If your goal in the next year is to grow your business, you first have to bring in new customers. Lead generation is more than just driving traffic to your website or getting people to call your toll-free number. Once the leads come to you, you also have to cultivate them, so they become lifelong customers.
In a survey of marketing professionals, 85 percent said lead generation was their top goal. Some lead generation strategies work better than others. Some ideas are tried-and-true and work over time, while other ideas require an adjustment with changing technology and trends. Here are 11 lead generation ideas to take your company up a level both now and in the future.
1. Add the Right Content
You may already have a blog and a content strategy in place, but is that strategy attracting the leads you want? Content marketing costs less and generates three times the leads per dollar spent. First, figure out what questions your target audience has. You can find them on sites such as Quora, Yahoo Answers and through questions people send to your support team.
Once you have a list of questions, answer them with various posts, infographics and videos. These are the topics that are most likely to engage your typical customer and possibly lead to a sale. One of the best strategies is to find a problem your customers face and solve it for them.
2. Offer a Quiz
Does your company provide a number of options for products or services? Offer a quiz so site visitors can figure out where they fit in your programs. A quiz is particularly helpful if you offer some type of service and the user needs to decide between two or more courses of action. It engages site visitors and encourages them to take part in what you have to offer. Think about the last time you chose something such as countertops for a kitchen. You had to decide not only the material you wanted, but also the color and how it tied in with the rest of your decor.
Eastern International College offers a free quiz potential students can take to see which major fits in with their interests. The quiz helps people getting ready to graduate from high school or who are just getting started deciding which major they want. The typical user may be unsure what to study, and the quiz helps them make a decision and shows how the school fits into that plan. It also narrows leads down to those who want to study one of the majors offered at the college.
3. Create a Capture Plan
You can drive thousands of people to your site daily, but if you don’t have a plan to capture information from them, the visits are wasted. Plan your lead capture strategy. When a visitor lands on your site, what is the first thing they see? What could you offer to entice them to sign up for a newsletter or ask for a free quote? Try to offer something unique and of high value.
4. Offer Coupons
Americans love coupons — 96 percent use them at least some of the time. If you want to encourage people to become leads, offer a coupon. It may provide that little extra bit of enticement a new customer needs to trust you enough to do business with you.
David Leroy Plumbing offers a list of current specials and coupons, such as $20 off for new customers or $99 off a cooling installation. They focus on types of services new customers might be interested in. Each coupon has the phone number included on it so you can print it out and call to schedule a consultation.
5. Vary Your Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is that thing that entices someone to share their contact info with you, such as a free ebook. However, there are many sites offering free ebooks, so don’t be afraid to add something unique. You could offer a gift to new customers, share a webinar, add a video where you interview an expert or any number of other bonus materials. The key is to offer something of value that your target audience wants.
6. Go Mobile
About 77 percent of people in the United States own a smartphone. More people are using their mobile devices to go online. Figure out how to offer something of value via mobile and you have a good chance of capturing a lead for your brand.
IKEA offers an app called Place that allows users to take a blank canvas and add the furniture and accessories that translate into their own personal style. The app is targeted to their audience, who is looking for home furnishings and accessories. Once the person downloads the app, they can order from it. IKEA has their information and can stay in touch.
7. Offer a Podcast
Want to reach people while they’re on the go? Add a podcast to your marketing lineup. If you offer golf lessons, for example, you might provide a free podcast on improving your game. Throughout each podcast, invite the listener to sign up for your mailing list. You can also offer a special to those listening, such as $10 off your first private golf lesson.
8. Build a Loyalty Rewards Program
If a customer is on the fence about whether or not to try your product, a loyalty program may give them that nudge to become a customer. Spell out the benefits of your loyalty program clearly. Does the person get something for signing up, such as free shipping? Give them a reason to share their contact info. You can reward users for referring your brand to others and for ordering.
9. Offer a Free Consultation
Want to show that you know you’re the best out there? Offer a free consultation and customize the solution to each client. One example of this is a dog trainer who comes to your home. The first visit is usually a consultation and is free. The dog trainer assesses the issues you have with your dog, comes up with a plan and gives you a quote. The consultation allows the trainer to personalize the service to your needs but also gives them the opportunity to gather enough info to market to you effectively.
10. Use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook
Facebook has about 2.27 billion monthly active users, but the number grows every year. These are not just people who are registered for the social media site, but who also engage in some way throughout the month. If you aren’t already advertising on Facebook, now is the time to do so. One powerful way you can use Facebook to generate leads is to create lookalike audiences. These are audiences that are similar to people already buying your products or services.
11. Send Highly Targeted Emails
Email is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Around 79 percent of B2B marketers feel email works best. If someone took the time to sign up for your mailing list, they’ve already moved through one phase of your sales funnel. Follow up with emails they’ll want to read and offers that target them based on the data you’ve collected.
Lead generation Strategies
The strategies above help generate leads, and if you handle them correctly, your company will end up with lots of loyal customers. Take the time to review your lead generation processes. Even small changes result in big conversion rate increases. Pay attention to the fine details of your lead generation tools and make improvements a little at a time until you find the successful combination that works for your customers.