Finding the right leads for your business can be daunting. Sure, you could buy a list and start sending mass emails or cold calling prospects. However, this scattershot approach may not be the most efficient method for securing new customers.
Here are three ways to improve your lead generation results.
1. Remove Barriers to Opt-ins
The first step to improve your lead generation may seem obvious, but a surprising number of small business owners don’t do it: make it easy for potential customers to contact you. Ensure that your website and landing pages have calls to action "above the fold" -- the spot where researchers say visitor eyes are more likely to see them.
Keep your online forms simple and to the point. This is not the place to ask your visitors ten survey questions. You also want to make your opt-in and privacy policies transparent. Customers are more likely to hand over their email address if they know they won't be inundated with spam, and that they can easily unsubscribe.
Offer something of value in exchange for a lead's information. It can be a whitepaper or an industry report. Providing a report on a specific topic, such as a how to select kitchen cabinets, can also yield valuable information regarding your lead's interests and buying plans.
2. Qualify Leads and Rank Them for Follow-up
It may be better to have fewer leads that are serious about buying than a massive lead list that contains only a few qualified individuals.
You can qualify leads in several different ways:
- Verify that the contact information is accurate
- Confirm that the lead is part of your target audience
- Use a marketing service that provides pre-qualified leads
Once you have verified your leads, prioritize the ones that are most likely to convert to sales. Base the order on a lead's industry, geographic location and any recent "trigger events" that makes potential customers more likely to buy.
3. Nurture Leads Over Time
While you might want to focus on your best leads, don't neglect the rest of your list. According to Gleanster Research, half of qualified leads are not yet ready to buy.
Keep these individuals in the pipeline by nurturing them. This step of the lead generation process is all about building trust. You have this lead's attention. They're reading your blog, signed up for your newsletter or they've requested information.
Provide valuable information that will keep them reminded about your business, and position your company as the go-to source when the lead is ready to buy. This is where strategies such as content marketing come into play.
Lead generation is an ongoing process, which means results need to be measured and campaigns adjusted along the way. However, these tips provide a solid basis from which to build a successful marketing campaign.
Maryalene LaPonsie has been writing professionally for more than a decade on topics including education, insurance and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Western Michigan University.
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