Online lead generation, an effective and growing digital marketing solution for brand advertisers, has seen some recent media coverage with the acquisition of the preeminent lead generation conference, LeadsCon to Access Intelligence last week. With online lead generation registering an impressive 20% growth rate in 2011 and continuing to grow in 2012 according to an IAB/PwC study, lead generation is a great way for brand advertisers to acquire new customers or build a database.
Successful across multiple verticals including consumer services, financial, retail, insurance and automotive, lead generation is a win-win for both the buyer and seller since the consumer is requesting information on a product that they are interested in and the brand is pitching their product to somebody who is already interested and has granted permission to the company to send them more information.
Since lead generation is a cost effective medium to acquire new potential customers, following are eight steps to creating a successful lead generation program:
Step #1- Establish a comprehensive plan that ties in sales and marketing goals and then establish goals for the lead generation campaign. While lead price should be a factor in measuring success, it should not be the sole metric but rather there should be a focus on back end ROI. Since not all leads are created equally, attention should be given to quality over quantity.
Step #2- Identify the acquisition channels that best match your campaign’s core demographics and target audience. Not all channels of media will be a fit for every client, therefore, try working with a digital marketing agency or expert who can help you determine what channel or channels will work best for your business based on their previous experience and knowledge.
Step #3- Maximize your campaign with an effective landing page. The job of a landing page is to convert interest into leads, so it is important to make sure that your landing page provides a clear answer to your consumers’ needs. A small increase in your landing page conversion rate generates more conversions for the same cost, so make sure that your messaging, imagery and form is maintained and speaks to your consumer.
Step #4- Implement and execute your campaign with relevant publisher placements. To guarantee successful results, work with partners who reach your target audience and provide you with quality placement.
Step #5- Track your campaign performance and analyze your lead results. Are all your leads coming from one specific publisher or acquisition channel? Are you receiving quality leads? Are there additional fields you would like to add or remove from your form? It is important to look at your leads in order to optimize your campaign for peak results.
Step#6- Establish a remarketing strategy. All leads generated from online efforts may not result in conversions during your initial effort at making contact with a prospect. Ensure that you have a remarketing plan in place that is consistent and follows up with potential customers. Make sure your call center and remarketing email messages are aligned with your initial message when a lead is collected. Timing is also of the essence when following up with prospects.
Step #7- Based on overall results, continue to test and optimize your lead campaign to ensure optimal performance and results. Some methods of testing include testing landing page elements such as headline copy, call-to-action copy, key product or service benefits, hero image, number of fields collected, A/B or multivariate testing, analysis of the conversion funnel process and testing and expanding new partners and acquisition channels. Continue to test and improve on your remarketing efforts as the campaign continues to grow.
Step #8- The most important step- MAKE THE COMMITMENT - a lead generation campaign takes a lot of effort, testing and relationship building to become very successful for the long term. Make a strategic and financial commitment as part of your marketing initiative especially if leads are integral to your business. The initial ebb and flow of a campaign will only become more consistent if you are committed and follow some of the approaches outlined above!
The end goal for a lead generation program is to maximize leads and increase the bottom line. With the help of these 8 steps, a successful and effective online lead generation program can be created and achieved.