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The Inbound Playbook

Lead Generation – The ‘Tipping Point’ in Inbound Marketing

Posted by Andy Fox on 4 November 2016

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I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say "The primary objective of any non-interruptive marketing, like Content or Inbound Marketing, is to reel in lots of organic traffic".

With the ‘content generation’ speed train hurling faster than ever, it seems every brand and marketer is fixated on the notion of generating huge amounts of traffic.

And rightly so, putting out great quality content to attract your desired ‘buyer personas’, is an integral part of any Inbound Marketing Strategy, which cannot be overlooked.

But is that the goal we’re after?

Not really, the last time I checked, marketing makes no sense if its efforts don’t translate to sales or generate new clients.

There’s no point in attracting a huge crowd of prospective customers, who leave empty handed. Metaphorically speaking, Where’s the joy in attracting a swarm of honeybees that hover over the flowers, but fly away without diving in to take a single drop of nectar?

The solution lies in integrating the right marketing system, which attracts and generates ‘Leads’ from traffic and carefully nurtures them through the Sales Funnels to convert them into customers.

 So, what’s a ‘Lead’?

Any person who shows interest in your brand’s product or services ‘organically’ and initiates the relationship by disclosing their identity (name, email id, profession, etc.)
in exchange of your offer
(eBooks, white paper, product trial demo, webinars, newsletters and blog subscriptions, etc.) is considered a ‘Lead’.

It was a lot easier about a decade ago. If you wanted the users to sign up, all you had to do was place a box at the side bar saying, ‘Subscribe to the Blog’ and they would happily comply. In fact, it was even considered a privilege to receive their targeted information regularly, right into your mailbox.

Not anymore. With the rise in the volume of content, and with every business or marketer after your email address, the game has changed. People are not going to ‘Opt In’ unless the offer is an irresistible one.

 

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Nevertheless, those who are on top of their ‘Lead Generation’ game are reaping the benefits as we speak. Here are a few stats to illustrate that;

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
  • Data from Hinge Research Institute also shows that firms generating 60% of their leads online are 2 x more profitable, than those generating less than 20% of their leads online.
  • Leads who are nurtured with targeted content, produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities. (Source: DemandGen)
  • According to Social Media B2B, companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
  • 65% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. (Source: HubSpot)

Within the Inbound Marketing Methodology, the lead generation takes the second stage (as shown in the infographic below). Once the targeted audiences are attracted as visitors to your website, it's then required to convert those visitor's to leads through ‘lead magnets’.
The leads then are taken through their ‘Buyer’s Journey’ to ultimately turn into delighted customers.

 

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As you now have a clearer perspective of where the ‘Leads’ fit into the entire process of Inbound Marketing, we'll quickly delve more into the Mechanics of Lead Generation.

 

THE MECHANICS OF LEAD GENERATION

 

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To generate ‘leads’ from visitors to a website, Marketing Campaigns use a flow technique to usher the users through, they begin with an offer, call-to-action, a landing page and then a form;

 

1.  OFFER

Any piece of content that is perceived to be of high value to the visitor is considered as an ‘Offer’. The offer or the ‘lead magnets’ should provide such irresistible value to the visitors, that they are convinced enough to give away their personal information in exchange for it.

Contents such as eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, training videos, free trials, etc. can be taken as ‘offers’. When visitors exchange their information to download/access the offers, they are in a way giving permission to the marketers to follow up or send other marketing campaigns via emails to nurture the relationship, finally nudging them into qualifying as a customer.

 

2.  CALL-TO-ACTION (CTA)

A Call-To-Action is basically a button, image, icon, text, etc., that calls the visitors to take some kind of action. Once the button is clicked, it takes the visitors to a Landing page where they can find and download the offer.

The CTA needs to be attention grabbing and effective enough to capture the eye. If it's uninteresting and unenthusiastic copy which doesn’t persuade the visitors to click, then it makes the offer useless.

CTA's can be used on any product pages (non-landing pages), in display ads, email, social media, direct mail and almost anywhere where the offer can be marketed.

Below is an example of a CTA created by us. Here, the offer is clearly visible as ‘Free E-Book download’. The CTA button that takes the user to the landing page is nice and visible.

 

Download Free Marketing Metrics E-Book

 

3.  LANDING PAGE

Landing Page, which is also called the Lead Capture Page is designed to take the users to one single page with a particular offer as stated in the CTA. The pages are crafted to avoid any distractions, which can be found on other webpages, such as the homepage.

Landing pages are designed for the sole purpose of collecting the users’ information through lead capture forms.

The main navigation is removed from landing pages to keep the users focus in filling the form and to discourage them to click back or move to other pages in the website.

An example from Lyft below illustrates the innovative yet simplistic and focused design of a Landing page;

 

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4.  FORMS

Forms are hosted on the Landing pages (as seen above). To convert, the user needs to fill out the form. They are of great use when nudging people to sign up, subscribe to a blog or downloading an offer.

Well-crafted, optimised forms can instantly prompt users to fill in their details. Forms should be quick, dedicated to only relevent information and have an obvious outcome button like DOWNLOAD NOW. Ensuring your visitor/lead feels like the details they provide are not too intrusive and relevent to the action.

Lead Generation is a critical stage in any Inbound Marketing Campaign. No matter how much traffic a website garners, if the campaign is not collecting any leads, the buck stops there. However, if the leads are generated, a new door into the buyer’s journey is opened, where Customer Acquisition is again a huge possibility!

 Here's your homework for the weekend;

Come up with something your customers need and make it into an offer.
Create an email soliciting your offer and attach a form. (Let me know if you need help with this).
Send out a Thank You email with the offer attached.

There is your first Inbound Marketing Campaign, done.

 

 

If you'd like to know more or would like to contribute to this article, I'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249-5570 or email andy@element7digital.com.au

Our Website is element7digital.com.au