There are many ways to attract high-quality leads. But even experienced companies and freelancers still struggle with efficient lead generation. In this article, we'll show you the best strategies for more sales.
61 per cent of marketers still see lead generation as their biggest challenge. Is your company or agency struggling to get prospects into the sales funnel? If so, it's time to rethink your lead generation strategy. Your sales team needs to consider new tactics to breathe life into your marketing strategy.
If you take the time to optimize your landing pages, SEO and call-to-action elements (CTAs), it will pay off directly. Before we present you with suitable solutions, let's first look at what lead generation is, how it's measured and why it's so important.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is about attracting visitors to your business by capturing their interest and converting them into customers.
The process of lead generation involves the following steps:
- Use SEO and content marketing, including ads, blogging and social media posts, to attract visitors to your business.
- These visitors go to one of the landing pages on your website where they find out about your products or services.
- Call-to-action elements entice them to provide information, such as a phone number. Or they're encouraged to subscribe to your mailing list, download a free template or sign up for your webinar.
- Once you've collected their contact details, you can start moving leads into your sales pipeline. By sending follow-up emails and other targeted remarketing content that will help you close the sale.
In the next step, we'll show you how to measure your lead marketing with the help of performance indicators.
The most important metrics for lead generation
You can measure the success of your lead generation in many ways. However, there are some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you should definitely use to ensure that you're getting the most out of your campaigns.
1. Cost per lead
Cost per lead (CPL) measures how effectively your marketing budget is being used. The metric is calculated by dividing your total advertising budget by the total number of leads. Measuring the CPL is important to determine the return on investment (ROI) of your digital marketing strategies. In other words, to find out whether your expenditure is indeed followed by more revenue.
2. Conversion rate
The conversion rate (CRV) is the percentage of your leads that lead to actual sales. You can calculate it by dividing the leads that led to sales by the total number of leads you have. The conversion rate allows you to see how well your business is doing at generating quality leads that are ready to buy.
3. Lead value
Not all leads are the same. You need to therefore track the value of your leads (lead value), also known as the average revenue per lead. Calculate the value by multiplying your average sales revenue during a given period by the conversion rate for the same period. With this information, you can better target your advertising and conversion efforts.
4. Average length of stay
The average time spent on your website is an indicator of how well your content is received. You can determine the average length of stay by looking at the total duration of all sessions in seconds and the total number of sessions at a given time.
If you want to know how well your business is doing, you should determine the value of your inbound marketing strategies and campaigns.
Why are leads so important?
Almost 53 per cent of marketers say they spend more than half of their budget on lead generation. This makes it a big part of many companies' marketing campaigns as it can have a major impact on sales, customer retention and engagement.
The effects of successful lead generation include:
- Better engagement with your target market
- Increased turnover due to increased sales
- Reduction in customer acquisition costs
- Shorter sales cycles
- Growth of your customer base
- Increased brand awareness and visibility
The importance of lead generation is obvious. Without effective lead generation strategies, your business will miss out on the opportunity to attract new visitors, make sales and collect data to improve your current processes. But what are the most important strategies for generating leads? We've got them for you below.
1. Optimize your content for long-tail keywords
If you want to be successful with SEO and your keyword research, you need to focus on getting the most out of your long-tail keywords. These are groups of words or corresponding search queries on specific topics. They account for about 92 percent of all search terms entered into search engines and have the potential to differentiate your business from your competitors.
Keyword research guide
You want to know which are the right keywords for your company and for your content? We will guide you step by step through the complete research in our article "With keyword research to SEO success".
Long-tail keywords generate fewer search results, but are converted more often than main keywords. They also tend to cost less, which means that using long-tail keywords can drastically reduce your pay per click (PPC) ad budget.
There are many tools to help you find popular keywords. You can use them to find out often people search for long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business. Here are some examples:
- Google's Keyword Planner
- LongTail Pro
Just one good long-tail keyword can make a big difference in raising the profile of your business – and increasing demand for your products and services.
In 2009, the company River Pools and Spas was going through hard times. The owner, Marcus Sheridan, tried several methods to attract new customers but nothing seemed to work. So he decided to take a new approach. He cut his marketing budget and focused on creating quality content in the form of blog posts and videos to reach his target audience who wanted to buy a pool.
First up, he did a quick keyword analysis and identified long-tail keywords that were specific to his business, for example "How much does a fiberglass pool cost". With this information, he then published a blog post to attract the attention of his target group and add value to his website.
The post How much will my fiberglass pool really cost? generated nearly $1.7 million in sales for River Pools and Spas.
2. Use affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing allows companies to harness the power of influencers, experts and podcasts to promote their products for a commission. With the rise of social media marketing, affiliate marketing has become increasingly popular. Spending is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.
There are several options open to you if you want to use affiliate marketing to generate leads. You could join an affiliate network that helps you manage your affiliate program and connects you with publishers and creatives in your niche industry, for example.
Example of Affiliate Marketing
Do you want to find out how affiliate marketing works and how to promote it? Then take a look at the Affiliate Program from RAIDBOXES. When you take part, you'll receive attractive commissions for every successful customer referral.
Alternatively, you can set up and manage your own affiliate program within your business. It is estimated that 80 percent of brands have affiliate programs and this number is likely to increase with the rise of digital products and social networks.
One company that effectively uses its affiliate program to generate leads is Nordstrom Rack. The company has partnered with the Shopping Links platform to build long-term relationships with influencers and drive interest in its products. This partnership allowed Nordstrom to identify and work with influencers on a large scale. This has allowed the company to promote its products to 500,000 potential customers.
When Instagram influencer and Something Navy founder Arielle Charnas announced a partnership with Nordstrom, the exclusive clothing line sold out in 24 hours. With affiliate marketing, you can increase your brand awareness exponentially by leveraging existing networks and attracting new leads through referrals.
3. Create optimized landing pages
On-page SEO allows you to optimize your content for inbound marketing so that it continues to pay off long after it has been published. Almost 52% of marketers use landing pages for future campaigns. This means it's important to create recurring content so you can continue to generate potential leads for your sales team over time.
Your website consists of many parts that need to work together harmoniously to attract customers and generate leads. Optimizing your homepage, landing pages, infographics and lead capture software is necessary to ensure that visitors don't leave your website before you've had time to present your offer.
Page optimization tactics include:
- Optimization of the keywords in the title
- Appropriate structuring of the URLs
- Use clear meta descriptions
- Limiting the form fields
- Optimize images and call-to-actions
- Use internal links
Apptega is a SaaS cybersecurity company that turned to HubSpot to update its website so it could generate more high-quality leads. Up until this point, Apptega was struggling to regularly update pages. Managing the website soon became difficult as plugins failed and long load times negatively impacted results.
To solve these problems, Apptega converted its website to CMS Hub. By integrating landing pages, repositioning call to actions and forms, and optimizing data flow, Apptega saw a 200 percent increase in demo requests. If you want to get more out of what you already have, optimizing your pages for lead generation can help drive traffic. And you can do it without reinventing the wheel.
4. Include call-to-actions for conversion
The call to action (CTA) is one of the most important parts of any page on your website. A CTA that attracts attention will hopefully entice visitors to enter their details into one of your online forms. Or register for a free trial.
The smarter your CTAs are, the more likely you are to convert visitors into leads. Personalized CTAs are 202% more likely to convert than generic versions. Furthermore, it's not only the quality of your CTAs that matters, but also their number and position. Emails with a single CTA increase clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1617 percent, while a CTA in a video gets 380 percent more clicks than one in the sidebar.
To increase the effectiveness of your call-to-action elements, you should:
- Limit the number of CTAs
- Write relevant texts for your CTAs
- Experiment with different lead magnets
- Conduct A/B tests to find out which variant gives you the best results.
The email marketing company GetResponse wanted to increase its number of leads but was unsure how to go about it. It had a "Buy Now" button on its site but wanted to experiment with other lead magnets to see if it could improve its current website.
To solve the problem, GetResponse conducted A/B tests to see whether the "Free trial offer" button would perform better.
By adding a free trial button, GetResponse saw a 158 per cent increase in free accounts. Whether you're using CTAs in pop-ups, whitepapers, features or videos, take the time to try different variations. By testing and experimenting with different placements, frequencies and copy, you can take your CTA game to the next level.
5. Publish relevant case studies
Although only 13 per cent of marketers use case studies as their primary lead generation tool, it's hard to overstate their value. B2B marketers in particular benefit from publishing relevant case studies as they impressively demonstrate your company's track record with proven results.
There are many different ways you can use case studies in marketing:
- Excerpts from case studies in emails and as downloadable PDFs
- Optimized landing pages for case studies
- Testimonials on your homepage
- Blog and social media posts
- Videos and presentations showing exemplary cases
Codecademy 's site "Stories" is a great example of how you can use case studies to highlight the impact of your business. Codecademy not only has its own page for its case studies, but also creates detailed and individual landing pages for each customer story.
Codecademy uses different formats to present its stories, including videos and articles. The company puts a human face and location to all testimonials to make them feel personal. If you find it difficult to engage potential customers and work with emotions, case studies might be just what you need.
6. Publish free templates or examples
It's a well-known fact that everyone loves free stuff. Whether it's free samples at the supermarket or access to an e-book when you sign up for a newsletter, offering your customers free lead magnets is a great tactic to increase interest in your business.
Nearly 87 per cent of respondents say they're willing to pay more for a more expensive product if they can try it first. Giving your visitors a taste of what your business has to offer gives you the chance to gather valuable customer information. And you can lay the foundation for future sales. Examples of free digital samples are:
- Downloadable e-books
- Free templates and designs
- Guides, recipes and manuals
Canva is a graphic design company that allows users to create graphics for social media, posters, cards and presentations. Founded in 2012, the startup aims to give everyone the opportunity to create beautiful designs.
Its marketing strategy allows users to create a free account and access hundreds of designs, templates and graphics. With its easy-to-use software and free templates, Canva has won millions of customers. Canva proves that sometimes it pays to give things away for free.
7. Build your audience with a newsletter
Newsletters are a simple but effective outbound marketing tool that can dramatically increase your lead generation efforts, especially in B2B. 81 percent of B2B marketers say they use newsletters more than any other form of content marketing.
Furthermore, for every euro you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average ROI of 42 euros – if you've also got the right exciting content design, of course. With figures like these, it's clear why companies invest so much time in developing and designing newsletters to engage and motivate their target audience.
You can improve your newsletter with email marketing automation:
- Sending welcome emails to new subscribers
- Integration of lead magnets in the content
- Re-engaging inactive subscribers with targeted content
TheSkimm is a media company that publishes a newsletter with easy-to-read news and editorials. The founders of TheSkimm, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, realized that there were few media outlets creating content specifically for young millennial women.
To fill this gap, they created the DailySkimm newsletter. It is clearly designed and accessible to young professionals early in the morning.
In a saturated media market, TheSkimm's newsletter has gained 7 million subscribers in the last seven years. This shows that timely, relevant and engaging content makes your newsletter stand out from the crowd. It also shows that leads can be generated for your business if you research well and know what your target audience wants to read.
What matters in lead generation
So now you know seven effective ways to generate leads, including:
- Optimize your content for long-tail keywords to generate more demand
- Use affiliate marketing
- Publish optimized pages and landing pages for lead generation
- Turn readers into leads, with strong call-to-actions
- Publish relevant case studies
- Offer free templates or examples
- Build your audience with an engaging newsletter
Whether you're looking for better ways to manage your content or optimize the performance of your website, don't forget to prioritize lead generation in all your updates. Just adding a button, a testimonial or a keyword in the right place can make the difference between gaining new leads and losing visitors.
You can't just rely on your products or services to sell themselves. At some point, you'll need to attract new clients. That's when the strategies described here will help you keep your business or agency competitive.