Leads = customers/Sales = profits. That's the simplest explanation of the importance of getting leads. Every business needs customers to survive, and the only way to get customers is by generating leads. Keeping the pipeline full of qualified leads is essential to the success of any business, especially in today's challenging business climate.
However, lead generation has become inherently more challenging due to the ever-changing landscape of the internet and social media. As a result, the old days of buying leads and spamming them with cold calls are no longer that effective. In fact, it will likely do more harm than good.
The new reality is that businesses need to be more strategic in their approach to lead generation. For a little help, here are some practical ways to improve your lead flow and ultimately increase your ROI.
Turn Your Website Into An Unstoppable Leads Engine
It's time to rethink your website if you want it to be a lead generation engine. What does it mean? Your website should be a dynamic command center of audience interaction and insight that informs your marketing strategy.
It should be a tool that allows you to quickly and easily connect with leads, customers, and prospects. In addition, you should be actively reviewing your website data and using it to make decisions.
It may mean updating content, conducting new tests, or changing your calls-to-action (CTAs). Many businesses create web pages and then forget about them. They publish content but never optimize them.
These are a classic case of "set it and forget it" syndrome. If you want your website to generate more leads and maximize conversions, it must be designed from the perspective of the customers.
Focus on your audience
Keep in mind that website visitors are generally self-interested. They come to your website to eliminate pain, solve a problem, or achieve an objective. They're not there to know how many employees you have or whatever.
All they care about is their own stuff. Hence, on your business website, stop talking about yourself all the time. Instead, focus on what your target customers want to know. Talk about what they'll achieve by purchasing your products or using your services.
For example, on our site's homepage, we don't immediately try to sell people our services. Instead, we answer their main question: "How do I get more leads for my business?"
This is what our target market wants to know. And once we've answered that question and demonstrated our expertise, only then do we attempt to sell them on our services.
An excellent way to drive more leads through your site is to learn and understand the customer journey. You can do that by first defining your audience segments. Then, identify buyer personas for each segment. This step is crucial for customizing your marketing for each segment or persona.
Thus, making your marketing campaigns resonate more with your target market. A typical customer persona may include:
- their demographics
- needs and wants
- how they prefer to consume information
- type of work
- problem and frustrations
From there, walk through the buyer's journey for each persona. Think of the questions that are in the minds of your potential customers. For example:
- Why are they looking for a solution, an answer, or information?
- What emotions are they feeling?
- Where do they usually go online when this issue arises?
- What are their main objections to taking action on this issue?
Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to adjust your content, CTAs, and overall website strategy to better match each persona's needs.
But if you don't know the questions in their minds, do the voice of the customer research (VOC). As we've mentioned, your website is the best vehicle to inform your website visitors, but it works the other way, as well.
Use your website to diving into the minds of your audience. For instance, onsite surveys and live chat features are excellent tools for conducting VoC research. You can also use website analytics to track how visitors interact with your site.
The stories and feedback you'll get in return are priceless. Also, it will undoubtedly provide you with information that your competitors don't probably have.
As you collect data and uncover questions your audience is asking as they visit your site, learn their deepest pain points. You can take this information, create your hook, and highlight it on your website.
So, what is your hook?
The strongest hooks are generally customer-focused, simple, substantive, and immediately understandable. In developing your hook, you need to be aware of the "Focusing Effect" and address it from the get-go.
Your buyers tend to latch or focus on one aspect of your product or service rather than holistically understanding all of its many nuances, benefits, and features. So, if you want your hook to be effective, don't lay out all the details about your offerings.
Sure, it's counterintuitive. However, you should describe your product or service less. Simply your message and concentrate on the essential outcome for your buyers.
For example, if you want to increase website traffic, your hook could be: "Get 100,000 monthly visitors to your site in just six months," or "Grow 10x Faster & Smarter."
The power of great design
Other than the message you want your site to convey, the reality is that your website design is a foundational, critical element in the success of your business. Websites with passionate advocates, raving reviews, online shares, and high traffic tend to have a professional design.
It's because customers gravitate towards well-designed websites. They perceive these sites as more credible, which often leads to more conversions and sales.
So, what makes for good web design? Many factors contribute to an excellent user experience (UX). But a few essential web design elements include:
- Clean design
- Follows a defined brand color palette
- Legible fonts
- Uses deviation
- Guides the user
- Visually consistent
- Easy to navigate and understand
CTAs are strategic tools you can use to take your visitors from a passive state to an active state. They are what you want your visitors to do on your site, whether it's subscribing to a newsletter, taking a free trial, or making a purchase.
Use CTAs throughout your site to drive visitors to actions that'll provide them with relevant value. Treat CTAs as part of your salesforce, and they will work hard to increase conversions on your website.
You can include more than one CTA on a single page. But don't get CTA-happy and plaster them everywhere. Doing so will only serve to annoy your visitors, and they'll be less likely to take any action.
Instead, use CTAs sparingly and strategically place them where they make the most sense. And make sure each CTA is relevant to the specific page, product, or service it's promoting.
If you want to turn site visitors into leads, you need to convert them. One way to do this is by creating conversion events and funnels so that your site visitors have enough information to decide if your offerings are worth their time.
There are three main Journeys you should build:
- Customer Journey
- Website Journey
- Offer Journey
Customer journey refers to the steps your buyer takes to purchase your product or service. Awareness, interest, evaluation, and purchase are the four essential stages of the customer journey.
Website journey is the path or sequence of events that take place on your site, from first landing on your website until conversion event. Lastly, the offer journey is focused on the time you make your offer.
Other than the conversion funnels, landing pages also play a significant role in website conversions. These pages are often the final step in your conversion funnel and should be designed with a sole purpose in mind: to get visitors to convert.
To make your landing pages effective:
- Keep the design minimalistic and clean
- Use a compelling and concise headline.
- Write persuasive subheadings.
- Speak to the pain that site visitors are feeling.
- Focus on benefits.
- Include social proof.
- Keep forms short.
- Clarify what happens after submitting the form.
- A/B test your landing page.
Personalize the site experience
This is another opportunity for you to improve your lead flow. Many tools are available that can help you personalize your web pages, ranging from simple plugins to more comprehensive marketing automation platforms.
But the key isn't the tool you use but how you implement personalization. For example, you can use data from previous interactions to show visitors relevant content, whether it's a blog post they didn't finish reading or a product they viewed but didn't purchase.
You can also use personalization to segment your website visitors and offer them a more customized experience. By understanding the needs of your different personas, you can create content that appeals to their specific interests.
It will make your website visitors feel like you understand them and their needs, which will improve the likelihood of conversion.
Focus On SEO and Content Marketing
Once you've transformed your site into a lead generation machine, the next step is to focus on driving high-quality traffic to your website. And the best ways to do this are SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing.
These two go hand-in-hand in terms of generating traffic and leads from your website, fueling business growth.
SEO should be used for attracting the right traffic and content planning. Remember that organic Google rankings guide people to the content they seek. The good news is SEO helps you to expand your brand touchpoints, fill your funnel, and multiply your reach.
However, that's not all. SEO also has the ability to improve your click-through rates, organic CTRs, and ROI. Also, you can get powerful traffic growth through SEO.
Let's take a look at the organic growth story of Ahrefs. When Tim Soulo arrived at the company, the blog was attracting at least 15,000 visitors/month. And this was with three new posts every week.
But the problem was, traffic had hit a plateau. The company couldn't generate new traffic growth no matter what they tried.
After three years, Soulo and his team achieved 10x the traffic growth, with two posts per week. So, how did they do it? Well, they focused on long-term SEO.
They published in-depth articles that were at least 3000 words long and comprehensively covered their target topics. And they made sure to promote each new article on social media and through email marketing.
Also, they only focused on topics with business potential. Simply put, the intent behind the search had to be commercial for them to target it. They pruned their library of content and removed the low-traffic content.
As a result, Google was able to understand which topics were authoritative, and they rewarded Ahrefs with higher rankings.
And when you have higher rankings, you get more traffic. With high traffic, you get a steady lead flow that you can turn into paying customers. You can do it too by investing in SEO and content marketing.
Propose Offers They Can't Refuse
An offer is what your potential customers get when they respond to your mailing or ad. It's what you give them to persuade them to buy your product or service.
A typical offer can be "Call us today, and we'll give you a free consultation." But if you want to stand out from your competitors, your offer has to be much better.
For example, let's say you own a carpet cleaning business. A good offer could be "Get your carpets cleaned for half the price of our competitors." Or, if you own dating service, your offer could be, "Sign up today, and we'll give you a free month of membership."
The discount, the free month memberships or bonuses is what's known as an "irresistible offer." And prospects will be much more likely to respond if they feel like they're getting a good deal.
There are four different types of offers in lead generation:
- negative, and
The soft offer appeals to people who don't have an immediate need to buy and are "just looking." The offer generates a high level of response because there's no risk of being pitched or no sales pressure. It promises more information without asking for a commitment.
While there's no guarantee that a soft offer will lead to a sale, it's a good way to start building a relationship with potential customers.
The hard offer appeals to those who have a desire to purchase something soon, an immediate need, or a serious interest. Prospects responding to a hard offer usually feel an urgent need to gather more information for an upcoming purchase.
With hard offers, the prospect is taking a definite step toward becoming a customer. There's a greater chance of making a sale, but there's also more risk of rejection.
The negative offer provides a response option for prospects that don't want to buy from you. Well, usually, a person not interested in your offerings won't respond to your email. However, by using a negative offer option, you'll get a response from these types of people.
You will know what they don't like about your product or service, and you can address their concerns in future communications.
The deferred offer prompts responses from people who don't have an urgent need but might have a future requirement for your offerings. Essentially, the offer tells the prospects that they can take their time in responding.
Deferred offers are good for building a database of potential customers for future use.
Investing in the Right Lead Generation Technology
There's a huge advantage to making a technology investment. While you're spending money upfront, you save money in the long run because of the increased efficiency and productivity.
However, with so many options available, it can be hard to decide which technology is best for your lead generation. The key is to narrow down your options by determining what's best for your business based on budget, needs, lead generation strategy, and lead generation channels.
Some of the best technology to invest in include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Marketing Automation
- Email Service Providers (ESP)
- Social Media Marketing Tracking Tools
- Website Tracking Tools
It's tough to decide which solution is right for your company and your lead generation efforts. But by taking the time to figure out what you need and want, you can make an informed decision that will save you money in the long run.
Increase Visibility With Pay-per-Click Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective form of lead generation that uses online ads on different websites, including search engines. For PPC ads, you pay only if an Internet user clicks on the ad.
These ads are highly targeted using search criteria and demographic. In today's multichannel, noisy world, PPC ads give you the opportunity to be seen by potential customers when they are actively searching for products or services like yours.
And when combined with other marketing efforts, PPC ads can be a powerful tool to increase brand awareness and reach new customers. Hence, a guaranteed stream of lead flow for your business.
While PPC ads may seem like a quick and easy way to generate leads, it's important to remember that they are a form of paid advertising. As with any form of marketing, there is a cost associated with running a PPC campaign.
The good news is that you can control your costs by setting a budget for your PPC campaign and choosing the right keywords. When done correctly, PPC advertising can be a cost-effective way to generate leads and grow your business.
Creating Lasting Relationships Through Social Media
Businesses need to be on social media today. It's not a choice; it's a necessity if you want to stay competitive and relevant. Of course, social media is important for generating buzz and brand awareness.
But it's also important for lead generation. And not just any leads, but high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into customers and clients.
How can you generate high-quality leads on social media? By creating lasting relationships. It's not enough to just be active on social media; you need to be engaging. You need to build relationships with your target audience.
Think about it this way: would you rather do business with someone you know, like, and trust or with a complete stranger? The answer is obvious. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. And social media is the perfect platform for building those relationships.
Here are a few tips for creating lasting relationships through social media:
- Be responsive: answer comments and questions promptly. If you don't, your audience will think you don't care about them.
- Be helpful: provide valuable information and resources, even if it's not directly related to your business.
- Be human: let your personality shine through. Social media is about building relationships, after all.
These tips are perfect for nurturing leads and turning them into customers and clients. But they're also good for building relationships with existing customers and clients. After all, your goal should be to create lifelong relationships, not just one-time transactions.
So if you're not using social media to build relationships, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Start today and see the difference it makes for your business.
Improving your lead flow is a great way to increase your ROI. It can be done by ensuring that you have a well-optimized website, providing valuable content, and using effective lead capture forms.
If you are looking for help in improving your lead flow, contact us today. We are a local digital marketing company. Our team of experts will work with you to develop lead generation strategies that meet your specific needs and helps you reach your business goals.