Getting Started with Lead Generation

August 6, 2012By:

Lead Generation

Digital marketing is very much focused on direct response and lead generation. Unlike creative campaigns, where the goal may be to increase brand recall or purchase intent, digital marketing tactics are highly effective at driving qualified sales-ready traffic and ecommerce transactions. And the great thing about lead generation is that it doesn’t have to cost very much.

Here are a few tools that can help you get started with lead generation:

Content

First and foremost, you need to generate high-quality, unique content to pull visitors to your website and get them interested in your products or services. The focus should be on providing your readers with helpful resources – so helpful that your readers will want to share those resources with their social networks. This will increase the reach of your content, and get more eyeballs to your website.

Create an editorial calendar, plan out your topics and then begin to write. Aside from the time devoted to writing, this tactic is free. It’s also great earned media, as it’s free for you to share on your social networks and free for your readers share on theirs.

Landing Pages & Forms

If you offer white papers or fact sheets that are high-value content, consider making these available for download via a form. This means that visitors will have to give you their email address to receive the white paper or fact sheet. This is a good way to build your lead-nurturing database, which will allow you to continue providing high-quality content over the long term.

Ideally, your landing pages and forms would be integrated with a lead-nurturing software such as Silverpop as well as with your CRM, so that when someone enters their information, it’s populated in your CRM database. We’ll get more into that in point #4 below.

Remarketing

Once you’ve grabbed the attention of readers and they’ve visited your site, keep your brand top of mind with remarketing. Remarketing is a form of paid advertising that enables advertisers to follow website visitors with their own ads when those visitors view third-party websites in the Google Content Network. For example, if one of your site visitors reads a blog post about Product A and then leaves your website without requesting more information or purchasing Product A, remarketing allows you to follow that visitor with an advertisement for Product A as they visit other sites.

Set up in the Google AdWords advertising platform, using Remarketing is a cost-per-click (CPC) ad model, so you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. The budget is specified by the advertiser, so you can be as thrifty – or as extravagant – as you wish.

CRM

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system such as Salesforce.com or SugarCRM should act as the hub of your lead-nurturing and digital response activities. This is where you would store all of the contact info for prospective clients, and then use that data to decide what lead-nurturing actions to take related to these leads. For example, you would ideally be able to view which content has been downloaded by each lead, and then further nurture them with related content. It is important to note that your email marketing and lead-nurturing software (such as Silverpop, mentioned above) should integrate with your CRM so that the flow of information and all lead-nurturing activities are populated in your CRM.

This will likely be the most expensive tactic you’ll invest in within a lead-nurturing strategy; however, it is the most important because successful lead nurturing depends on accurate, clean data.

Email Marketing

How will you send additional content and correspondence to leads and continue to nurture the relationship? Through email marketing, of course! Email marketing is a relatively cheap form of marketing communication that gives you a direct method of communicating with your potential and current client base.

In a lead-nurturing strategy, you will want an email marketing platform that integrates with your CRM and allows you to set up lead flows. Lead flows allow you to control which content is sent out to which leads and at what stages of the buying process. And you can automate the entire process while having all of the interactions, downloads and email metrics flow back into your CRM. Having your CRM synced with your email platform also makes it easy to send emails to your leads directly from within your CRM, which negates the need for switching between systems.

Lead nurturing does not have to cost an arm and a leg. All of the above tactics can be used independently or together as one cohesive strategy. However, if you are just dipping your toes into the world of lead nurturing, start out by adding just a few of these tactics to your existing digital marketing strategy. For example, you may want to focus on content and building a large resource of content to use within your lead-nurturing flows in the future. Once you have the content, you can add remarketing using Google AdWords and continue to add tactics to increase touch points with prospects within your lead-nurturing strategy.

Have questions? Write them in the comments section below!