The Internet includes brands competing for a limited pool of consumers and those people’s expendable incomes. Figuring out how to effectively generate leads can mean the difference between a site that only gets traffic and a website that generates revenue regularly. Lead generation isn’t new, but today, companies are developing new ways to reach those leads.
The data you use to generate leads should be accurate and current. There are different estimates of data decay. The amount of data that becomes outdated each year is at best 30%, and at worst 70%. It requires a lot of work to figure out what the current data for your target audience is. If you want the leads you gather to be ones that might result in a sale, you must invest the time into doing your research about who your audience is.
Many factors impact lead generation. Here are the top 12 factors that will get you started as a website owner.
1. Calculate Cost
One element of lead generation you should consider is the cost to generate each lead. It is important to look at the average return on investment (RoI) of different lead generation methods. Perhaps search engines drive a lot of traffic to your site, but those visitors are not as targeted as you’d like and don’t convert into customers. Is there a more effective place to focus your efforts?
Takeaway — Because driving leads to your website is an expensive endeavor, make sure you have a clear focus and call to action that drives conversions.
2. Retain Current Customers
The likelihood that you’ll sell to a current customer is much higher than the possibility that you’ll sell to a new lead. In the last five years, the cost of acquiring new customers rose by more than 50%. If your entire focus is on lead generation, then you’re missing out on a lot of sales. While it is important to acquire new customers, you also need to keep the customers you already have.
Takeaway — Take the time to survey your current customers to find out what kind of experience they report for your site. If you can improve your overall customer UX, then you’ll not only keep the customers you have but attract new ones.
3. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great place to invest your lead generation time and dollars. One of the first things you should do to drive more leads to your business is to create a social media marketing schedule and stick to it.
Takeaway — How does your online presence incorporate social media strategies? It should be easy for site visitors to share articles and information from your website on their own social media accounts.
4. Understand Your Audience
The typical consumer constantly sees ads and promotions. If they turn on the television, there are countless commercials and product placements. If they drive down the street, there are billboards, ads on the radio and businesses with large signs. Consumers today are also faced with ads anytime they open their email inbox, go onto social media, or search for a topic. If your lead generation tactics don’t provide relevant information to the consumer, then you’re probably wasting your time.
Takeaway — Make sure your site ties into the topics that your audience seeks answers to. If you can fulfill a need, then the consumer is more likely to become engaged with your website.
5. Manage Your Leads
A lead doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have a process in place to follow up with that lead after the first contact. You must start a conversation the lead will remember and take the time to nurture that lead if you want to turn them into a customer. What you do with the contact after you collect the information is almost as important as the initial traffic to your site.
Takeaway — Have a plan in place for what you’ll do with your leads once they fill out your initial forms and indicate an interest in what you have to offer.
6. Drive Quality Leads
Yes, you need leads, but you need quality potential customers. You must have something of value to provide before you attract high-quality leads. Take the time to focus on building great content first, and then figure out how you can use your site to drive sales and finally focus on driving traffic to your site. If you attempt to drive traffic to your site before you have an attractive offer for your target audience, you’re wasting your efforts.
Takeaway — Consider quality content before you worry about how many leads you’re attracting.
7. Add Relevant Content
Content attracts people to your website and helps generate leads. Ideally, you’ll have pieces with basic information that pulls people from search engines and links toward your site. Then, you can hook them with more detailed offers, such as a book on a specific industry topic. The goal is to offer something your target audience wants, so the people who share their emails for the gift are strong leads.
In a survey of 1,200 marketers, about 77% indicated that their company had a content marketing strategy of some sort. How successful your strategy is will depend on how on-point your articles are.
Takeaway — Relevant content attracts site visitors. To gain leads from your website, you need traffic.
8. Offer a Contest
A contest attracts traffic to your website. However, make sure the prize is something that makes sense for your industry. There isn’t any point in offering a free smart TV if you sell furnaces. Instead, look for something only your perfect lead might be interested in. Choosing the right offer will narrow the pool of people entering your contest.
Takeaway — Giveaways and contests attract new leads to your business. If you want highly qualified leads, the offer should be relevant.
9. Attend Events
Even though you don’t make the initial connection through your website, a great way to generate new leads is by attending trade shows. Find which ones are in your industry and select the one that is likely to attract your typical customer.
Takeaway — Have landing pages geared to event attendees you’ve connected with and send them to that page specifically. Ideally, you’ve already given them the information they need, so they’ll be further into the buyer’s journey than someone hearing about you for the first time.
10. Provide Transparent Information
Make sure your information is honest. Don’t try to trick people into signing up so that you can get their information. You’ll only waste their time and your time. Do you want a lead who isn’t genuinely interested in your product? Your audience segments are sure to appreciate your honesty.
Consumers tend to trust transparent brands more than vague ones. If you’re anything, be honest.
Takeaway — Don’t try to trick your site visitors. Make it clear what you do and how you can help them. Let them decide if your business model is right for them or not.
11. Study Heat Maps
Over time, websites tend to collect a lot of clutter. You add a bit of this and that and try to meet the needs of all your buyer personas. The problem is that your page quickly becomes messy and hard to navigate. A lead may not even realize you have something they want if there’s so much info that it overwhelms them.
Study heat maps to figure out what areas of your page people use the most. Where are they hovering? What areas do they ignore? Delete anything unnecessary that doesn’t get much attention from your users.
Takeaway — Heat maps allow you to cut the clutter and streamline the site encounter of potential leads.
12. Personalize the Experience
In a recent survey, Forbes talked to 200 marketing leaders about personalization. They discovered that 40% of business executives felt creating more personal encounters resulted in higher profits.
You’ve likely noticed sites such as Amazon greet you by name and offer recommendations based on past buying behavior or searches. Utilizing cookies and registered user info, you can do something similar on your website to draw in leads.
Takeaway — Personalize the experience for site visitors and leads. Show them they aren’t just another number, but you care about their user experience (UX).
Lead Generation Factors to Consider for Your Site
The 12 factors listed above, along with every other aspect of how you present yourself to the consumer, all combine to drive sales on your site. Lead generation is only a small part of the equation that adds up to success for your website.
Take the time to pay attention to all the details, both big and small, and your leads will be high-quality leads who purchase from your brand time and time again.
This article was originally published on 5/28/2018 and updated on 3/30/2020.