Online Leads Rule: Taking Advantage of Online Lead Generation Techniques to Boost Your Business
Lead generation is about much more than the number of names and email addresses on a spreadsheet. It’s about building brand awareness and generating interest among a targeted audience of potential customers. This calls for a quality, well-thought-out marketing plan so that the leads you get will be of quality as well, with the end goal of converting leads into sales.
It should come as no surprise that online lead generation is surging, especially as people are turning to their devices and consuming online content at an increased rate. Statista cites 2019 data showing that the leading ways U.S. consumers prefer to be contacted by brands are: social media (25 percent) and the slightly more than 50 percent who chose e-mail as the primary method by which brands should reach them. This number is important because, as Statista further reported in 2019, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024.
Smart marketers are utilizing a number of online lead generation techniques to drive lead-building strategies that can best boost the bottom line. Experts agree, though, that using these tools with some know-how behind them can make all the difference to success.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind to help maximize online lead generation programs.
Top-Level Tips and Tools
In order to take advantage of the online lead generation trend, marketers may find that programs combining a range of techniques will help maximize customer engagement and benefits for their brand. Such techniques include email marketing campaigns, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), surveys, social media, paid advertising, website optimization and marketing automation.
Marketing automation, in its many forms, is particularly useful in that automation tools and technologies can help expedite and simplify a brand manager’s work day, and, according to Hubspot, “can help you capture and nurture more (and more qualified) leads.” Hubspot further defines marketing automation as: “marketing efforts and tasks that have been automated using software. They are typically triggered by a consumer action, like subscription to a blog, filling out a form, or making a purchase.”
Marketing statistics published by HubSpot reveal that automation campaigns are one of the top tactics used by email marketers to improve performance.
While there are numerous techniques that can be used to help boost online leads, there are also some things that are best to avoid. While most are common sense tips, it bears spelling out so that marketers can avoid falling into these traps. The following is a concise list of mistakes to avoid, according to the experts at AeroLeads:
- Buying Leads
- Not having a clear call to action
- Not testing different channels
- Not understanding buyers’ pain points
- Poor implementation
- Too long or short forms
- Not nurturing leads
- No clear planning
- Not segmenting leads
- Not being consistent
Now that we’ve looked at what to do and what not to do, here’s another tip that might mean the difference between converting or not converting an online lead into a sale: Take a multi-pronged approach.
Forbes recently put out a collection of expert advice from members of its Forbes Business Council regarding generating online leads and closing sales. One of its experts, Elie Y. Katz of National Retail Solutions, is quoted and shares this: “A multi-pronged approach is best, so combine paid advertising with emailing out. You can capture emails from interested, relevant potential customers when they visit your site—and be prompt with follow-up when contacting them. As important as obtaining and pursuing leads is the speed of interaction. Contact them before they go to your competitor.”
ThriveHive provides similar advice, noting that success will be intrinsically tied to a company’s “ability to strategically and effectively follow up on [those] leads.” Some considerations to make that happen include responding in a timely manner, personalizing follow-up correspondence, using various communication channels, creating a follow-up schedule, tracking communications, and even knowing when it’s time to abandon lost causes.
Marketers would be smart to recognize that not only is online lead generation the current and likely future trend, but doing the research as to what combination of tools and techniques is right for YOUR business will go a long way toward turning those qualified leads into concrete sales success.