The “Open Sesame” of Online Marketing

You know how the saying goes for retail/food serving businesses? There are only 3 crucial elements for its success – location, location, location.

It’s the same for most types of marketing campaigns, only with leads.

We can hear advertisers’ objection through the screen so let’s just clarify –awareness and consideration as objectives are as important on the path to reach conversions. But they’re just that – “stops” on the way. Most brands in the world count their dollars, not their impressions. Leads are the gateway to a purchase and recurring purchases and therefore a safe bet would be to count on the former rather than the latter.

Online marketing how to generate leads for your business

What is a lead?

A lead is a “piece” of information that you have about a potential client that you can use and re-use to get in touch with this person. Granted that it’s all with consent – the person herself/himself provides these details directly to you. It can be a phone number, an email address, a physical address, a Skype address, a WhatsApp number and others.

A word about qualified leads

As the lead generation world has evolved to big volumes, the spam came along with it. So to have many leads, email addresses or phone numbers of people, is just not enough. Qualified leads are leads that are within your target audience and that were gained in honest ways. This is the only type of leads we are going to talk about in this article and the only type of leads we work with.

How to generate leads for your business

There are so many ways to collect leads, some are obvious and some are not. Some are offline and some are online. Some are extremely efficient and some are more time consuming.

We gathered several of these methods so you can start collecting leads for your business now and convert them tomorrow! (Alright, maybe not tomorrow, but soon!)

Online

Suggesting you to open a Facebook page or run a Google search campaign to generate leads is really not going to help you. Using social media, LinkedIn, display and email marketing to drive traffic to your website is really something you must have already known. In the below examples we tried to be as specific as possible and they should go along with the above.

  • Contact us forms. If you have any form of an online asset, a contact us form is not something to give up on. These forms don’t have to be only on the “contact us” page, they can be placed in a fixed area on the website (header for example) or as small chat box on the side. Further more, you can place them on product pages (“Interested in this item? Leave your number here and we’ll get in touch for more details!”). And there’s one more thing – make sure to check these forms every once in a while.

Contact us form on websites is a must. Screenshot is taken from markjaworskistudios.com

  • Facebook lead ad. Facebook launched a while ago this type of ad and it’s simply magical. The idea is that once a user clicks the CTA button on the ad, “submit” for example, a window opens with auto-filled fields on the form. That simplifies the user experience tremendously and therefore increases the chance for a conversion. You can customize lead ads as you wish – adding almost any field you can think of including an open question. Do keep in mind that the more details you request, the less users will be interested to submit.

  • LinkedIn’s lead gen form. Similarly to Facebook’s lead ad, LinkedIn launched a “lead gen form”. LinkedIn’s main advantage over Facebook is the professional aspect. Whereas many Facebook users don’t submit jobs and companies they work for, on LinkedIn this data is quite precise. On LinkedIn as well, the fields are auto filled and you can easily customize them.

  • Dedicated landing page. Your website is great, we’re sure about that. However it probably includes a lot of information about your business, services, products, history, team and so on. At times, for specific marketing campaigns, the best way is to create a simple, to the point, short landing page that provides enough information for the user to get interested but not enough so they’re eager to leave their contact details. A contact form on this kind of page is, needless to say, an absolute must.
  • Popups. Before a user leaves your website, when they browse a certain category, or delay on a specific product, popup can significantly increase the chance they leave their contact details. Most popups are driven to subscribe the user to a newsletter and that’s wise because email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing methods out there. Offering exclusive content for email subscribers in your popups, for example, can generate wonderful results.
Screenshot taken from mailing of "Think with Google" by Google Inc.

Screenshot taken from mailing of “Think with Google” by Google Inc.

Users are keener to leave their details when they get something in return. Screenshot taken from bxxlght.com

  • Incentives. People are keener to give their details if they get something in return. So all you have to do is create the “hook”. It doesn’t have to be a contest for a night in a hotel or a restaurant voucher. Here are a few ideas for free incentives you can give away that won’t cost you much and most importantly, provide value to your audiences:
    • E-book: a guide that you built with professional tips.
    • Webinar: share your knowledge by hosting a webinar.
    • Check list: create a “must have” list that can be helpful for your audience.
    • Suppliers you recommend: share and recommend other businesses in the context of your brand and ones that you know your clients will need assistance from.
    • A free trial: if you sell a product or a service that can be given/sent/used in a trial period – this is a great opportunity to generate leads.
    • Exclusive content: as mentioned previously.
Incentive to subscribe. Screenshot taken from H&M's website.

Incentive to subscribe. Screenshot taken from H&M’s website.

  • Content. In general, we like to call “content marketing” anything that provides value to users. The value you provide will create credibility and therefore trust. This trust will result in leads and eventually, in sales. But what does “content with value” mean? Here are a few examples of content you can share:
    • Case studies or success stories that your potential audience can learn from.
    • Offer remedy to pain – why do clients need your service? What are their pain points? How can you suggest, via a blog article, a simple video or a visual as an answer to something they need help with?
    • How to guides – via your blog, YouTube videos and others.

2 in 1: Popup inviting users to a webinar. Screenshot from JonLoomer.com

Offline

Although offline is not our main subject, in our humble opinion, many brands miss opportunities offline, in their physical sites where they can leverage from this marketing opportunity.

  • Phone calls/Emails: an opportunity to mention you have a mailing list and that via it you announce specials, so you’re sure they’d like to join (note the incentive here, as in online).
  • People who visit your premises: same as above, simply offer a good enough reason to leave their details. Gifting them with a small item that is related to your brand can make one very happy potential client and an immediate lead.
  • Paying clients: clients who purchase are keen to provide their details. You just need to make sure you collect them. We suggest a phone number for SMS/WhatsApp marketing and email for your mailing list as the not-to-give-up-on.

Collect your visitors and clients’ leads on site.

  • Events: you can generate leads in any form of offline events:
    • Launching cocktail of your new collection
    • Networking events
    • Other events you choose to sponsor
  • Co-branding: collaborating with other brands is a great opportunity to not only reach new audiences and generate leads from them, but also add value to your brand.
  • Business cards: Although we’re in 2017, well, almost 2018, people still haven’t adjusted to anything that resembles digital business cards, so it’s still here, on the offline list. Either way – don’t practice a “savings” approach with your business cards – give them away, and give them a lot. The leads will follow.

Leads are essential, but they carry you only part of the way

Keep in mind that timing is very important. We live in a “fast” world so when people leave their details, they expect you to act on it quickly.

Lead generation is a substantial goal for almost any business on the planet. However, if leads are not being attended to and the sales job that needs to be done after is not executed, these potential paying clients will become irrelevant. Make sure you don’t miss on that opportunity.

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