Online, a commercial storefront is more than a well-designed website. You will get visitors if you know how to implement an effective marketing strategy. These visitors then have to become leads, and eventually customers.
Due to its extremely volatile and easily diverted nature in a highly competitive environment, prospective clients must be attracted and, using professional methods, developed. Lead nurturing is a key step to transform the lead into a customer.
From visitor to customer, the path can be strewn with obstacles. To know how to avoid them and accelerate your lead generation strategy, it is crucial to implement proven strategies along with innovation and creativity.
DEVELOP AND SHAPE YOUR FOUNDATIONS
Developing a lead generation strategy is like building a house: you have to start with a solid foundation and a clear blueprint. No use picking wallpaper colors before the walls are even up! The same goes for an online plan. An essential prerequisite is website and tool optimization with a dual approach: organic (natural) and sponsored (paid).
Your website is the main source of lead generation. If visitors come to your site, it’s a good start, the next step is making them want to come back. To know who they are, you can prompt them to create an account to establish a personalized relationship with them at every visit. To do so, you may choose to offer a specific advantage or benefit:
– 10% discount code for every new enrollment,
– an exclusive offer,
– a limited-time offer,
– a sponsorship system, etc.
On the other hand, your website needs to comply with user experience standards. That means a fully adapted design whatever the device used (tablet, phone or computer), an optimized and tested conversion funnel, as well as effective natural referencing. Your SEO should allow you to rank as high as possible in search engines on important keywords. Along with your content marketing strategy, this becomes a winning combination. This creates an opportunity to renew information you can share with visitors in an ongoing fashion.
Because you need to reach visitors or prospects that haven’t heard of you yet, a sponsored approach allows you to explore new territories to develop your brand image as well as your sales effectiveness. To do so, you must be able to introduce yourself, entice, or attract attention in a few seconds. A landing page is a useful tool. This is a dedicated page that you can only reach through specific links (such as sponsored publications on Facebook) and is a set of information that favors being effective over comprehensive.
This very schematic page includes media items such as videos or animations to catch the eye of page visitors. Your offer, competitive advantage, new product or added value must be established clearly and marketed with call-to-action buttons that encourage contact between visitors and the brand. You are essentially creating an emotional connection with a newcomer. Just like in real life, the first impression is often the best. It’s up to you to make a good impression!
Finally, be cautious with statistics. It may not be difficult to advertise on Google, Twitter or Facebook, however it is much more difficult to ascertain that the investment makes visitors stay on your page. The click-through rate on your ad should be correlated with your bounce rate and the average visit length on your website to truly reach a conclusion.
FORMS, FORMS, FORMS…
Whatever the selected approach, generating leads first and foremost means generating contacts. Forms are a classic instrument to do so, as long as you make sure to place the cursor somewhere between obtaining personal information and user experience quality. Is an email enough? Do you need the first and last name? An address? Other personal information? Try to keep it as simple as possible so you do not drive your visitors away.
Designing the form is an essential step. In case of doubt, you can create two versions of the same form with more or less required fields, and optimize them with an A/B test to see which one works best.
DIRECT MARKETING: POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE LEVERS
If leads do not come to you, you will need to get them yourself using complementary direct marketing techniques and approaches. They are easy to implement and create new drivers that minimize risk of failure.
A MUST-DO: E-MAILING
We’ve been – exhaustingly – hearing it for years, but email remains a tried and true means of making announcements about your offer and capitalizing on new lead capture drivers. Emailing campaigns can be of various types, including sending mail kits or, in a more classic fashion, sending newsletters. By sending useful and carefully-segmented information, creating a newsletter enrollment file is a good way to develop leads.
To do so, you should create a signup form on your site with a link that can easily be shared in various ways:
– QR code,
– social media,
– newsletter and printed tools.
As your lead file grows, you will be able to finely segment it to adapt your campaigns to buyer personas, for example.
LEARNING: CUSTOM WEBINAR
Creating a free online event is a good way of generating interest, and therefore personal data: training, demos, new product presentation, explanation… The time you invest in it will be compensated with new leads that will join if you can offer unique added value.
Whether it’s on Facebook or your website a contest is always a good way to get the word out in a positive manner and generate additional leads.
Want to bring your game to the next level? Create a mechanism so that prizes are proportional to the number of participants to encourage those who sign up to share with their friends. For example, if you have 1,000 participants, the prize could be a trip to Paris, 10,000 would be New York, and 100,000 could be Hawaii or the Maldives. Marginal costs of individual lead acquisition will therefore be lowered as the number of participants increases.
TRENDY : SOCIAL MEDIA
Promotional campaigns on Facebook or Twitter will generate interest in your account or page, leading to new leads you can develop. This is a good way of using third-party data that like or share your page, opening the door to new targets for your next campaigns. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter have also launched advertising formats specifically geared towards lead generation. Using a CTA button in a sponsored post or tweet, online users can sign up for a newsletter or fill out a form in a handful of seconds. These networks already have most of our personal information, so users simply need to verify them and approve several additional fields if needed. Without leaving the Facebook or Twitter application, it is now easier than ever to implement new prospect strategies.
GLAMOUR : EVENT SPONSORSHIP
Sponsoring a sports, non-profit or cultural event is a way of benefitting from the list of all those registered or present to create a one-off campaign such as a dedicated newsletter. Not only will your brand be seen by the audience, but you will also have the opportunity to communicate with them directly before, during or after the event. Up to you, then, to develop these new leads that paid attention to your message, services or products.
PROFESSIONAL: TRADE SHOWS, CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIUMS
When you organize or take part in some events, think “lead generation” and “stay simple”. On site, your sales representatives or brand ambassadors can implement strategies to collect personal data directly on a tablet for future customers, a contest, or other initiatives. Although lead generation mostly takes place thanks to digital instruments, “human” events shouldn’t be dismissed as they are an opportunity for initial personalized contact with your brand.