You've probably heard how paramount your sales pipeline (or sales funnel) is to having a successful business. To fill your sales pipeline, you need to generate new leads. Without them, you have no new customers, no new income and you'll have limited growth potential. Need I say more?
So why does almost every business owner I speak with say they have no idea about how to systematically fill their funnel with new leads? Maybe because, unless you're one of the few people who like structure and process, creating new content to attract the right type of target customer and employing processes to systematically move them along their buying journey, while methodically and consistently following up with them actually kind of sucks! You need to work out which content to write, which offers will entice your prospects to exchange their email? What information should you collect from them to help determine if they're in your target market? Ughhh where to even start?
Well dear friend, the time for excuses is over.
After you read this post, there will be no reason for not consistently filling your funnel with new leads every day - and doing it quickly. Not only am I going to provide you with the components of your lead generation machine, but I'm also going to give you the 30 greatest lead generation tips, tricks and ideas to put your machine in place, FAST! Here's what we'll cover:
- The four key components of lead generation with Inbound Marketing
- Create irresistable offers
- Ensure you have a clear Call To Action
- Create landing pages which convert
- Use 'appropriate' forms
How to Bring New Leads Into Your Business Using Inbound Marketing
Before you dive into sourcing new leads for your business, you need to understand who you're ideal target market is, and in particular, your ideal buyer persona. It's commonly known that using different bait will help you catch different fish, but did you know that within a particular species, you should use different bait for different sized fish? Similarly, to attract a CEO as a lead, you would use different content to an Operations Manager for example.
Understanding your buyer persona will help you identify which offers and calls to action will draw them closer to you and make your lead generation efforts much more time and cost effective.
Once you know who you're targeting, it's time to understand the four key components of lead generation using Inbound Marketing: creating irresistable offers; great calls to action (CTA's), landing pages that convert, and forms which collect just the right amount of information for you to assess the lead's potential, but not so much as to turn the lead off converting.
Step 1: Create Irresistable Offers
Ultimately, the aim in attracting new leads is to get people to say Yes to our offer. But what the hell is an "offer" when it comes to Inbound Marketing?
An offer is something you are giving an online visitor that is typically free. It can be anything, although the most popular type of offer is a downloadable PDF, like an ebook, white paper or checklist. Ideally it is something that your target customer perceives as valuable ie. it will be a resource that will help them save time or make their problem easier to solve.
So how do we increase the likelihood of visitors to our website saying yes to our offer?
Psychologically, offers are more appealing if they are exclusive, scarce or in high demand (Click to Tweet). Think about it. How many times have you walked past the empty restaurant only to enter the nearly full one rationalising that it must be 'better' because it is more popular? And to top that off, you've decided to go in now even though you're not quite hungry yet, because it's getting full and you might have to wait to get in later?
The elements of scarcity, exclusivity and high demand work because people perceive greater value in these types of offers. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer.
Step 2: Ensure You Have a Clear Call To Action
Now that you have an offer to appeal to your target customer, it's time to let them know about it.
Calls-to-action (CTA) are the secret recipe to driving your target audience to take up your offers. If your CTA's aren’t effective at capturing attention and persuading your target customer to click, the offer is all but useless.
What is a CTA I hear you ask? A Call to Action encourages your site visitors to access and download an offer A CTA is a clickable image or button on your website that encourages the site visitor to access and download an offer (Click to Tweet). The goal of a CTA is to spark enough interest for the visitor to click through to see what's on the other side. It is important that the CTA be designed in a way so they know exactly what will happen if he or she clicks through. It should be clear and concise.
CTA's can be used on any page of your website eg. product pages, about page etc., or in display ads, email, social media, direct mail and pretty much anywhere you can market your offer.
Make sure that your CTA's:
- Are highly visible. No point in having them if no one can see them!
- Are specific and clear. Don't try to be clever or trick visitors into clicking through.
- Stand out. Use attractive colours and fonts to grab attention.
- Click through to a landing page with more information about the offer.
Step 3: Create Landing Pages That Convert
When a prospect clicks on a CTA they are directed to a landing page. Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation.
Landing pages direct visitors to a page that contains the details of the specific offer, without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for the following purpose: to understand more about the offer, confirm to themselves that the offer will help them achieve their goal or solve their problem, and to take up the offer by completing the lead capture form.
The landing page is your last chance to convert a prospect into a lead so it’s an important piece of the whole inbound marketing process (Click to Tweet).
So how do you create landing pages that convert? The landing page should be used to demonstrate the value of the offer. Write copy that shows your target customer how they will benefit from taking up the offer. A very clear and simple bullet point overview of what’s included in the offer is usually quite effective here and visually makes it easy to scan and confirm that what is on offer is of interest to the visitor. Include social media sharing options so your prospect can let everyone in his or her community know about your awesome offer.
Step 4: Use 'appropriate' forms
It would be easy to dismiss the form as unimportant compared to the rest of the lead generation process. However, the form itself can make or break all the efforts you've put in so far in creating your offer, call to action and landing page.
You might be tempted to ask your prospect for every piece of information you'd like to gather in order to determine whether they are a suitable lead, including what they had for breakfast! However, if you ask for more than a prospect is willing to provide in exchange for the contents of the offer, they could associate your long list of questions with a greater level of commitment than they are willing to provide at that stage, and give up on completing the form.
Think of it like the first time you meet someone at a party. If you interrogate them about all their personal information, they're likely to think you're a weirdo and want to get out of there as quickly as possible.
When designing your forms, ask for the absolute minimum information you need in order to progress someone through your funnel. For the awareness and consideration stages of their buyers journey (when they are less likely to know, like and trust you at that stage), try to keep your forms short. Aim for three to five data fields.
Ok, so now what?
Implementing inbound marketing will generate new leads for your business, increase revenue and increase your company's growth potential. The four steps above will give you a great start on a successful inbound marketing campaign for generating new leads: By creating an offer that is irresistable to your Buyer Persona, and marketing that offer through an attention grabbing Call to Action, you can collect contact details via a form on your landing page. Inbound Marketing allows you to know who is visiting your website as well as convert those visitors into leads!
If you'd like more information on each of these components Download our free guide on the 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks and Ideas.
Do you have any questions about the elements of inbound marketing detailed above? We'd love to help you out. Leave your comments below, or look for us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn if you would like to start a conversation. You can even Visit Our Site or Arrange A Call With Us.
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