Capturing leads no longer has to follow the same formula you've used in the past. While these traditional methods may have created some opportunities for you, it's nothing like the potential you have when using more targeted lead capture strategies.
First, let’s start by establishing what a lead is.
A lead is someone who expresses interest in your product or service by giving you their contact information along with their permission to send them information.
A targerted lead is someone who has similar traits as former leads who are now your clients. Identifying the demographic and psychographic traits of ideal client will help you determine which leads qualify as a targeted lead, and where you should be focusing your time.
Demographics include typical characteristics such as:
- Annual income
- Education level
- Marital status
- Employment status
On their own, demographics only give you part of the information you need. To truly understand what qualifies as a target lead for your business, and the why that motivates them to make a purchase, you need to add in psychographics. This will help you understand the why that motivates them and drives their purchase decisions.
Psychographic information about your ideal client will tell you about their:
- Activities (work, hobbies, etc.)
- Interests (food, sports, etc.)
- Opinions (politics, culture, etc.)
Now that you're squared away on who your targeted leads are, let's talk about the different ways you can generated targeted sales leads.
Generating targeted sales leads
So where do you find those leads and turn them into sales?
Facebook ads are the big pillar of online generation right now.
Facebook Ads Manager is an important tool for lead generation, because you can target the audience that sees your ads based on their demographics. You can create custom audiences, which are the people who have already shown an interest in your business based on your contacts, site traffic, or mobile app; or you can create lookalike audiences, which are people who are similar to audiences you already care about using people who like your page, conversion pixels, or custom audiences.
You can target your ads by location, gender, age, interests, behaviors, connections, relationships, job titles, and more, which allows you to very precisely reach just the people you’re looking for.
Send people to a landing page
Your ad has to lead people somewhere so you can convert visitors into leads. You shouldn’t just send people to your homepage—you need to send them to a landing page designed specifically to capture their information. And if you’re really savvy, you can design landing pages tailored specifically to someone’s point of entry, so creating a landing page specifically for those who clicked from your Facebook ad can help make your lead capture even more effective.
Yes, you totally just shuddered and thought "Direct mail doesn’t work!" But actually it does work—when it’s done right, it is one of the most effective lead-getting methods around. So here’s what you need to do direct mail right for lead generation.
If you tried direct mail before and it didn’t work, chances are you sent that mail to the wrong list, like everyone in an entire zip code or something, and it wasn’t targeted enough. For direct mail to be effective, you have to target just as you would target in a Facebook ad. If you did send to the right list, you may have been using the mail to sell, instead of using it as lead generation.
Use pop-up lead capture tools
In a brief moment of indecision, interruption with a singular call-to-action (CTA) can be very powerful.
Using the tools below you’ll be able to configure where and when these pop-ups appear, to whom, and with the styles you’d like. You will also have timed, automated pop-ups, as well as manually triggered ones.
They allow you the option of many more features including drag and drop building, graphics controls, triggers based on time of day, engagement with other offers, delayed timing for appearance, and more.
Dubbed as the world’s easiest popup plugin, Convert Plug provides users a feature rich plugin for their WordPress site to capture leads through pop-ups, full-screen overlays, info bars, slide-ins, and inline content opt-ins. Features allow you pre-made templates and full customization with CSS, Google Fonts, color selections, and over 80 entry and exit animations.
Other pop-up capture options that integrate with Infusionsoft by Keap are:
Remember to test your pop-ups on different browsers and once you roll out your pop-up on your site, review the site google stats to see if the bounces go up or down, the opt-ins increase and if your traffic seems more engaged. If either of these is of a negative result, your problem may be either in the messaging of the pop-up, its timing, or its placement.
Add multiple opt-in boxes on your site
Every section of your website is important. Whether it be above the fold, in the sidebar, or below the post, visitors can end up anywhere on your site.
You must take advantage of this by placing multiple opt-in forms at strategic locations on your website. This increases the chances of converting visitors into subscribers.
Create more persuasive design and copy
People are usually apprehensive about signing up on a website. They don’t want another email that they’ll eventually need to mark as spam.
There are a number of ways you can gain the trust of your visitors and remove any fears they may have.
In his book, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," Dr. Robert Cialdini talks about how social proof is a factor in persuasion. As he says, “People prefer doing what they see others in their field, profession, or social circles doing.”
Which is to say, what others do or say about you is often more important than what you say about yourself.
By adding testimonials from readers, social media followers, and influencers, you can show that your emails are worth subscribing to.
People don’t have a reason to give away their emails if whatever content you offer is already available on your blog.
If you want to get your lead count up, you need to offer your subscribers something exclusive.
Now use your automated email follow-up system to put these leads in the funnel and convert visitors into leads. With automated marketing follow up, you can direct your leads to that core offer through a series of emails Remember, having leads doesn’t get you anywhere, you still have to follow up.
Leads from content marketing
By deciding to start a business blog, you’ve already taken the first step toward building a successful content marketing strategy. According to studies, B2B marketers who use blogging in their content marketing generate 67 percent more leads than the marketers who don’t blog.
Make sure you have the right tools
First, you need to equip your blog with the right tools. Without the proper tools and services, all your content marketing efforts will go to waste.
An email marketing service
The email marketing service you choose will help you manage all your email lists, manage contacts, create email campaigns, run automations, run promotional campaigns such as webinars, and so much more from a single software.
An email opt-in plugin
You’ll also need an email opt-in plugin for your WordPress blog. This tool will help you connect your leads from email marketing with your blog and effectively generate leads using pop-up messages, opt-in forms, slide-in forms, exit-intent pop-ups, and more.
Once you integrate these tools with your blog, you can jump right into generating leads.
Offer content upgrades
Sometimes, a blog post is not enough to offer a complete learning experience to your audience. And a content upgrade can be a great way to encourage users to take what they’ve learned from your blog and take action.
A content upgrade can be something simple like a checklist, an action plan, a workbook, a case study, or a tips list. It’ll be a like a homework assignment for your readers.
The important thing to remember is that you need to offer something valuable and something that also relates to your blog post topic.
Studies show that more than 60 percent of marketers use webinars as part of their content marketing strategy. Webinars are more engaging than any other content form. As a result, they are considered as one of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads.
Build a resource hub
Building a hub full of free resources is another great strategy for attracting new leads and also building awareness for your brand.
CoSchedule has a resource hub for content marketers. UXPin has a selection of free e-books on UX design.
These companies now attract organic traffic and automatically generate leads through these resource hubs while also getting free backlinks from other websites.
Create interactive content
Most people who visit your blog never really spend the time to entirely read a 2,000-word blog post. They usually skim it.
But, there are ways you can get them to spend more time on your blog and engage with them using interactive content, like quizzes and polls.
Riddle is a great free WordPress plugin that comes with a lead capture option. Using this plugin, you can create polls and quizzes while asking users to enter their email to receive the answers or results of the quiz.
Guest blog on popular websites
Guest blogging is an effective strategy you can use to attract new audiences and convert your website traffic into leads. Publishing a guest post on an authoritative blog will help you reach a new audience and drive some of their visitors to your own website.
Lead capture tools
Thanks to more developed online channels for B2B and emerging technology, it's more affordable and practical to employ these other ways to capture leads:
1. Personalized content
According to an article on CMO that shared Gartner research, "B2B companies that use personalization in digital commerce will be able to realize up to 15 percent increase in revenues."
Generic emails just don't work anymore because businesses feel like the brand just doesn't care enough to even find out what is impacting them as a separate and distinct company.
This personalized content can be shared via email, addressing individual needs and unique issues that each target customer is facing. Regular content that addresses these specialized situations along with insights about them can start to nurture those prospects and capture leads that convert.
There are also other places to provide personalized content. For example, you can create personalized landing pages and generate content recommendations specifically for your database of prospects. Additionally, you may want to consider personalized content for the mobile environment and even localized marketing techniques.
2. Social media giveaway contests
If you plan on using this tactic to capture leads, make sure the incentive really is something your audience would get excited about.
Also, make the prize specific to your audience versus something everyone might want. You want to capture leads but they should be meaningful ones that have the potential to generate real business for you. It could be free services or products related to what you do, grabbing the attention of businesses that fit your desired customer persona.
Consider announcing the contest and capturing leads on social media or a customized landing page. This provides a way to also determine the real return from this tactic.
How to run a giveaway contest
Step 1: Define your ideal customer
This step is huge as it will dictate how you do each subsequent step. You need get super clear on who your target customer is for this giveaway. Who will ultimately buy your product or service?
To help, you can answer these questions about them:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- Are they male or female?
- What books, magazines, or blogs do they read?
- What do they do for fun?
- What are their problems, pains, and issues?
- What are their goals, hopes, and dreams?
If you’ve already done this work on defining the target audience for your business, then use that. Take some time to get crystal clear on this—it’s crucial.
Step 2: Define your goal for after they enter
This one is pretty straightforward but not everyone thinks about this early enough. The giveaway is how your leads enter your funnel and in this step, you’ll want to get clear on what you want them to do at the end of your funnel.
Most of the time, the goal will be to sell your product or service, increase attendance at your event, or drive towards some sort of purchase. Or maybe you want them to donate to a cause or give you referrals.
If you have multiple products or services, try to get clear on just one for this step. It will help you be more efficient throughout the rest of the creation process.
Step 3: Choose a prize that will attract your ideal customer
The prize you offer will dictate the quality of your leads. Read that again. The prize you choose can make or break your giveaway.
Key: Targeted or universal prize
An example of a targeted prize is a local yoga studio that gives away a free 90-day pass to their location. It’s inherently targeted to people interested in yoga who live close enough to become members of their studio.
An example of a universal prize is an iPad or a car. Everyone loves iPads and cars. They’re inherently universal.
In a nutshell, Targeted Prize = Targeted Leads. Universal Prize = Generic Leads.
Key: Attract your ideal customer and weed out the rest
As a small business owner, you want to choose a prize that attracts your ideal customer and weeds out the rest. The yoga studio is a perfect example of this. Only people who are interested in yoga will enter that giveaway, and that’s a good thing; those are the best leads for a yoga studio.
If you’re a business coach or consultant, don’t give away a gift card to a local restaurant or a free vacation. Those are things that everyone wants, so they’re not going to weed out the people who aren’t business owners. Instead, give away a bundle of business books or a free ticket to a business conference or seminar.
Key: Make it valuable!
In order to be enticing, the prize needs to be valuable but not necessarily expensive. Think of things that your ideal customer is already buying. Or maybe something that’s scarce like tickets to a concert, local sporting event, or a popular movie on opening night (which, by the way, are great prizes for local businesses).
Step 4: Create the giveaway lead capture page
Every lead capture giveaway needs to have its own unique landing page or squeeze page where your ideal customer will enter to win. It can be hosted on your website or somewhere else so long as the giveaway is the only focus of the page.
To make it easier on yourself, try one of these software options to host the giveaway directly on your site without having to build it yourself from scratch: Contest Domination or King Sumo Giveaways.
Whichever option you choose, make sure your page contains:
- A clear title that mentions the prize
- Two to three features and benefits of the prize
- How to enter
- When the winner will be selected
- Social Media sharing buttons
Step 5: Launch and promote it
Once your giveaway is launched, it’s time to get some eyeballs on it. If you have an email list, no matter how small, share it with them and really encourage them to share it with their friends. If you’re worried about current or past customers winning, just include an additional prize in the giveaway for them.
If you don’t have an email list, promote it on all your social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.
And to really light your giveaway on fire, promote it using Facebook giveaway contest and/or Instagram Ads. This is by far the best way to get new people to enter the giveaway because you can put it in front of people who match your ideal customer profile to a T.
B2B marketers that create video content that educates and engages their target audience will also garner more leads. Google has verified this with statistics that indicate the B2B audience likes to watch videos on their purchase journey. Google also found that nearly half of those surveyed watch at least 30 minutes of video when they are researching items to potentially purchase.
Live streaming through social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are becoming more popular in conjunction with the overall love of video content. While it's growing in popularity as part of a B2B marketing strategy, more than half of today's businesses have yet to try it as a way to capture leads. It's an excellent way to demonstrate your product or service in use.
5. Influencer marketing for lead capture
Influencers are not just for consumers anymore. Businesses also believe in others they admire to guide them toward a particular product or service. This is especially the case when it comes to bigger ticket items like software or equipment. If a business colleague or recognized social influencer shares what a product or service has done for them, these prospects are more likely to follow suit.
Yet, according to one site, only 15 percent of B2B companies have implemented an influencer marketing campaign. This is an ideal way to get around ad blockers and other tactics that businesses don't trust.
Look for industry experts and successful entrepreneurs to serve as your influencers. Your target audience trusts these influencers as sources of valuable information. They can also be very specific about the type of value your audience will gain from your product or service.
Convert visitors into leads at trade shows
Figure out what you want to achieve. Your goals could include finding new vendors, spotting trends in your industry, meeting potential partners for your business and more. Determining your goals will drive the rest of your actions.
Select the right show. Start searching for shows that will help you meet the kinds of people you’re looking for. TSNN, Trade Show Finder and Events in America are good places to search. You can sort events based on date, industry, location and other factors. If you’re totally new to trade shows, also contact your industry’s trade association to see if they host a show or recommend any particular events. Get the details. Find out who is attending, how many exhibitors will be there, what types of people are coming and more. The organizers or website should be able to give you this information.
Be prepared. You’ll need plenty of business cards (yes, people still use them!) to pass out, along with any other information you might want to exchange. If you expect to order products, be sure you have your business license, tax identification number, and resale certificate information. Also be prepared to take notes, whether that’s on a tablet, smartphone or with pen and paper.
Get a good start. Avoid waiting in long lines at the show by registering online before the event and checking out the directory information, which should include contact information for exhibitors and a map of the event. Plan ahead what you want to see and do.
Mingle as much as you can. In addition to talking to exhibitors, be sure to take advantage of speakers, workshops, lunches and other opportunities to learn and meet others in your industry. Exchange contact information with everyone—you never know who you may want to get in touch with post-show.
Follow up. When you get back home, immediately organize your contact information and touch base with people within two weeks (before they forget about you). Following up promptly is key to successfully maximizing your new contacts.
Make your product get more leads for you
There are things you can do inside of your product to get more leads. Offering a free trial is a great way to attract leads and allow them to self-qualify whether they are interested in moving down the funnel. If you’re unable to offer a free trial, offering free content about your product (like an ebook, webinar or videos) is a great way to showcase your product and get leads fast and excited. These are also great pieces to feature on your marketing website to get leads to opt-in for more information.
Third party testimonials are additionally more valuable than sales presentations or email campaigns. Testimonials build trust because they are (hopefully) unbiased recommendations, not sales pitches.
Remember, the ultimate goal of any product is to take a lead from window shopper to customer. In order to achieve this, your product needs to solve a need, be competitive in the market and priced right.