January 10, 2020
SHARES0 Lead generation describes the process of stimulating and developing an interest in products and services to grow your sales pipeline. In other words, it’s the process of getting people fired up about your product.
For example, car dealerships attract customers through the wacky, wavy, incredible, flailing tube man.
Silly? For sure. Obnoxious? Absolutely. But they are everywhere.
It’s because it effectively captures the attention of potential customers. Moreover, it accomplishes the goal of engaging potential customers, creating an interactive experience, and ultimately, guiding them through the sales process until final checkout.
Website lead generation should reflect the same goals, but using different methods.
When companies design their website to maximize lead generation, however, they often overlook fundamental lead generation opportunities, or simply lack execution. Every page is an opportunity to accomplish our goals above. Marketers must, therefore, understand the fundamental lead generation opportunities in front of them to build a healthy sales pipeline.
LEAD GENERATION STRATEGIES: THE FUNDAMENTALS
Before you get to the fun stuff, you need to roll up your sleeves and dig into website analytics to properly understand where leads are coming from. These typically materialize in the form of email capturing, tracking phone leads, blog followers and social media.
Email capture consistently yields the highest ROI for eCommerce, and with the new generation of millennial consumers, that isn’t likely to change. Accordingly, email capture is a valuable exercise, and often, a website’s greatest asset for lead generation. However, every technique affects user experience in some way, and sometimes this ends badly causing users to leave.
How can we avoid this common pitfall?
One way to direct visitors’ attention towards an email capture is by providing an incentive to do so. Incentives can be anything from coupon codes to newsletters, industry insights, upcoming promotions and premium memberships.
The Tower Paddle Boards provides an excellent example of this in action. Any time a new user visits their site, they are greeted by this message:
Immediately it’s apparent that just an email address is required. Most people will happily enter their email address for the chance to win the prize. It’s important to make visitors feel comfortable sharing personal information. The more information required from them, the higher the return should be.
What’s more, the email capture is strategically placed in the middle of the visually stimulating display, and the overall design immediately demands the visitor’s attention — without being obnoxious. This is a perfect way to build an email list for potential sales leads.
Email capture is a tried-and-true method for maximizing lead generation, but only if the technique is well-planned and targeted.
Almost everyone on the globe owns a cell phone, but how many people actually use it to make a phone call? There are many alternative forms of communication, and the art of a phone call as we know it is dying.
This makes the value of leads who pick up the phone and call for more information immensely valuable. Of course, the value of each lead depends on his/her ability to find our contact information.
Enter the “Contact Us” page.
Without a marketer’s touch, the “Contact Us” page is static and disrupts the customer acquisition path. Examples of these commercial websites display some uninviting combination of a generic contact form, a list of phone numbers and an address. Generic action prompts yield generic replies, which doesn’t move the needle.
Instead, a good contact page has personality. If we strip away the cold, technical aspects of contact pages, we can replace it with something relatable.
People love content and constantly crave it, which makes blog pages the perfect tool to satiate their appetite.
To generate leads through this page, we must create interesting content geared towards the correct audience. Based on this research, we can decide relevant topics to add to our editorial calendar. These topics should check two boxes. First, they must be valuable for the reader, but they should equally align with your business objectives.
Take hiking and adventure gear company Uncharted Supply Co., for example:
Every topic is tailored for potential consumers of adventure/survival gear. Creating “how-to” posts is a great way to educate the audience while also inserting products that solve the problems of potential customers. Also, notice how the blog topics are broken down into categories. This qualifies the company as an industry expert. Some sites, however, prefer to offer “supplemental content,” or “content upgrades.”
A content upgrade is the bonus customers receive for providing their email address, which is another effective way to build a subscriber list. If we produce solid content, to begin with, customers will certainly pony-up their email for “premium access.”
Remember, each tactic should guide users through the buying process. The blog page is no different.
The content produced on a blog can be easily shared on social media to reach a wider audience. If we share our gated content reserved for premium members as well, we expand our subscriber list. The prize contests we explored earlier can also be promoted on social media.
Moreover, social media platforms allow us to interact with these leads in a more personal manner. Users, however, cannot interact with you unless your social channels are readily available.
Promoting these social media interactions encourages more participation, as the charitable, faith-based retail company FACT Goods does here:
Notice how clearly the brand is presented in all of the photos? Although promoting various interactions is important, the brand should stand out the most. This encourages people to buy your brand so they can interact with your company too.
People’ don’t like missing out, so give them the opportunity to participate. Social media engagement and acquiring leads through social networks can be a great way to increase your sales and brand exposure, make sure to utilize it.
Bonus Lead Generation Tip: Don’t Forget About 404 Pages
404 pages are arguably the most overlooked opportunity for lead generation. Often, 404 pages leave visitors without direction and the lead is lost. By including an email capture on this page, it prevents that from happening, like Coinlookup does here:
Maximizing the potential for lead generation requires being present without being pushy. The fundamental lead generation tactics we explored can be measured and tested regularly. Based on the results, we can tweak these tactics and make strategic.
Just because something is working, it doesn’t mean it cannot be improved!
John Ball is a marketing specialist with Inseev Interactive. Hailing from Chicago, he has recently made San Diego home. He loves supporting marketing efforts and is currently working on a few fun projects in different industries like Source Capital Funding, and a new website crawler called Rapid Rex.
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