If you want to grow your business beyond the point that is now, it’s more than likely that you need to grow the amount of prospective customers within your reach. In order to do so, you’ll want to grow your email database with warm leads. Lead generation is how you can perform inbound marketing. The difference between inbound marketing and cold call marketing is the interest level of the lead.
A warm lead is someone who has indicated interest in your brand either through direct interaction, survey, or opt-in. A cold lead is a prospect that is contacted without any type of previous interaction or consent from the company. Contacts are typically more receptive when they have either initiated action or given permission to be contacted. People provide you their email in exchange for something else of perceived value. This makes the progression of stranger to customer more successful. Which is why inbound marketing is an ideal approach. We’ve taken the time to highlight a simple lead generation strategy for businesses below.
Step 1 – Have a CRM system in place. A customer relationship management system can be thought of as a holistic marketing software tool that captures the interest and then information or strangers and facilitates the progression of stranger to buyer. CRMs are amazing tools because they have the capability to measure and provide campaign performance and gauge customer acquisition cost. A good CRM will have the basic functionality of lead capture, landing pages, email automation (autoresponder), audience segmentation via behavioral tagging, and pixel retargeting.
Step 2 – Have an established paid offer, product, or service in mind. Clarity is key from the beginning as you are building out your lead funnel. This is very important because in order to attract quality leads, the lead magnet that you use will need to closely compliment the actual paid offer that you eventually promote to the email subscriber. For example, if you are a pizza restaurant, you wouldn’t offer your prospects a coupon for free sushi. No, you would offer them a coupon to the thing that you are most focused on selling, i.e. pizza.
Step 3 – Create your freebie offer. Once you’ve built your freebie offer, it’s time to start sharing it.
Here are popular examples of lead generation opt-in/freebies
- Landing pages
- Free guides, reports, ebooks, workbooks, and templates
- Trial or “Freemium” subscriptions (very popular for digital app companies)
- Free consultation calls
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Free challenges, contests, and giveaways
Step 4 – Prepare the email list using your autoresponder
- You’ll need to set up the email form which will integrate with the respective landing page for the campaign
- Create the initial email list by creating and naming a new automation sequence. Pair this email list with the new form that you’ve created.
- Name the audience segment and create a behavioral tag which describes the segment
- Apply the specified behavioral tag to the email list’s form
- We’ll explore email message writing in a further article step
Step 5 – Create the sign up landing page
Keep in mind that first impressions are everything. This landing page has several goals that it must accomplish.
- Look professional and visually appealing
- Describe the problem your offer solves while positioning your solution.
- Establish authority – Communicate your company’s USP, highlight any major features or company accomplishment
- Display credibility by providing social proof by displaying any major testimonials or reviews that you have.
- Be functionally integrated into the proper email list form (you should QA test everything)
- Visually compliment what ever paid ad creative that you decide to use so that there is no disconnect once the visitor clicks the ad.
Step 6 – Thank You Page
Once the visitor registers for your freebie offer, this is a great time to get them to either direct them to something else that you want them to see/watch -OR- sell. You already have the visitor’s attention therefore you may as well maximize the opportunity. Keep in mind that if you are targeting ads to a cold audience, it wouldn’t be ideal to try to immediately close a new lead into a premium offer. The general rule of thumb is to avoid offering strangers anything over $100 on the initial lead gen landing pages. It’s estimated to take anywhere between at least 7 – 13 touch points in order to gain the trust of a new lead which is why having a well executed automated email sequence is so important.
Step 7 – Email Sequence
Much like the responsibilities of your landing page, your email sequence has many functions it has to accomplish as well, such as:
- Welcome the subscriber (welcome emails have the highest open rate, use this to your advantage)
- Deliver whatever freebie that the landing promised whether it be a special code, pdf, or video
- Tell stories that communicate your brand’s core values
- Establish personalization & human connection. Using contact names in email increases engagement.
- Invoke emotion
- Position your brand as the industry authority and the clear choice to conduct business with
- Strengthen trust
- Inspire action through CTAs (call to action), whether it be in the form of clicking the buy button, scheduling an appointment, filling out an application/survey, etc.
- Abandoned cart reminders
The beauty of automation is that you can stack up as many automated emails that you want in order to ensure that you are consistently sending emails to your subscribers. The more prepared you are the better. Realistically speaking, most businesses won’t have time to stack an endless about of emails in advance. Therefore, it would be ideal to have at least 7-13 emails written and included in your autoresponder sequence. Remember the stranger to trust theory that I shared earlier, well you should consider each automated email a touchpoint on your journey of gaining trust.
Tip – Deepen the performance and connection of your autoresponder sequence by either embedding video within some of your emails or link to a special landing page that has an educational video created exclusively for your email subscribers.
Step 8 – Connecting With Prospects. Now that we have the assets in place we need to drive traffic so that we can attract a substantial amount of new email list signups.
Examples of Lead Generation Traffic
- Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest)
- Email marketing
- Live events and seminars
- LinkedIn posts in targeted discussion groups
- Paid ads
Currently, LinkedIn remains the king of B2B leads with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being the champs of B2C conversions. Another thing to keep in mind that Pinterest and Youtube are both powerful search engines, which you may want to consider if you have the goal of increasing your organic traffic factor. Having a level of understanding about the predominate uses and benefits of each network makes it easier for you to determine which social media platform you should start with first. By constantly reviewing performance analytics you’ll eventually be able make more informed decisions regarding your platform focus and ad budget.
The party doesn’t stop once you’ve created a lead generation funnel. There’s more nurturing, analysis, split testing, and tweaking that must take place in order to optimize results. You’ll want to assess the quality level of the leads that you’re attracting, as well as, your sales conversion rate in order to identify your next best course of action. By using the steps outlined in this is article, you’ll be well on your way in building your database of viable leads .
Good luck and let us know if there is anyway that we can help!