Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business. Without a constant flow of new leads to sell to, a business will struggle to grow revenue and market share. But lead gen opportunities can be hard to secure in a highly competitive marketplace where you’re trying to surface potential customers across multiple channels.
The following list of lead generation tips can help. You can use these best practices to find and vet more (and more promising) leads for your business and measure the overall success of your lead generation strategy. But first, let’s take a closer look at what lead generation is and some common sources of leads.
Lead generation is the process of identifying and qualifying prospective customers (prospects) that your business has a strong chance of converting into actual customers (buyers). You also need to nurture promising leads by keeping them informed, interested, and engaged until they’re ready to make a purchase.
From a marketing perspective, lead generation involves using an array of tactics — from radio ads to direct mail to social media campaigns — to alert consumers to your products and services, stoke their interest in those offerings by communicating their value, and prompt them to engage with your business to find out more.
For example, a television ad for health insurance might include a phone number at the end of the commercial that consumers can call to get more information, like a free brochure outlining the benefits of various plans. As part of that process, the consumer provides their contact information, and perhaps even some demographic information. The company then uses that information to stay in touch with the customer, engage with them, and keep moving them through the pipeline and toward a sale.
You can generate leads from various sources, including:
Many companies buy lead lists as a way to jumpstart their lead generation or get out of a lead-gen slump. Lead lists include contact information, like names, email addresses, job titles, and more, related to the customers and businesses that a company would like to target for acquisition as customers.
Unfortunately, lead lists are notorious for being both costly and not all that useful. For one thing, the contacts on these paid lists aren’t exclusive to your business. Also, when you reach out to these leads via cold calls or emails, you’re likely going to get a low level of engagement from them in return. This isn’t surprising given that these contacts didn’t seek to engage with you first. (It also translates to higher lead costs for your business.)
So, forget about paid lists. There are better ways to find new leads. Here are 10 lead generation tips that can provide you with more opportunities to identify customers who are truly interested in your business — and help you land new sales. These tips include three strategies for tracking your results.
Without enough focus on search engine optimization (SEO), your digital marketing efforts will suffer, as will your bottom line. Your business or product won’t appear in organic searches and that means customers aren’t likely to find you on search engine results pages (SERPs), or at least, not high up. You’ll miss out on countless leads, and those who do stumble across your digital properties may not be the customers you really want to reach.
To improve lead generation for your business, prioritize SEO improvement. An effective SEO strategy requires understanding your target audience and using relevant keywords strategically in content to help favorably position your company’s website landing page, product pages, social media feeds, and more on SERPs.
Improve the technical SEO of your website by consistently updating your content and performing keyword searches to find the most relevant keywords. Also, consider reaching out to relevant, high-quality websites to secure backlinks to your site. When high-ranking domains link to your site, Google takes that as a sign your site is an authority on a subject, which can, in turn, help your site achieve a bump up in rankings.
You can also boost SEO by having a blog on your site that is updated regularly and features posts optimized for SEO. This will increase the chances of your website ranking high on SERPs. Improving your website’s speed can also benefit your SEO efforts since search engines like Google value response speeds when determining SERP rankings. A website audit can reveal old, unnecessary, or broken links or plugins that can be removed to enhance response times.
Strong SEO can deliver potential customers to your marketing channels, like your company website or social media pages. But strong content on those channels will help keep those leads interested and motivate them to keep coming back — giving your business more opportunities to nurture them and eventually convert them into paying customers.
Content marketing emphasizes serving up relevant and useful content to your prospects to demonstrate that you understand the issues or topics they want to address or know more about. The content also guides them toward solutions that can help them.
Webpages, blog posts, case studies, customer testimonials, and even product and support documentation used for content marketing should be thoughtfully crafted to be relevant, useful, and engaging — and not overly salesy. Also consider using rich, informative content such as on-demand videos, podcasts, and webinars throughout your site to create an even more compelling experience for both prospects and existing customers.
Quality content is also essential if you’re running paid media advertising campaigns. Pay-per-click (PPC) and display ads need to feature compelling ad copy. They must also guide users to great content if you want to generate solid leads and avoid losing them before you even have a chance to try to move them down the sales funnel.
A PPC ad campaign allows you to adapt your messages throughout the customer journey and see what prospects are searching for. PPC ads typically lead prospects to a specific landing page, giving you the option to maximize your lead gen opportunities even further.
One tip for success for paid media campaigns is to use dynamic number insertion (DNI) to generate a unique phone number for ads and landing pages. When you incorporate DNI with conversation intelligence, your marketing team will know which ads or pages are driving phone call conversions. And by tracking the full return on investment your PPC ads generate, you can make smarter optimizations that will drive more high-quality phone leads at a lower cost.
You want to be where your customers are, and increasingly, that’s on social media. In fact, many prospective buyers today will go to social media channels for information about brands, products, and services at some point during their buying journey. It might even be their first stop.
So, don’t overlook social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube when crafting and deploying PPC and other ad campaigns designed to increase lead generation. Sharing videos, blogs, and images across social media can help you attract new organic leads and create opportunities for engagement.
What? Generate leads in person? Yes, this old-school approach still has legs in our digital world, especially now that many organizations are returning to in-person events as pandemic restrictions have eased. It’s an ideal time to get back out there and meet with potential customers face-to-face at trade show booths, networking events, or just by “walking the conference floor.”
Since it may be a long time since your marketing team has tried to generate leads at an in-person event (and there’s a chance that some of your more junior team members have little or no experience in this area), you may want to give them a refresher course or tutorial. This useful resource can help get you started.
Asking for customer referrals is another strategy that can help with lead generation. This approach may also seem old-fashioned, but it remains highly effective for discovering lead gen opportunities. After all, the best ad, and advocate, for your business is a satisfied customer.
Referrals often happen organically, with a customer volunteering to put you in touch with someone else they know who can benefit from your product or services. But it’s still worth your while to be proactive about requesting referrals. Just think how many more high-quality leads you could generate if you ask each satisfied customer for a referral!
You might also consider initiating a formal customer referral program that incentivizes customers to provide you with leads by offering discounts or other rewards.
Finally, if you think your team needs a boot camp to step up their lead generation capabilities, there are plenty of online courses to explore. (Here are some examples.) These courses cover everything from inbound and outbound cold calls and email to using Google Ads, Instagram, and Facebook for lead generation.
You must be able to measure the success of your lead generation strategy so you can build on what works and refine or abandon what doesn’t. That brings us to the last three tips on our lead generation tips list. These recommendations all relate to methods for demonstrating that your efforts are producing positive results.
You can’t be successful at lead gen if you aren’t tracking how many leads you actually get. You should, for example, track form submissions and meetings booked. You can also employ call tracking software analytics to pinpoint campaigns and keywords as well as webpages and marketing channels that drive phone leads. This can help you keep the attribution trail going and make sure that marketing gets credit for its role in phone call conversions.
If you use call tracking software from Invoca, you can send call tracking and conversion data to Google Analytics so that all your attribution data is in your existing workflows. The Invoca’s Google Analytics Integration joins call tracking data and conversation analytics with digital data in Google Analytics, so marketers can measure and attribute inbound calls with the same accuracy as online actions.
To see the successes leading marketers have had with this integration, check out our Invoca + Google Analytics Success Stories ebook.
If you find that you’re successful at generating leads, that’s great news. But there’s still one more step you can — and should — take to make sure you’re hitting the right notes with your potential customers, and your current ones, too. That step is understanding what the experience is like for users when they navigate your digital properties.
Taking this journey might lead to new ideas to streamline the user experience. At the very least, it will help expose issues like broken links and inactive forms.
Call tracking software is vital for tracking leads — and proving the results of your lead generation strategy. Marketers use Invoca call tracking software to, among other things:
Want to learn more about how you can increase your lead volume with Invoca? Check out these resources:
Download our Ultimate Guide to Reducing Wasted Marketing Spend to learn how you can lower your CPA while improving marketing campaign performance.