Until recently, businesses have been operating under the saying, “If you build it, they will come.” Entrepreneurs believed that they had unique products and services and so they would easily attract buyers. However, today these businesses have to earn their leads.
Lead generation can be a daunting process because there is a lot that goes into it. The good news is that there are multiple strategies, tools, and ideas for generating leads for your business.
Therefore this post will delve deep into the use of leads in online marketing, generating, and qualifying them. Let’s get started.
What is a Lead?
Any person that shows interest in your product or service is a lead. Such individuals fill a contact form, signup for a demo, trial, or subscribe for services.
For instance, your website visitor might fill an online survey, and a day later, you might send this user more information about your company’s products and services. Such a call is far less intrusive than making a cold call to someone who has not interacted with your products.
From the business perspective, the survey response from the lead is helpful because it can use it to personalize their initial communication. In fact, it can use these responses when addressing the customers’ existing problems and avoid calling disinterested leads.
Further, lead is part of the consumer lifecycle as they transit from a website visitor to a customer. Because of that, there are different types of leads depending on how you qualify them and the stage they are in the lifecycle. This includes:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Your marketing activities (ads, emails, or clicking links) might attract a person’s attention and motivate them to fill a landing page contact form for an offer, free tool, or free trial, but they’re not open to receiving a call from the sales team.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): This lead might fill a form requesting more information about your product and services with the intention of becoming a paying customer. The sales team will make a follow-up and figure out if that is a good sales opportunity.
Product Qualified Lead (SQL): A contact who gets a limited or free version of your product might take steps towards becoming a paying customer. They become PQL because they want to upgrade from the trial or demo version to a paid plan. Therefore, they may contact your sales team because they want to know about the additional features they will get when switching to the paid plan.
Service Qualified Lead (PQL): A contact that engages your customer service representative with a view of upgrading their product subscription falls under this category. A sales representative will then contact the lead and help them take the next step, thus becoming a paying customer.
What is Lead Generation?
The process of drawing prospects to your brand and its offerings as well as nurturing them to increase their interest with a goal of making them paying customers is called lead generation.
Entrepreneurs attract potential customers using various lead generation strategies such as through education and nurturing process.
In simpler terms, the marketing team attracts leads and educates them about the company’s product or service. These efforts motivate the contact to transit from a mere website visitor into a paying customer.
The sales team takes over from where the marketing team has reached. They nurture the lead until they make a purchase and then hand them over to the account management team, who takes care of the customers’ needs and work on retention.
The difference between the prospect, lead, and customer.
In lead generation, words such as lead and prospect are used interchangeably. Although the gist is the same, these terms may have a different meaning based on who is using them.
Prospect: Refers to an individual who has interacted with your company through the website or socials, but you’re not sure whether they’re really the right fit for your products or services.
Lead: Refers to an interested person in your target market and a perfect fit for buyer personas. Knowing the different types of leads, you can have is helpful because each is nurtured differently. For instance, a prospect is treated differently from a qualified lead.
Customer: A person that began as a prospect then became a lead and now a paying customer.
Is Lead Generation worth It?
A person that shows an organic interest in your products and services will naturally transition from a stranger into a customer.
The job of your sales team is to engage these potential customers until a sale is made or revenue is generated for your business.
There are many channels, outlets, and specific tactics that you can use in your lead generation. These include SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, among other methods.
Lead generation is important because it helps your business expand and make sales. You can build up sales with a good lead generation strategy by directing your marketing efforts to the right audience. You can use SEO to put your website at the top of the search engine results. Potential customers click on the link that directs them to your site, and there you have a lead.
Capturing leads enables you to raise awareness regarding your brand, products, and services, thus helping you reach more people. Through the process, your website can record increased traffic which helps you convert leads into customers. The search engine giants such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have made it easier to target a customer base that actively searches for your product.
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook allow you to target potential customers and nurture leads from individuals who were initially not looking to purchase. This can help build effective relationships and contribute to qualified leads that become customers and generate revenue for your business.
Today, lead generation has become the best and modern method of targeting potential customers. Previously people responded well to outbound methods like cold calling, but they no longer do that. So lead generation is an excellent way of targeting potential customers and has also made marketing more effective and easier. In fact, marketers no longer waste time on strangers who are not interested in buying their products.
Therefore, lead generation is a worthwhile process.
What is the Lead Generation Process?
The first phase is when a stranger discovers your business website through your marketing channels, such as the social media page, blog post, and more.
In the second phase, the website visitor clicks on the call-to-action (CTA), which could be a button, image, or message that urges them to take action.
The third phase directs the visitor to the landing page with a contact form that captures their details ex exchange for an offer such as a course, eBook, or template. These items must have a perceived value that motivated a website visitor to fill the form hosted on the landing page or embedded on a blog post in order to access the offer.
In the last phase, you have the lead’s information, and you can nurture it to become a paying customer.
What are the Lead Generation Channels?
Social Media Marketing: These are platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Having an online presence on one or all platforms can help you generate leads. However, you must be available to post content and engage with your followers. For instance, you can create a Facebook page and share it across other marketing channels like emails, websites, or traditional adverts to drive traffic. You can begin to capture leads when your followers like, comment, or share your post with their friends on Facebook.
Website Landing Pages: A website is an excellent source of leads and a better way of tracking your visitors. In fact, website analytics gives you greater insights into what people are looking for, when, and how long, including a call to action button that directs your site’s visitors to your online shop. Actually, your website is similar to a window into your business and thus the need for an easy-to-use and attractive landing page.
Webinars: Many people refer to it as a seminar on the web because it puts all leads in one place and tells them about the brand and its offerings. A webinar allows you to showcase your knowledge as well as impart information to interested customers. You have a forum to answer questions, thus reassuring the attendees that they’re in good hands and inviting them to make a sale.
Email Marketing: Lead generation helps you capture email addresses that you can use to increase your brand awareness. With such an email subscribers list, you’re sure that your message will reach the inboxes of potential customers. Sending your lead consistent messages helps them keep your products and services at the top of their minds.
Blogging: Sharing information with your target audience can help you build a close relationship with them. A blog can contain several pages or is succinct but informative. The aim is to impart knowledge simply or entertainingly. For instance, Start.info provides startups and small businesses with information that can help them thrive. So you can find a lot of tips such as pocket-friendly startup ideas, how to deliver a strong startup pitch, and more. Such blogs can inform your potential customers’ decisions and later turn them into paying customers.
Influencers: These are individuals with a large following on social media. Through regular posting, these individuals have built a strong relationship with their followers, and so they can influence their purchases. Brands partner with influencers so that they can feature their products and services on their social media pages and posts. For instance, holiday park owners can give them a weekend stay offer in exchange for reviews. This will increase the traffic on the holiday park website and bookings.
What are the Types of Lead Generation?
There are different lead generation tactics that your business can use to generate leads. Tweaking them around will help you find the best.
Inbound Lead Generation
This is where the potential customer initiates the interaction, particularly through content marketing. For instance, a prospect might come across your posts on social media or search engines, click on them, and fill the contact form on your website.
Next, the business follows up the interest through email marketing and nurtures the relationship until the prospect becomes a paying customer.
The majority of businesses use content marketing as their primary lead generation strategy. Some inbound lead generation types are videos, blogs, eBooks, infographics, press releases, newsletters, social media posts, and more. Businesses create these types of content and place them strategically so that users can discover them organically or through the search engines such as Google.
Outbound Lead Generation
A brand can initiate an interaction with a prospect through a paid advert on social media and Google, direct mail, cold email outreach, or many other channels.
Although inbound lead generation is more popular than outbound marketing, some businesses combine the two methods to achieve their goals. Some of these options are radio ads, TVs ads, social media ads, paid search ads, print ads, cold email, cold calls,
Both inbound and outbound lead generations have their own benefits and drawbacks. However, your budget will determine what works best for you.
What are the Lead Generation Hacks?
Review the Message on Your Homepage
A simple homepage CTA that blend well with elements like images, headline, and subtitle can grow the number of your site visitors and leads.
Still, actively promoting your website on social media, blogs, and other sources can grow the number of visitors your homepage gets from such referring sites.
You can showcase your sticky posts, latest posts and put them in your sidebar (make it only permanent on your homepage, not on every page) a must-read section to help your site visitor find the best content when they arrive at your homepage.
So, tweaking your homepage will give you more leads.
Let Webinars Work in Your Favor
This is indeed a relatively low-cost method of bringing a useful message to your targeted audience who requested it when they registered for your webinars.
Linking the webinar directly to your content is helpful to the participant, and this can increase the number of interested people in your upcoming webinars.
It keeps your audience engaged, which is the only reason you’re hosting a webinar. Other factors influencing the stay time are the topic, ease of joining, and the Q&A session.
Your Sales Team should be Separate from the Lead Generation Team
A good lead generation strategy should have a specialized team. The lead generation team should focus on the marketing process that stimulates interest in your company’s products and services and works towards capturing the lead in order to develop a sales pipeline.
The sales team, on the other hand, concentrates on exchanging goods and services for money and creating a great customer experience to ensure a high customer retention rate. Therefore the two functions are different.
Your Content Should Have Headlines with Strong Verbs
Content writers are aware of the power behind a headline. The majority of people make their buying decisions based on the headline, and eight out of ten people click on the headline if it’s catchy.
That means that you should create and post content with strong verbs on your blog and social media networks. Actually, people want everything now because we live in a fast world where there is no time to wait. That explains why there are fast websites, fast internet, and fast food. For that reason, your writing should be straight to the point and offers an immediate reward.
A headline with a strong verb enables you to convey ideas and messages in a concise and captivating manner. Some of the strong verbs are terminate, nurture, increase, improve, boost, engage, drive, among others.
Create a High-value Offer
A high-value offer tends to be irresistible to your leads because it’s relevant, exclusive, scarce, and in high demand.
Every business wants its target audience to download its eBook, register for the webinar, fill the contact form, and more. However, potential customers are persuaded or dissuaded by the way they perceive your offer.
Lead Generation Tools
The internet has a generous amount of lead-generating software and tools that can help you run campaigns, manage leads and direct a qualified lead to the appropriate team.
Here are the top lead generation tools.
HubSpot: It’s a popular CRM that offers live chat, marketing automation, live chats, and forms.
Instapage: Switching from WordPress to Instapage can save your time and improve your conversion rate. The tool has mobile-optimized landing pages, thus making them great on smartphones.
Clearbit: When you generate high-quality content, you’re able to grow your email address list, but you should qualify your prospects in order to put them in the right segment. You can use Clearbit instead of doing it manually because it allows you to cross-reference the details you have in the B2B database.
Today’s businesses are using technology to make informed decisions when it comes to marketing their products and services as well as engaging potential customers.
Generating high-quality content, crafting and managing email marketing campaigns, and nurturing your social network presence need a lot of focus and time.
However, your efforts will help your nurture your leads and surpass your milestones.
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