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Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into the leads. By creating useful content that helps your potential customers, you create an opportunity to share your business with them.
The purpose of lead generation is to interact with prospects that are coming to you. You’re not going to them, you’re meeting prospects where they are. This makes it easier and more natural for them to want to buy from you somewhere down the line.
Within the larger inbound marketing methodology, lead generation falls in the second stage. After you’ve attracted an audience, it’s time to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a person who has expressed an interest in your company’s product or service in some way. There are many different ways that you can get leads to your business. Most of these methods either end with the prospect directly contacting you, or them being added to an email list.
For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about your new fridge. Soon after, you receiving an email from the appliance company that hosted the survey. The company tells you about how they could help you take maintain your fridge.
That survey is far less intrusive than if they’d emailed you first. They would have had no idea whether you even care about your appliance maintenance. You may not even have an appliance they are able to repair!
The appliance company mentioned above will use your information in many ways. One ways is by helping them personalize opening communications to meet the existing needs of other potential customers. They may use it to evaluate which of their services to promote more, discover what demographics are using their services, and more.
Your customer is in control now more than ever. Traditional marketing approaches must be balanced with online marketing strategies that help you meet your customers where they are.
All leads aren’t created equal, you want qualified leads. So how do you get their attention and Attract these new leads to our website?
Qualified Leads are potential customers who have specifically expressed an interest in your company’s product or service. Ultimately, this is your target audience.
Essentially, a lead is generated through information collection. Here are some examples how information could be collected:
- A job seeker shows interest in a position by completing an application for the job
- A shopper shares contact information in exchange for a coupon.
- Someone fills out a form to download an educational piece of content, like an ebook, course, or free trial.
Information is needed to gauge whether someone has a true, valid interest in product or service. This information will help lead you to your ideal customer, the one who will make a purchase. The key is knowing how much information is enough information. Ultimately, it will vary depending on your business.
How to Generate Leads
To get leads, you create lead generation strategies to bring people through sales funnels. Here are some components of the lead generation (or lead gen) process.
- A Landing Page is a web page a visitor lands on for a distinct purpose. While a landing page can be used for various reasons, one of its most frequent uses is to capture leads.
- Forms consist of a series of fields that collect information in exchange for something.
- An offer is something of value that’s being used as a trade for personal information such as email addresses. The offer must have enough value to a visitor so that they’re willing to make the trade.
- A call-to-action (CTA) is an image, button, or message that calls website visitors to take some sort of action. When it comes to lead generation, this action is to fill out the form to redeem the offer.
Some or all of all these components work together to help collect information. Once you put these elements together, you can use various channels to drive traffic to the landing page, generating leads. Here is an example pathway for lead generation.
Compelling content plays a major role in generating quality leads. This includes the digital marketing tools used to generate traffic, such as your blog, SEO, PPC, and social platforms. Use your content to educate and help your prospective customers, building a trusting relationship with them even before contact is initiated.
Create content to attract and retain customers by consistently providing relevant information that is valuable to them. It is an ongoing process that is a foundational component of the overall inbound marketing strategy. This is especially important if you need to employ business to business marketing.
There are different kinds of content to offer your prospects. Blog posts, PDF documents, ebooks, and courses are some of the most popular types of free content in 2020.
SEO optimized blog posts are an opportunity to share information with your prospects such as tips, tricks, tutorials, and other educational material. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows as many people as possible to see your content in the search results.
PDF Documents tend to be printables that help someone achieve a task. These include checklists, tip sheets, or other worksheets. Ebooks and courses are the most labor intensive pieces of content to create, but they often have great value to the customer.
Should You Buy Leads?
Marketers and salespeople alike want to get as many leads as quickly as possible, making it tempting to buy leads. Buying leads, as opposed to generating them organically, is much easier and takes far less time and effort.
However, there are a lot of issues with buying leads. First and foremost, the purchased leads don’t know or even necessarily care about your business. Usually they’ve “opted in” at some other site when signing up for something and didn’t know anything about your company, products, or services. If the prospect has never indicated an interest in your resources, products, or services, then you’re interrupting them.
If they never chose to receive messages from you specifically, then they may mark your messages as spam. This can be dangerous for you. If enough people mark your emails as spam, your company could be put on the “blacklist.”
Once you’re on the blacklist, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get removed from. That can ultimately force you to stop all email marketing.
To sum it all up – it is better to generate leads organically rather than buy them. If you would like to learn how to get more leads for your business, give us a call to see how you can start generating more leads!