All you need are leads

All you need are leads

leads generation

Every now and then you may hear from different people something like “We need leads.” Debates about leads take place in every sales and marketing department. How can you define them and what is the lead generation? Let’s draw the curtain and start from the very beginning before going deeper.

Who is a lead?
A lead is a person who shows interest in a product or a service you provide. Actually, they might be already using some similar services/products or be within the sphere that is potentially close to yours.

Imagine you are interested in a new phone. You start Internet surfing, searching for last models, features, feedback, and prices – researching the market. When you fall asleep, your old phone alerts you with a new email from one of the online stores (hope you put it in silent mode) with a suggestion of a new iPhone. In the morning, you take a look at it and make a decision to buy it. That is how you become a lead for cell phone stores.

How to qualify a lead?
If you do not qualify your leads you waste your time, effort, and energy chasing the wrong people. We bet you do not want to make useless actions and lose your target audience instead. So, is every person who visited your site or opened your newsletter a potential lead?

To figure it out, one should ask the following questions:

  1. Do they match your customer profile? (Hope you have already classified your buyer persona) Just compare your buyer persona and see how a website visitor fits your ideal buyer. You can create a checklist or generate a scoring system. What industry are they in? Which tools do they already use? If they use similar tools or tools that people use in your niche – you can be sure that this is your lead.
  2. How do they make a decision? How much time does it take to buy and how many more people are involved in the decision-making process? Each company has its own decision-making process, and you must consider that in order to be able to provide additional information about your product in the right time to the right person when he/she is ready to make a purchase.
  3. Who are your competitors? With whom do they work and how they meet the client’s needs?

If you know your competitors, it will be easy for you to define your point of differentiation and create an exclusive product for solving your clients’ problems.

Besides answering these questions and knowing your buyer profile, spend one more minute to look at lead’s activities and check out their profile. Sometimes it is enough to qualify your lead just from there.

Looking at lead’s activities on your website can give you a clear understanding whether he is curious and has an intent to buy. If they are just browsing through your blog, webinars, photos, videos – likely they are just curious. However, when they look at your pricing page or requesting a trial version – there is a clear intent to buy.

It is critical to check the lead’s website in order to understand what problem he/she might have and how you can solve it.

What is a lead temperature?

lead temperature

Now we have to define leads according to the stage they are at. This will help you work out a plan on how to structure and collaborate with them. We distinguish three types of temperature: cold (looking for information, but not ready to buy your product at the moment); warm (Intent to buy, compare things and prices); hot (ready to buy).

The right target keywords or narrow advertising can convert hot leads immediately to sales. Warm and cold leads need to be prepared with a more “soft” strategy by engagement and interaction with them via email marketing, social media, and other channels.

What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the marketing practice of using a number of tools and strategies to capture user data in order to sell them a service, product, or advertise to. That is a definition that can be given for the lead generation process by many marketers. However, we must admit that this is more than just collecting data. Lead generation is a process of finding unique ways to attract people to your product or service, evoke their genuine interest in your product, and finally bringing them to the point when they are ready to purchase your product.

Lead generation can be described in a funnel that helps converting potential customers to clients. To do that, you should provide useful information at the every stage of the funnel to warm up a lead. Generally lead generation can be broken down into four stages:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Warming up
  3. Conversion
  4. Post-conversion relations

Lead generation stages

Dave MccLure’s well-known AARRR approach describes every stage:

Acquisition

Acquisition is the first contact with a customer and a product on a website. You created a marketing strategy that grabbed the attention of a user, and now they are on your homepage or blog.

Acquisition analysis can show your best and worst marketing channels. You can see where your main leads come from and then review your strategy to make it more effective.

Usually, acquisition is broken into two stages: landed and engaged.

If a person spent more than 20 seconds, looks through your site or comes back every week to read new post, they can be defined as engaged.

Activation

This is a stage when people start using your product. It is important to focus on this stage before starting further acquisition. There is a slight possibility that someone will buy your product before exploring and testing it. After spending some time and knowing your product better, the user is more inclined to enter his/her credit card number for further usage.

Retention

So, now you have several people who used your product. Your task is to make these users come back on a regular basis. You should choose your own metrics of how often a user has to come back, depending on your product (e.g. 2 times per day or once in 6 months).

Referral

The user at this stage is the best marketing tool you have ever had. This means that he/she enjoys your product so much that he/she is ready to share and refer you to friends or colleagues. Your task is to make it easier for him/her to spread the information: use share buttons, affiliate links, promo codes, etc.

Revenue

Monitoring revenue is important for avoiding vanity metrics. You should not skip all previous stages; otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

The key thing is that due to lead generation you know more about your customer than through other marketing channels. This is a more personal approach that makes a person feel important to your business. And your task is to take your customer on a journey from acquisition and contact to conversion.

How it works online and what is “inbound lead generation”?
Online, a lead is usually defined as a person who completes a landing page. Please remember that having a person’s email does not necessarily make him/her a lead. But by having an email address, you can provide this person with targeted marketing information and turn him into a lead.

Inbound lead generation makes the life of the marketing and sales team easier. Just think: a person that comes to your landing page or website at least has some idea of what you are doing and what is your product about. And a better educated customer is easier to convert.

According to guys from Hubspot (and we agree with them) a marketer needs three crucial things for inbound lead generation:inbound lead generation

  1. Landing page. The main purpose is to collect contact information. You can create a form to grab contact information in exchange for an offer. Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, you have no way to convert visitors into leads.
  2. Offer. Your offer should be valuable enough for people to provide their contact information in exchange to that. This can be a piece of content, a product, or a trial. This offer should be exclusive, in high demand, or so scarce it becomes more desirable. These elements trigger a psychological reaction that makes an offer more valuable.
  3. Call-to-Action (CTA). Your customers should see your landing and your offer. That is why a good CTA helps bring people to your landing page. A CTA can be a button, text, or direct link to the page. If your CTA is not effective, your offers become useless. CTAs can be used on product pages, emails, social media, etc.

Implementing all the steps mentioned above can reduce your cost-per-lead and deliver more qualified leads and, at the end of the day, generate more revenue.

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