Boost Leads with Contact Management
According to BrightTALK, and as reported by Hubspot, 80% of marketers say their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. That's not very effective! And yet, 58% of marketers say their lead generation budget will increase in the coming year. With more money and more emphasis placed on lead generation efforts, it's becoming even more crucial to understand how to most effectively attract and engage leads.
This increase in dollars towards lead generation is understandable. Without it, businesses have to rely on customers randomly stumbling across their products, services or website (or repeat customers, which usually isn't enough to sustain a business). On the other hand, lead generation involves intentionally driving qualified prospects to your business—usually your website—and collecting their information to follow up for the sale. These are typically new customers, and by the time they engage you or your salespeople, they are moderately-to-highly interested in buying. Because of this, securing those leads can unlock a ton of new sales for you.
Clearly, the potential exists if you have a solid lead generation strategy. But how do you build that strategy? And how do you effectively attract the right leads? Here are 6 of our favorite tips to get you started.
Tips for Effective Lead Generation
#1 Choose the tactics best for your audience
There are so many tactics to generate leads, how do you know where to start? With your audience, of course! The best resource to determine where to focus your lead generation efforts is the people you're targeting. Are they mid- to late-twenties women on Pinterest? Gen Zers on Snapchat? Are they professionals looking to enhance their careers? Do they check their email religiously? Any of these insights would guide how you gather lead information.
At the very least, every brand should have a place on their website to enter information. Even better if it's a sign up for a regularly published email newsletter. Otherwise, you can offer content (whitepapers, ebooks), online/email courses, webinars, or collect leads directly on social media sites with paid advertisements. The possibilities are endless. What you choose will depend on your unique audience.
#2 Write a clear and specific call-to-action
Your lead generation strategy will fail without a strong call-to-action. If the user doesn't understand what they're supposed to do next, you won't see results. Be specific. Be clear. Do not overcomplicate things with several steps and clicks, or you risk leads dropping off before completing the conversion. Your call-to-action should be simple and compelling to drive the desired outcome of the user's visit.
#3 Incentivize the offer
Most of the time, your leads aren't going to give up their information without something in return. Try offering a promotion or discount for entering an email address. Ask users to enter their contact information before receiving a piece of content, such as a whitepaper or ebook. Only if you provide value will leads respond by giving their information.
#4 Match the form to the offer
Building on the previous point, the more fields the user has to fill out, the less likely they will be to complete the conversion. Make sure the form length matches the value you're providing. Don't ask someone to fill out their name, title, company, email, and phone if they're signing up for your email newsletter. A single field for an email address will suffice (and get you more leads in the long run).
#5 Test, test, and test again
The only way to know which calls-to-action, which ads, which content offers are most effective at converting leads is by testing. Deliver one call-to-action to half your audience and another to the other half. Then continue with whichever one performs better. Or, if you're unable to split your audience like that, run each call-to-action for at least 30 days and compare results. Do the same with every piece of your strategy—content, copy, titles, offers, etc.—until you've crafted the perfect lead generation tactic.
#6 Drive traffic to your tactics
Lead generation is not an "if you build it, they will come" tactic. To help people find your offers, you need to attract or direct them to it. For example, if you publish a whitepaper that you'd like to offer in exchange for contact information, you can build a landing page with a form and promote that page on social media or in an email campaign. The key is to tap into the places your audience lives (see: point #1) and entice them to follow your offer. Bonus points if you can include paid promotion, as many of the distribution platforms are more effective if you pay for them.
How Contact Management Supports Lead Generation
Once you've captured a lead, it doesn't stop there. If you've followed the tips thus far, then you've promised to deliver value to your lead in exchange for their information. You owe it to them to do just that.
After you've collected the user's information, they should be added to your contact database and placed into a nurturing campaign. Consider sending a "Thank You" note and asking their opinion on the content or offer. Did they receive the value you promised? If they respond, the feedback could be used to refine your lead generation strategy going forward.
Another key to effectively managing your leads is segmenting or grouping your audience in a way that helps drives the sales process. Maybe your database is grouped by the products or services the lead placed interest in. Or perhaps you segment your audience by the topic they engaged with. For example, if your company offers marketing services and a lead downloads a whitepaper about branding and logo design, you may want to segment them by their interest in branding. Then you can send tailored, relevant content to that person based on their interests. All of these tasks can be done with Mailbird's new Contact Apps feature, described in detail here.
Lead generation is no simple task, especially as customers become savvier to it. And with many companies bombarding leads with emails and marketing messages once they do give up their information, people are becoming less inclined to share their contact unless they perceive true value in return. Of course, it's never enough just to those coveted capture leads. You need an effective tool like Mailbird to manage your contact list and follow up to close the sale.