So you’ve started a business… and perhaps it’s going well. You have your website, your marketing materials, strategic alliances and networks. But like every other entrepreneur, you want more.
Are you at a point where you’re wondering how to generate leads?
Many businesses (ourselves included) have grown at a steady pace through word of mouth alone. But being the web design and development company we are, we know there’s a whole world of possibilities online.
That’s exactly why we adapted to digital marketing and utilize the methods that we’re here to share with you!
So if you’re wondering where to start, and the basic tools required for tried and true lead generation, be sure to read on to learn…
How to Generate Leads!
Optimize Your Website For Lead Generation
When we talk about leads, it’s usually your website that’s their first point of contact. Organic traffic typically occurs because you’ve been found through online search results, listings, or an online ad. But some organic traffic is the result of offline referral… because a lot of people decide to check out a website before reaching out directly.
If any website isn’t visually appealing, contains broken links, isn’t clear and concise in it’s messaging, or doesn’t fully explain what you do, it can quickly lose leads’ interest.
But if you’ve checked that your website appears to be fine and is getting traffic – but you’re still not getting leads – you need to check if your converting methods are in place. Conversion itself can mean a lot of things.. but in this context, we’re talking about how to convert a browser/viewer into a lead that you can nurture.
Have a clear, eye-catching CTA (Call To Action).
Having more than one is perfectly fine… in fact, we’d recommend as many as you can fit without it being visually too much. But make sure these are not hidden within paragraphs of text; at least not without being bolded, enlarged, and coloured differently to stand out.
Also don’t beat around the bush.. have direct ‘book’ or ‘contact’ statements instead of asking if they’re interested in booking or contacting you. Contact forms are also more user friendly than links to email addresses, so shift this option where it applies on your website.
If you’re going to edit these, or think your current CTAs aren’t working, make them their own standalone sections on any given page.
Have a mailing list sign-up form.
Most websites have this box somewhere central on the homepage, or sales page (as appropriate to an offering), or within the footer.
Keeping it somewhere accessible regardless of which page people are on is a primary consideration so you can collect contact information for these leads.
Be sure to test this sign-up form to make sure the information comes back to you or is loading directly into your email marketing system. If you don’t have an email marketing system, consider Mailchimp – which allows you to get started with the basics for free.
Using Social Media For Lead Generation
One way that social media works for lead generation is by being discoverable through these platforms. In a previous article, we talked about how this is often a pain point for businesses; because the truth is that every platform has it’s own unique audience, and not all of your customers are going to have social media accounts.
Having said that, where social media works for lead generation and nurturing is by creating a marketing plan specifically for this purpose.
How most digital marketing specialists do this is by creating an optimized landing page for the offer (product or service) that a company is trying to promote. This landing page will become the link that’s used across their social media posts, and is the clickable Website link in profile information.
The landing page should be clear, concise, and focused.
Some businesses lose their audience’s interest by promoting the company as a whole instead of focusing on only one service/product at a time. Attention spans are short these days, and consumers don’t want to click/read through multiple pages to find what they need.
The same principle applies to social media. Time is a factor in gaining traction (and building trust), so by not sticking to one single focus for at least a month’s time, your audience won’t know why they’re interested in you. And if you’re posting about one thing that is of interest to someone, but they can’t easily find it on your website, you may never see them again.
It’s one thing to rotate between promotional, educational/informational, and personal posts, but the overall topic should be consistent. So for this purpose, your social media post content should be related to what people are going to see when they click on your available links. As you switch up what you’re talking about and promoting, you’re also going to update your landing page link to one that matches.
Do paid advertising (on social media) that is specific to the offer.
If you do your social media advertising right, you’ll be able to bring new followers and leads to the attention of your business. The factor here is that unless you have the focused content and landing page to match, you can fall short. You also need to know the profile of who you’re trying to reach, and stick to this when you set up the ads.
Social Media advertising generally takes some trial and error, and most campaigns utilize a variety of post content and graphics to test which ones get the better responses. But as mentioned in our previous point; if you’re not specific about (A) who you’re targeting, and (B) the content being what those targeted viewers are looking for, then your conversion rate may be low.
This is also why it’s not a good idea to use the “Promote Post” buttons (because it doesn’t allow you to set up a target profile) or to base your results and ROI on a short-term campaign that only utilizes one single post.
Using Email Marketing for Lead Generation
Email Marketing is easily the most reliable and cost-effective form of advertising because all you’re doing is nurturing your audience. Having a mailing list sign-up form embedded throughout your website is a sure way to collect these contacts.
Having mailing list marketing plans is something that should be connected with every other piece of Lead Generation advice provided in these articles.
There are several purposes that a business should use email marketing to fulfill. One primary use is for providing newsletters to loyal/raving fans, in addition to promotional announcements. But you could [and should] also set up email journeys (which is an automated set of emails that get sent when a contact is tagged into the applied interest)… and one of these should be solely for the purpose of nurturing your leads.
Keep in mind that you can have as many journeys set up as you need to.
One can be specific to website leads, and one (which we’ll talk about below) can be for the leads you generate from your promoted offer landing page.
Take your time and don’t jump into sales content.
Put yourself in the contact’s shoes and consider what your perspective may be if you signed up for someone’s mailing list simply to learn more. Many people sign up for mailing lists because they’re not yet ready to make a purchase. This means they need some warming up to build up to a sales CTA.
Begin with educational and informational emails. Talk about yourself or the company, and why you do what you do. Remember that a lot of consumers base their purchasing decisions based on what the company stands by and why they do what they do.
To prevent giving a contact a reason to want to unsubscribe, and to ensure a warm lead is created, take your time to bond with your audience first.
Make your leads feel extra special with a tailored promotion.
After you’ve taken the time to educate and inform your new audience members, you can then shift gears into promoting something.
In order to incentivize their conversion, give them a “first time customer” promotion (discount). This could even be a limited time offer if you’re offering a high ticket price product or service. When selling, it’s important to highlight the benefits and client reviews within the written content. Doing so leaves no question as to why your leads should spend their money with you.
Common examples of first-time promotions are free shipping for online store orders, $10-$30 or 10% off your first purchase/booking, or limited time discounts of $100+ for purchases over $1000.
There are even more methods you can put to use for lead generation! We just couldn’t fit in all in one article… so if you’re looking for more, read PART 2 entitled How To Generate More Leads.
Northnet Media is your web team, providing your business with customized web solutions including website design, SEO (search engine optimization), WordPress development, online strategy & marketing, and website & email hosting.