You know what it’s like: your website is up, visitors are browsing, but there are neither downloads of your free offer nor sales of your products. What to do?
As an entrepreneur, you want to generate as many leads as possible in order to reach as many people as possible with your products. For this you need an inbound marketing and an outbound marketing strategy. More on that below.
Almost all companies are now digital businesses that use online marketing to generate leads. However, it’s not just about attracting interested parties, i.e. leads, but rather warming them up step by step, selecting them, addressing them specifically and thereby converting them into buyers.
Leads through lists
Lists are the most important tool for lead generation. Not only since the acquisition of prospects in the digital age, but since the history of retail. Previously, customer lists were collected on paper with phone numbers and addresses.
Today, lists of email addresses, phone numbers and social media profiles are captured in a digital data set. This contains all leads per month, their contact details, their purchasing behavior, as well as further information about the person (male or female, place of residence, etc.).
This record contains all the details about the customer and helps you win even more customers. By having an accurate profile of the person with their interests, hobbies, place of residence, social status and related purchases, you can create a perfect picture of your customers, which makes lead generation much easier.
What is B2B lead generation?
B2B lead generation is business-to-business contact, i.e. it is conducted from company to company. B2B companies want to collect leads from other companies that are potential customers for them. B2B lead generation relates exclusively to entrepreneurial activities between companies or the self-employed.
Social networks such as LinkedIn and Xing are used in particular for B2B leads. But direct contact via e-mail or networking at business events also leads to optimal B2B lead generation. Qualified leads are business contacts who respond to a company’s offer and are interested in working with them.
- These can be tech companies that have developed software for start-ups…
- Consulting firms offering advice to managers…
- Or an event organization company that wants to attract companies as exhibitors at a trade fair…
For example, if a B2B company For example, if a digital product advisor sells software and this program helps other e-commerce companies sell their goods faster, collecting the contact details of e-commerce operators is B2B lead generation.
In contrast to B2C, B2B lead generation has nothing to do with the end consumers who order goods in the online shop. In the B2B sector, fewer leads are often necessary than in the B2C environment because the sales per lead are higher.
You can now find out exactly what B2C lead generation is.
What is B2C lead generation?
B2C lead generation refers to how companies reach out to their consumers or direct customers. This type of lead generation often takes place via social media such as Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, but also via Google and advertisements on other websites.
For example, if an e-commerce company B. Sells T-shirts made of hemp yarn, it sells them directly to its end consumers – let’s say to John Doe and Ms. Friedlich. For this purpose, the company wants to collect the contacts from its end customers.
The contacts can then be divided into potential buyers, regular customers, new customers and newsletter subscribers.
Tools for lead generation and lead management
The big question you’re probably asking yourself is: How can I generate leads?
And the next question: Once I’ve generated leads, what do I do with them?
Because nothing is more important than a strategy that converts your prospects into customers.
In order to generate a lead, you need a traffic source .
This is, for example, a blog or a Facebook Business Page, an Instagram profile, a YouTube video or an advertisement on the Internet. Your traffic source can be fed by advertising and promotional copy or content to attract potential customers.
Lead management refers to managing the leads generated and the communication that takes place after the initial contact. Lead management often happens through clearly defined marketing steps that guide the consumer from initial interest to purchase.
Traffic sources for leads are:
- Search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo)
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Xing, LinkedIn)
- Display ads (banner advertising on websites)
- SEO (search engine optimization) through blog, organic posts and social media
If a prospect comes across your ad or your content and becomes aware of the offer, they can follow your link and end up on your website, your form for the newsletter, or a free download of a freebie. This will give you their email address, which you will in turn add to your list. So you pick up the customer where they hang out the most—on social media, the web—and drive them through your marketing funnel to your site.
Your goal here is: to receive the e-mails of your website visitors! This way you can address them later with a suitable product and thereby generate a sale. This process is always about maximum conversion, i.e. the highest number of clicks, entries or sales possible per offer.
As part of lead management, statistics on the performance of your ads and lead magnet are extremely important to you. Because this way you can tailor your offer to the customer’s wishes.
A lead generation funnel contains:
- Traffic source (ad or content)
- Landing Page: Freebie, Free Download, Webinar Offer, Mini-Course, etc.
If one of your leads has expressed interest and left their contact details, the communication can be continued. Now that they’re a “warm lead” (more on that below), ie open to more information, it’s often easier to sell products from this stage. The funnel can be continued from here through various marketing methods.
Funnel continuation and lead management includes:
- Communication by SMS, chat, telephone, email or post
- Regular updates and offers via newsletter
- Social media targeting already generated leads through ads or targeted content boost
On average, a customer needs 7-12 contacts with a business before a purchase is made. This means that even if you initially collect a lot of emails and get prospects enthusiastic about your business, you still have to write a few emails, offer free offers and place ads on the Internet before a prospect decides to buy.
Tip: With E Z Funnels (try it for 7 days here) you can build the entire funnel from the landing page, to the email templates, videos and further offers without having any programming, design or marketing knowledge! No matter what niche: we have everything prepared for you!
Paid marketing for lead generation vs. free marketing
There are two ways to successfully generate leads: organic marketing and performance marketing, also called inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Organic marketing is free and aims to attract customers by distributing interesting content. However, you need a lot of time and patience.
Performance marketing is classic advertising that is paid and can lead to success much more quickly. However, with this method you have to test often to see what works. Initially, you can lose money doing this.
For both forms of customer contact, it is important to set clear goals so that you can optimize your marketing measures by evaluating your actions.
Not every customer responds to advertisements, some customers want to get to know the company over a longer period of time. That’s why it makes sense to use both methods and draw your customers’ attention to you through advertisements (performance marketing), but then to offer added value through content marketing. This will help them learn more about your expertise and you can introduce them to your offerings.
Organic marketing vs. performance marketing
Organic marketing includes everything you can do organically, i.e. without money. This includes your blog, optimizing your website, regular social media posts, videos on YouTube, exchanging links between your site and fellow entrepreneurs, guest blog posts, podcasts and much more
Performance marketing refers to marketing measures in which the performance of an initial investment (e.g. money in Facebook Ads) is measured and optimized. For this purpose, a budget is set which, if used correctly, can be multiplied by selling goods or generating leads and can therefore be used more widely.
What are different lead shapes?
There are different forms of leads that describe how close a customer is to the company.
The three categories are Hot Leads, Warm Leads, and Cold Leads. There is also another term in marketing: qualified lead. Below I will describe to you what is behind it.
1) Hot Lead
A hot lead is a “hot contact” who already knows your business, may have bought something or downloaded something several times and is so interested in your offers that they are literally waiting to strike. He fully identifies with your company philosophy and loves your products!
2) Warm Lead
A warm lead is a lead who saw you through an ad or social media post, followed one of your links, looked at your website for the first time, and left their email address. He doesn’t know much about what you have to offer and would like to get to know you first.
3) Cold Lead
A cold lead has not yet had any contact with your company, does not know your products and needs to be warmed up. He may have heard your name before, but nothing more.
4) Qualified Lead
A qualified lead is a pre-qualified contact that has a high chance of making a purchase. These include e.g. B. Existing customers, prospects with high engagement on social media and those who have downloaded and viewed your free offers. Defining a qualified lead is extremely important for the marketing department, as the marketing methods are adapted to it.
What is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is a marketing technique that allows a company to measure the “temperature” of a lead and identify whether it’s warm, hot, or cold.
The process goes like this: To identify qualified leads, each lead is given a score based on how qualified they are to make a purchase. This can be defined by the reactions to the last newsletter, by the downloads of free offers or by the reactions to social media posts.
Depending on importance and conversion, some positions receive higher numbers and others receive lower numbers. A newsletter reader receives e.g. B. 5 points because reading the newsletter does not mean buying it. A prospective customer who has watched the free video course in its entirety and then purchased a cheap upsell (such as a meditation for 7 euros) receives 25 points because they are very likely to also purchase higher-priced offers.
Each lead is given a number so that the marketing department knows exactly how and when to target that lead to convert them. Lead scoring helps improve marketing to generate more sales.
Individual positions for B2C and B2B leads that are evaluated and added up by lead scoring are:
- Place of residence
- Company size
- business niche
- Job title
- behavior when buying
- Place of residence
- Job title
B2B leads and B2C leads
- opened emails
- Newsletter subscription
- Website Visits
- Free downloads
- Form Entries
- Read/download content
- social media engagement
- Webinar Registration
Lead scoring is important for marketing automation because it allows automated emails and freebies to be sent based on the interest of the leads.
What are the benefits of lead generation?
A big benefit of lead generation is growing your list. This contact list belongs only to you and is managed by you. If Facebook changes its algorithm again tomorrow, it won’t matter because your list will exist regardless.
You send your emails exactly when you want and the same number of interested parties receive your news. On Facebook, many of your followers often don’t see what you post because Facebook wants to encourage its business customers to place paid ads.
Another advantage is that lead generation allows you to divide your customers into segments. I.e. you can sort them into hot, cold, or warm leads and send them your offers accordingly.
Marketing evaluation and marketing strategy
Lead generation helps you evaluate, optimize and adapt your marketing measures to suit your customers. Because every online marketing measure gives you statistics through insight into how many people are interested in your ad, your website or your offer, when they clicked where and where they jumped off.
This allows you to improve your offer to generate more leads. In the end, you have to do less convincing, spend less advertising budget and offer customers exactly what they are looking for.
With marketing automation (see below), things then take care of themselves and you can focus on what matters most: your service.
Ideas for generating quality leads
To generate quality leads that quickly convert to buyers, you need a strategy. There are several ways to do this, depending on your company. Depending on whether you rely on performance marketing or organic marketing (see above), your approach will change.
1) Lead generation through cross promotion
One of the easiest ways to acquire lead customers is to cross-promote through fellow colleagues. These can be from the same industry, but not from the same niche, e.g. B. a tax advisor and a financial advisor, a hairdresser and a facial care studio or a fitness trainer and a nutritionist.
Both sides promote their colleagues, such as: B. by referring to their new product in a newsletter. Both exchange links to the website and thereby encourage their own customers to use the colleague’s services.
By personally recommending other people’s offers, they gain more weight through the basis of trust and are more likely to be tried out. This results in a win-win situation for both sides.
An example: A fitness trainer regularly sends out his newsletter with fitness tips. In one of these newsletters he mentions his colleague’s nutritional coaching, which of course fits in perfectly with fitness training. His customers jump on it and book a trial session. The nutritionist sets up a display in his practice with his colleague’s fitness sessions. Many of his customers who come for nutritional advice want to change their lifestyle and book a trial appointment with the fitness trainer.
2) Lead generation through marketing automation
Marketing automation refers to automated marketing processes that are set up once and then run on their own. Webinars are a great example of this.
You’re probably familiar with the ads on Facebook or YouTube where the lead magnet is a free webinar that you can register for and immediately choose at what time and on what day the video will be shown to you.
The video was recorded once by the provider and then uploaded to a site such as: B. WebinarJam , uploaded. From there it will play automatically and according to your preferences. Handy, right?
Marketing automation also includes e-mails that are sent automatically when you subscribe to the newsletter or click on a Facebook ad. When promoting an online course that recurs every year, a series of e-mails are sent that each time have the same content and are therefore set up automatically. You don’t even have to click send anymore, because everything runs automatically after the setting.
Marketing automation platforms
Elopage , Digistore24 and EZFunnels give you the opportunity to upload your online offers and automatically offer them to your customers.
At the end of a free webinar, you can invite your prospects to purchase a paid product, which can be ordered automatically (without your intervention) on your website.
Here you can offer everything from physical products to online courses to retreats, mastermind groups or 1:1 coaching!
3) Generate leads through newsletters
Newsletters offer you the advantage of reaching your hot and warm leads directly. Lead generation in this method refers to converting your prospects into buyers. You can use newsletter tools like Mailchimp , ConstantContact or Hubspot to see whether your contacts open your emails, click on your links and react to your offers. This allows you to optimize your newsletter texts, segment people according to interest and adapt your offers to the needs of your customers.
As an example: If some of your customers open every email and happily click on all the links, you can send them targeted offers. If another part of the list only opens a few emails and clicks on the links every now and then, you are also sending your offers here, just not too often.
Sometimes there are prospects who read your emails but never click on anything. You shouldn’t spam these, otherwise they’ll quickly disappear. To do this, you can ask from time to time whether they are still interested in the newsletter and entice them with special discounts or freebies so that they show more commitment to your products.
4) Lead generation through content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most important parts of lead marketing! Basically, B2B marketing as well as B2C marketing is all about content marketing. Because what we see on social media is content. But your website and blog are also part of it.
When you create a content strategy, the plan for the coming months will help you gain clarity on what you want to talk about and where you want to go with your business. In addition, regular content marketing leads to greater awareness, you position yourself as an expert and define your brand. A good content strategy can generate numerous leads in the first three months.
Posting content regularly will help you improve your site’s rankings, get found faster in Google searches, and as a result, more people will find your services. Adding keywords through SEO (search engine optimization), optimizing your blog titles, and checking your page for inconsistencies can improve your web performance and content reach by up to 80%!
Content marketing can also be used in a targeted manner through competitions, discount campaigns, etc. to draw the attention of cold leads to you and to connect them with your brand. Lead generation through content takes place on several channels:
- Social media
- Blog and website
- Other blogs and online magazines that reference and link to you
Working with influencers who are from your niche and talk about your products is particularly promising. Even if one of your articles goes viral, you can still reach thousands of people! This is where the power of the internet comes into its own.
5) Leads through a lead magnet
An important part of lead generation for your lead customers is the lead magnet. Do these come e.g. For example, from an ad on your website, a lead magnet gives them the opportunity to get to know you without having to invest anything.
This could be a free e-book, a webinar, a free video course, a guide, or a discount code for your first purchase. For each of these lead magnets, the prospect gives you their email address, which you add to your list to which you regularly send your offers and news.
The advantage of a lead magnet is that you add value first, and the customer gets something from you for free. This means that, firstly, he is happy about the “gift” and secondly, he is “unknowingly” indebted to you. People who have already received content and freebies from you are often more willing to give back by purchasing something from you.
6) Omnichannel marketing for more leads
Omnichannel marketing refers to using different channels to reach customers where it is most convenient for them. It is particularly used in retail, financial, telecommunications, healthcare and government agencies. The channels include social media, the website, the telephone (order hotline), chats, the online shop and often a physical store.
In omnichannel marketing, customers have the opportunity to use the communication channels that suit them most. Do you prefer Facebook to Instagram? Then chat with the company there. Do you prefer shopping on Amazon rather than on individual shop pages? Then just order there. Do you want to shop online but pick up the package in person in the shop? That is also possible.
By using several communication channels, entrepreneurs increase the probability of making a purchase and encourage customers to take action.
What is the end goal of lead generation?
The end goal of lead generation is always a purchase. Because what use are email addresses if they don’t buy anything from you. At the end of the funnel there is an offer of a product or service that the customer should use. A company wouldn’t be a company if it didn’t make sales.
In summary, we can say that an ad or very good content leads visitors to your landing page, where the sales process begins. Website visitors are offered a lead magnet there, which on the one hand serves to get to know the company and on the other hand encourages interested parties to give out their personal data.
Then there is a multi-step process of “warming up” each person, introducing them to the offers, offering cheaper and more expensive options, providing interesting items, and ultimately asking them to buy “now” with a time limit.
The advantage of Facebook & Co. to generate leads
Leads can also be recycled, ie the already created customer profile of the previous consumers is used to create a profile with which new ads can be placed in a targeted manner on Facebook, Instagram or Google so that more people with the same interests come across your offers.
Facebook knows your customers better than you do because it collects a lot of data about customer behavior. This benefits you when you run your ads and sponsored posts because you can target people who match your target audience’s location, interests, hobbies, purchasing behavior and age.
How do you get started with lead generation?
At the beginning there is the vision. Just getting started and doing something on various channels often doesn’t work. Decide on which channel you want to try out a strategy, how long it should run, how much performance marketing and how much organic marketing you want to use, how much advertising budget you want to spend and – very importantly – how many leads you generate in which period of time want.
The clearer your idea of what you want to achieve, the easier it is for you to achieve your goal. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with two marketing models that will help you to clearly define your goals.
The SMART formula and the AIDA formula.
The SMART formula
SMART refers to: Specific, Measurable, Acceptable (Achievable), Realistic and Timely. That means:
- you set a specific goal for lead generation
- make it measurable (like through Facebook statistics and measuring clicks)
- Don’t set the bar too high so that your subconscious accepts the goal and you can achieve it
- stay realistic (500 clicks is possible, 5 million on the first ad is unlikely)
- and sets clear dates for the duration of your campaign (such as March 1-15).
Then comes the evaluation and optimization.
The AIDA formula
The AIDA formula is used in marketing for the customer journey, i.e. the path a customer takes to find you and buy from you. AIDA refers to:
- Generate attention (through ads and content)
- Arouse interest (through webinar, e-book, discount code)
- Trigger “Desire” (offer for your product and why it is the best)
- Trigger an action to purchase (call-to-action button on the website, time-limited discount promotion, early bird discount until such and such a date)
To attract leads, you not only need a good marketing strategy, but also a pinch of psychology. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, think about what their current problem is and why you have the solution for it. Then design the customer journey and the sales process.
Remember that even if you’re selling something, the customer should always feel that the process is enjoyable, adds value, and is actually an enrichment in their life.