We’ve all had that annoying experience – you sit down for dinner after a long day, ready to take that first bite, and then the phone rings. It’s always a telemarketer, and this time they want to know your oven preferences. Ugh! But hey, there’s a way to avoid this kind of intrusion – it’s called lead generation.
In this article, we’ll first define a lead. Then, we will discuss why lead generation is important and how to qualify a lead. You’ll soon realize how much better lead generation is than buying leads.
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What is a lead?
Basically, a lead is someone who has shown some kind of interest in what you’re offering and has given you their contact information so you can keep the convo going.
Now, it’s important to note that the definition of a “good” lead can vary depending on who you ask. It could mean something different to a company, marketer, or salesperson.
But regardless of the specifics, leads are important because they can turn into customers and help you grow your business. So, don’t underestimate the power of a good lead!
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is basically the process of getting people who haven’t heard of your business before to give you their contact details and guide them toward becoming loyal customers.
The first step is to get their attention. You need to convince them to take the first step towards getting to know your business better. Then, you want to provide them with enough value to keep them interested and engaged. As they move through the buying process, you’ll be there every step of the way, making sure they’re well-informed and ready to make a purchase.
What types of leads are there?
Dividing leads into subcategories is a common practice for companies to optimize their sales strategies. Two of the most commonly used categories are marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
1. Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs)
MQLs are potential customers who have engaged with a company’s marketing efforts but are not yet ready to buy. Examples of MQLs are those who have attended a webinar, downloaded a free eBook, or subscribed to a newsletter. These leads have shown interest in the company’s products or services, but they still need more time to decide.
2. Sales-qualified leads (SQLs)
SQLs, on the other hand, demonstrate a stronger intention to buy. They may have taken actions like requesting a quote or signing up for a free trial, indicating their readiness to engage with a sales team. Businesses usually prioritize these leads and assign them to the sales team for further follow-up.
It’s worth noting that the specific criteria for MQLs and SQLs can vary between companies. Some businesses may consider additional factors, such as the customer’s fit with their target market or their intent to buy. By categorizing leads, companies can better allocate their resources and prioritize their sales efforts for maximum efficiency.
Why is lead generation important?
In today’s digital age, growing your business can be a real challenge. Even if you have a big sales team working tirelessly to reach out to potential customers on LinkedIn or Facebook, it’s tough to expand your customer base. With so many people doing their own research, it’s not enough to wait for them to contact you.
To succeed in this competitive market, you need a reliable lead generation process. By having one, you can cost-effectively and easily expand your customer database. Consumers today check review sites, community forums, social media, and sometimes even test the product themselves through free trials before reaching out to salespeople.
That’s why it’s important to establish an effective lead generation process that caters to the needs of today’s consumers.
How to generate leads?
Lead generation is a crucial part of any business. But it can be a daunting task. Here are four steps to help you with your lead generation process:
1. Grab attention
The first step in lead generation is to grab a stranger’s attention. You can use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to create a compelling post or ad that captures the viewer’s attention. Ensure that the post or ad is visually appealing and stands out from other content in the viewer’s feed.
2. Offer a lead magnet
Once you’ve attracted visitors to your website, you need to persuade them to provide their contact information. You can do this by offering them a lead magnet, which is a valuable piece of content, such as an e-book, a webinar, or a whitepaper. The visitor can access this content after filling out a form on your landing page.
3. Nurture the lead
After a visitor becomes a lead, it’s essential to nurture them through your marketing communication. You can use various channels, including email, webinars, paid ads, and in-app notifications, to keep them interested and engaged. This stage is crucial in turning a lead into a customer.
4. Close the deal
When the lead is ready to buy, you can direct them to a page where they can place their order or pass them on to your sales team. It’s important to make the process as smooth as possible to avoid losing a potential customer. However, even after the sale, you should continue engaging your customers to turn them into loyal advocates for your brand.
Lead generation strategies
Lead generation is a crucial part of any business, and with so many strategies available, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to use. When selecting a strategy, it’s essential to consider your target audience and their behaviors.
Below, we will discuss some effective lead-generation strategies that can work for most businesses.
1. Create gated content
Gated content refers to content that requires the visitor to provide their contact information before accessing it. This strategy is also known as a lead magnet or opt-in incentive. Marketers offer various types of gated content, such as whitepapers, cheat sheets, checklists, or chapters of ebooks, to entice visitors to provide their information.
The strategy behind gated content is to offer your target audience valuable information in exchange for their contact details. Once they provide their information, you can start nurturing them through your marketing communication until they’re ready to buy from you. Gated content is one of the fundamental elements of lead generation, and many other lead generation strategies build upon it.
2. Build high-converting landing pages
Landing pages are specially designed pages built to achieve a single goal – conversion. For lead generation, the goal is usually to get visitors to sign up for a newsletter or download a lead magnet. By placing gated content on your landing pages, you increase the likelihood of converting visitors into leads.
Creating a high-converting landing page is critical. Placing your lead magnet on your homepage is less effective because it competes with other calls to action. Once you have a high-converting landing page, you need to drive traffic to it.
3. Promote your landing pages with paid ads
Your landing pages should be standalone pages that are created specifically to capture leads. But, how can you direct people to your landing page if they can’t easily navigate to it from your website? The answer is through paid ads.
Facebook and Google ads are the quickest way to reach new audiences. Once you have created a high-converting landing page, you can use Facebook and Google ads to target people who are interested in the topics you cover in your gated content. You can also target people who have visited your website but haven’t signed up for your email list.
If you’re new to paid ads, start slowly and invest only a small amount of money (even as little as $50 can get you a long way). Test a few different approaches and play it safe until you see that your strategy is working.
4. Simplify the opt-in process using lead ads
Lead ads are another lead generation strategy you should consider, especially if you’re offering gated content. The difference between using normal Facebook ads and lead ads is that you don’t need a landing page to run them. Users can fill out the form and access your content directly from Facebook.
Another advantage of lead ads is that Facebook prepopulates the form for the user so they don’t need to type in their email address to receive your content. This usually results in higher conversion rates and a lower cost-per-lead.
However, keep in mind that lead ads may not be the best solution for everyone. If your audience is B2B, most people might be signed up to Facebook with their personal email address, not their company email.
5. Host an online event
One effective strategy for lead generation is to host an online event. Video content, especially live-streaming events, tends to get more reach and engagement on all social media platforms.
Hosting a webinar that requires users to register for it is a great way to generate leads. Webinars can act as a form of gated content, where users must register to attend, and this provides an opportunity for you to capture their information for further lead nurturing.
Webinars are a great way to educate your target audience about your products or services while also establishing your brand as an industry leader. They provide a platform for you to connect with your audience and answer their questions, thereby building trust and credibility. Webinars can also be a way to introduce new products, share best practices, and provide solutions to common problems.
Whether you are a content creator working on your own or part of a bigger team, you can generate a fair number of leads using webinars. You can promote your webinar on social media, through email marketing, and on your website to attract potential attendees. Once they have registered, you can continue to nurture the leads with additional content and follow-up emails after the event.
6. Add calls to action
Adding calls to action (CTAs) to your website, emails, and social media posts is another effective lead generation strategy. CTAs are buttons, images, or messages that compel visitors to take some form of action, such as navigate to a landing page where they can access gated content.
When advertising gated content, it is important to entice visitors who are not yet leads to click the button that will take them to the landing page. One way to do this is by using a strong and enticing CTA. For example, you can display a bright image of the gated content’s front cover and a button beneath that says “Free download.”
Experimenting with different CTAs is also important. For instance, you may find that “Download now” produces better results than “Free download,” or that some images work better than others. The only way to find out is to experiment using the A/B testing capability available in email marketing platforms like GetResponse.
Be sure to display your CTAs more than once to your target audience. After someone subscribes to your email list, show them a CTA to download one of your ebooks or join your online course on the thank you page. When you share the recording of a webinar, show them a CTA that lets them take the relationship a step further.
A simple CTA button can simplify the entire lead generation process, as it directs your audience to the action you want them to take. Thus, it’s crucial to create CTAs that are irresistible and unmissable. By experimenting with different CTAs and ensuring that they are seen more than once, you can effectively generate leads and nurture them over time.
Boost your business with lead generation
We’ve covered some of the basics in this blog post, but trust me, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. To really make your lead generation process effective, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms. Make them so good that your potential customers can’t resist them! And once you have them, promote them everywhere – on social media, email, and any other channel you can think of.
Don’t forget to stay in touch with your sales team to ensure that they’re receiving high-quality leads on a regular basis. After all, they’re the ones who are going to close the deal.
Last but not least, always be testing. Every step of your inbound lead generation process can be tweaked and improved to increase revenue and improve lead quality. So, keep experimenting with different strategies and see what works best for you. Remember, there’s always room for improvement!