This is the most powerful, persuasive marketing weapon available to any business. It drives customers to try products or services more than any other marketing technique … more than advertising, salespeople, direct response, and public relations combined! And contrary to what you might expect word-of-mouth is not out of your control. There are dozens of techniques for launching your own highly successful word of mouth campaigns, based on an all-important Decision Matrix and a proven seven-step process.
Depending on the organisation, the definition of the term “lead” may vary. For some companies, a “lead” is a contact already determined to be a prospective customer, whereas other companies consider a “lead” to be any sales contact. But what remains the same across definitions is that a lead will potentially become a future client. Sales teams therefore have a responsibility to convert a maximum amount of leads to maintain a good conversion rate.
One surefire method of finding leads through content is to create something that you think will be really valuable to your industry or potential customers – like a whitepaper, research study, guide, or book – and placing it behind a form on a landing page. Those who want to access this content will need to enter their email address to access it. From there, you can begin a lead nurturing email program (which you’ll read about below), or even send a quick "thank you" message. If they enjoy your content, your lead might return your email, and could eventually convert.
Most of what you read, see, and hear in the media got there with the help of PR. The media are insatiably hungry for factual, interesting, and newsworthy or entertaining information they can share with their customers, members, employees, listeners, viewers or readers. PR, approached correctly, will give you free coverage on radio, television, in magazines, newspapers, trade journals, newsletters, e-zines, and via Web sites who serve the marketplace you’re trying to reach.
At the other end of the spectrum is buying leads. This is also not the best option since it can be very expensive and may result in leads that may not actually be interested in your products or business. These are not great leads, either. The best leads will always be the ones you generate yourself—people who have shown some sort of interest in what you have to offer.
Email may not be a hugely important part of increasing website leads, but it is fantastic for growing them into customers. When someone signs up for your list, it means they’re interested in you – and that’s half the battle! From there, consider creating an email schedule or marketing automation program that will send targeted messages to users at important stages of the buying process.
Display ads are typically highly targeted to different demographic or behavioral actions. You can select where you want the ads to be seen by choosing an online publication that you feel is a place where your leads spend time, or you can also leverage re-targeter ads that can cookie a lead that views your site. With re-targeter ads, once a person gets cookied, your ads appear on other sites that he or she visits afterwards. Through online ads you can reach more of your target audience, educate potential prospects, and drive leads. Display ads also serve a purpose at every stage in the funnel—building brand and audience at Top of Funnel, educating and helping evaluation at Mid-Funnel, and increasing conversions at Bottom of Funnel.
In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.