A Complete Guide to Lead Generation

If you are a part of the sales or marketing team, you have probably heard about the lead generation left, right and centre. And it is justified since your business cannot take off without leads. 

Sure, there are many other important things that you need to consider when it comes to making your business a success, but still, on average, sales reps spend 18% of their time generating and researching leads.

So what is the hype all about?

I am sure you all have a rough idea about lead generation. Most of us know that a “Lead” is basically an individual or a company that may have an interest in your brand. And Lead Generation is nothing but identifying these “leads”

This is what Google has to say about “lead generation”,

Google- Lead Generation

And according to Wikipedia, Lead Generation is…

Wikipedia_Lead Generation

Looking at these definitions, it is safe to say that the hype around “Lead Generation” is not all that unwarranted. A lead is your potential customer so you can’t expect to succeed in selling your product or services if you don’t identify the potential customers in the first place. 

However, it is not just about generating leads because if you are not generating quality leads that align with your business then it is of no use whatsoever.

You must be thinking how tough it could be to identify your target customers and try to bring them to your business website.

While it is not tough, however, it is no walk in the park either.

Lead generation along with traffic to your website can be generated in numerous effective ways.

You can do so by, Lead generation services and software, keywords, guest blogging, sales prospecting methods, social media platforms and much more.

So, how to generate leads? 

Now that we are a bit more familiar with the concept of lead generation, let’s have a look at the tactics that will help you in your lead generation process. 

We have broken it down in the step-by-step process. 

Step #1 would definitely be to let the potential customer discover your business through your marketing channels and various other marketing platforms like social media, your website, blog and so on and so forth.

Step #2 These platforms will only let you target your leads so that they can come and have a look at your product or services. Your goal isn’t finished until your potential customers take some action like subscribing to your newsletter. 

In order to convince the visitors to take appropriate action, make sure to add a compelling call-to-action (CTA) which can consist of anything – from an image to a button, or even a message that encourages the targeted lead to take an action that completes your goal. 

Your CTA should eventually redirect your lead to your landing page which is the turning point of your lead generation process. It actually depends on this step whether the lead will further go down into the sales funnel or not. 

Step #3 Landing page form Now that you have convinced your lead to visit your landing page, things are going in the right direction. Your landing page should be engaging enough for the leads so that you can capture their information like contact number, email address and more. 

But in order to capture the lead information, you would have to offer something in return. For example, you can offer them a free e-book or a discount coupon, or anything that is relevant to them. “Relevance” is the key point here. 

A landing form example:

Landing Page Form

Apart from the attraction of your offer, your final success in acquiring the lead information also depends on your landing page form. For example, there are some landing page rules that you must follow so that your visitors wouldn’t hesitate to fill out the required information. 

These are the must-haves for your landing page form:

1. Your landing page form should be separate from your homepage.

If you assemble your landing page with your homepage then you are heading for a disaster. For one, your homepage already has so much information about your product or services that it would be difficult for your visitors to focus on the landing page form. And it goes without saying that your landing page form should be the centre of the attention.

2. What are you offering?

As we discussed before, what you offer in exchange for the lead information is important. Don’t forget to mention it clearly in your landing page form.

3. A headline and a sub-headline along with an informative video or a supporting image.

4. Landing page content should match the Visitor’s Previous Source.

5. Only ask for absolutely necessary information

sometimes people tend to get away when it comes to the information they are seeking. The best way is to go by one thumb rule: only ask for what you absolutely and really need. If you don’t need their house no. then don’t ask for it.

6. CTAs or Call To Actions.

Another key part in lead generation campaigns is CTAs. Call To Action is either a button or text on the website that guides a site visitor to take a particular action. A compelling CTA drives users to your offer thereby enabling them in providing their personal contact information. CTA should be given importance as if it does not capture the visitor’s attention, and then your lead generation campaign will fail.

An example of CTA:

SaaS and software startup CTA

Here’s another witty and engaging CTA example:

CTA Button 2

In brief, this is what a site visitor has to do one of the following to turn into a lead:

  • Register for a free trial, e-book, product demo or a webinar.
  • Fill the lead generation/capture form and voluntarily provide their contact details
  • Call you or send you an email to get more information about your products, services or offers
  • Lead generation form/ lead capture page

Lead Generation tools to optimize your lead generation process 

By the way, you can use various lead generation tools as well to automate your lead generation process. It helps you find the leads from various platforms and help you to make a prospect list directly. Plus, most of them are extremely easy to use. 

To decide which lead generation tools suits you or your company the best, you can give this post a read – 20 Must-Have Lead Generation Tools To Boost Sales

Lead Generation Strategies (In Brief)

You know the bare essentials of lead generation but generating traffic to your website is not easy. Because let’s face it putting together all the elements together isn’t even the start of lead generation; you need people to come and see those elements that you put together. 

So what should you do to promote your landing page? How would people know that you are someone amidst the seas of businesses on the Internet? 

For this purpose you will have to use these lead generation strategies: 

1. Content 

Content is one big SEO juice for your landing page. Generally, you aim to write the best content to entice your visitors but also don’t forget to optimise the content as per SEO norms so that you can enjoy good Google ranking.

Add CTAs with your content – be it at the top, bottom or centre. The more engaging your content is, the more likely your visitors are to click your CTA button and move onto your landing page. 

2. Email Marketing 

Email is still, to this day, one of the best sources to generate leads, therefore, running a successful email marketing campaign can do wonders for your lead generating process. 

This statistic here is a glaring proof of that:

 The number of business & consumer emails that are sent & received each day is expected to reach 319.6 billion by the end of 2021, that’s over 116 trillion emails a year!  

A great example of an email copy:

email marketing CTA

Use CTAs, as shown in the above image, to create an actionable email copy and an engaging design to grab the eyeballs. Your task is a little less difficult here since you are likely to be sending the email to your already subscribed leads. 

3. Paid Ads and Retargeted Ads 

Want to rank on the first page of Google without worrying over your SEO strategies? Then use paid ads as well as retargeted ads to get people to take action. Also, make sure that your paid ads have the same content, that is talk about the same goal as your landing page. If you don’t offer what is promised in your paid ad, then it might get termed as click bait which is not a good thing for your reputation. 

4. Blog Consistently 

Although it falls under the ambit of content marketing only, it warrants a separate discussion. Your blog not only promotes your product, but it also establishes your mettle in the industry by making you come across as a thought leader. For example, if you are a sales consultancy and offer sales advice, then you can extensively write posts about how to improve the sales process. 

5. Social Media Marketing 

I don’t think that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Quora require any introduction. 

Recently, it came to be known that Facebook (FB) now has more users than the population of the U.S., China and Brazil — combined.

And this is only Facebook! We are yet to consider other social media channels. 

That’s a whole lot of people and even a bigger potential if one indulges in social media marketing. You can share about your brand and business culture on your social media handles and include a CTA to direct your visitors to your landing page. 

6. Freemium & Product Trials 

Initially, to engage your audience you can give out your product trial so that your early visitor would not hesitate much to fill out your landing page form. 

If you don’t think that this is a feasible idea for your brand then you can adopt a freemium model. Freemium package is basically a business model, whereby a company provides their basic services for free. On the other hand, more advanced features and services come under paid-models. This tactic is especially a wonderful idea for SaaS product companies. 

Both these options are great to capture leads initially as they won’t cost anything to the lead and if they actually like your product, they are likely to move onto the paid models. 

7. Referral Marketing 

Recognition is definitely the most important aspect of lead generation. Who will come to your landing page, let alone giving you their personal information without even knowing of your existence in the first place? That’s why referral marketing or word-of-mouth is useful for your lead generation process. 

Moreover, it gets your name out in the open and makes you familiar with the people in your domain. Plus, people tend to like and trust the brand better if someone from them acquaintance refers to that product. Therefore, leveraging Referral Marketing to generate new leads is extremely imperative. 

Avoid Buying Leads 

Due to the temptation to fill their sales funnel really quickly – most marketers and sales professionals tend to fall prey to this trend of buying the leads. 

As intended, buying the leads save you a plant or time and efforts but is it worthwhile? 

I would say NO. Buying the leads is never a good idea. 

First and foremost, any leads you’ve purchased don’t actually know you. So if they didn’t even opt-in to receive your emails or hear from you in any other way, then they won’t hesitate to mark you SPAM immediately.

Ouch!

spam gif

So, it is never a good idea to be intrusive and sending unwanted messages to someone who is not bothered about your brand. 

Once you get marked as “SPAM” by enough people, you are definitely going to the blacklist next. Once you get there, your whole reputation goes down the drain and your IP reputation will never be the same. 

Thus, don’t choose the shortcut and try to always generate leads organically. 

Now comes – Lead Conversion

Lead generation is quite a process, I am sure you would agree now.

But the end goal is fruitful – many times over. But your efforts will only prove to be fruitful if you improve your lead conversion rate.

Lead conversion is the penultimate stage in this process. This means that the prospect has successfully converted into a sale. It helps us organise our prospects and move them through the sales cycle. This is the sole reason behind generating leads; to convert leads into paying customers. Leads become a dead asset if you’re not keeping in touch via follow-ups etc., or if you are not efficiently converting them.

This doesn’t mean that the customer contact can be scrapped. It is of the utmost value to the company. It is a very vital asset to the company. Even after the transaction is complete with the customer, the relationship still goes on. The existing customers are the best in generating more leads. And converting these leads is not as hard as they were referred by the existing customer and he adds brand value.

Finally… Nurture your Leads!

Do you know that companies that nurture their leads properly are likely to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost?

Lead-Nurturing statistic

Yet people fail to understand the importance of nurturing their leads. And then they eventually lose out on their lead conversions thus wasting away the money and effort. 

According to Gleanster Research, 50% of the leads you generate are qualified, but not ready to buy right now, thus making them “cold leads”. 25% of the leads you generate are totally unqualified; they won’t ever buy either way. In fact, at any given time, only 25% of your leads are ready to buy, and that’s being optimistic.

So, does this mean that you will focus only on 25% of those ready leads or start away with new leads? If yes, then you are heading for a disaster. This is a mistake that marketers commit most commonly.

Most marketers give up on the 2nd or 3rd try only. It takes at least 8-12 tries for a prospect to convert into a sale. This is where lead nurturing comes into play.

DemandGen’s report suggests that lead nurturing provides a 20% increase in sale opportunities when compared to leads that are not nurtured.

true-lead-management-framework

Lead Nurturing is a relation-building strategy /process. It uses various media such as email, whitepapers, blogs, telecommunication, third-party articles etc. The main aim of lead nurturing is to support the prospects or the new leads generated with relevant information and engage the same leads in an ongoing dialogue until these leads are deemed sales-ready.

A sales-ready lead may be defined as a qualified lead within the organization. Sales-ready prospects are educated, informed and prepared to make a decision. Thus, they need to be actively engaged with sales or engaged by a call to the action marketing message.

The goal of lead nurturing is to support and nurture long-term opportunities with the hope that these prospects or leads may indulge in future sales.

What is your lead generation process like? Do Tweet us or comment below.

 

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About Vedh Jagadish

Digital Marketer keen on helping companies and brands establish & grow through social media. Helps empower startups and entrepreneurs through effective inbound marketing, email marketing and social media strategies.

2 Thoughts on “A Complete Guide to Lead Generation

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