What are the Most Effective Lead Generation Techniques?
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How effective is your business at generating leads? What do you do with them once you have them? A common problem for many businesses isn’t always about how many leads they receive, but about how they nurture and qualify them to convert more of these contacts into customers.
What is the process of lead generation?
The lead generation process is all about making sure every lead you receive is dealt with appropriately, be that via a telephone call or automated email nurture.
If you haven’t already, get your sales and marketing teams together to determine what classifies as a lead, marketing qualified lead (MQL) and sales qualified lead (SQL). From here you can really start to plan out what you want to happen for each of these segments to help users through the buyer’s journey.
Next, consider how you manage your leads.
- Do you use a CRM system?
- Does both your marketing and sales teams use this record on a daily basis to update and allocate leads to the relevant department?
- Do you use a lead scoring system to determine the quality of your leads?
Depending on the quantity of leads your business generates, this can help make sure that you deal with the hottest leads first and allow those which are likely to be near the beginning of the buyer’s journey to be nurtured through automated emails.
Automated emails are a great way to help nudge a lead through the sales process and help qualify them. Once you have a lead’s email address you will be able to send them relevant information based on their actions — for example if they’ve downloaded a particular whitepaper — to help nurture them with high quality content related to their initial enquiry.
Through these automated emails, you can gather more information about the lead by encouraging them to download another content offer or through calls-to-action that will provide your sales team with valuable information once the lead has been marked as a SQL.
This way, no one from your sales or marketing team needs to manually reach out to any new leads until they reach the point that makes them an MQL or SQL, saving a lot of time spent reaching out to leads who are not yet ready to speak to a salesperson and still need to be nurtured.
As part of your lead generation process, include a step for everyone who is involved to evaluate each stage to make sure you are always improving your lead conversion wherever possible.
What is a Sales Qualified Lead?
If you are currently contacting everyone who provides their details to you manually, you are likely spending a lot of time reaching out to people who never get back in touch.
By putting a qualification level to your leads, you will be able determine when it is the right time for a sales person to contact a lead, making sure they are at the right stage of the buyer’s journey and ready to make the next step in their decision.
Not only will your potential customers prefer to only be contacted once they are at this stage, your sales team will also see a much higher quality of leads coming through to help make their jobs that little bit easier!
What is lead generation in digital marketing?
There are many ways in which a lead may find your business through digital marketing. Some may yield better results than others, but if you are able to implement them all into your marketing strategy you will have a well oiled lead generation machine.
One of the most important lead generation tools in digital marketing is definitely search engine optimisation (SEO). The first thing most people do when they have a query, issue or problem is to Google it. By implementing SEO strategies your website will be more likely to appear higher in Google’s rankings, and as a result drive more visitors to your site.
You can also use pay-per-click (PPC) to help your website appear in the search results for particular keywords.
PPC gives you a good level of control over which keywords your ads appear for, and so by targeting the right phrases, you can produce a higher quality of lead than those who may come through other lead generators. Not only that, but it is easy to track these leads and works out relatively inexpensive compared with traditional print advertising.
However, if your website is has a poor user experience you will almost always lose the majority of potential leads as soon as they arrive. To create a lead generating website, make sure it is designed to make it easy for your visitor to understand your value proposition, download your valuable content and request information. If your website just talks about your brand and lacks any calls-to-action, you will just drive your potential leads to another site.
Newsletters are also a great way to generate leads for your business. By making it easy for people to sign up to through your site you will be able to capture a small amount of information from a visitor and know that they a interested in what you are offering.
A newsletter then allows you to nurture your leads on a regular basis — just make sure you are offering high quality, educational content through this medium rather than just pushing your sales message.
Another technique to attract leads to your business can be through blogging. Although this does not generate as many direct leads as other methods, it is one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your site and supports your SEO efforts through creating keyword-rich content.
Social media is also a very powerful tool when it comes to generating leads. By considering which channels your target audience is likely to be active on, you can then provide interesting and relevant content to help reach your potential leads on a different platform. By producing high quality content and being sociable on whichever channel you choose, you will be able to create a reputation for your brand through your responsiveness and content offerings.
Depending on your industry, you can find great ways to offer content in a range of mediums that appeal to your audience.
By creating high quality content that is gated on your website, such as an industry report, webinar or extensive how-to guide, you will be able to convert visitors into leads by asking them to fill in a simple form to access the content. From here you can use automated email marketing to nurture your leads into downloading more useful content all the way through the buyer’s journey until they want to speak to a salesperson or make a purchase.