In your daily routine, you have so many things to do that you surely forget many, no matter how important they are. Let’s say you have a friendly black and white border collie dog that accompanies you every afternoon on your walks to relax.
You love him very much, but if it’s not because the store and vet where you bought his kibbles a month ago calls you on a Saturday at noon, you almost miss the date for his vaccinations. Luckily they have you in their database to update you!
Perhaps that is the reason why you decide to subscribe to their rewards program and, without realizing it, you become one of their most loyal and frequent customers. That’s the way a business should generate Live transfer leads, not with calls driven by an impersonal script, at times that interrupt or don’t make sense to the people who serve them.
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In this article, we want to share some tips that will help you generate leads in a more effective way and that will create a meaningful relationship with the people who are interested in your product or service. Shall we start?
What is the lead?
A lead is anyone who shows interest in a company’s product or service in any way possible. Typically, a leader knows about a business or organization after opening the communication (by giving personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription), rather than receiving a random call from someone who purchased their contact information.
Leads are part of the life cycle that consumers follow when they transition from visitor to customer. Not all business loan leads are created the same (nor are they rated the same). There are different types depending on how they are qualified and the stage of the cycle in which they are.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are contacts who have engaged with the efforts of your marketing team but are not yet ready to receive the sales call. An example of an MQL is someone filling out a landing page form for an offer.
Qualified Sales Lead (SQL)
Qualified Sales Leads (SQL) are contacts who have already taken actions that expressly indicate their interest in becoming customers. An example of SQL is someone filling out a form to ask a question about your product or service.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) are contacts who have used your product and take action to indicate that they are interested in becoming a paying customer. PQLs commonly exist in companies that offer a product trial or a free or limited version of their product (like in HubSpot) with upgrade options, which is when your sales team gets involved. An example of a PQL is a customer who uses your version for free, but contacts you or asks about features that are only available for a fee.
Qualified service lead
Qualified service leads are contacts or customers who have indicated to your service team their interest in becoming consumers of your product. An example of this type of lead is a customer telling your service representative that they would like to improve their product subscription; at this point, the representative would send the person to the appropriate sales team or representative.
Since we define what a lead is and what types exist, what is this about lead generation or lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers into someone who indicates interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead generators are job applications, blog posts, coupons, live events, and online content.
Why do you need to generate leads?
Within the Inbound methodology, lead generation falls into the second stage. It takes place after you’ve attracted an audience and when you’re ready to actually convert those visitors into qualified leads for your sales team (i.e. SQL). As you can see in the following diagram, generating leads is a fundamental point in the step of an individual to become a pleased customer of your business.
Lead generation in the inbound methodology
When generating leads, what you really do is find ways to attract people to your business. And provide enough benefits that people are spontaneously interested in your company and eventually become so excited about the brand that they want to hear from you.
It’s a way to get potential customers excited about your business and guide them down the road to finally buying.
By showing an organic interest in your business, they initiate the relationship (rather than the business), which makes it easier and more natural for them to want to buy something from you in the future.
How to qualify someone as a “lead”?
As you already know, a lead is a person who has shown interest in your company’s product or service. Now let’s talk about the ways someone can really show that interest.
Generally, a lead is generated through the collection of information. That information gathering can be the result of a job seeker showing interest in a position by completing a job application, a buyer sharing contact information in exchange for a coupon, or a person filling out a download form. an educational content.
These are just a few of the many ways someone could be qualified as a lead. Each of these examples differs in the amount of information you can request to qualify someone as a lead, and also in the level of interest that person has towards your company.
Let’s evaluate each situation:
Job Application — An individual who completes a job application form is willing to share a lot of personal information as they want to be considered for the position. Completing the application shows your true interest in the job, therefore, that person qualifies as a lead for the company’s human resources team.
Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has come across one of your online coupons. But if you think the coupon has enough value, you may be willing to offer your name and email in exchange for it. Although it is not a lot of information, it is enough for the company to know that someone shows interest in its business.
Content: While a coupon download shows that an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (such as an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to fully understand the nature of the person’s interest in your business, you probably need to collect more information: you will need enough information for a salesperson to really understand if the person is interested in your product or service or if they are appropriate. .
These three examples highlight how lead generation differs from company to company, and person to person. You will need to collect enough information to measure whether someone has a true and valid interest in your product or service, but knowing how much information is enough will vary depending on your business.
Let’s see an example:
Statista form for lead generation
Individuals must register in order to access the reports, studies, and statistics Statista creates for marketers. The form we show above appears on a landing page when you click on a free download of one of its documents, and it doesn’t ask for as many requirements. All you need is a name, surname, the gender with which the person identifies, their telephone number, and an email, in addition to creating a password for each occasion that is required.
Lead generation process
Now that we understand how lead generation is integrated into inbound marketing methodology, let’s review the actual components of the lead generation process.
First, a visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media profile.
That visitor clicks on your call to action (or call to action, CTA): an image, button, or message that encourages visitors to take the desired action.
That CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page designed to get lead information in exchange for an offer.
Note: An offer is a content or something of value that is offered on the landing page, such as an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must be perceived as having sufficient value for a visitor to provide personal information in exchange for access to it.
Once on the landing page, your visitor will fill out a form in exchange for the offer. (It is common for forms to appear on landing pages, but they can be hosted anywhere on your site.) Ready! You already have a new lead, as long as you follow good practices for capturing it.
To sum it up: the visitor clicks on a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead.
By the way, check out our free lead generation tool. It helps you create lead capture forms directly on your website. In addition, it is very easy to configure.
Marketing for lead generation
Once you combine all the elements, you can use various promotional channels to drive traffic to your landing page to start generating leads.
But what channels should you use to promote your landing page? Let’s talk about the interface that takes care of lead generation: marketing for lead generation.
If you learn better with visual resources, this table shows you the flow from promotional marketing channels to a generated lead.
Promotional channels for lead generation
There are other channels you can use to get visitors who turn into leads. Let’s review them in-depth and talk about a few more.
Creating content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to give your visitors free and useful information. You can include CTAs anywhere: at the beginning or end of an article, in a banner in the header, or even in a side panel. The more satisfied a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click on your call to action and go to your landing page.
Email is a good place to reach people who already know your brand and product or service. It is much easier to ask them to complete an action since they have subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit crowded, so use a CTA that has eye-catching copy and an attractive design to get the attention of your subscribers.
Ads and retargeting
The purpose of an ad is to get people to do something. Otherwise, why spend money? If you want people to convert, make sure your landing page and offer are exactly what you promised in the ad, and that the action you want them to take is clear.
The great thing about using your blog posts to promote an offer is that you can create the right piece for that purpose. For example, if your offer is an educational video on how to set up Google Search Console, then write a blog post that explains how to set your marketing metrics … which could make your CTA very relevant and clickable.
Social media platforms make it easy for you to guide your followers to take action, from swiping up on Instagram stories to links in Facebook bios or cropped URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offers in your posts and updates, and include a CTA in your copy.
You can overcome many barriers to a sale by offering trials of your product or service. Once a prospect uses it, you can attract them with additional offers or resources that encourage them to buy. Another good practice is to include your brand image in your free versions so that you capture other leads as well.
Referential marketing, or word of mouth, is useful for lead generation, but in a different way. That is, it puts your brand in front of more people, which in turn increases your opportunities to generate more leads.
Whichever channel you use to generate leads, guide users to your landing page. As long as you build one that does the conversion, the rest will do itself.
Why not just buy leads?
Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their sales funnel, and they want it to be fast. Hence the temptation to buy leads.
Buying leads, as opposed to generating them organically, is much easier and takes less time and effort, even though it is more expensive. But you pay to advertise anyway, so why not buy leads?
First of all, any lead you buy doesn’t really know you. Most likely, they accepted when registering for something on a third party site, and did not choose to receive anything from your company.
The messages you send them are therefore unwanted. And sending spam is invasive. If the prospect has never been to your website or indicated an interest in your products or services, then you interrupt them … it’s that simple.
If he never specifically chose to receive messages from you, then there is a high probability that he will mark them as spam, which is very dangerous for your business. This not only trains your email provider to filter your messages, but it also tells them which ones to not allow in at all.
Once a sufficient number of people mark you as spam, you will be blacklisted, which is then shared with other email providers. When they are on that blacklist, it is very, very difficult to get off it. In addition, your mail delivery and IP reputation will be damaged.
So it’s true: always, always, always better to generate leads organically than to buy them.
Lead generation strategies for different channels
Online lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies that depend on the platform on which you want to achieve it. We already talked about what to do when someone visits your site. But how do people get there, to begin with?
Let’s explore lead generation strategies for some of the most popular platforms.
Lead generation on Facebook
Facebook has been a lead generation method from the beginning. Originally, companies used outbound links in their posts and information in their biographies to attract people to their websites.
However, when Facebook Ads launched in 2007, and its algorithm began to favor accounts that implemented paid advertising, there was a huge change in the way businesses use the platform to get leads. So Facebook created Lead Ads for this purpose. It also has a feature that allows you to put a call to action button at the top of your page, helping you send your followers directly to your website.
Lead generation on Twitter
Twitter has Cards, which are ads that allow you to generate leads directly in a tweet without having to leave the site. The username, email address, and Twitter users are automatically taken to the card, and all they have to do is click “Submit” to become a lead. (Hint for HubSpot users: you can connect this feature to your forms. Learn how here ).
Lead generation on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has been growing in value in the ad space for a long time. When it comes to lead generation, the platform has Lead Gen Forms, which are automatically filled with the user’s profile when they click on a CTA, making it easier to capture information.
Lead generation in PPC
When we mention cost per click (or PPC), we mean the ads that appear on search engine results in pages (or SERPs). Google receives 3.5 billion searches per day, becoming fertile ground for any campaign, especially if it is for lead generation. The effectiveness of your CPC campaign depends a lot on a seamless flow to the user, as well as your budget, target keywords, and other factors.
Lead generation in B2B
B2B is a particular business model that needs a unique approach to lead generation. 57% of B2B marketers consider SEO to be the most important resource for obtaining business leads, closely followed by email and social media marketing. Not to mention that the effectiveness varies by channel.
Tips for successful lead generation
In any lead generation campaign, there can be many moving parts. It’s hard to know which ones work and which ones need a good fit. What exactly does it take for the best lead generator machine? Here we share some tips to build this type of campaign.
Use the right tools for lead generation
The most successful marketing teams use a formal system to organize and store their leads. That’s where lead generation software tools come in.
How much do you know about the people who visit your website? Do you know their names and emails? How about the pages they’ve visited, how they navigate them, and what they do before filling out a conversion form?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may have trouble connecting with the people who visit you. You should be able to answer these questions, and you will if you have the right lead generation tools.
There are some tools and templates that will help you create different lead generation assets to use on your site:
CTA templates: templates that you can edit in PowerPoint, for example, to design the buttons that you will use on your blog, landing pages, or wherever you decide on your website.
Software tools for lead generation: they are the ones that allow you to obtain leads and contact information in their functions, thanks to pre-designed forms.
Visitor Tracking — Heatmap tools that allow you to create a color-coded representation of the way a user navigates your site. This allows you to understand what people are looking for, what they are interested in, and what they do on your website. Record your visitors and tell you where they spent the most time. You can take advantage of it to collect information on your lead generation forms, feedback forms, surveys, and more.
Form search tool: this tool collects the submissions of forms already existing on your site to help you, automatically, to consolidate your leads in a contact database, no matter which forms it is.
Create incredible offers for the different stages of the buying cycle
Not all of your visitors to your site are ready to talk to your sales team or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer’s journey may be interested in an informational piece, such as an e-book or guide, while someone else more familiar with your business, and closer to the end of the tour, might need more of a free trial or a sample.
Make sure you create offers for each phase, and that each phase has its own CTA on your site.
Yes, it takes a bit of time to create valuable content that educates and nurtures your leads in the funnel, but if you don’t offer something for those who are not ready to buy, then they may not come back again. From a list, templates, or free tools, there is a lot of variety to start with.
If you want to take personalization a step further (which will help improve your conversion rate) try implementing smart calls to action. Smart CTAs detect where a person is on your buyer journey, whether they are a new visitor, lead, or customer, and show them appropriate CTAs. These custom calls to action drive significantly more visitors than their basic versions.
Keep your messages consistent and deliver what you promise
The campaigns with the highest lead generation are those that deliver what they promise and create a seamless transition from the copy and design of an ad to the deliverable itself. Make sure that you present a consistent message throughout the process and that you add value to everyone involved in getting leads.
The aspects of your lead generation campaign should reflect everything else on your website, your blog, and the products that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you will have trouble moving your lead through the cycle. Your campaign should be more than just getting email addresses: it should be to develop a new customer.
Link your CTA to a special landing page
This may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many marketers don’t create special landing pages for their offers. Calls to action must direct visitors to a landing page where they can receive a specific offer.
Don’t use CTAs to get them to your home page, for example. Even if your CTA is talking about your brand or product (and maybe not about an offer, such as a download), you should still send them to a landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for and includes a form. If you have a chance to use a call to action, send them to a page that will convert them into leads.
Involve your sales team
Remember when we talked about lead qualification? Well, it is not very feasible without the intervention of your sales team. How will you know which lead qualifies for sales if you don’t know if your SQL is selling successfully? Your marketing and sales teams need to align themselves on the definitions and processes that convert a lead into an MQL or SQL or a lead before you start getting them.
In addition, it opens the opportunity to evolve your relationship with sales and in the way you take you, MCA leads through the funnel. Your definitions will have to adjust over time; just remember to update everyone involved.
Use social media strategically
While marketers think of social media for marketing early in the funnel, it can also be a useful, low-cost resource for lead generation, as we already mentioned in lead generation strategies. The key is to use social media strategically.
Start with adding links that lead directly to landing pages with high-performing offers on your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms. Tell your visitors that you are the one who sends them there.
You can also do a lead generation analysis on your blog to find out which posts generate the most leads. Then take care of linking them in your social media posts. Another way to generate leads is to run a contest. Contests are fun and engage your fans, plus they teach you a lot about your audience. It is a win-win.
Be flexible and repeat constantly
Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you are targeting. Trends change, behaviors change, opinions change … just like your lead generation marketing. Implement A / B tests to find out which CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert the most, and the type of copy that captures your target audience. Experiment with changes in layout, format, user experience, content, and advertising channels until you find the right ones.
Grow better with lead generation
There you have it. Now that you know more about how to generate leads for your business, we recommend that you try HubSpot’s free lead generation tool. Use it to add simple conversion assets to your site (or to search your existing forms) to learn more about your site visitors and the content that drives them to convert.
The basics we review in this article are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms. And promote them in your multi-channel spaces. Keep in close contact with your sales team to check that you deliver high-quality leads on a regular basis. Last but not least: never stop testing. The more you refine and test each step of your inbound lead generation process, the more you improve the quality of those leads and increase your profits.