Every business needs customers – that’s how we keep the wheel turning. So, we need to find leads – i.e. potential customers. Finding potential clients, introducing them to your brand, and capturing their information is the backbone of lead generation marketing. A lot of hot button words get thrown around, and fancy metrics get quoted. In its truest form, however, lead generation marketing is nothing more than this simple chain of events. Getting people interested in your brand and once interested, you capture their information. Please, throw the technical jargon and vanity metrics out the window. We are going to put together a no-nonsense guideline for lead generation marketing in your business.
Yes, we will sprinkle in some fancy words and mention essential metrics. What’s going to make our guide different from the millions out there is that we’re actually going to explain what we’re talking about. Most importantly, we are going to make sense – well hopefully.
You Need Lead Generation Marketing Strategies – Here’s Why
We’re going to go through the process of designing a lead generation marketing strategy right from the very beginning. First, let’s define what a lead is, just to make sure we aren’t throwing around meaningless buzzwords. We will go then go into creating a lead marketing strategy.
So, What Is A Lead?
A lead is any person who’s interested in potentially buying from your company. To help make this wide definition more practical, there are four different types of leads.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
A person who positively responds to your lead generation marketing campaigns in an MQL. For example, a person who fills in a landing page form so that they can get your free ebook.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
SQLs, on the other hand, have expressed an active desire to purchase your products or services. An example of an SQL is someone who has asked for a quote.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
A PQL is very similar to an SQL. PQLs have used your product and have expressed interest in becoming a paying customer. A practical example is someone who has used the GoPin Leads free plan, but has requested more information about the premium plan.
Service Qualified Lead
A Service qualified lead has indicated to a sales representative that they are interested in becoming a paying customer. So, this would be a customer who wishes to upgrade their current service plan.
The Four-Step Lead Generation Marketing Strategy
Lead generation is somewhat like fishing. Your fish swims by, it sees the wiggling worm on your hook, you reel it in, and weigh it to see if it’s big enough for dinner. In the same way, we attract a visitor with our lead generation marketing campaign. Then, we offer a benefit for signing up, for example, a free ebook. Our well-designed landing page encourages them to give their information. Finally, we score the lead to assess their likelihood of buying.
- Lead Capture – the hook
- Lead Magnets – the bait
- Converting Visitors to Leads – reeling them in
- Lead Scoring – weighing your fish
Now, let’s dissect each step of our lead generation marketing strategy.
Steps 1 + 2: Capturing A Lead With Your Lead Magnet
The techno-age has brought an unprecedented era of choice. As a consumer, one can buy almost anything from almost anywhere. Expecting new clients to make their way through this sea of information to your website is ludicrous. The consumer is spoilt for choice.
Capturing a lead is the process of getting clients to fill in forms on your website or landing page, leaving their contact information. Normally, interest is peaked by offering the prospect something of value in return – this is called a lead magnet. An example of a lead magnet would be a one-month free trial. People are very wary of sharing their contact information – in lead generation marketing we need to make it worth their while.
Relevant, Good Quality Content
The expression content is king doesn’t do content justice. Kings come and go. Content is more like water, without it, nothing grows. The Content Marketing Institute shows that 80% of people identify as blog readers. Not to mention the SEO benefits of having a blog. Websites with blogs have over 400% more indexed pages than websites without blogs.
Additionally, 80% of business decision-makers would rather read a series of articles to learn about your company. This shows that instead of wanting the hard sale, people prefer to be educated.
So, your lead generation marketing strategy should focus on sharing valuable information with your clients as opposed to punting for sales. For those who like to stick to traditional sales tactics, no, this isn’t how our grandparents did business. In an old school sales environment who had the chance to personally connect with each customer. You could even wine and dine with them if necessary. We don’t have that luxury anymore. If we want to build customer loyalty, we need to connect with them by sharing thoughts and ideas.
Remember, lead generation marketing is about converting visitors to leads. So, even the most interesting content in the world is irrelevant if you don’t capture the reader’s information. On average, organisations have 470 000 website visitors, only 1800 of which will become leads. Only 300 of those leads will become customers. Putting these numbers in perspective, on average, only 0.4% of website visitors will become leads.
“Subscribe To Continue Reading”
Some blogs start with all of their articles being freely accessible. After the blog grows in popularity, they put some high-value articles behind a subscription wall. The first few paragraphs of the article are shown to pique the interest of your visitor. Once they hit the ‘meat’ of the piece there’s a ‘subscribe to continue reading’ button. All they need to do to see the rest of the article is enter their email address.
- Time-dependant Pop-up forms: When the visitor on your page +/- 10 seconds a subscription box pops up.
- Exit Intent Pop-up Forms: When the user hovers over the back button, it triggers a subscription box to pop up.
Although pop-ups are the most popular conversion technique, they only have a 3% success rate. Landing pages, on the other hand, have a 23% success rate. We’re going to unpack landing pages a bit more later on.
When somebody searches for a keyword related to your brand, you want to be on the first page of Google. On average 71% of clicks happen on the first page of Google, there are records of it being as high as 91%. There are two options to promote your search engine results. You can use Google Ads or SEO.
Using Social Media For Lead Generation Marketing
Applying lead generation marketing strategies and social media is a great way of reaching a wide audience. Here are some ideas:
- Distribute your content on your social media platforms
- Use paid ads like Facebook Ads to direct traffic to lead generation landing pages.
- Social Media Contests have become very popular. Companies give away prizes on a lucky draw basis to people who like their pages or share a post etc.
- Social media also gives you the chance to connect with and nurture potential leads. Lead generation marketing is about more than getting lists of email addresses.
Marrying Email and Lead Generation Marketing
Sending emails with built-in forms or links to landing pages are a tried and tested method of lead generation.
Automated Email Blasts For Lead Generation Marketing
This is the backbone of a lot of lead generation marketing strategies. When done well, it can be effective but please remember that sending scores of unsolicited emails is spam. Spam doesn’t generate leads, it generates people actively dispising your brand.
The tricky part about automated email marketing is that you need to build up a database of email addresses. Sometimes these can be bought, but that is a slippery slope to becoming a spam artist. Rather use the other strategies we’ve mentioned to build your database and email these leads about specific campaigns.
Directed Email Strategies
Let’s say you’re a dental equipment salesperson. You would probably build a list of all the dentists in your area. You’d also add as many contact details as possible so that you could start selling efficiently. Sending an email blast to your list of dentists would be an example of a directed email strategy.
We want to offer visitors something that’s of high enough value for them to part with their contact details. Remember, people don’t generally want to give out their contact details. Here are some popular examples.
Webinar courses are particularly effective for B2B lead generation marketing. The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found that 61% of B2B marketing experts say webinars are their most effective strategy. It’s a big plus if you can get your course registered as a CPD activity for your target profession. Free ebook Download and Promotional codes are other popular lead magnets.
3. Landing Pages
Landing pages – stand-alone pages designed to convert customers – are far more effective than pop-ups for lead generation marketing. They are designed for specific campaigns and only ever have one call-to-action (CTA). This is a rather in-depth and technical topic. We’re just going to lay out the five golden rules of landing pages for lead generation marketing:
- No external links, they distract users from converting.
- Use minimal text, only communicate the essentials too much information can be overwhelming.
- Make sure that your ad and your landing page have the same message. Consistency is very important for conversion. If you click on an ad for a free webinar course and you’re directed to a landing page that doesn’t mention webinars at all you would probably bounce.
- Use images and videos.
- Constantly test and optimise your landing pages.
You really need to make sure your landing pages are up to scratch. They are essential for your lead generation marketing campaign.
4. Lead Scoring
This is an essential but often forgotten step in lead generation marketing. Not every engagement is created equal. Giving each different action a numerical value allows you to create an objective gauge where your client is in the conversion funnel. Don’t panic – there’s no actual mathematics involved. Marketing automation software like HubSpot often has this service built-in. What you need to do is figure out which actions make customers more or less likely to buy. An example might be:
- Watching a product video = +8 points
- Adding product to cart = +10 points
- Unsubscribe from mailing list = -10 points
Lead scoring is about more than just interesting data, it gives you feedback about the efficiency your lead generation marketing campaign is. It also helps your sales team use their resources more effectively. Lead generation marketing is about making less work for your team.
A Final Thought On Lead Generation Marketing
If you jump in the ocean and just start swimming you may land up in the North Pole. More likely, you’ll just get lost and drown. This hopeless journey is the same as trying to push for sales without a clear lead generation marketing strategy. You need to use evidence-based lead generation marketing methods and follow a logical plan when rolling them out. The alternative is never seeing the North Pole.