A Guide to the World of Leads and Lead Generation
There’s always been much excitement about site traffic in the marketing universe. And it’s no wonder, as a primary aim of all business retailers is to skyrocket commerce and generate revenue. Some business retailers might get puzzled by various statistics showing heavy traffic without differentiating how qualified or unqualified they are.
The article will focus on the most significant aspects of lead generation, including tips on how to improve it, as well as some useful metrics to track your progress. Thereafter, as an entrepreneur, you will understand the methods of lead generation and will be able to implement them straight away.
Leads and lead generation: definition and types
Before jumping into classifications, let’s start with the basics. Leads are potential customers who show interest in your goods or services and leave their contact details. They can fill out a form either online or offline, providing their data like an email address, a phone number, etc. After that, it’s marketers who warm up the process and convert them into active buyers.
There are several ways to classify leads. To start with, there are non-targeted leads who are not actually considering buying and could have left their contact information by mistake. There are also targeted leads — a specific audience, that requires a solution or a product you offer.
Another common pattern divides targeted leads as cold, warm, or hot, according to their loyalty to a brand.
Here’s how you can attract leads to your website. Depending on what content you present, they will either warm up and buy or leave. That’s why it’s essential to decide on the resources.
If a prospect filled out a pop-up form, their idea of you might not be crystal-clear. Take some time to nurture them and create a bond by supplying some free materials. Also, ask questions to express your interest and availability to help.
With time, your lead will become warmer and start interacting with other content, like e-books. Supposing they go for a free trial or book a demo, they are just at the right place and are ready to buy. Start establishing a closer relationship with the hot leads at this stage and, consequently, close a deal.
According to their behavior, leads in marketing can also be separated as qualified or unqualified. While it’s still possible to convert an unqualified lead to another category, businesses usually place focus on qualified ones and further differentiate them as:
- Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are merely those who indicated some interest in your brand but are still somewhat unsure whether they’re going to buy.
- Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are sure that they want to make a purchase. They are usually those customers who request additional information or a demo.
Business owners are on the constant lookout for new qualified leads. This process refers to lead generation, meaning attracting and converting website visitors. Lead generation isn’t all the same. It can fall into two main categories — inbound and outbound.
In the case of inbound lead generation, customers themselves initiate contact with a company. When it’s outbound, the initiator of communication is a company. You might be wondering which type of lead generation is better to focus on. The answer depends on the type of customers you want to reach, whether you have a solid outbound marketing program or a high-yielding inbound platform. Ideally, your business should establish the right balance between the two.
Lead generation management: who is in charge?
Lead generation as a process hasn’t appeared just now but already took place over half of a century ago and evolved with time. Firstly, specially assigned people used to go from door to door and promote products by outlining their advantages, hoping that they would appeal to someone. Starting from the 80s, people experienced the full might of telemarketing and direct response television advertising.
Though some of these methods still occur at present, their strategies are different. With a rapid change of technology, users become the major part of the information they need via the Internet. Consumers have generally become more skeptical and might find themselves on different stages of understanding a service or a product. That’s why placing a single CTA button on a website is usually not enough.
Businesses single out lead management as a process of generating new clients, tracking and managing them up to the point of completing a purchase. Traditionally, sales team members carried out the lead generation process, but in the era of digitalization, it can be also split between the sales and marketing teams. In small and medium-sized enterprises, owners or marketers typically overtake the task, so it’s essential to understand the stages and methods of lead generation.
Attracting qualified leads isn’t something that can be done overnight. Working with them is carried out in several steps.
It means attracting leads through various marketing channels, like PPC, SEO, blog articles, webinars, or e-mail campaigns. The whole point is to produce informative content and make the target audience more aware of the product. Here is an example of how Artisaire nudges its visitors to subscribe to email newsletters and offers 10% off the next order.
An example of an email collecting pop-up. Source: Artisaire
At this point, the sales team anticipates which prospects are most likely to buy. At the same time, the level of interest and involvement of potential customers may vary.
Once leads enter your CRM, you determine who and how will interact with them. For each type of leads, different ways of interaction can be preferable. For example, you can run email campaigns for cold leads, ads, and relevant content for warm leads. Meanwhile, the sales can manage hot leads, so that they can figure out in detail what each client needs.
This stage covers interaction with leads at all stages of the sales funnel, providing them with relevant content to close a deal. It embraces all the benefits of a product and brings a customer to the point of making a purchase.
To start with, when a prospect landed on your website, the stage is yours. Make sure they familiarize themselves with your brand. To pique the interest and bring them closer to a sale, think about supplying them with educational content. These can be e-books, case studies, or just a list of useful resources. Investigate your lead situation and inform them about a possible solution in their case. Continue to engage your customers before and after they purchase to build lasting relationships so that they could refer to your business anytime in the future.
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Methods for attracting leads to a website
A business website with gripping content can generate interest among users. However, there are a few more practices that can help you use your website to its fullest and ensure you’ll get more traffic to it.
The main goal of SEO is to improve your website ranking on search engine result pages. The higher your website after a search query is, the better are the chances that users will visit it, which will result in natural demand generation as well as increased organic traffic. For that, you might need to study the most used keywords for similar services or products and, on this basis, choose yours.
An additional option here could be setting up contextual advertising. It means that the link to your website will be above the search results. With its help, more users will know about your brand, and some of them will turn into leads. In addition, ranking among the first ones also increases your credibility as a business retailer.
An example of contextual advertising in the search results
- keywords and phrases correspond to the needs of the target audience;
- content that solves users’ problems and meets their expectations;
- staying relevant with contextual advertising without the need for information about a specific user.
When a user lands on your website, you can decide how to engage and convert them at once. In this case, video pop-ups, games, and quizzes work out for the best. For example, Annmarie Gianni launched a quiz on the website, helping their visitors to find out more about their skin condition.
A quiz for lead generation. Source: Annmarie Gianni
Together with the questions related to the topic, a questionnaire asks users to fill out a name and an email. After completing the whole form, a lead gets instant results and receives an email with more detailed information and personalized recommendations for skincare, including the company’s products with a discount.
Personalized recommendations on a website. Source: Annmarie Gianni
The company’s quiz campaign proved to be quite successful. It generated $200,000 of new sales and increased leads by 20,258 people in just two months.
- a component of user engagement on a website boosts CX that reflects on sales;
- attracts and builds a stronger emotional connection, that is likely to last for a longer time;
- appealing and useful content prompts users to share a web page with others.
Targeted advertising on social media can boost brand awareness and consequently result in better lead generation. According to Statcounter, most of the world’s traffic comes from Facebook. Surprisingly, 3rd place is occupied by Pinterest. As the social network explains, the majority of its audience is constantly on the lookout for new ideas and inspirations, which often leads to making a purchase.
Let’s have a look at the Eckes-granini case. The German fruit-juice maker set a goal to raise their brand awareness for target group 18-49 and drive sales. The company repurposed an already existing TV commercial for Facebook and Instagram and made it appealing, both with and without sound. In two months, the brand achieved a 14% growth in offline sales among Facebook users and a 31% lift in in-store sales to new buyers among those who reached on the media platform.
An example of Eckes-granini’s Facebook ad. Source: Facebook
- allows you to reach an expansive audience;
- increases the degree of trust;
- makes your brand recognizable.
Once your leads are on a website, use pop-up forms to collect their personal information. Some might not be willing to do so, unless you offer an incentive, like a discount or an item free of charge. When you create pop-ups, think ahead about the kind of data that you’ll need for further interaction. This can be something like age or preferences in the goods that you sell. Segmentation will allow you to provide personalized content afterward.
With 13Chats you can choose from over 30 pop-up templates and adjust them according to your goals and vision. By using the service, it’s also possible to customize forms design, content and set up a script. You can settle on one of the seven main actions available, for example, to display a cookie request, ask for a phone or an email address, or redirect to a landing page.
Creating a pop-up with 13Chats
Let’s have a look at a SnowMonkey pop-up. It’s a vegan ice-cream retailer that wants to geotarget its email newsletters and boost regional sales. By collecting customers’ zip codes, the company can update its audience with new products in shops nearby and provide information on where is the closest point to pick up their treat.
An example of a pop-up on a website. Source: SnowMonkey
- customized design, that serves as an eye-catcher;
- creates a win-win situation for both parties;
- helps in showcasing your brand’s uniqueness, which is more likely to be remembered.
Email newsletters are a great way to nurture your leads. After collecting personal contact information, you can keep in touch with a prospect and convert them. Your email campaigns don’t necessarily have to be promotional. Depending on your brand’s specificity, consider sharing just relevant and/or educational content.
In the case of Framebridge, they send an instruction on how to manage a frame after buying one. It works as a great reminder and re-engages your customers for further interaction. It’s also worth mentioning that according to Wordstream findings, having a clear and strong CTA button increased clicks 371%. Framebridge also goes for a single and visible CTA “Educate me,” which is both intriguing and not overwhelming.
An example of lead nurturing email. Source: Framebridge
- helps to cultivate relationships with prospects that are already aware of your brand;
- enables deeper engagement and a greater variety of content to present;
- allows integrating CTAs that can instantly return a prospect to a website.
Chatbots are another great solution that can help you engage with your prospects and walk them through their customer journey. They also come in handy in the lead generation process, as they seamlessly collect user data without being too pushy. Chatbots empower you to segment your leads based on various indicators as pop-up forms. You can automate any conversation scenario based on keywords your chatbot receives from users.
Adding a keyword trigger with 13Chats
You spare some typing and speed up the process by providing an autofill option or signing in using Facebook or Google. Chatbot integration with Messenger enables you to stay in touch with your prospects after the first conversation and nurture them in the future.
Let’s have a look at chatbots in education. University of the People decided on implementing a chatbot to their Facebook page to cultivate more potential students. As they visit the page to find information, a chatbot provides an alternative and less time-consuming way to find out answers to certain inquiries.
The chatbot delivers information about the university, degree programs, and requirements. The next step of starting an application, however, requires personal information from an entrant, which mirrors the lead generation funnel process.
An example of the lead generation process with a chatbot. Source: Facebook
- allows segmentation based on users’ input that can also function as data insights;
- delivers 24/7 support and provides an opportunity to collect leads all the time;
- engages visitors who intend to bounce.
Evaluating the effectiveness of lead generation
In lead management, several measurements can assess its effectiveness. Here are some essential lead generation metrics you might want to consider while estimating your business’ progress.
Click-through rate (CTR)
This type of metric shows how well your keywords, ads, and free listings are performing. To figure out the measurement, you need to divide the number of clicks your ad received by the number of impressions. A CTR of 3-5% is considered to be satisfactory. A high CTR is an indicator that your ads are high-yielding and helpful. You can also use this metric to gauge keywords, ads, and listings and eliminate those, that don’t bring desirable results.
Conversion rate (CR)
One more essential metric to the lead generation process is conversion rate. It outlines the number of website visitors who took the desired action and therefore moved further in their customer journey. CR formula is pretty straightforward to count. Just divide the number of conversions by the whole number of website visitors and multiply it by 100. A good average figure is again estimated around 3-5%.
Cost per lead (CPL)
This metric shows the cost of attracting one lead. CPL serves to track the effectiveness of marketing channels, as each lead must make a profit, and not only recoup the costs. After studying promotion channels, you can settle on the most effective ones. To determine CPR, divide expenses on marketing channels over a certain period by the number of leads.
Minimizing CPL is enticing in any case. Doing analytics is one of the paramount steps towards optimizing the metrics, as you can determine ineffective channels and substitute them with another approach. By enhancing your sales funnel, you can drive revenue growth, thus making your marketing efforts do more and work harder.
As you can see, having a deep understanding of types of leads, and lead generation processes is essential. Follow the guidelines mentioned above to collect your leads effectively. Also, think about using automation platforms such as 13Chats to build fine-tuned chatbots and/or pop-ups, segment your leads, and offer personalized support throughout and after their customer journey.
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