled that it was not easy to learn about a company in the past. The most that carried a lot of information were brochures, catalogs, and articles while print ads like billboards, as well as radio and TV ads, focused on promoting their products and services only, not so much on company background.
Fast forward to today’s era and the wealth of information you can get about a certain company is vast, thanks to Google, websites, and social media accounts. All this unlimited access to information also gives higher chances for a lead to convert because not only do buyers have more confidence in their decision to purchase, it is more convenient to buy online and not leave the comforts of their home or office.
How to Increase Sales and Lead Generation Together?
B2B sales and lead generation go hand in hand. For your B2B sales to increase, you must have effective ways of generating leads too. One cannot be without the other because the latter is a prerequisite for the former to work.
Here are some ways of increasing B2B sales and lead generation together:
Gated content is an online material that users can access only if they have filled out a form. Unlike landing pages or normal blog posts, the content is “locked” and users must complete the form, which is the lead capture, in order to obtain the content.
This has been proven to be an effective strategy because it gives something of value to users for free while attracting quality leads who are interested in topics that can be related to your products or services. Some examples of gated content are:
- White papers
Creating a newsletter with interesting content can attract a lot of leads. This gives prospects encouragement to connect and stay in touch with your brand. Aside from staying top of mind with customers, you can also share updates and promos about your products and services, which can consequently push prospects to finally make a purchase. Suggested content for your newsletter can include:
- Special promotions
- Updates about your offered products and services
- Upcoming events
- New blog posts
- Recommended reading materials
Free Product or Free Trial Offer
This may be an old trick but it still works wonders. Free products and trials are proven effective in attracting interested and qualified prospects who are not quite ready to make the purchase yet.
Getting this user to sign up for your free trial or purchase is crucial as you can eventually convert them into paying customers through paid features and delivery of drip email campaigns that promote upgraded account benefits.
Discount or Coupon Offer
Offering a discount or coupon is another effective method of conversion as it attracts both short-term and long-term leads. For the latter, you get to attract people who have an interest in purchasing your brand and for the former, you get to convert prospects from the bottom-funnel who are willing to purchase into customers.
Strategies for lead generation can occur both online and offline. You can host an online event to attract your target audience and get a hold of their contact details through online registration of the event.
You can also make use of live events as your chance to connect with customers in real-time and have a Q&A portion where you can address their questions and respond to their feedback. This is a most effective way of learning about your target audience and effectively driving prospects through the sales funnel.
Paid Ads on Social Media
Another sure method of increasing B2B sales and lead generation together is through paid social ads. You can make use of targeting options from Facebook and Instagram to show your ads to your specified target audience, whether at a macro level (demographic segmentation) or at a macro level (behavior and psychographic segmentation).
Promote Lead Magnet through Website Optimization
For more lead generation, you need to ensure that your lead magnets are very visible to your website visitors. Have on-site funnels that can segment your audience and direct them toward the lead magnet that resonates most with their interests and needs.
- Highlight your lead magnet as the primary call to action of your homepage.
- Have a lead generation pop-up.
- Design a lead gen hello bar at the top or bottom of your website.
- Add a lead magnet in the sidebar.
- Promote lead magnets at the end of your page or blog posts.
- Have a library filled with gated content.
Promote Lead Magnet through Social Profiles Optimization
Make sure to make your social followers be aware of your valuable lead magnets. You can promote this on your social networks so that when users are on your page, they can easily see your offer and the steps to take so they can purchase or avail of it. Highlight your lead magnet in hero images and leverage call-to-action buttons by having the links in your lead magnet instead of leading users to your homepage.
Creating Calls-to-Action that Generate Tons of Leads
An essential factor in generating leads is the usage of call-to-action (CTAs) in your marketing campaigns, whether online or offline. What is the CTA’s role in this endeavor? Basically, these are what will nudge, entice, encourage and convert customers to take the step in doing business with you.
An example of these CTAs are typically written as a command such as “Sign Up” or ‘Shop Now” and they come in the form of a button, an image with text, or a hyperlink. You have surely seen them as they are found in strategic locations on websites, blogs, and videos. So how do you make the best call-to-action phrases? Check out these tips which are sure to be of help:
Use Action Words that are Powerful.
Action words drive your customers to take immediate action. Using action-oriented words like “find”, “learn” and “discover” make people take action as soon as they read it in your CTA. Some examples of these that you can use are:
- Sign Up Free
- Create an Account
- Book a Consultation
- Download e-Book
- Contact Us
Make a Consistent Copy.
It is important to keep your CTA consistent so that you will not confuse your viewers. For instance, if you mention that viewers can download an e-Book, make sure that you call it an e-Book all throughout your copy, not a Guide.
Be Clear with your Value Proposition.
It is natural for people to want to know the value out of the products or services you are offering. Hence, it is important to establish the value of your viewer’s response to your CTA. They should know from the start what benefit they will get from clicking on your CTA.
For example, your lead copy states the question, “How Strong is Your Digital Skills?” The supporting copy would then give details of the value users will get which is a free digital diagnostic. After the explanation, it ends with the CTA, “Get Started.”
Have a Sense of Urgency.
The purpose of having a sense of urgency is to drive your users to take action and click that button now – ideally not a moment too soon after they have read your CTA. An example would be “This offer expires at midnight.” This clearly conveys that if the user will not take advantage of the offer ASAP, he would not be able to avail of it. Here are more examples of best call-to-action phrases driving urgency:
- Limited Time Only!
- Today Only!
- Last Chance!
- Last Day Today!
Make your CTAs Stand Out.
Never forget to take into consideration the size of your CTA. The basic rule of thumb is it should be strategically located and should stand out from where it is. It should be the type that would really make the user notice it so yes, go big in size, go for colors that would clearly catch one’s eyes, and go for a design that would seemingly pop out from the page.
Make Sure that your CTA Button Looks Clickable.
The CTA serves as the punchline of your copy so you will want to make sure that your viewers would clearly see that it is a clickable button. Use a different color and font for more emphasis. The best call-to-action phrases are those that clearly stand out from the rest of your copy.
Add Alt Text to Images.
Alternate Text (Alt Text) is an essential attribute that must be added to images as they enable you to display text just in case your images do not appear properly on your website or sent emails. Alt Text allows users to understand your message when your images are not there to convey it properly. Likewise, it serves as a signal to aid in search engines finding your content and improve your ranking.
Choose Placement of CTA Wisely.
After following all prior steps, you are now ready for this 8th step. Assuming that you have already finished the copy and design, the critical decision of where you will place your CTA is now at hand. Remember that your goal is for your CTA to catch the attention of your viewers and to drive them to take action.
Although the placement of your CTA would largely depend on your marketing campaign and page content, be sure to choose a strategic location that would be very accessible to the eyes of your viewers. For example, since we read from left to right, it would be logical to have your CTA placed somewhere on the right side since that is where the eyes would rest after reading a paragraph or a number of sentences.
All You Need to Know: Online vs. Offline Lead Generation
You may have already heard the terms, online and offline lead generation but do you understand the difference between them? Before going any further, let us first differentiate both. Online lead generation refers to any method of attracting customers to your offered products or services through the internet while Offline lead generation refers to any method of attracting customers without the use of the internet.
Methods of Online Lead Generation
Blogging is an effective way to collect leads. Say, for example, you run a travel service business providing van rentals for tourist groups. So in your blog, you would write about the places you have brought your clients to and post pictures to make it even more appealing. You could even write about tips related to traveling as for sure, you have a lot to share because of your many experiences.
This blog of yours would certainly generate interest among people who are fond of traveling because they can relate to your content. Not only will they enjoy your stories, but they also get to learn more than a thing or two from your tips. So as a result, they like your blog ad and sign up; thereby, giving their details which you can nurture to lead through a sale.
b. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is basically making an online profile of your business. It is pretty much like your personal profile of any social media account but instead of talking about yourself, you are showcasing your products or services.
You write a brief background of your business and descriptions of what you have to offer then cap it off with appealing pictures for the public to appreciate and purchase. It would also help if you put in a description of each product or service and price (optional) in the captions part of your gallery.
This method has a more personalized touch because your viewers can easily reach out to you for any of their queries and concerns. Such attributes help to grow your brand and build trust between you and your customers; thereby, bringing in more business opportunities.
If many viewers like what they see, they will not hesitate to engage, follow, and like your social media account which gives you access to their profiles. You can follow them back or check out their profiles which gives more than just contact details. It gives you a glimpse of their likes and lifestyles which you can serve as a reference for market study.
c. Email Marketing
This is one of the methods that enable you to communicate with current clients and gain new leads as well. The first thing you need to do is create an email marketing list which you can base on your existing customers, website visitors, or from those who follow your social media account, say in Facebook and Instagram.
After you have gained their permission to send emails, you can start reminding your customers about your business. For example, you have a new product to launch so based on your list of existing customers, you can send them an email talking about your new item together with a special discount to show your appreciation for their loyalty.
You can also use your email marketing list as a basis for who to send regular newsletters with updates and appealing information to drive in new leads. If they sign up for your newsletter, perks are they get to know about your latest offering first hand before the public and they get to have special discounts.
d. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Having a website to showcase your business is good because it can be seen online but how sure are you that viewers can easily find it? With all the other websites of your competitors, how sure are you that your website will stand out and come out among the top 10 of the search engine?
This is where SEO comes in. This involves coming up with keywords that relate to your business all over your website and creating a landing page that is specially customized for your target market. For example, if you own a quaint coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina, it is ideal to feature that location in the copy of your website instead of the generic term, coffee shop.
If a customer keys in “coffee shop” in the search bar, your website could get lost among others that also use that keyword. However, if the customer types “coffee shops in Raleigh, North Carolina,”, then this has more chances of your website coming out among the top 10 list.
Methods of Offline Generation
Also termed as advertising mail, direct mail is a letter that is mailed to a customer’s mailbox or is delivered right at one’s doorstep with the objective of being read and not immediately thrown into the trash can. It is usually charity businesses that still practice this method in order to get support.
This is your traditional advertisement printed in newspapers, magazines, leaflets, flyers, and brochures. It could also be in the form of outdoor advertising such as posters and billboards. The main advantage of these print ads is it is there for all to see with no need of access to the internet. So long as it stays where it was originally placed, one can see it repeatedly until it sticks to your mind and drives you to act on its CTA.
One effective way of networking with people is to host an event. Let’s say you are launching a new skin product. So to raise awareness, you can call for a press conference, inviting tri-media practitioners to cover your event and chosen guests who you know are interested in skincare. Your program could have guest speakers who could talk about your launched product or topics relating to it to raise even more interest; thereby, enticing both guests and the media to try out your new offering.
This involves the traditional method of coming up with a list of potential customers and calling or visiting them door-to-door to sell what you have to offer. If you have a large network base for this and if these people already know and trust you, there are more chances of making a sale or hitting your quota.
So which is better to use?
Well, with all the benefits each approach gives, why would you have to choose? You can always combine online and offline lead generation methods and get the best of both. You may be raising your eyebrows with that prior statement but the reality is most businesses have already been doing this.
We go back to our example of the quaint little coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. With online lead generation, you can have a website developed and sign up for a social media account to establish your online presence. Then, you can create more interest by posting pictures and writing blogs about topics that relate to your offered product. Maybe a blog that talks about the origin of coffee or what the different kinds of coffee are, relating them to different personalities. You can also make an online advert that targets a specific market in your local area promoting perks such as price offs, discounts, or new and highlighted products.
For offline lead generation, you can design a brochure featuring your different coffee selections or a leaflet that talks of updates, promos, or a product that is new, seasonal, or a limited edition. You can distribute these leaflets to the people in your area, complete with contact details, so they will know how to call or where to find your quaint little coffee shop. You can also post this on your community bulletin board where local residents are sure to see or put up a print ad for people to cut out and present to your coffee shop for a certain discount.
So you see? The possibilities are endless. There is none better between online and offline lead generation methods because the truth is they are already good in their own way and combining both is what actually works best and you reap many benefits.