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.
These examples might make it seem like lead generation is pretty easy; it is not. To get people to divulge information about themselves, you should be able to articulate the value in your business solution. Plus you need to be present in channels that get you closest to your target audience. Articulating value is a broad, multi-layered topic, and it has as much to do with soft skills as it has to do with your knowledge of the business. However, there are specific channels you can tap into when it comes to lead generation, and that’s where we’re heading next.
Then figure out where your target customers can be found—both physically and virtually. College students who need more income can be found on campus or on online forums or websites about learning to manage your money. Athletes and people who lead healthy lifestyles can be found at gyms and online groups or websites about running, yoga, healthy eating, and more.
CTR is the number of clicks on your CTA button, versus the total visitors to that landing page or ad. If 1000 people visit your landing page/view your ad, and 650 people click on the CTA, your CTR is 65%. A high CTR depends on a number of factors, chief among which are the value proposition on your page/ad, your CTA’s placement, and the relevance of your content vis-à-vis your target audience.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase conversion rate, it’s exactly what it sounds like: the rate at which a website visitor typically performs a specified action. For example, if one out of every four visitors to your ecommerce store makes a purchase, you have a 25% conversion rate. Since the goal is to get that percentage as high as possible, marketers often perform numerous tests to find ways to increase conversions and turn leads into customers.
Your website and/or landing page lie at the central hub for conducting an online business and is where most of the sales transactions will like take action. The results of a LinkedIn B2B Technology Community survey conducted among more than 800 B2B marketers indicate that website optimization for better lead acquisition is among the top 3 effective lead generation ideas.
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.
Attention scarcity is driving a shift from “rented attention” to “owned attention”. Historically, most marketing has been about renting attention other people have built. An example of this would be if you purchased an ad in a magazine or rented a tradeshow booth. But in the noisy, crowded market that today’s buyers live in, rented attention becomes less effective as attention becomes even scarcer. Of course, this is not an either-or proposition; you will ideally use a mix of rented vs. owned attention for your lead generation efforts to be affective.
A powerful technique for building your reputation with a defined audience over a period of time is to regularly send them a newsletter, which can either be free or paid subscription. Newsletters can be used to position you as an authority in your marketplace, to build closer relationships with clients. You can use them to educate your target market so they can make more informed and more frequent buying decisions or educate them to the full extent of your services and how you can add value through those services.
Several vendors offer computer programs designed to assist businesses in lead generation. Ethics are an important consideration in the choice and implementation of such programs. The use of spyware, Trojans or other intrusive means of gathering information without the knowledge or consent of targeted individuals or entities is frowned upon. Mass unsolicited e-mail advertising (or spam) is also considered unethical by many, and it can result in electronic blacklisting.
Content: While the download of a coupon shows an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person's interest in your business, you'll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they're a good fit.
One third-party endorsement is more powerful than a hundred presentations. Getting your customers to recommend and encourage other people they associate with to seek out your products or services is the most coveted prize in selling, besides a sale. There are hundreds of referral systems you can use; to create an unlimited supply of hot prospects; to get prospects returning your calls; to contact hard-to-reach buyers; to create a reputation that opens closed doors; to enhance customer loyalty; and to increase sales and multiply profits. Referral systems make your life easier and more professional, and bring higher profits with increased customer loyalty.
Cost per click advertising (e.g. AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing) overcomes this problem by charging advertisers only when the consumer clicks on the advertisement. However, due to increased competition, search keywords have become very expensive. A 2007 Doubleclick Performics Search trends report shows that there were nearly six times as many keywords with a cost per click (CPC) of more than $1 in January 2007 than the prior year. The cost per keyword increased by 33% and the cost per click rose by as much as 55%.