The ways that companies generate leads have changed tremendously over the years. More and more companies are foregoing traditional methods of lead generation and jumping into the online marketing ring. In 2010, business-to-business marketers allocated more than 40% of their budgets toward online efforts such as website design, email marketing and SEO. Meanwhile, direct mail and other traditional routes like PR and trade shows are on the decline.
Why Leads Are So Important
Lead generation is crucial to your business because it provides you with a competitive advantage. Obviously, having more leads than your competitors can lead to better market share. It also allows you to budget more effectively by allocating resources toward areas of your business that are clearly working. Unfortunately, online marketers face a number of challenges in the lead generation process:
1. Quantity: You need to generate a lot of leads.
2. Quality: Having a lot of leads doesn’t guarantee high quality.
3. A Long Sales Cycle: You need to close the gap between the first and last steps of the buying process.
Luckily, this shift toward online marketing efforts has several advantages over traditional efforts. One such advantage: lower costs. Search and email marketing are much more cost-effective than traditional means. Even better news: Industry reports have shown that search and email marketing are among the best ways to generate a large number of high-quality leads.
That’s ultimately what you want: to generate a high volume of high-quality leads with a high conversion rate. Doing so takes a little bit of work, but here’s a step-by-step guide to setting yourself up for successful lead generation.
How to Set Up Lead Generation for Your Website
1. Put up interactive web forms on your website. Getting traffic to your site is only half the battle. You need visitors to ultimately take action and reach out to you. You can encourage this by adding web forms to your website. This provides potential clients with a way of contacting you so that you or your sales teams can ultimately follow-up and close the deal. When putting web forms on your site, keep the following in mind:
- Weed out irrelevant inquiries. You want to focus on only high-quality leads, so eliminate any inquiries that contain erroneous contact information and are outside your service area/target audience. Doing this saves time and effort in the end.
- Group your high-quality leads. Separate your accepted leads into different groups. Rank them in terms of sales potential. For example, the leads with the highest possibility get a ranking of #1 and so forth. Developing a grading system helps you prioritize better.
2. Offer something of value. Sometimes, your potential clients need a little push. You can help them out by providing them with a complimentary service or gift. Some great examples are a free consultation, a free guide or a free report. The key is to offer them something that will get them through the door. Once that’s done, the rest of the sales process becomes much easier.
3. Use a drip marketing campaign. A drip marketing campaign via email is a highly effective way to extend your ability to know your prospects. An email campaign is especially powerful because it can be tailored toward your target audience – relevance is key. Other advantages of a drip marketing campaign are the ease of automation as well as the continued ability for direct response. Another bonus: these timed and targeted messages are less likely to annoy your potential clients than persistent followup from a sales person.
4. Add the lead to your follow-up sales process. Once you’ve determined that you have a high-quality lead, forward it to your sales team for follow-up. It’s essential to have a marketing-sales feedback loop in place, especially for long sales cycles. In long sales cycles, information can become outdated fast so it’s crucial to regularly review leads and share information across marketing and sales teams. This constant loop of information ensures that you make the most of your high-quality leads.
We have a few very useful add-ons that will benefit you that you can simply integrate into your website to implement a lead generation tools. Our team can also help you with creative ideas that will be relevant to your field and topic. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.