Creating leads on your website is a critical skill that all entrepreneurs must know. The first step is to ensure that your website can convert traffic once they are on your website. The second step is to get people to the site to start with. Let us focus on step one for now.
Your website needs to be structured to incorporate specific target content to the specific people searching for it.
For example, if your business is an electrician, then you might build a specific page for each of the things that homeowners could be searching for.
For example, hot water system replacement, light switch installation, electrical box upgrade, emergency electrician.
When people are searching for different things, they are looking for different information and therefore, the content on your page needs to be relevant to the search term.
The page is where your entire marketing flow can pivot around for example your ads and marketing can be relevant to the page that they promote. For example, an emergency electrician ad on Adwords can point to your emergency electrician page on your website.
By ensuring that the content people are searching for is relevant to the ads that had captured them, you ensure that your conversion rate is increased and therefore, the quantity of leads you are going to get for a certain dollar amount spent will increase also.
Once on the page, it is important to engage the visitor with captivating content that leads them to either transact with you or get more information. It is not advisable to simply rely on the client contacting you through a contact form because often times, consumers are not ready to engage you; rather just looking for information. Those customers looking for information are a very good source of leads and you can tap into this by offering a form for them to download information whereby they enter their contact details. Someone looking for that kind of information is probably a perfect lead for you, however, they may not have been ready to contact you.
Now, let us look at how to get people to the page in the first place. There is a number of ways that you can generate traffic to your pages. These include:
Content marketing and search engine optimisation are a great way of capturing people that are naturally searching for your content on the internet using search engines. Essentially, if you sit down and write 2,000 words on each subject matter, then you will have a good chance of ranking on search engines for that particular topic if it is relatively specific.
Search engine advertising is where you pay per click or per impression (as the case may be) for search engines to send traffic to your website. This means that even if you do not have the appropriate content quantity to justify a search engine referring people to you, you can still get traffic from particular search terms that you wish to target. This is a great way for entry level businesses to get traffic fast while they are working in the background to build their natural SEO ranking.
Another way is through direct marketing. Direct marketing is the action of creating a list of people you wish to target that are in your target demographic and creating marketing material to speak with them directly. An example of this might be direct email correspondence. By creating a data base of your particular target market, you have an email address, phone number, first name and last name of your target market, which makes it easy to develop information to serve to them.
Role based marketing
This technique is particularly useful in the business-to-business space as it is quite easy to develop databases around particular job roles or business types. As an example, an electrician may want to target builders in a particular region.
It is important to ensure that the business does not break anti-spam laws and that if you are going to target businesses directly using information for contacts you have found online or through other means, that you serve information to the particular target market in a one-by-one personal contact approach. You may be able to find software that can handle the individual delivery of emails to the individual people on a one-by-one basis from your personal email address, however, you need to be careful that the wording of your email is such that it identifies you and the purpose for your correspondence in a solicited fashion so as not to appear as mass marketing.
Generally a good way to handle this is to ask specific questions and mention their name and business in the email to ensure that the receiver sees your correspondence as a personal attempt to solicit business from them rather than pay mass marketing campaign.
Another great way to source leads is through traditional advertising. Traditional advertising includes television, print media, outdoor advertising and live events such as exhibitions and trade shows. These methods while expensive can offer access to a new demographic of people that are at a different stage in the buying life cycle than those searching on the internet.
It is important, however, if you are going to focus on these types of advertising platforms that you have a strong strategy for acquiring the lead as many of these kinds of formats require a distinct offer or draw card for the customer to engage, whereas online, the customer is looking to engage themselves.
Another great way of generating leads through direct contact is via a call centre or contact centre. This means that either through inbound or outbound, you can speak to consumers based on their individual appetite for your product.
Inbound lead generation can be used once people make contact on your website allowing you to call them and close a sale or describe more complex products in detail.
Outbound contact centres can use the data that you collect or purchase to make initial contact with potential customers to educate them on your offering. The benefit of an outbound contact centre is that you can contact people that would otherwise not be searching for your product.
Over the last couple of decades, outbound contact centres have become synonymous with industries such as telecommunications, electricity, and other high profile utilities-type companies. In many retail industries, outbound contact centres are now less effective due to the influx of businesses using this system to contact retail customers. The do-not-call list has also been established in many countries to prevent people overcalling residential customers. In the business-to-business space, however, outbound contact centres are still very effective in lead generation as businesses tend to be more open to the idea of hearing about products that could potentially help their companies.
No matter which form of lead generation you choose, it is critical that you have a lead generation company engaged to handle the different methods and how they interact with each other in a global lead generation strategy for your business. When you are designing your lead generation strategy, you need to be cautious of how much it costs to secure a lead and then how much it costs to close a lead and the ratio between these items.
There are many lead generation companies that sell leads on a lead-by-lead basis; however, you need to ensure that you are clear about the quality of lead you are getting. There are several different ways that lead generation companies sell leads.
For example, you might be getting raw leads which means there is no lead qualification and therefore, your internal resources will be required to qualify the leads and contact them. This is usually the preferred method of acquiring leads for a business as it ensures that even those colder leads are still being added to the database and is still being educated on a long-term basis using email marketing and other such forms of customer attention.
Some lead companies prefer to sell warm leads or qualified leads. Warm leads are usually suited to industries such as financial services where products can only be sold to those that qualify and meet a certain standard or income threshold.
Warm leads is a terminology that usually describes the stage in the sales life cycle that a customer or potential customer is at that has been called by an outbound contact centre. In other words, people that are contacted from an outbound contact centre were cold when they were first contacted. Therefore the description of warm lead or qualified lead suggests that the consumer has already been through a process with the outbound caller to educate them on the product and has shown serious interest and which is to proceed further down the sales life cycle. Inbound leads on the other hand are generally considered warm leads even though nobody has yet spoken to them as they are contacting the business to transact with them on an inbound basis; therefore, there is already an expectation of warmth being that they have initiated the contact.
Lead generation is a complex part of business that needs a detailed strategy that should be prepared by a highly experienced lead generation strategist or business adviser. It is important that if you are going to engage a company to handle your lead generation, that you do so with great care and you ensure that the company that is going to handle this for you has the time to sit down and explain the process in depth to you.
It is also important that you have a clear understanding of what leads will cost you and you have a clear budget in mind for how many leads you can actually afford. To work this out, simply calculate the amount of new customers you would like each week, then attribute a cost associated with securing each new client.
For example, if you would like 10 new customers a week and the prediction is that they will cost $100 each to secure, then you need to know if you can afford $1,000 each week to obtain these 10 new customers to your business. Most lead generation companies start off very inexpensively with their clients because clients can often not afford to secure the amount of leads they really want initially, however, as the lead generation companies secures more business for their clients, the budget increases therefore allowing the lead generation company to create more leads on an ongoing basis.
The relationship you have with your lead generation company is critical as it is important to ensure your business’ image in the market place is consistent with that of your brand. Often brands are damaged by inappropriate lead generation strategies that thousand marketing teams push on their clients in an effort to sell more leads. Often, lead generation experts are focused more on how many leads they can acquire and how cheap they can acquire them as they are only interested in their own revenue. It is important that you work with the lead generation company that takes great care in maintaining your brand reputation while also creating leads effectively that are going to convert into sales.
Lead generation companies will often require clients to prepare information that is prevalent to the enquiring customers. The more information you have as a business on your products and services, the warmer your leads will be. Many lead generation companies use constant educational content delivered via email as a method of securing clients long term. This means that while many initial enquiries may flow in from different marketing and advertising efforts, there are often those that prefer to wait and be educated over a long period of time before engaging. For these clients, generally, the process starts with an email being entered on an information site where they, for example, subscribe to an ongoing newsletter. The lead generation company then uses these email addresses to deliver relevant content on an ongoing basis sufficient to allow the potential customer to research and do their own due diligence to allow them to become comfortable to contact the business in a more formal manner offering their email, phone number, and name to be contacted by a salesperson.
Another method of securing leads is to offer your visitor a way of helping them without asking them if they want to physically transact with you. For example, in the finance industry, calculators are often used to help the consumer calculate their repayments and other financial metrics. Some calculators ask for an email address before allowing you to access the result. This form of "information gating" allows information to be provided to potential customers on the basis that they provide information to the company or in simple terms, we ask for a lead in return for information. In these instances, it is important that the information or calculations that the business provides to receive a lead is accurate to ensure that the brand is further represented correctly in the market.
As a final note, it is important that you understand that there are many methods of creating leads and that often, lead generation experts take advantage of your lack of knowledge to put the required systems in place to generate new leads effectively thus profiting off your education gap.
There are numerous methods of lead generation and I would suggest that you start focusing on one at a time and getting each one working effectively for you. Many businesses make the mistake of trialling one system only to have failure and then move on to the next. This can be a dangerous road to go down as your own lack of knowledge will provide you with uncertainty as to whether each lead generation method works when in actual fact, all of them work if done correctly.
You are much better off using an experienced lead generation company to test each of the different methods to ensure that you make decisions around lead generation for the future of your company rather than simply short term based on your own experience.
If you have any questions or would like to be introduced to a lead generation expert in your industry and area please let me know. email@example.com
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