7 Simple Steps for More Effective Lead Generation

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July 17, 2012
Nathan Yerian Nathan Yerian

lead generationRemember when your online lead generation effort was as simple as having a "Contact Us" page on your website? How is that working for you these days?

Some companies and marketers continue operate in old-school ways, thinking that they are the Internet’s epicenter. But they aren’t. The customer, however, is.

The truth is that almost every brand (even the ones that have more than a "Contact Us" page) can improve its lead generation strategy. Look beneath the surface of your existing marketing efforts. With some subtle changes, you’ll be able to produce more with what you already have. All it takes are some straightforward changes.  Here are seven steps to get you started.

1. Give people incentives

Content marketing is extremely powerful. All day, every day, people are researching industry-specific information. They love to learn and would love access to the wealth of knowledge that you have to share. Create valuable content that you can offer in a lead generation effort.

2. Don’t give it away for free.

Next time you’re releasing a video, presentation, e-book, or white paper, ask people to sign-up to get it.  More than likely, people will be happy with the trade, especially if the end-result is a high-quality, educational resource.

In return for providing this resource, you now have a contact that you know is interested in what you offer. If they like what they see, they’ll come back for more.

3. Make sure that your call-to-actions are easy to follow

Far too often, web pages are overly complicated, with ‘next step’ queues buried in tiny text. Even if people want to connect with you, it isn't easy for them to do so. Make sure that your call-to-action buttons are dominant visual elements on the page.

Also make sure that your call-to-action buttons clearly reflect where they will take the visitor that clicks on them. If a visitor is surprised by where they end up, they will quickly leave the page and you will lose the opportunity to connect with them.

Once they have clicked your button, and are on your landing page, be sure to have instructions that guide your visitors through the sign-up process, and help them anticipate next steps. Try putting it to the test with a human eye, and ask your non-marketer friends to test drive your landing pages.

4. A/B test consistently

Are you sure your landing page is as good as it can be? Unless you put that question to the test, you’ll never know the answer. Rather than committing to one landing page, consistently release two for each offer and conduct A/B tests.

Conduct your tests in stages so that you can identify which element is causing an increase in conversions. Try a different headline, image, description, or color. You never know which element may improve your conversion rate. Once you have a good sample set of data, upgrade your landing page to reflect your findings, and test a new element.

Over time, you’ll learn from your research, which will feed into the creation of more productive lead gen pages in the future. As you test your pages, try to understand why certain elements are better than others. Practice makes perfect.

5. Be data driven

Focus on important metrics to understand how people are engaging with your lead gen form. Use bounce rates and percent-exit metrics to see where people are disengaged. Use return-visit data to see whether people are consistently coming to your website. Sync your campaigns with event-tracking to understand how long it takes for visitors to convert into leads and then, for leads to convert into sales. Data will help you trust your strategy.

6. Nurture your relationships

Business relationships are for the long-haul rather than the short term. Create a plan to stay in contact with your connections in a meaningful way.

Instead of trying to sell people, focus on providing value and relationship-building. Focusing on the connection now will facilitate the sale later. Consistently provide valuable information that helps them to improve their situation, instead of bombarding them for a sale. Maintain a company blog, host a webinar, create an email newsletter. However you plan to stay in contact, just make sure it is consistent and focused on your target.

They’ll buy when they’re ready, and if you have been a valuable resource for them, there is a good chance they will buy from you.

7. Be trustworthy

There are too many marketers in the world with "salesy" and sometimes slimy marketing messages. DON"T BE ONE OF THEM. Set yourself apart by being genuine about the true value that you have to offer.

Share your knowledge and build a rapport with your prospective clients. This truthful eagerness to serve will show and will give them a reason to trust you. Remember that people buy from people they trust.


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