infoUSA is the leading provider of sales and marketing support for products for all types of businesses, from small Mom & Pop shops to large corporations. The company compiles the world's finest databases of 14 million U.S. businesses and 200 million U.S. consumers, and 1.2 million Canadian businesses and 12 million Canadian consumers under one roof in Omaha, Nebraska.
While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.
Lead generation used to involve purchasing lists of names and sales representatives cold calling people at home, but modern advances in technology have made it possible for us to now generate leads based on specific criteria and information. Companies collect information about potential buyers and then tailor marketing methods and sales pitches to the prospects’ needs.
The inbound method attracts leads using online content. You create a website, or you write a blog, and you optimize it for online search through SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. This means the content has the appropriate keywords and answers the questions your target audience is asking. When your content is easily discoverable and begins to engage your readers, they become your leads. Depending on how you interact with them from then on, they can become your customers too.
ToFu: Leads at the top of the funnel need awareness. They know nothing about what you offer and what domain you operate in, so you’ll need to create a conversation around both these focus points—without selling your product up front. If you sell CRMs, you attract ToFu leads by talking about how SDRs (sales development representatives) can do their job better using CRM software. Blogs, ebooks and guides are content types that work well at this stage.
The truth is there are a lot of ways to generate leads. While the internet is good, nothing will ever beat face to face. Even if you do meet someone online, you can’t expect them to just go to your website and sign up. In most cases, you want to get on the phone or on SKYPE with them and have a conversation to build the relationship. That’s where most online people mess up. Anyone can generate thousands of leads online, but it takes the talented person to convert them into customers and distributors. I build my business 100% by blogging and do very well with it, but I spend a lot of time on the phone and SKYPE with my leads.
Now you know about all the efforts you will have to take in order to generate leads. But generating leads is only half the task. What if you lose customers just because you didn’t care enough about they had registered their interests? It is very important to communicate with your customers until these are converted into the purchase. The best way to do this is by using emails.
Writing articles and news stories for publication in the media that your prospects and customers would find interesting and would like to know about is the quickest, easiest way, and usually the first step, in building your reputation. You need to know how to come up with article ideas, research and write successful articles, get them published, use the reprints in self-promotion, and get people to respond to you and buy your products or services.
One of the best methods of making your business more successful is to make doing business with you a special, memorable experience. The more exciting, enjoyable, fascinating, informative, valuable or educational you can make the experience, the more business you will do, and the stronger and more meaningful the bond you will form with your customers. Events are a very powerful way of offering people who have an excellent probability of turning into customers a chance to be educated about the benefits and results of your product or service. They can also be used to recognise your existing customers as being very special.
Online surveys: Consumers are asked to complete a survey, including their demographic information and product and lifestyle interests. This information is used as a sales lead for advertisers, who purchase the consumer's information if provided. The consumer may 'opt-in' to receive correspondence from the advertiser and is therefore considered a qualified lead.