How many people are showing interest in what your business does?
A lead is a person who shows that they are interested in a business’ product or service. So, lead generation is the process of attracting this consumer interest further, for the purpose of guiding them through the buying process - basically the goal of generating leads is to convert these interested people into actual consumers.
Lead generation is important for increasing interest in your products or services, creating sales and increasing your organic customers. Other benefits include creating awareness of your business and a positive experience for both the business and the customer. Also, it can be a more affordable option when compared to other advertising activities.
It is usual for leads to be contacted by a business after some opening communication by them, such as providing their personal information for a trial, completing a survey or subscribing to an email newsletter - this is the first step to a potential sale and this method is a lot less intrusive than the traditional method of cold calling.
The business benefits from this type of communication also, as there has been an indication that the person is actually inquiring, so there is no time wasted calling leads who are not at all interested in the product or service.
Picture a funnel when you think of lead generation - the top, wide part of the funnel is all about getting people to your website. Further down the funnel, as it narrows, it is working on existing leads to keep them engaged. The bottom of the funnel is getting them to choose you and ultimately becoming a conversion.
The Types of Lead Generation
There are various types of lead generation, some of which are described here. Working out what your objectives are and determining your target audience will assist with the best avenues for your business.
Using digital ads online to entice traffic to a particular landing page on your website that pitches your goods and includes a call to action (asks for the customer’s contact information) - this may be for a subscription for a newsletter, requesting a quote or providing a special offer.
The Google Ads platform makes it easy to create ads in a few simple steps. Enabling businesses to create ads to appear in Google searches, it operates on a Pay Per Click (PPC) model which means advertisers pay for each click on their ad. Google chooses the ads which appear based on several factors, including the quality of the ad campaign and keyword relevance. The layout and design of your ads needs to be good! Including images, limited text and easy to complete forms provides a positive user experience.
The best way to create a website is to have an easy content management system (CMS) for your business. Our team has created Continuum CMS, a complete package that provides everything you need including the ability to build web pages easily, forms, email marketing, analytics, reports and so much more.
Where outbound marketing includes quite intrusive marketing such as tv ads, billboards and cold calling, inbound marketing is more indirect and uses brand storytelling to create a particular image and identity for your business. The aim is to pull the customer in by getting them intrigued and includes social media, blog posts and email newsletters.
Incorporating strong calls to action can be very powerful. They may be small, but they can really spur someone to take action. Ensure they stand out and are easy to use, especially if they are a form to complete for instance.
You may consider hosting a webinar, workshop or event to attract leads. Attending in-person events such as trade shows and seminars that are relevant to your industry is a great way of engaging with actual people and starting a relationship in person.
This focuses on using current customers and business partners to expand networks and increase contacts with like-minded people, such as by word of mouth or a special offer if you ‘bring a friend’. This can be quite effective as essentially you have your existing customers vouching for your products and services, so it has a personal touch.
Easy Steps to Generate Leads
1. Acquire New Leads
A good idea to begin with is to find out where your current customers are coming from and concentrate your initial lead generation in those areas. Create engaging content such as blog posts, photos, infographics, short videos or whatever else suits your business. This information can be shared through your marketing channels where potential customers are most active. Once they are enticed, they are more likely to subscribe or make contact - and there is your lead.
2. Cultivate Existing Leads
Alongside this acquisition of new leads, you want to look after your existing leads by making sure they are getting some sort of benefit that the general public isn’t. Retaining interest will turn these leads into a long-term relationship. Make them feel special - personalize emails, offer them a product trial or a special discount. This step can take some time to foster a relationship but it’s worth it if they convert.
3. Score Your Leads
Giving a score to your leads helps to understand which ones are the most valuable, that is, which ones are interacting the most with your business online. Profile your leads over time and it will become easier to see who they are personally and what type of customer they are. Results will be good quality leads who are more likely to convert to a purchase.
Come up with a lead scoring strategy that suits your business. Perhaps you choose to allocate points for filling out a form, subscribing to emails or watching a video. You can also deduct points, such as for those who unsubscribe from a list.
4. Pass the Leads to Sales
Once your leads have been nurtured and have become a high-quality lead, this step involves handing them over to your sales team with the intention of changing these potential, interested customers to an actual conversion. Once a lead has purchased from your business, it is important to keep them enticed and therefore retain them as a customer over time.
5. Analyse Your Lead Generation Process
The final step is to scrutinize and evaluate your lead generation process - you want it to work the best it can to bring in new leads, nurturing them and converting them to customers. This is where analytics can come in, to help your business determine whether goals are being reached with increased traffic to your website.
As it is critical to have your process working as effectively as possible, consider engaging a search engine marketing service. Explore Web Force 5’s entire CRM solution in their Continuum package, which includes analytics.
For further advice and assistance to discuss the best website builder, generate leads or learn more about a Google Ads campaign, speak to one of our expert consultants for a free no obligation chat.