Are you wanting to increase your business’ profits and generate tons of leads through lead generation marketing?
If so, you’re in the right place.
In this article you will discover:
-Section 1: What is a Lead?
-Section 2: What is Lead Generation Marketing?
-Section 3: Why is Lead Generation Marketing Important?
-Section 4: Understand the Lead Generation Process
-Section 5: Meet your Target Audience Where They Are
-Section 6: Test Your Campaign
What is a Lead?
- A lead is an interested party
A lead, first and foremost, is someone who shows interest in your products or services.
Before signing up for anything on your website the interested party is just considered a visitor or viewer. The viewer transitions to a lead once they have given you a way to follow up with them and begin building a relationship.
This means they have progressed through your marketing funnel and have gone through the process of visiting your website, filling out your form, and providing you with their contact information in exchange for whatever incentive you provided.
- A Lead is a potential customer
A lead is someone who is already likely to purchase your service or product.
This is because you are only marketing to people in your target audience (people who you already know are interested in products/services like the ones you provide).
Your lead has also shown interest in their willingness to commit to entry level offers.
- Qualified leads are more likely to become customers
A qualified lead goes one step further.
While a lead is someone who just signs up for a basic email list freebee, a qualified lead is someone who signs up for something requiring more commitment (like a 1-hour consultation).
A qualified lead is considered a high quality lead since they have taken the steps to inquire about paid services or have shown a higher willingness to commit.
What is Lead Generation Marketing?
Lead generation marketing is marketing with the goal of getting people to sign up on your website; It is marketing with the goal of generating leads.
This is opposed to marketing with the goal of flooding a website with traffic (traffic generation marketing) or marketing with the goal of generating sales (sales generation marketing).
A basic breakdown of the marketing funnel clearly explains the types of marketing mentioned above. The top section of the marketing funnel is where you connect with people who have not heard about your company before. These are site visitors who have taken no action on your website and are just browsing.
Once these website visitors sign-up for an offer on your website (giving you contact information), they become a lead.
If a client books a consultation or free meeting they become a qualified lead.
In the bottom section of the funnel you build relationships with your leads and call them to your ultimate goal (a sale).
Let’s look at some examples of lead generation marketing:
- You show paid advertisements on Google search engine.
- Someone searching particular keywords on Google sees and clicks your ad.
- After clicking your ad the viewer is redirected to your landing page.
- They are then asked to sign up.
- They sign up and become a lead.
- Someone finds your video on YouTube.
- Your video calls on them to click a specific link.
- The link directs them to your landing page.
- They are then asked to sign-up.
- They sign up and become a lead.
- Suppose you write a blog and get it to rank on the first page of Google.
- People find your blog listing as they search specific keywords and click your link.
- They land on your blog post and read your material.
- That blog post offers a lead generation sign-up form that entices them to sign up for some free benefit.
- They then sign up and become a lead.
- You send a high quality offer to an email list. The email includes a call to action.
- The reader likes the offer, clicks your call to action and is taken to a piece of content or landing page.
- They fill out the form on this page. (This person was already a lead because they were on your email list. At this point the lead has become a more qualified lead because they have just signed up for a higher commitment offer).
Click HERE to see our home page as an example of a lead generation website
Why is Lead Generation Marketing Important?
In order to sell any product or service, there must be some form of TRUST & RELATIONSHIP to back up the purchase.
It can be very difficult to get a viewer to trust you enough to go directly to becoming a paying client, especially in the service industry.
Note: Many people are willing to make small, low risk product purchases with websites or sellers they don’t know well. However, the larger the ticket price, the more trust is required.
When you need to have more trust in the relationship than you can generate when you first come into contact with a viewer, you have to build their trust over time.
Important: This is where a lead comes in. If you can’t make the sale the first time they visit your website, then you MUST be able to follow up with them to build the trust and the relationship until they will make a purchase.
“Generating leads is the most important thing (other than sales) your business can create.”
Asking for contact information gives you the ability to follow up (via phone call, text or email) with your lead.
As you follow up, you want to build your relationship with them until they trust you enough to accept a request for deeper commitment. (Nobody says yes to a marriage proposal before you take them on a few nice dates.)
Lead generation comes before sales.
The lead generation process (usually) builds trust by giving the viewer something for free.
People intuitively know if you give them junk for free, you will probably give them junk when they pay you money.
BUT, if you give them something that’s really high quality for free, they trust you will come through when their debit card is on the line.
The law of reciprocity states that if you give something of value to someone at no cost they have an instinctual feeling of obligation to give value back.
Modern society is built on belief in fair exchange so people naturally try to find ways to return the value you give away.
This leads to a general rule that you should always give 2-4 times more value through your marketing efforts than you ask for in exchange.
Not only this but the offer really ISN’T Free. There is an exchange of value going on, just not in monetary form.
Their personal information is valuable to them, if you treat them with respect and continue to provide them with more value, when you ask them to trust you more, they are more likely to do so.
Understand the Lead Generation Process
There are two sides of the process:
- There is the lead generation process that the marketer creates.
- Then, there is the buyer’s journey where we take ourselves out of our own shoes and into the shoes of the buyer. The buyer’s journey is how the buyer perceives the lead generation process.
- The lead generation process from the marketer’s perspective generally has 3 steps.
- CONNECT: You will first determine your target audience and discover where to find them within the digital landscape. This may be on Google, social media, amazon, forums, etc.
- CONVERT: When you discover where your audience is hanging out, you then offer them something valuable. Example: Suppose you discover they are hanging out in a particular Facebook group. In exchange for visiting your website, you offer them a high quality blog post (much like the blog you are reading now).
- CLOSE: Lastly, you offer to give your new reader even more high quality material (usually for free) if they provide you with contact information. When a viewer provides you this information, you have just gotten your first lead.
- The buyer’s journey is the exact flip side of the lead generation coin. This is the experience the buyer walks through to willingly become your lead. This process usually starts on Google, Facebook or somewhere they begin trying to meet their needs.
Buyers Journey Example: Suppose I’m on Google and I search the term “therapist near me”. After hitting enter, I will see a bunch of therapist offices come up. I will probably click on one. After clicking a link in Google I will go through to a therapists website and see whatever they are offering me. That offer will either resonate with me (and I’ll sign up) or it won’t (and I’ll leave the website). If I decided to sign up, they may give me a sales call. I will then choose whether to go to the therapist office or not.
Understanding your buyer’s journey helps you to understand what your target audience expects to happen when they are looking for you.
There is a specific way they are comfortable becoming your lead, and many ways they are not comfortable.
The buyer’s journey helps the marketer to understand the emotions, needs, and expectations of their audience.
Your website should be strategically designed to build trust with your viewers and focus their attention on the next step in their journey.
(We use a WordPress plugin called Elementor to help create this experience).
Meet your Target Audience Where They Are
The aspect of lead generation marketing that typically varies is where you find your target audience, because different audiences hang out in different places (reddit, other forums, youtube).
As a marketer, you are going out to find your audience where they hang out because unless they’re specifically searching for your blog, odds are they won’t find it.
Below are 5 ways to take your content to your target audience
There are two ways to re-engage your target audience once they are on your email list
Number 1: Follow Up By Phone:
Example: “Hey I saw that you downloaded our ultimate guide, I just wanted to make sure you got that okay. Did you have any questions while I have you on the phone about _________?”
Some of these leads will result in sales for your business.
Those people who don’t ultimately buy something in your sales process should be added to your automated email list.
Number 2: Re-engage Leads On Your Email List
When a lead enters your email list, your main goal is to build a deeper relationship with them through high quality content, and then request they take a higher commitment action than what they initially took to sign up for your email list.
To build this relationship, continue to meet the felt needs of those on your email list. Send them lots of freebies to let them know you’re still there and that you care. This can be done by letting your email list know about your newest blog post, giving them “exclusive access” and anything else you have on hand.
Following up with your email list is a super effective way to take content to your target audience.
(We have found Activecampaign to be an effective CRM and automated email tool).
Content Creation (Blogs)
To generate leads through your content, the first thing you want to do is to get blogs ranking on the first page of Google for keywords your audience is actively searching for.
First find a series of high volume keywords related to your business. Pick one of those high volume keywords, search engine optimize for it, and write a curated piece relevant to your services.
Once you have done this, you will have successfully created a steady flow of traffic (traffic generation marketing) to your website. By ranking on the first page of Google you have made your content available where your target audience is looking for it.
To find your target audience and generate leads, you can also pay to show advertisements.
Instead of engaging viewers through a blog you strategically post on social media, you show them an advertisement that is strategically placed to draw their attention. The rest of the process remains the same.
Just a few types of digital ads you can use are below:
Display Advertising: Displays a picture advertisement (much like a banner ad). Google Adsense and Google display network are two popular forms of display advertising.
Search Engine Advertising: These are ads that show up at the top of the search engine results (SERPs). These may show on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Video Advertising: Just as you would expect, these are video ads that you might see on video platforms like Youtube.
When clicked, the ads lead people onto your dedicated landing page which then requests a sign-up, sale, or commitment of some form.
Retargeting Advertising: These are a specific type of advertisement that automatically target people who have previously been on your website and have not taken ation.
The advertising platform you use for retargeting tracks people who view your website by dropping a cookie in their browsing history. Your retargeting ads only show advertisements to these people.
This requires that you first create traffic to your website, and then begin using retargeting ads.
As you might expect, your retargeting ads should send people through to a designated landing page to encourage these new visitors to sign up.
Social media is an awesome place to find your target audience. People interested in what you have to offer are hanging out just waiting to hear from you.
You can find your target audience on social media by looking for places where people self-identify their hobbies and interests (sub Reddit forums, Facebook groups, Google Plus groups, and what’s trending on Twitter).
Once you find where your audience is on social media, take some audience-appropriate high quality content directly to them and let them know all the ways it benefits them.
“Sign up right now & get your first money ($49.99) totally Free!”
Free trials are a great way to encourage people to give you their personal information.
Whether or not they pay for the second month is irrelevant. You have their contact information and now have the ability to follow up with them through email forever.
Just like we discussed in the email section, build the relationship with them, then give them another offer they can’t refuse.
Test Your Lead Generation Campaign
When it’s all said and done, your lead generation funnel should look something like:
- You are connecting with your audience through ads, social media posts, retargeting, etc.
- You send them through to either a dedicated landing page or high quality piece of content.
- This web page gives an irrefusable offer and asks that they sign up to get whatever it is, for free.
It’s time to turn it on. But before you do, be sure you go through the whole process yourself (as if you were a viewer) to be sure everything is working correctly. Don’t turn it on and hope everything works okay. We always expect to find issues in this last run through (and we do this for a living).
After testing your lead generation campaign, let it run for a week or two. Once there is some data to look over, optimize your system.
Look at the data you have gathered to discover what is working, and what isn’t. Did you make a profit? Once you have made changes, give it another one week test. Then repeat.
Evaluate the numbers:
Suppose you’ve got 1000 viewers that land on your landing page after a week.
100 of those people converted into leads. This means your landing page has a 10% conversion rate (100/1000=.10). You then sell a product or service to 1 of those 100 leads. Using the same math, this means you have a 1% sales rate.
How to Interpret the Data
Broadly speaking, 3% is an acceptable benchmark for conversions rate. If you are doing anywhere above 7% you’re killing it. In this example, the company has a 10% Conversion Rate. It probably best to leave this be for the time being and focus on other problem areas.
Sales rates are heavily dependent on the industry and the skill of the sales person. With that said, it’s a pretty good bet that closing 1 in 100 sales isn’t very good. This means that to improve the profitability of your marketing efforts, you will want to examine your sales process for weaknesses.
This is often very good news. Why? If you are able to identify low performing parts of your marketing strategies (the sales rate in this example) and then you are able to get your sales rate to 2%, you can quickly DOUBLE YOUR PROFIT.
Success Story: We recently added a strategically placed Call To Action button on a new clients website. This took about 20 minutes to complete. The clients sales increased by $90,000 over the next 30 days. They thought we were miracle workers, but in reality, we just worked the numbers.
Share your favorite lead generation strategy with us in the comments.