7 techniques that generate leads online

Posted by Mary Coombs on February 1,2017

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Did you know that only one in ten marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective? Is your marketing team one of them?

Generating leads – high in both quantity and quality - is a marketer's most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep. Surprisingly, only 1 in 10 marketers feel their lead generation campaigns work. What gives?

There can be a lot of moving parts in any lead generation campaign and often times it’s difficult to know which parts need fine tuning. So what goes into a best-of-class lead generation engine? First, let's take a look into the mechanics of high performing lead generation campaigns....

We should first cover the mechanics of lead generation. The best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these components. From a tactical perspective, a marketer needs four crucial elements to make inbound lead generation happen. These include:

AN OFFER: An offer is a piece of content that is perceived high in value to your target persona. Offers include ebooks, whitepapers, free consultations, coupons, product demos and more.

CALL-TO-ACTION: A call-to-action (CTA) is either text, an image or a button that links directly to a landing page so people can find and download your offer.

LANDING PAGE: A landing page, unlike normal website pages, is a specialized page that contains information about one particular offer, and a form to download that offer.

FORM: You can’t capture leads without forms. Forms will collect contact information from a visitor in exchange for an offer.

FOLLOW UP:  What good is a lead if it isn't followed up? The follow-up is essential. Either a call, email, or an opportunity to take the next step through the buyers cycle is appropriate. That could mean another offer.

Let's just look at OFFERS and what can marketers do to make them work.

Of all the things we do as marketers, it’s ultimately to get people to say “yes” to our offers. The following are some techniques that we and others use to get to yes.

  1. When an offer is exclusive, scarce, or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Whether they are whitepapers, free trials, memberships, sales promotions, or downloads, these irresistible elements can overcome a lead’s typical friction, doubt, or concern. Why do these elements work? Because they trigger a physiological reaction that makes an offer more valuable. People need to perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer. 
  2. When possible, a great way to indicate how awesome an offer is, would be to mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up, or donated.
  3. When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with “what’s hot.” Companies will often leverage newsjacking for this type of technique and it works very well for offers, too.
  4. Focus on creating a great title. Even with the best offers, if the title is bad, it won't get downloaded or even paid attention to. Put some extra effort into creating an incredible title. Test different titles and see which get the most downloads.
  5. Create offers for the different buying stages:  Early, Middle, and Ready. Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.
  6. Avoid jargon! 
  7. Not all offers are created equal. Some “formats” of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what’s more valuable in your industry, a whitepaper, an ebook, research paper, or demos? There are many formats to use, so if you don't know what offer format works best, test a few with your audience.

There you have it. Some good techniques to keep in mind when creating OFFERS that get leads.

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Topics: Online Lead Generation