The following is a guest post by Sayed Shahnoor. Sayed is an IT professional and expert in digital marketing, SEO, online customer acquisition, customer service and business automation. R & D associate and consultant @Zestapps
How do you define sales?
Not a very tough question but if I ask you to define “how to make a sale” it may get a bit tricky ☺ Making sales online or offline is an art! It’s the only scientific magic that does not require you to be a wizard. Lead generation techniques are among the mesmerizing spells that elevate revenue if you do it in the right way!
Remember, just like the movies magic spells can go terribly wrong if you are not using them accurately. So what you do? Do you go to Hogwarts and join Harry Potter? No way!
You follow the simple, short and proven techniques I have illustrated right here
1st Segment your lead generation strategies:
At present, the following strategies are being practiced worldwide successfully-
- Email marketing: This comprises referral programs, signup forms, and landing pages!
- Social Media: Engagement on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and any other social sites.
- Website- Optimizing website’s appearance by gated content, videos and testimonials with social proofs.
- Network engagement– Attending webinars, conferences, events, guest posting and participating in a discussion.
- SEM– PPC ads and SEO
- Content marketing– SlideShare presentations, blogging, and giveaway E-book!
Once you are done with selecting the appropriate strategy, you move on to the next step of implementing it! Now here comes the most difficult part!
How do you do it?
A lot of experts even don’t make it sometimes!
Why? Is it because it’s too difficult, or it’s an alien science?
Obviously not! It’s because the combinations are not applied accurately, and the strategy management lacks big time!
So what to do?
Well, here you have the next technique illustrated-
2nd Understand the best methods of practicing the strategies-
- Not getting personal by addressing through the recipient’s name. Let the visitor feel his privacy.
- Using short subject lines! A research by Adestra discovered that subject line with characters less than 10 had jaw dropping open rate of 58%!
- Send emails in between 8 pm to 12 am and from 6 am to 8 am! Make a schedule to send the emails.
- Send emails on the weekends
- Do not focus on offers in every email. Make it more of a mixture of offers and appreciation. For example, you send 10 emails to a lead in a month. Here you may have 5 emails with offers followed by 5 emails that convey thanks, appreciation, and free tips.
Social media engagement (Reach millions and get thousands):
- Select the right channel first! For example, if you are doing business for B2C Facebook is your buddy. However, for B2B LinkedIn and Twitter are your side kicks!
- Spend at least two hours a day appreciating your community! Like, retweet, share, post and update your connections every day. Don’t miss out the weekends either.
- Start discussions on your social networks. Get involve with groups which talks about similar things which relates to your objective. Share your thoughts, advice and tips. Ask others to do the same.
- Participate in open source forums like Warrior Forum, Reddit and SEO-chat, etc. Contribute and help out people there. Likewise, participate in question and answer sites like Quora and Yahoo answer. People love to ask questions, and when they get a good answer, they appreciate it.
Website optimization (Make your online entrance worth it):
- Create a dynamic and mobile friendly website with the perfect color combination. The visitor should have a clarity when they look at your site.
- Apply “lead magnates” carefully! A “lead magnate” is a handout that is given away in exchange for contact information. You get few or more contact information of the visitor and in exchange, the visitor gets something in FREE. For example, E-books, newsletters, free wares, tips, and advice, etc.
- Apply the “CTA” smartly! A CTA (call to action) is a bait to your visitor that provoke them to act, react, proceed and co-operate. For example, “Sign up now” “Start Now” “Buy Now” “Join Now” “Subscribe For Free” “Start Your Free Trial” these are all CTA! You invite the visitor to act and walk through your site.
- Use industry standard landing pages that are highly convertible. A landing page is a standalone web page linked to your site that showcases only a specific product, offer, or promotion that is not on your home page at the front! A visitor may be looking for something that is not on your front page. Online visitors won’t spend more than couple of seconds to find what they need on your site. If they don’t find it, they will leave which causes your bounce rate go high and lead conversion to go down! Here you can use the landing page to be the savior of the day!
Your visitor is directed to the landing page and sees the offer first! Landing pages are designed with limited content, limited CTA and simply in one page! So the destruction factor is gone, and the conversion possibility is higher in general.
- Place a demo video of your product or service with an email gate! For example, you got a video of 30 seconds and in 15 seconds you pause the video and ask the viewer to enter their email to continue. People who would spend 15 seconds on your video would not mind watching the rest only by their email address.
- Put exit intent pop up forms, 2 step opt-in forms, single opt-in forms, side bars and end of post opt-in forms. I am not saying you got to use all but few of these are necessary to capture leads.
There are many ways that can be used to create, optimize and operate a perfect web page for maximum lead generation. However, the above are the MUST follow techniques.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing Analysis)-
- SQR (Search Query Reports) – Analyze the keywords that are on board and identify the exact keyword that is driving traffic. Mark the keywords negative which are not working.
- RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Adds) – Segment your visitors by their last visit and their frequency. For example, visitors clicking on your employment or career section may not be your targeted audience. Exclude them from your marketing list.
- UDT (User Demographic Targeting) – On both Google and Bing ads, demographic targeting can be for both search and display campaigns. This is a widely used method to determine “who “Is the ideal customer
- RGSP (Remove Google Search Partner) – This is done when you can see low-quality leads which are coming through the partner network.
- GDN (Google Display Network) – Review where you are appearing on and the conversion rate from that place. If the lead quality is poor, exclude them from the campaign or pause the Google display network for a week or two and see if the results improve.
Content marketing (Content Is the King)-
- Create your own blog and share knowledge, findings and reports on your blog with the world. Let the world be educated and informed by you.
- Share your content on SlideShare, medium, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook. Get your social connections involved with your contents. Ask them to comment, like and share.
- Feature industry leaders on your content as examples! People who have been in the industry longer than you can be a great example of how your ideas can be successful. This makes your content more valuable to the readers.
- Outreach to the industry leaders you featured and let them know about your work! Let them see how you have featured them and how people love it! Request them to share your content with their followers! Trust me, this works!
- Outreach other writers who have written similar contents but missed some parts which you displayed on your blog! Let them know how you have added more to their writing and created something new. Request them to share your article with their followers as well.
So far, I have shown you the segments of lead generation strategies and the implementation. Now, I will quickly explain to you how you can manage your lead generation campaign and make the most use out of it!
Here is the third technique explained
3rd. Lead Generation Process Management:
Sales Ready Lead Assessment: Review every lead captured and make a checklist like the following
- Demography assessment which is the geography location
- Source assessment which is PPC search and social offers
- Behavioral assessment which is website visit, downloads, webinar attendance, etc.
This checklist will help you to assess your captured lead and find out if that is a “sales ready lead.”
Remember, this should be done for every lead captured before you hand it over to your sales team.
Reprocess lead cycle: This is a system by which you segment leads in two categories.
- Sale ready leads
- Not sale ready leads
When you apply the “Sales-ready lead assessment” formula explained above, you will have necessary data to fill out these two categories. You attach your sales team to engage with the “Sale ready leads” and let your marketing team have a record of the “Not sale ready leads”.
Your marketing team will analyze the “lead score” and create a schedule to get engaged with them. Then you hand it over to your sales team where they will follow the schedule and connect with prospects on time.
You can do lead scoring by analyzing email clicks, eBook downloads, web page visits, etc.
Monitor your lead conversion record: You can use session playback tools to see how your leads actually converted! You can see how they behaved on your site, where they clicked and eventually from which page they came into your sales funnel.
This allows you to understand which pages are working, which contents are attracting and which are not working!
Remember, tracking ineffective elements of your website is a key part to achieve your lead conversion goal. You can use web analytic tools to do that.
Lead generation in high volume is the first objective to fulfill your sales target. Generating potentials and converting them into customers are really simple if the right strategies are taken and executed accordingly.
So what are you waiting for?
Start reviewing your strategy today and see if you are indeed on track. Mistakes are bound to happen in business.
However, overcoming it and not repeating it is the key to success!
Best of luck to you all!