Leads are those magical things that can change a company’s fortunes. Good leads can transform them completely.
Before we go further in our discussion about how to acquire more leads and better leads, let’s try and understand what a lead stands for in the first place.
A lead is a consumer who has the potential to turn into a paying customer for a business’ products.
Acquiring leads and building a solid pipeline of future leads is the most common stumbling block that stumps businesses. They spend all their time with just one or two methods that might have worked for them in the past, forgetting about all the various options available to them out there. Here we shall take a look at the most important lead generation methods that a business must consider.
1. Leverage Your Website
Your website is a ready made lead acquisition tool that begs to be utilized to its fullest potential. Most websites do realize their role as lead generation engines and do get the basics right. There is usually a clear ‘Contact Us’ section in most websites helping potential customers find their way to you instead of the other way around.
Your business address, telephone numbers, email IDs, social media coordinates are all key contact details that must be prominently displayed and easily findable on your site.
Creating contact forms which capture customer details and placing them at prominent locations is another way of generating leads via your website. Mind you, a contact form does not need to just capture the contact details of your leads. It will be a huge bonus if you can also ascertain what the customer has in mind, what they need your services for.
This will help you in scoring and qualifying the lead. I particularly like what senior care company Hometeam does on their site. They take the process of lead generation really seriously with the first call to action (CTA) on the site leading you straight into a qualified lead generation form.
Image via Hometeam
The form is extremely engaging with a counter indicating process completion at the top of the page, encouraging potential prospects along their journey to complete giving all their details.
Another effective way of generating leads is through real-time messaging while the consumer is currently on your site. Based on the sections of the site she visits or the time she spends active on a particular page, you can send out automated push messages live on the site asking the customer if they need any assistance.
Personyze is a tool that allows you to send out dynamic messages based on user behavior on the site. Using live chat to engage visitors is another example of real-time messaging.
Related Article: How to Transform Your Static Site into a Responsive Website
2. Build Content That Draws Them In
Customers are always on the lookout for tools, information and original research that will help them in their own day-to-day lives. By creating content that fulfills your target audience’s requirements, you place your business in the position of an influencer and thought leader.
Invest time and resources behind first, understanding what your users need; and then going ahead and creating that content in easily digestible formats.
How-to videos, eye-catching infographics, detailed white papers and research papers are all types of content that users value and will happily hand over their contact information in exchange for this data.
Once you generate leads, you need to nurture them into qualified leads that are conversion ready. Again, content comes to your rescue in this process too.
Email drip campaigns, RSS feeds, social media posts are all methods of keeping your leads hooked and slowly but steadily convincing them to convert into paying customers on the back of your incredible content.
3. Find New Leads Through Social Media Outreach
Social media is not just a platform to engage with your fans and followers. It’s also fertile ground to hunt for your next lead. This lead generation process through social media can take various forms depending on your industry and the social network in question.
LinkedIn, for example, is a fabulous resource to track down the right prospects using their people search tool. By simply using the right combination of company name, designation and the person’s name (if you know it) you can connect with and eventually build a relationship with some of your most valuable future customers.
LinkedIn groups are another useful area that you can use to track down and get in touch with people that are potential customers.
Facebook lets you search for leads based on a company name or interests. However, with the number of privacy scares on Facebook, many users have strict privacy controls that limit how much personally identifiable information would be visible to you as a stranger.
Instead, you can opt for lead generation ads on Facebook by filtering the wide range of demographic factors, interests, geographical markers and more to find the right audiences. Twitter’s lead generation cards are another option for targeting the precise customer segments and capturing new leads.
Related Article: From Like to Lead: Optimizing Social Media for Lead Generation
4. Set Up a Referral Program
A very good source for new customers is your existing set of satisfied customers. Most customers who are happy with the services they’ve received from a business are open to recommending the business to their friends and family who might be in the need of something similar services.
Not only does this recommendation from a friend make the new lead more likely to convert, it also acts as a way of cementing your relationship with your existing users. Win-win.
Offer existing customers an incentive for every successful referral to keep the referral machine well-oiled. The same logic works with employees—they make wonderful spokespersons for your brand and their recommendations carry an extra bit of credibility with your audience.
5. Leverage Trade Events
Trade events are splendid opportunities to meet the decision makers who will be directly responsible for making a purchase. Make it a point to make your presence felt at the key trade events in your area.
This is not just by setting up a stall and entertaining, walk-in queries (do that by all means). It’s also by being distinctly visible at these events to attract potential customers to you without lifting a finger. You could be a keynote speaker or could present a paper or even speak about changes affecting your industry—basically, make sure you get seen by the people that matter.
Don’t forget to use a business card scanner app like Shoeboxed to digitize all that contact data from business cards instantly.
Which of these methods have you tried before? Which ones worked for you?