It's tough to figure out if your lead generation strategy is working if you aren't looking at industry data. That's why we partnered with Qualtrics to survey more than 900 marketers from all different industries in North America and Europe to create a demand generation report with data on website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers, and revenue.
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One of the most successful ways to have a measurable impact on your lead process is identifying where your leads drop off and attempting to resolve the issue, while learning how to recapture the leads that were lost. Many leads drop off before they are passed to sales because there was an interest in your company but it did not develop enough to move from an interest to a desire. These warm leads can be recaptured, but this costs more time, money and effort from the marketing team, which is why it’s important not to lose them in the first place.
In many ways, sales is a game of chance, and many people struggle understanding how to generate leads. Figuring out how to generate leads can be a tough task, but it doesn’t have to be if you create your luck and follow proven best practices. In reality, there’s more skill than luck in sales, especially when you follow proven lead generation strategies. So stop playing roulette with your sales. Here are 10 ideas for how to generate leads that will help you hit your target.
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.
Look for trends and patterns. Are there particular times of the day, week, or month that you experience more or less travel? What about the geographic regions your visitors come from? Try to figure out why. Determine which ad words give you the best bang for your buck. Also identify weaknesses. Maybe you don’t have that many followers on social media, or maybe your online sales are sluggish. This is all information you can use.
During the launch of one of our client’s hiking equipment products, we helped them design and execute an email marketing campaign targeting existing customers and email lists from a local hiking club. The email talked about our new innovative equipment, launch details and order information. The email response rate and sign ups not only gave our client potential leads who may be interested in their products, but also helped us dissect business data like market trends and customer preferences.
Host events of your own. You can host your own events too, of course. They could include launch parties, anniversary parties, info sessions, or holiday parties. If you’re unsure about how to host an event, or if you have a smaller events budget, you can always co-sponsor an event. Just be sure to be realistic about your goals, to find a partner that syncs well with your brand, and to add value of your own. Your company could be the food sponsor or the “brought to you by…” company, for example.
One such popular way to capture potential lead information is through social media contests. We have worked with business owners to create social content contests in exchange for some sort of a giveaway. Users are often required to upload pictures, refer their friends, or just answer a few basic questions to be entered into the contest giveaway. Creating a fun way to engage users on social platforms is an effective way for business owners to capture potential leads.
Some of your content should be short form, like blog posts, tweets, photos and short video clips, that requires no barrier to read, view or consume, while some of your content should be longer form that requires a sign up form to access like an eBook, free course, whitepaper, infographic or an instructional video. Once a lead has made it to the point of interest in viewing a long form piece of content, they fill out a sign up form becoming a part of your contact management system, email list or both. This visitor is now a newly acquired lead.
Don’t use a simple word processing document. You might be more familiar with using a word processing platform or spreadsheet, but a dedicated survey tool is better. Consider using one such as Constant Contact or SurveyMonkey that aggregates results for you. These tools also have helpful features and types of surveys and questions that you might not have thought about.
Don't use CTAs to drive people to your homepage, for instance. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), you should still be sending them to a targeted landing page that's relevant to what they are looking for and includes an opt-in form. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.
You may think direct mail is a thing of the past. But it’s still effective for targeted communications. Consider a content asset developed for high-level executives. Executives don’t usually browse the web for information. And it can be hard to get through to them via email. That means they may not come across the content you’ve developed with them in mind. This is where direct mail can prove powerful. You could send a direct mail piece to this audience to make them aware of your new, targeted content asset. Direct mail also gives you a chance to grab the attention of a hot prospect by being creative and interesting with your message and presentation.
This channel has a big impact of the budget in efforts to reach out to audiences. It may include billboards, print ads, television and radio advertisements. It is generic and targets the masses. The marketing intent is clearly to sell and an apparent pitch is a part of the plan. This budget may include the purchase of lead lists. These are people you don’t know. In addition to this, these people don’t know you either. They didn’t seek you. The outbound approach with communication is one way. The business decides when and how to engage with the audience. In addition to mail, print, and media, it may include conferences and calls. This can be tough. Should you reach out to others needing what you have to offer, it can be beneficial. These cold calls can be interpreted as an interruption into people’s time. They can be viewed as disruptive and down right unwanted. In addition to this, calls could be flagged as spam. Here providers inform other providers and being placed on a blacklist could result. Should this happen, it wouldn’t benefit reputation either. Emails could become undeliverable too.
Recently,[when?] there has been a rapid increase in online lead generation: banner and direct response advertising that works off a CPL pricing model. In a pay-per-acquisition (PPA) pricing model, advertisers pay only for qualified leads resulting from those actions, irrespective of the clicks or impressions that went into generating the lead. PPA advertising is playing an active role in online lead generation.