Begin with the end in mind. It’s a well-known mantra for many business owners, and an effective mindset when setting visions and helping identify the necessary steps to achieve them. It’s a philosophy that provides clarity, efficiency, and purpose, and can get you to those leads that you never thought were available.
In terms of lead generation and marketing, the “end” would be a working list of potential subscribers who are likely to become loyal customers. This crucial list should give you insightful information into each individual—their name, age, gender, location, purchase history, and other bits of data that you can capture through online and offline interactions.
Think of a business that doesn’t need to do cold calls and direct, hard sales. That’s a business that is probably doing well in terms of online lead generation. They know their target audience, where their subscribers spend their time on the internet, and what types of sponsored ads and materials pique their interest.
In this post, we’ll walk through the different ways how you can leverage lead generation for your business
1. Learn how to use lead magnets
Offer lead magnets to your potential subscribers in exchange for their email address. You can embed these lead magnets into pop-ups on your website’s homepage or through links on your social media accounts. Businesses often use the following types of lead magnets, which are almost always free-of-charge:
- Resource kits. Establish expertise in your niche by coming up with a well-written downloadable ebook, podcast, or a small resource kit about what you do. However, don’t make the material all about your specific business and products. Make sure that it’s educational and something that your subscribers will surely enjoy reading. Check out the example below:
Source: Home Design Lover
- Promotions. Coupons are a popular and effective lead magnet, especially if they offer discounts or freebies. As a business owner, you already know by now that customers’ willingness to pay significantly increases with even just a small price slash. Here’s how Blue Apron did it:
Source: Blue Apron
2. Offer gated content.
Gated content is very much like lead magnets, only it can be accessed by providing more information on top of the email address. Sometimes, even though it’s rare, gated content has a cost.
Gated content is best integrated into email marketing campaigns and may come in the form of more detailed resource materials and bigger discounts.
Here are more specific types of attractive gated content:
- Content or subscription upgrades
If a customer is interested in your product or service, they will likely be willing to pay for something that offers more. Try to identify customers who are frequent readers of your blogs or regular buyers of a specific product. Let them know you have a better offer or promotion and that it’s on sale today.
A welcome ebook is good source material, but wait until your customers read a full-blown whitepaper about your service. The whitepaper is usually written by the business owner with the help of experts.
Below is an email with gated content:
3. Monitor your performance.
Who are your closest competitors? Chances are they are also browsing your website, looking at your social media profiles, and analyzing your marketing strategy. Try to be one step ahead of them and offer your potential subscribers something unique and innovative. You can also check out how similar businesses in other countries are doing lead generation, and mimic their best practices (in your own way).
4. Identify website-based tactics.
There are a number of ways to use your website as a lead generation tool. Here are some key reminders:
- Come up with a visually appealing design consistent with your brand identity and messaging. Use video and audio, if possible.
- More than design, make sure your website offers as many lead magnets as can be integrated into the website.
- As an online user yourself, you know that ads can become annoying. Your lead magnets should not all be pop-ups but should be placed in strategic areas where visitors can see them, but they aren’t disruptive. These can be through sidebars, slide-ins, and top bars, or through a dedicated page on your website.
- Learn how to do search engine optimization (SEO) and how your content can be tailored for the web.
Pet retail store Life’s Abundance used a content slider that visitors can navigate by clicking the left and right arrows or by waiting a few seconds for it to change into the next offer or lead magnet:
Source: Life’s Abundance
5. Personalize, personalize, personalize.
Effective lead generation understands that products and services are not one-size-fits-all. Successful businesses are not afraid to request more information from their visitors to give them a highly customized experience. This will drive more conversions than if irrelevant products were mixed with interesting ones and offered to customers in one go.
For example, energy innovation ecosystem Turning Tables asks visitors to answer a little survey before they can be reached with any inquiries:
Source: Turning Tables
You can also draft specific trigger emails that will automatically send whenever visitors complete a specific activity, such as signing up for an event, downloading a podcast, or purchasing a discounted product.
If you want to begin with the end in mind and generate as many leads as possible, identify specific and clear goals such as:
- The number of subscribers you want to achieve within a specific timeframe
- Feasible sales targets for each month
- Email open, click-through, and forward rates
- Type of customers you want to attract
It’s also important for your business to have a feedback and tracking mechanism, so you know which leads are working and which ones need to go. Your teams should also be able to filter out leads that are not cost-effective for your business, even if these are highly appealing and have worked for more well-known brands.
The number of lead generation strategies continues to expand, and many businesses have already explored tactics such as drip campaigns, exit-intent boxes, and referral programs. These tools can be integrated into your overall email marketing strategy, which will eventually increase your chances of acquiring those highly valuable leads and customers.