Consumer habits are constantly changing and what your customers and clients want and expect today is different from what they wanted and expected just five years ago. Therefore, as marketers and social sellers, we must change the way we market and sell to match the way people are actually shopping and buying our goods and services.
As marketers, generating high quantity as well as high quality leads is our most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the pipeline full of sales prospects even while you sleep, but only one in ten marketers say they feel their lead generation campaigns are effective.
While there are a lot of things marketers can do to increase leads and sales, we’ve boiled it down to just what the title says:
10 Surprisingly Simple Lead Generation Strategies
These ten lead generation strategies are so simple, you may scratch your head and wonder why you haven’t put some or all into practice.
1. Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing begins with an initial outreach to potential clients or customers. Create a targeted list of potential prospects in your niche and then reach out to them personally via email to start a conversation.
It’s necessary to determine if your product or service is the right fit for them and it provides a tremendous opportunity to research your prospects thoroughly and send them a personalized email. Whether it’s one-on-one or emails to your entire list, email marketing is great channel for new lead generation.
One word of caution: Make sure you have an opt-in strategy. The first step to email lead generation is to make sure you have happy subscribers that enjoy receiving emails from you.
In addition to using email to initiate conversation, you should also use it as an effective follow-up tool to stay in touch with clients or customers. It’s important to stay top of mind, so you can have the opportunity to reach them when they are ready to buy.
2. Blog on a Regular Basis
Blogging on a regular basis is a great way to keep your website fresh as well as build up your visibility for Google keyword searches. In addition, it is also a good way to build trust in your brand, nurture leads and build your credibility as a subject matter expert.
According to HubSpot’s recent Benchmarks report, companies that blog six to eight times a month double their lead volume. This proves that blogging is a highly effective channel for lead generation. In every blog post, you should also include hyperlinks to other pages on your website within the copy of the post, as well as a prominent call-to-action.
3. Post Consistently on Social Media
In addition to blogging, get into the habit of regularly posting on social media. This should include your own content as well as sharing content from others. This helps improve your visibility and drive up your metrics on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index and similar sites.
While utilizing social networks, strive to:
- Attract a loyal following by building a relationship with potential customers. Social media connections are all about people-to-people relationships so get to know your online audience by communicating and sharing information. In order to generate leads, you must have human interaction with others.
- Remember, social media requires and thrives on dialogue. Companies that only use social media to blast out messages about themselves and how great they are, aren’t using social channels effectively. The goal is to interact with others and to be helpful, so consider sharing something that isn’t related to your company, such as links to other interesting things you’ve found online that you know would be of interest to your online community.
4. Get Involved in Networking
While digital and social marketing is great, you’ll never beat face-to-face contact for impact and the ability to have a two-way conversation and to develop the important know, like and trust factor.
In addition to attending networking events, consider volunteering to be a presenter at such events. Many offer participants the opportunity to give a 10 to 15-minute presentation about their business or the services they offer. Often, such presentations lead to direct leads or even a second-hand recommendation from someone who saw the presentation and told a friend.”
Networking naturally lends itself to one-on-one follow ups giving you the opportunity to learn more about a potential client as well as get to know them as a person. As you gain their trust, they will more likely turn to you when they have a need you can help meet.
5. Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
This tip is two-fold:
- First, you need to have a marketing plan, so you’re not just shooting in the dark. Set some goals for how you will reach out to prospective clients and what methods (email, social media, etc.) you will utilize.
- Second, being prepared gives you a big advantage especially when you’re cold calling to generate new prospects. A good marketer will take the time to learn about their prospects and create a plan before picking up the phone or contacting them via email or social media.
There’s that good old say… “fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Having a structure to how you market and sell will optimize the likelihood of a desired result.
6. Design Great Offers
The word “yes” is a powerful one and ultimately everything we do as marketers is designed to get prospects to say “yes” to our offer(s). And – human nature being what it is – when an offer is “exclusive,” “limited” or “in high demand” it triggers a physiological reaction that makes the offer even more appealing.
In order to overcome their doubt or concern, people need to perceive the value of your offer – whether it is a white paper, free trial, membership, sales promotion, or download – as irresistible.
The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer.
7. Use Success Stories to Attract Clients & Customers
Emailing prospects with links to case studies or customer success stories can be incredibly effective in attracting those prospects to your business. A proper case study demonstrates a clear and quantifiable ROI [Return on Investment] and provides social proof, setting your company and sales team up for success.
- 63% of marketers say their top challenge is generating traffic and leads.
- 38% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting more difficult.
- 61% of marketers believe their organization’s marketing strategy is effective.
–2017 State of Inbound Report
8. Get Personal
In this day of social media, text messaging and emails, it’s easy for communication to get lost in the shuffle or be ignored. How about trying something different, such as writing a letter or calling a prospect and having a real conversation? It’s difficult to ignore such a personal touch and it often breaks down barriers in connecting.
At a time when people are overwhelmed by the digital ecosystem, people enjoy having real conversations that adds value to their lives.
One caution: When keeping communication personal, make sure to ask for introductions not business referrals. Customer or client referrals should be one of your primary sources of generating new business leads. But to be in that position, you must keep in touch with your existing customers on a personal level.
9. Create Great Calls to Action & Landing Pages
If you don’t give people instructions as what to do next, often no action will be taken. Make sure you provide a clear call to action throughout your website and even your content.
It’s also highly effective to lead generation to have landing pages set up to convert website traffic into leads.
Having a call to action (CTA) to a dedicated landing page is often overlooked by many businesses. Calls-to-action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer and shouldn’t be used to drive people to your homepage. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product you should still send them to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for.
Having said that, your CTA is the seasoning on the steak that drives prospects to your offers. If your CTAs aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to the click, then it negates the value of the offer. In today’s world where every brand is fighting for consumers’ attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors.
10. Keep on Keeping On!
Don’t take your foot off the gas when business is good, continue to keep your sales pipeline full.
By making the mistake of slowing down lead generation when business is doing well, you risk a shortfall of leads at the time when you may end up really needing them. Continue to consistently generate leads to maintain the health of your sales pipeline and protect the future growth of your business.
While you may be utilizing one or more of these ten lead generation strategies, it’s easy to get so busy chasing prospects and leads that other tactics fall by the wayside. If you’re not utilizing email marketing, blogging and social media then it’s time to plan your work and work your plan. As you begin networking and creating personal touchpoints, don’t forget to leverage success stories, design great offers and create calls to action & landing pages.
Above all, keep on keeping on as you plan for a great 2018 by employing these strategies to generate new leads, nurture prospects and close more sales.
- with thanks to Top Dog Social Media