What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the act of attracting and capturing the contact information of your ideal leads/prospects in your business.
Why should you worry about lead generation?
Every business relies on lead generation to bring in new leads/prospects to your business.
The ultimate goal, of course, is converting these contacts to buy your product or service.
Before we get stuck into the detail of lead generation, we need to put some context into how lead generation fits into the concept of marketing.
There are a variety of definitions out there, but for us, we have settled on this one.
Marketing is the ability to increase the awareness, educate and actively promote your brand and/or your product/services.
Marketing helps move a person from not knowing anything about you/your products/services to getting to a point that they are participating in a sales process.
That’s where marketing stops and the sales process begins.
Lead generation is, therefore, an essential activity in one’s marketing strategy.
Types of Leads
Leads may also come to you via two major channel types:
1. Online Leads – these are prospects that come to you via some digital/online/website channel such as your website, google search or advertisement.
2. Offline Leads – these are prospects that have come to you via offline activities, such as networking, event, in person introduction, newspaper article.
Not all leads are created equally, however.
Leads can be categorized into three main types:
1. Cold Leads – these are typically prospects who may not be ready to make a purchasing decision and/or may not know/trust you yet
2. Warm Leads – these are typically people who are not far off making a purchasing decision and are more curious to put money in or time into finding out more about your products/services
3. Hot Leads – these are people ready to make a purchasing decision quite quickly if not right away
As you can see, not all leads would be considered an immediate sales lead. Not everyone is ready to make a purchasing decision right now.
Your Ideal Lead/Prospect
Not only is it important to understand the type of lead that you’ve got. It’s critical to define who is your ideal lead.
Who is your customer avatar?
Here are some questions to consider:
- Are they male/female?
- Where do they live?
- How many money do they make?
- Do they have kids?
- How old are they?
- What do they do?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What’s their biggest challenge?
- What are their hopes and dreams?
Those are just some ideas to get you really thinking about who you’re targeting.
Lead Generation Strategies
Lead generation is a fundamental part of any businesses marketing efforts.
In the digital age, there are endless opportunities to generate leads and it’s important to pick the right strategies that will work for you and your avatar.
Lead Generation Channels
Some possible options that you may wish to consider when considering where you might find leads include:
- Direct Mail
- Magazine Advertising
- Google Ads
- Joint Venture
- Networking Events
- Trade Show
- Business Cards
Of course, the list can be much longer than this!
The key thing to flag here is that you do not have to do them all!!!
We recommend focusing on 1-3 of them, that way you can completely nail before you feel like you need to accomplish them all.
Word of warning!
If you’ve only got one main method of obtaining leads right now, this may be very risky for your business.
If that lead source dried up tomorrow, what impact would that have on your business?
For example, several of our clients generate leads from Facebook.
If Facebook were to close tomorrow (which I doubt it of course!), or even if they changed the rules (which we know they do) and suddenly that channel wasn’t possible for you anymore, would you be ok?
Be sure to have some level of diversity in where you’re getting your leads from.
How To Capture Leads
If you’re looking at capturing leads in your business, you need to present a compelling reason for someone to give you their contact details.
Typically, this takes the form of a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a compelling bribe that is provided in exchange for contact information.
Some examples of lead magnets include:
- White paper
- Video Series
- Discount Code
- Strategy Call
There are plenty more lead magnet options available of course.
The most successful lead magnets focus on the following 3 core elements:
1. Provide a quick win
Be sure you get into the world of your prospects. What problems/challenges do they have and how can you speak to those and provide value in advance. It’s a great way to build trust and creditability with your audience. How can you package up a lead magnet to give your prospects a quick win?
2. Easy to consume
Make sure it will be easy to understand/consume. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of a 30-page e-book. I’ve downloaded a bunch of those over the years and how many have I read?
How many have you downloaded and read?
Be sure to really think about what your avatar needs and how you can put together a solid lead magnet that they don’t need to be a rocket scientist or have 4 days to consume.
3. Starting step to transition
A critical element to all lead magnet is making sure it will help the prospect transition to the next step that you want them to take.
If you’re going to sell your scrapbooking course, then you don’t want to have a lead magnet around knitting, that doesn’t make sense!
It’s essential that all businesses get their leads off whatever channel that you found them on, and get them into your database.
This serves three purposes.
1. Saves You from Losing Them
I’m sure we’ve all visited a website over the years that we have never gone back to. By capturing the leads that come to your website or your relevant social media pages, this avoids the chance of them falling through the gaps never to be seen again.
2. You Own the Leads
When leads are in your database, you have complete control and you own that information.
I go back to a social media example here. Yes, social media is a fantastic marketing channel to acquire new leads. However Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever platform you’re using, they own the data.
Therefore, it’s critical that you use some type of database like Infusionsoft to capture the contact details of these channels.
The other benefit of getting leads off various channels is that you can setup automation to follow up with these leads.
Sales and marketing automation is possible, once you’ve got someone’s details so that you can create a consistent experience for your prospects.
Not only that, you can help educate and nurture your leads to help them make purchasing decisions.
And of course, if they aren’t yet ready to buy your product or service, then you can easily setup automation to continue to be in touch with them.
This is really key:
If you go to a heap of effort gathering leads.
Whether you’re spending a few hours attending networking events and getting business cards.
Or whether you’re paying for boosting Facebook posts that you’re getting leads from.
It’s important that you don’t just capture their information and then stop communicating with them.
We see this all the time.
Follow up is essential here by using marketing automation to continue to keep in the prospect’s mind that you exist and you may be able to help them.
Lead Generation Strategies – What Information Should You Capture?
The more information you request from a brand new lead, the fewer sign ups/conversion you will typically get.
We recommend the following data be captured for all leads:
- First Name
Yes, some marketers only suggest collecting emails, however, it’s nice to capture a prospect’s first name to personalize the automation on the backend.
As a new lead/prospect engages more with your business, you can request additional details such as mobile, surname and/or other details that will help you qualify your leads.
Lead Generation Costs
The cost of acquiring leads must be taken into account with your marketing efforts.
Some leads you can obtain for free, while others will cost.
All businesses must know three critical metrics around lead generation
1. Cost Of Lead – this is the expense of your advertising/marketing or other related expenses in generating a new lead
2. Cost Of Acquisition – this is the advertising/marketing or other expenses related to acquiring a customer
3. Average Customer Value – of all of your customer/clients, what is the average total value that they have spent over their lifetime with you?
4. Conversion Rate – of your new leads, what is the percentage of leads that you convert to a sale. For example, if you get 100 leads into your business, how many of those will you convert (as a percentage)
Knowing these numbers in your business will put you in the driver’s seat to make informed decisions regarding your marketing and lead generation strategies.
For example, if your average value of a customer is $3000, and it costs you $50 to acquire a new customer than you would probably do that every day of the week right?
We spoke about automation earlier about the importance of setting this up after a lead is captured. Automation can also be used in the process of attracting and capturing those leads in the first place.
You can take advantages of technology to automatically capture your leads.
- Popup tools on your website to capture new leads
- Contact us forms
- Videos with popups after so many minutes to request lead information
- Text a keyword to a mobile number while you’re talking at an event
- QR Codes
- Facebook plugins to get people to subscribe to your Facebook page
- Capturing pixels to retarget ads for people who visit your website
And the opportunities are endless!
Gone are the days that businesses need to have a heap of staff manually doing cold call to random people with little success (thank goodness!).
Using automation to capture more on the front end can seriously propel your business further faster without the huge human capital costs.
Infusionsoft is one tool that can utilize to be your central hub of capturing all your leads, storing them in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and automating your marketing and sales follow up.
Specific lead generation functionality that users can tap into are:
- Landing Pages – Infusionsoft has a word-press plugin or standalone landing page builder that you can use to design mobile friendly landing pages to capture leads. Plus, you’ve got the ability to integrate with popular landing page tools directly with Infusionsoft.
- Lead Capture Forms – perhaps you have an existing page on your website where you want to give people the opportunity to sign up, such as contact us pages on your website, lead magnet sign ups, webinar or appointment bookings, this can be achieved through your website and contacts get added into Infusionsoft
- Scanning Business Cards – if the thought of entering a bunch of business cards from a networking event doesn’t excite you, then you can utilize the Infusionsoft app to scan, review and approve for these contacts to be added to your database (without having to type a thing yourself!)
- Import Leads – as long as you have permission to market to contacts, you can import leads into your database (instead of manually entering them). An example of this is when you’ve run a presentation for a supplier/joint venture partner and X number of people have indicated they’d like to sign up for your XYZ offer. They have given consent, so you are good to import those contacts into your CRM.
- Internal forms – if leads contact you directly via phone or email, you can also setup a specific internal form/workflow that helps remind staff of the specific information that you’re gathering on new leads (e.g. where the lead have come from, what they are interested in, plus standard contact details e.g. first name, phone, email etc.).
- Integrations – you can also use third party plugins to talk to Infusionsoft to add leads into your database. For example, from Facebook Lead Ads, Webinar sign ups and the list goes on.
Sales and marketing platforms like Infusionsoft allow you to capture these leads via different methods and record where these leads are coming from. This helps inform what lead generation activities are working and getting the best results (and potentially what you should be doing differently). Finally, as discussed, you can also setup follow up automatically to nurture/add value and engage with your leads so you don’t lose them.
Lead Generation Services
If generating your own leads seems like a lot of effort, or just not an activity you wish to do in your business. You may wish to consider lead generation services.
These can be digital marketing agencies or outsourced providers who work on your behalf to generate you leads.
If you’re looking for some lead generation assistance, feel free to reach out via our contact us page. We can see if we can assist, otherwise get you in touch with one of our partners.
Lead Generation Summary
Lead generation is a fundamental marketing activity in any business. Even if you have enough clients today, you may need to be building your database and contacts so that if you don’t have you some prospects to speak with in the meantime.
Make sure you get clear who you’re targeting, nail 1-3 channels that are working for your target market, know your numbers and be sure to capture and follow up on your leads through automation.