Lead generation, also called demand generation, involves identifying, nurturing, and closing deals that generate revenue for your business. Good lead generation spells success and poor lead generation results in failure. Today, I share 3 creative ideas for lead generation to make your business rock.
Lead generation is defined by an essential set of techniques that marketers use to gain actionable information from demand then employ that information to increase their successful close rate. This means that, while demand generation is often concerned with investing in exposure and brand familiarity, lead generation is tasked with ensuring a firm can effectively move those who register information with the firm or pass along details through the sales funnel and so they become loyal, long-term customers over time.
The marketing funnel
The marketing funnel, also called the sales funnel or conversion funnel, encompasses the customer journey from discovery through close and on to loyalty. Above, you see an example of how this funnel looks more like spaghetti than a funnel given the non-linear reality of the customer journey. In the days before digital, only B2B brands followed their customers through lead generation programs since B2C customers were mostly invisible to firms before making their first purchase.
All that changed in the digital age because we can now follow the progress of B2C customers (as well as those in the B2B realm) through their journey, as well as identify hiccups encountered along the way. Using great ideas for lead generation allows firms to engage with visitors through social media and search through remarketing efforts, as well as build a relationship through email marketing.
Ideas for lead generation
Yet, lead generation won’t happen in a vacuum because it’s only if you have a highly coveted product that will people trip over themselves to give you their email address or personal information you can use for further marketing purposes. For instance, I just ordered the new iMac full of amazing new technology, including the M1 chip, and there’s such a backlog they said it would take 5-8 weeks for them to fill my order. Most brands don’t have the luxury of customers clamoring for their products. Instead, they need a lead generation program designed to find, develop, and close a sale.
As hinted at above, lead generation starts by identifying prospective buyers. But, privacy laws make it hard to reach these buyers and the impending loss of cookies means it’s getting even harder to stay in touch with prospective buyers. Instead, you must give them something worthwhile before they’ll part with personal information such as their email address.
In this post, we discuss three worthwhile ideas for lead generation, those that provide value to budding customers while also gathering the information necessary (such as getting users to subscribe to your newsletter by providing their email), for the development of a future transactional relationship. In the bad old days, marketers simply bought email lists of prospective buyers and emailed endlessly. Regulations in the US and EU now make it illegal to buy or borrow email lists (although it’s still legal to buy physical addresses) with stiff financial costs to both the firm and its email provider for such violations. Extending penalties to email providers means you not only pay the financial penalty but may soon find yourself kicked off email platforms, thus eliminating your ability to use this valuable tool.
With that in mind, it is tremendously helpful to see just what your options are, and how to create unique inducements not used by other brands in your field.
Let’s see how with these ideas for lead generation:
Digital sweepstakes are a great way to convince people that now is the time to check out your brand and potentially win big by doing so. This might take the form of a cash prize or a prize more relevant to the kind of product you sell, perhaps it even involves winning a product or service that you sell. Digital sweepstakes management offers inducements to folks who visit your website or see your social media posts to provide contact information to plug into your email marketing program.
However, it’s easy to get a contest wrong. For instance, you might ask folks to share your contest with their friends. If the winner is chosen from those who entered the contest, those folks won’t share your contest information because it reduces the chances they’ll win. Instead, transform your contest so that each share equates to one entry and you’ll maximize the sharing. To ensure you get the maximum number of people interested run the campaign in a manner that seems friendly and fun, not obvious and exploitative.
Time-honored promotions really do light a candle under your customers and inspire them to immediate action.
How can promotions work for your brand? Maybe you offer free delivery on a range of products for a period of time? Or perhaps, a ‘the more you buy, the better the discount’ option will encourage customers to increase their order size (although you need to ensure you don’t simply shift demand but actually increase demand)?
A particularly effective promotion involves using an exit-intent strategy. Implementing this idea for lead generation involves creating a popup that offers a discount when the algorithm senses a visitor intends to exit your website. Offering a discount might encourage an uncommitted buyer to complete the order.
Email marketing also works well to disseminate promotions. You can send coupons to subscribers or send specific discounts to logged-in visitors who left a product in their shopping cart.
A long-form PDF guide that takes the form of a tutorial, a report, or a beginner’s assistant is very helpful for those looking to educate themselves with a little more substance and meat. For instance, perhaps you’re a brand that sells musical equipment to DJs and other musical professionals. You might write a PDF with ‘Everything You Need To Know About Beatmatching’ a twenty-page document written by one of your in-house experts, and gate that behind an email signup form or even make use of a promotional offer that includes this guide. Not only does this share your knowledge and set you up as an expert on the topic, it gives visitors an incentive to subscribe and buy your products.
With these ideas for lead generation, we hope you can create leads as deftly as possible.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.