Lead generation campaigns are the connecting link between your content and your traffic generation, marketing and sales method. Marketing without leads is like shooting arrows in the dark; you won’t be able to target the right spot.
What are leads?
The contact details of a potential customer who might become a paying customer for your business sooner or later are called leads. However, having the contact details of a random person is not a lead because they are not part of your target audience! Leads have some relevance to your business and your products.
If your product is a generic product for everyone, your lead will not be everyone. Your lead will be the contact details of the person who is most likely to buy it. For example, if you are selling soap, having the contact details of a 13-year old whose mother buys the soap is not a lead even if they use the soap because 13-year-olds will not go and buy the soap themselves.
Contact details usually include name, phone number and email ID. Leads can have more information as well. The more information you have about a person, the better it is for communicating with the leads, nurturing them and converting them into paying customers.
Leads can be categorised into three categories; cold leads, warm leads and hot leads. Cold leads are new leads who are not entirely familiar with your brand, warm leads are those you have nurtured over time, and hot leads are those who are ready to buy. Cold leads can be converted to warm leads, and warm leads can be converted to hot leads by lead nurturing using drip marketing and marketing automation.
Social Media followers are not leads. If you have social media followers on any platform, then you should try to convert them into a database of names and email ID’s using lead magnets and advertising.
You can ask your leads to follow you on social media, but it is not always necessary. The best way to engage with your leads is via email, webinars, private groups and, if possible, offline meetups.
Do not invest money in growing social media followers. Instead, invest money in generating leads directly from social media platforms. Paid advertising is the best social media strategy.
You can boost social media activity using your email list from time to time to get new users on your social media platforms and website. Running contests, polls, surveys, and giveaways are always a good idea to keep your followers engaged.
B2B and B2C Lead Generation
Your lead generation strategy will depend upon your target market.
High-End B2B Product
If your product is a high-end B2B product, then lead generation becomes very important but challenging as it is direct. A lot of research and prospecting will be required on your part to approach potential customers directly.
Examples: IT services for banks, commercial computers and servers for a large company, manufacturing equipment for a factory etc.
Low-End B2B Product
If your product is a low-end B2B product, then lead generation is still direct, but less research is involved as the target audience is more extensive.
Examples: Software, SaaS products, CRM Tools, office stationery, etc.
High-End B2C Product
If your product is a high-end B2C product, you need marketing to generate leads as the prospects are a larger group. Once you have generated the leads, you need a sales team to convert them into customers.
Examples: properties and real estate, architecture and interior design services, security systems, automobiles, etc.
Low-End B2C Products
For low-end B2C products, you need marketing to generate the leads and automation to nurture and close the leads. Here you cannot afford to have a sales team to follow up with all the leads.
Examples: Apparel, electronics, watches, etc.
As the price goes up, the marketing effort decreases but the lead generation and sales effort increases.
Probability Theory and Statistics in Lead Generation
According to the law of large numbers, events, on a small scale, are not predictable. For example, when a single coin is tossed, the outcome cannot be predicted. It could either be the head, or it could be the tail. However, when a large number of events happen, the future can be predicted based on past results. A coin tossed a million times can be predicted with a fair degree of accuracy. The product will be almost 50% heads and 50% tails. Therefore, the larger the numbers, the closer it is to the expected value.
The law of large numbers is at the heart of digital marketing because you need to predict future conversions based on the present numbers. If your current campaign is doing well, it may continue to do so, but it will get you nothing in the future if the campaign is already failing.
For lead generation campaigns, it is essential to note that what goes up will come down and vice-versa. Everything takes time, so wait for the results before you scale up.
The lead cost will average out with large numbers. Aim for 1,000 leads to check the price. If you have 1,000 leads and 20 convert, that is a 2% conversion ratio which means you can expect 1.8-2.2% conversions with the next 1,000 leads. If you have a higher budget and scale, you can even aim for 10,000 leads or more.
CATT Marketing Framework
C = Content, A = Attention, T = Trust, T = Transaction
To attract leads, just having a website with a ‘contact us’ page is not enough. Most consumers are very busy, and there is a lot of content and competition out there. This is where lead magnets come into play.
A lead magnet is an attractive piece of content, and to gain access, people can drop in their contact details. This could be a downloadable resource such as an ebook, checklist, etc., or a subscription to the latest updates, newsletters, etc. Content will always come first because people pay attention to content. Free content such as blogs, social media profiles, etc., helps you get organic traction on search engines and social media. For more details about content marketing, you can read What is Content Marketing? An all in 1 easy explanation.
Once your content is created, you need to drive traffic to your content and get people’s attention. This can be done through SEO, Ads, Social Media, etc. Giveaways and contests are also a great way to drive traffic.
Please remember that although this may be the first point of contact with your audience, it is to engage them with your content. Avoid making it a sales pitch.
Once you have the generated cold leads, you need to nurture them by building a relationship to trust you enough to invest in your product or service. This is done through drip marketing and retargeting.
Once you have turned your cold leads to warm or hot leads, sales and conversion will happen. Sales can be made via meetings, sales calls, webinars or sales pages.
Personal Branding as a Lead Generation Campaign
Sales are made by a human, not a logo or a company. In most cases, trust is required for someone to invest in your product or service, and it is always easier to build trust with a human face. Elon Musk is the brand behind Tesla and SpaceX, Jeff Bezos is the brand behind Amazon, and Steve Jobs was the brand behind Apple.
Today with the power of social media, personal branding has become more accessible than ever. It helps you build credibility and gain influence over your audience in your niche. Leads generated from a personal brand will already be warm leads because they are aligned with you and your values. To better understand personal branding, you can read my other article, What is Personal Branding and Why Should You Care?
The Six Ethics of Lead Generation
Once you learn lead generation, you have a lot of power in your hands. If you implement the methods in the right way, you will be able to generate thousand’s of leads, and as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”. You have the personal information of a lot of people, and their privacy is now up to you.
1. Never get email ID’s from a source and start sending bulk emails without consent.
2. For B2B leads, send only prospecting emails via your own email ID and do not use an email marketing service.
3. For B2C leads, always generate leads through advertising. Learn How to Create Facebook Ads in 7 Easy Steps
4. Do not download or buy a database of emails.
5. Please do not send emails to leads once they have opted out or unsubscribed from your email marketing campaigns.
6. Keep your email sending reputation high; in other words, do not spam.
In the end, I would like to say that sales cannot happen without lead nurturing, lead nurturing cannot occur without leads, and leads cannot be generated without lead driving traffic to content and lead magnets. This makes the lead generation framework a highly systematic and integral component of your marketing strategy.
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