15 Powerful Lead Generation Strategies
- The Mechanics of Lead Generation
- Give Your Audience an Offer They Can't Refuse
- Be Honest About What You Have to Offer
- Landing Pages That Convert
- Ask the Right Questions
Generating leads — both high in quantity and quality — is a marketers most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep. Surprisingly, only 1 in 10 marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective. What gives?
There can be a lot of moving parts in any lead generation campaign and often times it’s difficult to know which parts need fine tuning. In this guide, we will expose the top 15 techniques marketers should utilize to increase leads and revenue. These tactics have been tested over the past seven years and have been used by our customers to generate more leads per year, every year.
So what goes into a best-of-class lead generation engine? First, lets take a look into the mechanics of high performing lead generation campaigns....
The Four Elements of Inbound Marketing
Before we dive into the 15 strategies, we should first cover the mechanics of lead generation. The best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these components. From a tactical perspective, a marketer needs four crucial elements to make inbound lead generation happen. These elements are the:
The tips in this ebook will cover each of these elements so that each component is fully optimized to help you generate the most leads for your business.
We have also written a blog focused just on the four elements — click here to learn more about the four elements of inbound marketing.
Now then, let’s get started...
The First Step is Getting People to Say “Yes.”
How do you get people to say yes? Provide high-value content with a perception of exclusivity. Whether your offer is a white paper, free trial, membership, sales promotion, or download, make sure that if someone has any doubt about submitting their contact information it only lasts an instant. When an offer is exclusive, scarce, or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Typically high-value offers with a sense of urgency can help leads overcome their friction, doubt, or concern quickly.
Why do these elements work? Because they trigger a physiological reaction that makes an offer appear more valuable. People need to perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer. Learn more about how this perception can generate leads for your business. So how do you ensure your offers are irresistible?
We’re glad you asked...
1. Build a Sense of Scarcity
If you look at the principle of supply and demand, you’ll notice that when supply is limited, demand goes up. Scarcity has a psychological influence on us, making us want something even more if there isn’t enough to go around. Scarcity is great because it creates a fear of shortage, and thus a sense of urgency.
Limited Time Offers
Limited time offers are among the most popular in the scarcity category. Just think about your average car dealership. Practically every commercial is a limited time deal. “Get 0% financing before it’s gone!”
Limited Quantity Offers
When something is of limited quantity, it suddenly becomes more unique or exclusive.
In some studies, limited quantity or supply offers have outperformed limited-time offers. Why? Because it’s hard to tell when an offer of limited quantity will suddenly become unavailable, while a time-based offer has a known end time. Limited quantity offers are great for not only getting people to say “yes” to your offer, but to avoid procrastination completely.
Limited Time and Limited Quantity
Groupon is the perfect example of using both tactics. All Groupon deals end within
a certain time frame, and they limit the number of people who can buy a Groupon.
That’s a powerful combination. The site also packages these scarcity tactics with discounting, which is another great value-add, especially for ecommerce businesses.
2. Advertise Your Success
It’s a natural tendency for humans to copy one another, even without realizing it — we like to be a part of tribes and social communities. So when we notice our social circle is doing one thing, we tend to follow suit. One great way to make an offer more valuable is to show that other people are participating in that offer.
Proof in Numbers
When possible, a great way to indicate how awesome an offer is to mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up, or donated. Solid numbers give possible leads an extra vote of confidence in the value of your offer. If so many people found your offer valuable, it’s likely they will too.
Just make sure your claims are not only true, but believable.
Want to learn WHY the numbers don't lie? Learn more in our blog "Why Adveritising Your Success will Get You More Leads" here.
3. Write Intriguing Titles
Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and co-founder, once said, “you can have a great offer with a bad title and no one will download it. But if you have an amazing title, suddenly everyone wants it.” Yes — people do judge a book by it’s cover. If your offer is a piece of content, such as a whitepaper, ebook, or presentation, take some extra time to develop an amazing title.
Look at the following example from HubSpot; they changed the title of an ebook and ran an A/B test to see which one would perform better. When they took the original title “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers” and changed it to “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing.” Views, conversion rates, and first time submissions soared.
The title revision version outperformed the original by 776% at generating leads. It also resulted in more customers despite no change in the content itself.
4. Use High-Value Offer Formats
Not all offers are created equal. Some “formats” of offers perform better than others at converting leads. You need to ask yourself, “As a client, what’s more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook?”
Below are the types of offer formats that (in our experience) generate the most leads in order of performance, with number one being the best.
It’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for you. While ebooks score high on our list, you may find that reports, whitepapers, or other formats do better. Click here to learn more about content offers.
Calls-to-action (CTA) are the key to driving people to your offers.
If your prospective clients can’t find your CTAs or your CTAs are just plain ineffective at capturing people’s attention, it’s equivalent to having no offer available at all.
A useful strategy for creating CTAs is to be explicit about what you have to offer and how the offer will be delivered to your visitors. In this modern time, every brand is fighting for consumers attention, especially online. It’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors, so don’t make it overly difficult for them to interact with you and don’t make them regret the interaction either.
In this section, we’ll cover strategies that can be used for creating CTAs that maximize interaction and satisfaction.
5. Keep CTAs Above the Fold
Calls-to-action do best “above the fold.” What is “the fold" you ask? It’s the space where your web page is viewable to the user without having to scroll down. According to heat map analysis, anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of people who visit your page.
Simply by making sure you have two clearly contrasting CTAs on your offer page “above the fold” doubles your CTA impressions and clears the way to increases in your lead generation.
6. CTAs Should Be Explicit
More often than not, Marketers will put more focus on being clever than clear. Don’t do that. Be honest and as specific as possible about what your offer is in your CTA. If you are giving away a free guide to X then say, “Download our FREE guide to X.”
Keeping the CTA too short can negatively effect your lead generation. “Download Now” or “Get Free Guide” are not specific enough and can cause possible leads to doubt what their clicking of the CTA will actually get them. Don’t give them a reason to waver.
A CTA should always provide the following information:
- Exactly what they are gettting (Title & Format)
- Exactly how they are getting it (Download, email, etc.)
7. Utilize Dedicated Landing Pages
Your CTA should link to a dedicated landing page for your offer. This tip might seem minor, but it’s incredible how often businesses miss this opportunity. Calls-to-action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer. Do not use CTAs to drive people to your homepage. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), still send them to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead. Learn why using dedicated landing pages are vital for lead generation.
8. Send Leads to a Thank You Page
Even if someone completes a form on your website (thus they’ve converted as a lead), don’t let it be the end of the road. Increasing engagement is also a top priority for marketers so that prospect can turn into a promoter.
Once someone reaches a “thank you page,” the page that a visitor arrives on after completing a form, use that space as an opportunity to promote more offers and content. Try to keep the offers promoted similar to those the lead converted on.
For example, if a visitor on hubspot.com downloads a guide on email marketing, HubSpot then directs that visitor to another offer for an Email RFP for a chance to see a demo of their email marketing platform.
Want to learn more about lead generation with calls-to-action? Read our blog Are Calls-to-Action Vital for Lead Generation?
Convert more leads with targeted landing pages. Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa’s research, landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies. The use of landing pages enables marketers to direct website visitors to targeted pages and capture leads at a much higher rate.
What’s great about landing pages is that they direct your visitors to one particular offer without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for one and only purpose: to complete the lead capture form.
9. Keys to an Effective Landing Page
Landing pages, sometimes called a “Lead Capture Page,” are used to convert visitors into leads by completing a transaction or by collecting contact information from them.
Landing pages consist of:
10. Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. One of the simplest ways to increase conversion rates is to remove the main navigation from your Landing pages.
When the main navigation is kept on landing pages your visitor suddenly has a multitude of options for what they can interact with. Why not come back to the offer later and take a look around a bit longer? Well, it’s unlikely they’ll be back to be honest.
By removing the main navigation, you narrow their focus. Now they can only read what you have to say, fill and submit your form, or navigate manually away from the page with the back button or internet browser.
This strategy is literally one of the very best ways to increase your landing page conversion rates. It’s that easy!
11. Keep Content Short and to the Point
In the case of landing page content, less is definitely more. A cluttered page means a distracted visitor. Keep your copy short and sweet; it’s in the offer itself where you give more detail. In addition to your headline, include a small paragraph explaining what the offer is, followed by a few bullet points that highlight the benefits one can expect to gain from the offer.
12. Make Social Sharing Easy
Don’t forget to include buttons to enable your prospects to share content and offers on your landing pages. Include multiple social media channels as well as email, since people have different sharing preferences. When your offer is shared more, more people land on the page, and more people fill out your form and become leads.
If you use social media widgets that show the number of shares accumulated on particular pages this step can support Strategy 2: Advertise Your Success.
13. Make More Content – Get More Leads
According to a marketing benchmarks report, companies see a 55% increase in leads by increasing landing pages from 10 to 15. The more content, offers, and landing pages you create, the more opportunities to generate more leads for your business. This is especially important for new visitors because 47% of them don’t feel comfortable engaging with a sales representative until they have consumed 3 – 5 pieces of your published content.
Keep in mind that once your landing pages are implemeted they will always be working to generate leads. Even if you published an offer two years in the past, if the content is still relevant than you will still be getting submissions from new visitors.
Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is no way to “convert” a visitor into a lead. If you aren’t asking the right questions however, you can end up receiving information from people that aren’t actually interested in your company, services, or products. This causes your list of prospective customers to deteriorate (decreasing in quality and therefore value) and can be a frustrating loss of time.
The following strategies will help you to gather high-quality leads by knowing what to ask and how to ask.
14. Form Length Should Reflect the Value Offered
There is no magic answer to how many form fields you should be asking visitors to fill for offers. When it comes to this difficult decision it is best to only collect the information you really need.
The fewer fields you have in a form, the more likely you will receive more conversions. This is because with each new field you add to a form, it creates a larger barrier of entry for the visitor and therefore fewer conversions. A longer form looks like more work and sometimes it will be avoided all together.
If your offer is particularly high-value it is reasonable to add more required form fields. You should try and balance the value of the offer with the number of fields you are requiring though.
An effective way to generate better quality leads is by utilizing “smart” form fields such as those offered by HubSpot. These “smart” fields disappear for visitors if after inputing certain elements the database finds you already have particular information from them.
So a form that normally looks like Sample A, will look like Sample B to those leads that you already have key information for.
15. Let Visitors Know Their Information is Safe
People are more resistant to give up their information these days, especially because of the increase in spam. There are a few different elements you can add to the form or landing page to help reduce a visitor’s anxiety to complete the form:
- If your form requires sensitive information, include security seals, a BBB rating, or other certifications so that visitors know their information is safe and secure.
Adding testimonials or customer logos is another great to indicate social proof. For example, if your offer was for a Free Trial, you may want to include a few customer testimonials about your product or service.
Generating leads online doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. The key to better lead generation is understanding of your target consumer and dedication to producing helpful content for that consumer. By using great targeted offers, calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms, you can reduce your cost-per-lead while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team.
The basics herein are just the beginning. This guide contains many strategies for every aspect of lead generation to help bolster your conversion rates, but these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. Continue to tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation process in an effort to improve lead quality and increase revenue.
We at V2Works wish you success on your lead generation journey!