Online lead generation is an Internet marketing term that refers to the generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business' products or services through the Internet. Leads, also known as contacts, can be generated for a variety of purposes: list building, e-newsletter list acquisition, building out reward programs, loyalty programs or for other member acquisition programs.
Conduct Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEM involves using paid ad words to drive clicks and increase traffic to your company’s website or its online promotional landing pages. SEO is a type of SEM in which you produce content that helps move your site “organically” to the top of searches for companies like yours.
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.
Send releases out over the wires. PR Newswire and Business Wire are well known press release distribution services. Some services charge a fee, and others are free. Look for general distribution platforms like PRWeb and Newsvine, and also industry-specific distributors or “Microlists” that deal with niches such as tech, healthcare, lifestyle, and finance.
Another huge asset to your business when trying to convert visitors into leads are landing pages. This can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an advertisement or other online marketing elements. It is also important to note that landing pages exist separately from your company's website, and typically are used as a tool for a single marketing campaign.
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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%.
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Because prospective buyers won’t always end up at your website as they start their purchase journey, it’s important that you establish a presence where they may show up. A great way to deliver high-value content to the correct prospects is through content syndication – a content sharing strategy that can be used to promote your whitepapers, articles, news releases, etc. on other websites for greater reach and engagement. Through content syndication, your content appears on third-party sites and newsletters. And because most content syndicators deliver leads directly to your inbox, it’s a great way to keep leads coming in the door.
We discuss the use of gym sign spinners in another blog post, but it’s a great way to generate leads. If there’s one thing that’s great about sign spinners, it’s that they get a LOT of eye traffic. Just think about the last time you saw a sign spinner. You probably remember EXACTLY where you were at when you said to the kids in the car, “Kids, look at him spinning that sign over by the stoplight.” You also probably remember the business he/she was promoting. Put your gym logo on the sign and get that spinner out there! Better yet, put your FitnessTexter texting code on your sign. That way, if people are stuck at a light, they can text your code for your free week pass and you’ll get an email lead notification. If you’re not a fan of using a sign spinner, sit down with your marketing team and try to think of creative ways to get the word out about your business. You could be the best gym in your entire city, but if no one knows about you, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Time to brainstorm!